International Writers Magazine: Reality Check
Letters May 7th 2008
Why Barack Obamas Inability To Bury The Clinton Ghost
few weeks before John McCain is sworn in as the next president of
the United States, many in the press will likely ask What Happened
To Barack Obama? The
majority will use antiquated measuring sticks to speculate on his
inability to connect with white men, Catholics, Hispanics, older
women, or low-income Reagan Democrats.
Still others will ponder his first fractured weeks of April 08,
the spring of his discontent, when he had unlimited funds and media
power, a groundswell of celebrity fervor, and two opponents both in
and out of his party wounded by daunting preconceptions, relative campaign
poverty, and the stench of old-time politics about them, but wasted
valuable energy grappling with age-old labels of anti-Americanism, elitism
and liberal mania. The rest will be left to deconstruct the night he
tanked Pennsylvania and theyll ultimately consider it his national
election death knell. The night everyone finally realized that America
would not be voting for a black, liberal, northerner, now matter how
jazzed all the college kids and cable television hosts had become.
And they will all kick themselves for not seeing the obvious
signs anyone with half the experience and none of the access were afforded.
How could they not see that time and again all the huge crowds and revolutionary
fire burning across the Internet and on the streets of big cities and
on large campuses and the increasingly bogus blogoshpere had failed
to seal a single absolute?
There are still very large holes in the unsinkable
good ship Obama, flooded beyond retribution by the unshakably bizarre
windmill-tipping masquerade of Hillary Rodham Clinton, spurned prom
queen mutated into Lewis Carrolls Mad Hatter.
But those paid to dissect this most historic of Democratic
presidential primaries continually misread the American voter. Just
when it seems the starry-eyed fallacy of youthful grass roots rebellion
has all-but convinced the last vestiges of Journalism 101, things fall
apart. Yet they continue to hold out the faintest hope for something
new and improved, while clutching to a greater vision for big-time political
theater. But it is repeatedly squashed by cold, hard facts; vote tallies
they constantly push in Obamas direction, despite all the evidence
to the contrary; then real, raw votes push back.
Soon they will write that they did not heed the signs
until it was far too late.
Perhaps they were too busy handing over a New Hampshire
contest to the dynamic new kid on the block that he did not deliver.
Still they paved a yellow brick road of Super Tuesday momentum in California,
New York and New Jersey, but he was crushed. They ignored that and ascribed
him lofty ambitions in Texas and Ohio after an incredible run of 12
wins in a row, effectively burying his opponent, but leading to his
penultimate failure; he could not make Madam Shoo-In go away. They even
convinced themselves to put him on the fast track to a single-digit
loss in Pennsylvania that they believed would finally implode the old-time
politicos to abandon ship and hand the whole caboodle over to a spit-shine
orator that gave them all the kind of chills theyd conjured when
they picked up the pen and applied for the press cards in the first
But it turns out no one has abandoned anything, and nobody
with decades of bad road and shit-gorging and the soot and blood and
sweat of long years on the stump and in the houses of congress and the
backrooms of power are giving up the ghost that easily.
This is not Hollywood. This is not Dreamland. This is
not a romantic novel of high expectations and heroic figures with candyland
aspirations. This is the deep end of the American experience, the knife-fight,
killjoy, air-sucking brass-knuckle jungle, and it is no place for unfurling
preconceived notions of bountiful honor.
This is the black hole no one admits forms at the center
of our high-and-mighty republic, a black hole that swallowed the Barack
Obama myth in the Keystone State on April 22, 2008.
If Pennsylvania acts as anything but a Democratic Waterloo,
it will be nothing short of a miracle. The only maneuver that might
save the party from total annihilation is if Obama steals Indiana and
snaps the mass hallucination that is the Hillary Clinton campaign on
May 6. Then he will be free to provide serviceable fodder for Dick Nixons
legendary Silent Majority.
But winning in November against a Caucasian gray-haired
military Republican is now completely and utterly out of the question.
However, if Obama fails to take Indiana and shake up these
rubes that keep handing the Clintons money so they can play candidate
fantasy camp, the following scenarios are tabled:
1. The whole sordid ordeal goes all the way to the Denver National Convention
with a Goldwater/Rockefeller type party split motivating a frightened
gaggle of super delegates to force-feed the combined ticket of a woman/black
man, which will lose the national election by a minimum of twenty points.
2. The Clinton Machine tumbles forth into August demanding retribution
for Michigan and Florida delegates, prompting a perceived kidnapping
of the nomination against overwhelming mathematics (trailing in pledged
delegates, popular vote, and overall contests won) and voter will, which
would likely incite a mass walkout of over thirty states and lead to
a GOP landslide, or even more fatal for Democrats, an Obama secession
into a third party that would not only queer any chance the Democrats
have in 2008 but obliterate the partys standing for the all-important
redistrict extravaganza of 2010 that currently has them salivating for
a national power grab.
3. Obama limps to inevitable victory in late-June with enough mud on
him to sink even the most vetted, lily-white southern-crossed governor,
let alone a black guy with ten minutes experience.
Not one of these scenarios ends with a Democrat in the
White House, in a year that a splintered rake and a stripped 74
Impala could defeat the Republicans. What started out as a press geeks
dream has turned into a Fellini nightmare of clowns and tarred nudes
and painted mules parading into a big top of smoking mirrors.
At the start of this thing, only three and half short
months ago, Barack Obama looked like something we have never seen and
would never see again, something almost weirdly pristine. After three
months under constant campaigning, truckloads of cash spent, and Clinton
Machine muckraking, he is sounding and looking like he might be just
another tired Democratic leftist quack with not a chance in the world
to cut into Americas very real Puritan/Racial/Cultural/Generational
Perhaps he carries down with him the hope and prospects
of an anti-cynical stance for a new generation of voter, who is fast
learning what we all learn eventually: This is not a game for high-minded
idealism, but a cushy seat in the black hole.
© James Campion
April 26th 2008
READERS RESPONSES May 7th 2008
"It was clear-headed long-term thinking, well reasoned and stated
without trepidation... I have to admit; I don't recall writing any of
it." (IRAQ - THE NEW IRAN -- Issue: 4/16/08)
I get that all the time. Makes me wonder who's talking
when I'm on a roll, writing, typing, spitballing...
Regarding your argument about Iraq, Iran, and the Middle
East in general, they're going to fuck it up, and they don't know what
the fuck they're doing, anyway. We're just self-aware monkeys on a rock
orbiting a star, anyway. I've taken up golf seriously over the past
six months, and when my mind starts to get in the way of my game, I
just remind myself that I'm just a monkey on a rock hitting a ball with
a stick. Seems to help. OTOH, I'm just getting some recreation. Those
fuckers you describe are deciding the futures of millions of individual
soldiers and billions of individual human beings. I'd really like to
know: Who do they think they are?
Or as I ask my children: What do you think you're doing?
I can see what you're doing. What I want to know is what it is that
you think you're doing?
The one thing I like about this war--okay, two things:
1. It's not a war. No declaration, no other government(s)
with which to negotiate, etc.
2. It's so absurd that it exposes the futility and
stupidity of war, of aggression's general failure to solve problems
and its proclivity to create more problems.
That is all. Standing by the frequency, I remain,
The question remains:
Do the Democrats have the balls to stop this thing? My guess, if the
2006 mid-term election Big Lie is any indication, NO!
So now that the Dems have lied about the war and the Reps
have gotten us into this shit-storm, where do we go? Back to your boy,
Nader? I would rather shoot myself in the fucking head.
What the in the name of the almighty is going on in this
country? Do we not see we are on a road to ruin financially and morally
and philosophically? Are we so numbed by American Idol and Britney Spears
we cannot see it? Are we already doomed?
Is this the only place I can freely let those sickening
thoughts exit my head and then sign an alias below them to protect me
from my pie-in-the-sky liberal friends and finger-in-the-ass conservative
Oh, sage of The Desk...speak to me!
Can we get the Shah back in there at some time?
Oh, and how can we try and hang Donald Rumsfeld for treason?
His is an open and shut case. And war crimes too. Much war crimes.
Your piece on elitism was the most un-elitist thing possible. (CONFESSION
OF AN ELITIST -- Issue: 4/23/08) It is as if to point out the absurdity
in calling someone elitist is in itself an elitist practice. You, on
the other hand, seem to just hate and hate and hate and hate, even yourself.
It is horrible, painful, and friggin' hilarious!
I enjoy a Campion read over just about anyone. Honestly,
that was one of the funniest pieces on the balance of intellectualism
I have ever seen. Bar none. Amazing in its fierce brilliance.
The only thing is...I fear you meant it.
Zampco D. Zampco
Good God man, there
are too many funny lines in here to count! Bravo Sir James!
This past Saturday,
my cat Harry bit me due to the fact that I had the utter audacity and
unmitigated gall of picking him up and carrying him into the house.
My reflex reaction to the attack was "Holy Shit Harry you just
bit the hell out of me!! What the Fuck?!!!" Well, after
once again showing audacity and gall by opening up my e-mail and reading
your column, I suppose I could use that same reflex reaction and just
replace Harry's name with yours. You surely pack a wallop, Mr. Campion!
Excellent! I enjoy
any missive that throws Guitar Center under the bus. Those guys suck!
How dare you lump
the CEO of Guitar Center in with Hitler, Pat Robertson and Bud Selig!
If it wasn't for G.C's miraculous way of separating myself from my money
I would not believe in magic!!!!
I have never been so insulted and laughed so hard at the same time.
Strangely, I realized as I was combing through this most bludgeoning
of diatribes that I too am an elitist, or in some kind of way everyone
is, or becomes one eventually. It basically comes from just living.
Yes, I think living and keeping ones eyes open leads to the utter disdain
for all things stupid. But if not, where would we be, still crawling
around on all fours in the muck trying to keep fire alive and picking
bugs off our mates?
Actually, after reading your rant, I think that is a pleasant
of an Elitist 04.19.08
I am repeatedly, and in many ways, revoltingly astounded how utterly
stupid most people are, and by most people, I mean anyone but me.
- The New Iran
General Petraeus Hands Bush A Tehran Surprise ...the most important
phrase uttered by the man was "malign influence"
Party v The Machine
The Scenes Of Madam Shoo-In's Last Stand - desperate are the times for
the doomed Hillary For President campaign
Speech + Readers Letters
James Campion on Obama
To Our Bitter Demons & Better Angels
Democrats are Burning
unabated immolation of the Democratic Party, has now officially become
a raging firestorm.
Emperor's New Factory Girl
The Madam Shoo-In Shuck Jive Express
is only one book ever written worth a damn on the subject of politics
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