REALITY CHECK -October 11th Update with Readers Responses-
Quitter or the Ballad of a Gutless Swine
make sure I've got this straight. Democratic Senator from New Jersey,
Robert Torricelli, woefully diving in the polls, decides he will
not run a race he cannot win. And a man whom the party defended
like the last beer at a frat bash for six months is unceremoniously
shoved off the proverbial plank with a month to go. AND...his former
opponent and surprising leader with the final leg remaining in this
mid-term madness, Douglas Forrester, who has based his campaign
on calling for the senator's head since announcing his candidacy,
now wants him to honor his campaign.
I think I made my point last week: I do not want to get into the shady
end of this mess of Jersey politics at this juncture of my career without
some buffers in these warring camps. Let that read: I am not about to
start uncovering the rotten cheese inside this fucking abortion without
someone on the inside at least running interference for me.
This is not 1992, and I'm no longer a single, half-sober punk with nothing
to lose. I will not go to the mat with these freaks for this column or
any other space in a national publication to uncover the levels of disgust
this story implies.
Having put that out there, and not necessarily as an excuse for laying
off the normal hammer this space wields, but to keep a safe distance from
a story I'd previously ignored. One that I'm now forced to face because
last week I foolishly broached Torricelli's doom, and within two days
of its publication, he bails.
And so, keeping in tune with gutless cop-outs and half-ass disingenuous
offerings, I present the following conversation to stand as some kind
of coverage. It was taped on the morning of 10/3 with my main Dem insider,
whom the readers of this space know as Dibbs.
jc: What the fuck is going on?
Dibbs: How exactly do you mean?
jc: When the governor of the state, a Democrat, spends a Saturday afternoon
radio show painting his party's incumbent senator as St. Francis of Assisi,
and by Monday evening cannot be found for comment while the guy quits
his campaign in a blubbering staged fiasco, it's time to ask that question.
DB: First of all, and I know you won't buy this, and frankly, I don't
care, because it is, as you like to say, the stone cold truth: Senator
Torricelli made that call on his own, against - and let me make this painfully
clear - against the better wishes of Governor James McGreevy and the major
jc: Bullshit. You want to know how I see this?
DB: Not particularly.
jc: The national party people leaned on McGreevy and the predominantly
Democratic government to deliver New Jersey in a tight race to keep control
of the senate, because there is no chance in hell the Dems are keeping
the House and everyone with half a brain knows you could run a cadaver
against a Republican in this state and win, but a smug crook is too much
for even these poor people to take.
jc: Oh, I believe that's 75% of it. The other quarter stems from the "wolf
in the hen house" idea that McGreevy's party base is threatened if
he allows a wild card Republican rich guy to slide next to the other Democratic
rich guy, Jon Corzine.
DB: I think I just stated that the power base of this party backed a Torricelli
run, regardless of the negative press and poll numbers. And let me remind
you that Robert Torricelli was exonerated in a court of law, which apparently
means nothing to the media or the Republican Party.
I think the last few years have proven that.
jc: I'm talking politics here, not law. You cannot have that much evidence
and allegations go against you within a calendar year of an election and
expect people to concentrate "on the issues".
DB: I think we all know that there is no platform for the Forrester campaign
beyond "Hey, I'm not Robert Torricelli." It's a disgrace.
jc: Good segue. Speaking of the law and " a disgrace", what
rights does Torricelli have--let me rephrase that--what recourse, politically,
do the Dems have to survive this?
DB: If you're referring to the state charter on this sort of thing, it
is not without precedent. I think the state Supreme Court ruling backs
that up, so we're talking mainly about semantics. If Torricelli were to
resign his post, which he refuses to do based on salary and pension concerns,
the governor could postpone this election, forcing Forrester to spend
money up to 12 months to keep the heat on.
jc: But Torricelli didn't resign. He dropped out.
DB: Despite all this predictable posturing by Forrester, believe me when
I tell you, the Republicans want this ruling to stick.
jc: Especially running a fossil like Frank Lautenberg into this cauldron?
DB: Crook? Fossil? I see talking to you today has been it's usual mistake.
jc: Thank you.
DB: And I think I'd like to ask your readers, especially the Republican
ones, what are they so afraid of? There are only four weeks left to defend
a substantial lead against a latecomer. Run and win. Unless you could
only beat Torricelli, a candidate with a millstone hanging around his
jc: Sounds to me like a fixed political game in this state, much like
Florida for the GOP. Chance of Gore getting out of there with a fair shake
was nil. I think a goon like Forrester has to know that.
DB: We don't even need Jersey. Take my word for it.
jc: You're going down. I'm looking forward to watching the Bush administration
ride an all-Republican congress into war and recession.
DB: You're an ass.
jc: Clever like an ass.
© James Campion October 2002
will stay Republican
RESPONSES October 11th
I have been reading your work for over two years now off and on and I
must say although you often infuriate me I more than admit to being
considerably moved by your "NYC - One Year Later" column. I
sent copies to
friends who were in New York that day. People who live and work near
Ground Zero, and one who is a NYC Fireman. They all appreciated your raw
truth about the survivor in all of us, and how people must come back,
and always come back from tragedy, especially New Yorkers.
Speaking for all of my friends, and reluctantly myself, we thank
you for your words. Sometimes well-voiced sentiments are the cure for
Hard to believe it is a year already.
You know what I learned this year? This country is not so tough,
we just have a lot more bombs then everyone else.
We all depend on the government to protect us.
G Johnny 77
Your humanity is surprising, if not welcomed.
As a native of the New York Metro area who has traveled all over the world,
and had to try to explain to others that New Yorkers were not rude, just
in a hurry, and not loud but just trying to be heard above the cacophony
of noise around us. 9/11 showed New Yorkers at their finest, after the
initial shock of the roundhouse thrown at us by the psychos from the Middle-East,
we picked ourselves up dusted ourselves off and started to rebuild and
repair Zero, and our lives and businesses. I spent about 30 days from
9/13 until 5/30 down at zero doing environmental testing (you don't want
to know what was down there) and submitting reports to insurance companies.
I can tell you that every one of us had a new sense of dedication and
determination to get the job done, and to get the bastards who did this.
Watching GWB on the TV from a bar in Tribeca on 9/14 with his arm around
that fireman telling us and the rest of the world the people who knocked
these buildings down would be hearing from us and soon. The latest report
is OBL is buried under a mountain with his goats in Afghanistan. We are
going to get rid of the other smiling bastard in Baghdad next.
PS is it me or does the fact that Ramzi Yusef the organizer of the 93
WTC bombing and the attempt to Blow up 16 American Airliners from Manila
in 96(with the help of Mohamed Said (OBL's subordinate)) is now living
in Baghdad (according to the NY TIMES) just a coincidence or was Saddam
involved with OBL in the 9/11 project? We will, of course, find out eventually,
but I am so proud to be a New Yorker after what we as a people have shown
the world since 9/11.
Now let us continue to Kick Ass and Take the names of all of those who
think they can do things like 9/11 to New Yorkers and get away with it.
George Bush Sr's hands are filled with the blood of those poor innocent
victims of 9/11 in NYC and everywhere else. Why isn't anyone beside yourself
asking why in the hell American troops need to be all over the place in
the Middle East, beyond working for the Bush family oil concerns. The
Republicans have screwed us this time for good, and this Royal Bush Family
crap has doomed America to a lifetime of defending our SAFETY -- not FREEDOM
-- (what dumb hick is buying that childish Ra-Ra propaganda) from these
Our government continues to endanger us and we continue to wave
See you in Canada.
Regarding your column of Issue 10/2 called "Mid-Term Madness":
As usual you have your fangs into the juggler vein of politics
(and you knew that was coming) Any Politician (curse, spit) who can even
seriously consider running more than a token campaign at that level; Senator,
Governor, President, ... is, almost by definition, A Crook. They know
where the bodies are buried, they owe favors to everybody and Guido the
Fence, and they have most likely been groomed and brushed by the Party
for such a run. And which party doesn't matter. Unless you're talking
about the Libertarians whose politicians seem to be turning blue (the
nut in Montana for instance).
Even the good Mr. Smith (may Jimmy Stewart Rest In Peace) once he
got to Washington and was up for Re-election, turned into something so
crooked he had to put his hat on with a socket wrench.
Torch, Traffi, Condit, doesn't matter, they are ALL crooks.
Why is it that the police keep getting picked on for always arresting
the bank robbers? The liberals are shouting about Florida and now
NJ...but in both instances the Republicans wanted only to apply the law
not change the rules of the game in midstream. It is utterly
disgraceful what the Democrats pulled and what the activist judges decided.
precedent set by this ...if allowed by the US Supreme Court... is truly
frightening. What will prevent this from happening 14 or 7 days before
some other election if the candidate is awful and trailing badly?
It's like a softball team that brings in a ringer for a
championship game. Torricelli was not convicted, he didn't die, and he
move out of state. He was a disgrace, but the voters had a choice and
could've sent him back to DC. To totally ignore a very clear-cut law and
permit these shenanigans is an outrage. If the GOP did this, what
would the reaction have been? I can't wait now for the Republicans to
this somewhere down the road...dumping a weak candidate and bringing in
someone more electable at the wire...all in the name of giving the
voters a choice! Did not the voters have others choices in NJ...minor
party candidates? The issue is not about choice...but about the rule of
law. And believe me, if the GOP had pulled this stunt, I would be equally
embarrassed and outraged.
You asshole. Come back to New York. The Pataki people miss your crank
phone calls with the fart noises.
Good journalism is hard to duplicate.
Sons Of Pataki - Peekskill Chapter
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