International Writers Magazine: Reality Check
Palin steals thunder from RNC
Kid In Town Puts Old Man On The Brink
political acceptance speech viewed by thirty-eight million Americans
is enough to send even the most staunch campaign minds into meltdown.
Barack Obama's August 28 appearance in front of eighty thousand
delegates receiving Super Bowl/American Idol television numbers
apparently scared the living shit out of John McCain. Less than
24 hours later he proved it by choosing for his ticket a completely
unknown 20-month governor of Alaska, who also happens to be in her
mid-forties, ultra-right wing, and most conveniently, a woman.
In one fell swoop
the McCain camp galvanized a flaccid base, challenged the gender/generational
voting gap, and put some historical wow into a comatose candidate fronting
a damaged brand.
But make no mistake; this was an intimidated and reactive move that
reeks of desperation.
Ignoring the foundation of his campaign (experience), and against his
better judgment, personal feelings, and fast-fading maverick pedigree,
the Republican nominee for president of the United States panicked.
Why he did so considering his opponent being an off the charts liberal,
black junior senator is up for discussion. But what will ultimately
be open for debate and an endless juicy line of factoids is its effect
on this race, which according to the Grand Old Party's top dog was in
jeopardy of being something far worse than doomed. He had become irrelevant.
Say one thing for
the Sarah Palin choice; it reflects a healthy chunk of acquired wisdom.
In 2000, McCain made serious inroads as a "reformer", but
before long he was ushered aside by half-assed Reformer Bush bullshit.
So he knows first hand how one can usurp a decent idea to victory. And
let's face it; Hillary Clinton spent months combating the Obama surge
with the weakly received "ready to serve from day one" crap
which was roundly defeated.
Clinton failed to grasp the Change zeitgeist and grossly miscalculated
the generational wave and was eventually dismissed as a tired has-been,
a mantle that had been passed to John McCain. That is until Friday,
August 29, when fighting the newbie with tough talk of being a sound
and safe choice was trash-canned in favor of Two Can Play At This Game.
Love her, hate her, or be mostly confused by the whole mess, you must
admit by Palin's very existence, this 44 year-old woman who'd made a
reputation on ripping and tearing at the foundation of her state's "business
as usual" ethics, puts McCain's hopes, if not aboard the Change
Train, at least hanging onto its caboose.
Of course it also puts the myth about the candidate being anything but
a party suck-up and political panderer to bed. This was as calculated
and fabricated a political move than could be made, which, of course,
is fine, but not in the usual McCain idiom. By all reports the candidate
wanted a trusted and close advisor like Independent/Democrat Joe Lieberman,
a choice that he had stated time and again would help him "lead"
rather than "gain him political traction".
But somewhere along the line, whether his inability to crack the national
45 percent ceiling or his tepid numbers in the Southeast and Midwest
or the kickass showcase the Democrats unleashed the week before, the
once pushed-aside conservative party voices began to squawk, and McCain
caved. This is the only explanation to why there was little to no vetting
of Palin, who was never even mentioned on the shortlist, whom McCain
had only met once, and who mockingly stated a few weeks ago she didn't
know what a vice president did.
But Palin makes sense in a few crucial ways. First and foremost she
is a woman who can seduce the disaffected Clinton supporters who have
spent months whining about "gender bias" and cracking "glass
ceilings". Now that history is on both tickets, let's see where
these PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) gals go. And for those craving the young
and untested Washington outsider, Palin has it in spades. You get no
farther away from Washington DC than Alaska. You get no further from
the mainstream than you do with a moose-gorging, gun-toting, baby machine.
And best of all, she finally puts a corny goober into this race.
Then there is the unexpectedly advantageous offshoot that Palin is damaged
goods Evangelical hardliner with a knocked up teenaged daughter embroiled
in an ongoing investigation on the firing of an in-law and weird connections
to the Alaskan Independence party which continuously proposes the secession
of the state. These among other baubles ignited a media feeding frenzy
that has been used by the McCain people to great lengths as an implication
of Leftist backlash, always gangbusters with the Republican base.
The last prominent perk of the Palin move is a magnificent marketing
spin to what was sure to be a less than spectacular convention. In its
wake the tainted Republican image was reborn in swaths of America First
and calls for Anti-Establishment Central, not unlike peddling cheap
furniture polish in a fancy can or selling crappy beer with a multi-colored
The most important aspect of the past week for Republicans was to somehow
some way distance themselves from themselves, and by attacking the media
as misrepresenting the horrible results of the present government, which
was perpetuated gleefully for the past eight years by their very own
candidate, then they can say, "Shit, everything is fine, it's the
depiction of it that's the problem."
It was classic fare and brilliant in its idiocy. It never fails. Anyone
with any scope of fairness and even the slightest sense of political
theater salutes it.
This intricate magic show was never more on display than in the almost
Through The Looking Glass quality of a convention replete with a line-up
of speakers who were pummeled in the party's primary by a far less conservative
candidate. Huckabee, Thompson, Romney and Giuliani shamelessly trumped
up McCain's Right Wing credentials with insane gibberish like the hammering
of eastern-establishment elitists from a billionaire former governor
of Massachusetts and the open derision towards a media that anointed
the King of Mayors frontrunner status when he was accruing less votes
than Ron Paul.
And by the way, how come Paul was left at the altar while a sad-sack
windbag like Fred Thompson gets to wax poetic? I guess the only true
conservative left who doesn't exploit God and the flag for every morsel
has been officially shut out of the Republican Party for good.
Paul, a true reforming libertarian, is on the outs while a losing Democratic
vice presidential candidate was allowed 40 uninterrupted minutes of
droning prattle. But it's just as well, the man who eight years ago
cried, "A vote for Al Gore is a vote for God" and then whimpered
about being ripped off by Republicans when he was beaten in 2000 fit
right in during what turned into the Victimization Revue.
But nothing compared to what the party did to its superheroes George
W. Bush and Dick Cheney, two-time victors in the most polarized elections
in generations, who were treated like rancid street trash: The president,
pushed from primetime via satellite, meekly offered burps of feint praise
and the vice president wasn't even allowed on American soil during the
So it was no surprise that when McCain finally took the stage he spent
close to an hour critically deconstructing the entire Bush legacy as
a series of sad mistakes, a strange close to the incumbent party's convention.
And as the music played and the balloons descended to the floor I thought
for the first time a white, military veteran, Republican might actually
© James Campion September 6th 2008
Democrats Make Mile High Noise and History - James Campion
are only two aims of achieving success at a major party's national convention;
define/redefine the candidate while skewering his opponent and bridging
any chasms widened by primary overzealousness, power positioning, and/or
the expected special interest harangues.
Letter to Barack Obama
the chin up and the hands clean and we might survive this weird experiment
until mid-September with a puncher's chance.
Olympics: Let Pestilence Ring!
This is what comes from being in debt to monsters. For the best manifestation
of this please refer to either video of the president dancing like an
imbecile at the Olympic opening ceremonies or the later chapters of
Brett Easton Ellis' sophomoric novel, Less Than Zero,
in the Uphill Part I
from his world tour as media darling, Barack Obama, Democratic nominee
for president and political rock star extraordinaire, looks invincible.
He is charismatic, youthful, and one of the most consummate orators
this country has produced in decades;
IN '08 Parts I & 11
Internet influences every dimension of the political and campaign process.
In fact, its driving many campaign professional out of their minds.
They no longer have complete control over their message. I know that's
a long answer, but I feel very passionate about it.
Bye, Miss American Pie
Barack Obama Buries The Boomers
is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past.
Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face.'
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