International Writers Magazine: US Election 2008
Emperor's New Factory Girl
Smoke, Mirrors & The Madam Shoo-In Shuck Jive Express
"I'm just getting warmed up."- Hillary Rodham Clinton
is only one book ever written worth a damn on the subject of politics,
The Shining. It is a gritty tale detailing the illusion of
controlling one's environment and trading on addiction to make the
malleable concept of reality your bitch. It is also a deep study
in survival at any cost and a grim warning that whatever beautiful
temptress emerges from the bathtub of Room 237, it will always turn
into a wretched hag oozing with boils.
is a book every wide-eyed young voter and late-arriving cheerleader
for change must read before studying what will now be a brutal dismantling
of their fragile sense of hope in the meat-grinding cesspool of real
American democracy. It is a book The Clintons know well. It has defined
their celebrity, put them in the game, and help them turn mere elections
into Stephen King's drunken metaphoric contradiction; Jack Torrence
stumbling down the hallway wielding a mallet and screaming about love.
The jig is up, kids. No more Apple Pie for the stupid
and naïve. The gremlins are in charge of your precious CHANGE mantra
now. How do you like your groundswell, grass roots good times replaced
by the fumes of recidivist device, shady accusation, and a cadre of
lawyers poised to challenge everything you claim to hold dear after
two months of falling head over heals for The Process.
Don't ask Howard Dean, chairman of the now tattered and reeking Democratic
National Committee, who harbored silly dreams of nailing down a meteoric
candidate filled with glitter and purpose, speeding like a silver bullet
into the heart of a Republican stranglehold on national presidential
Dean had two shots; this summer with the ceremonious crowning of Queen
Hillary and one lousy week ago when Barack Obama appeared as unstoppable
a young and brash candidate as any of us has ever seen. But now he sports
the look of a San Francisco cabbie coming to grips with the horror of
faulty brakes. And he is in no mood to tell you about it. Believe me,
I tried more than once. He ain't talking, and neither are the rest of
the poor suckers rooting to cash in on the choking fumes of George W.
Remember the original Captain Shoo-In? Sure you do. He's still in charge
thanks to the Ohio Voter, who ushered him back into office despite four
years of painfully obvious damage. The Ohio Voter can make things happen.
"As goes Ohio, so goes..." The Ohio Voter historically regurgitates
every festering gargoyle to hold the highest office. The Ohio Voter
has spoken: Madam Shoo-In lives to fight, and fight she will, to the
ultimate detriment of every possible equation her constituency strives
for; unseating the Republicans from the White House and restructuring
what has been for half a century a corrupt and ill-run Democratic Party.
That is all over now; trampled under the boot of laughably myopic television
ads depicting a comforting mother hen keeping your children from certain
death, cherry-picked mudslinging from Canadian interoffice memos, and
cleverly disguised discussions on the horrors of Islam. It is all over
because whatever pie-in-the-sky notion the Democrats were scheming to
sell as a Movement or an Independent Force will be on trial for three
agonizing months of P.T. Barnum's Parade of Oddities.
This Democratic Party nomination process, whatever comes of it, is no
longer about choosing a candidate that can achieve victory in the national
campaign. It is about entitlement and anger and chaos and creating a
vacuum of delusion to allow a flawed retread candidate to gain the high
ground. It is Karl Rove's wet dream. Change the dialogue, ignore reason,
and circle the wagons. It is also his puppet-boy, Baby Bush's fanatical
idea of warfare illustrated with imbecilic glory in The Surge; claim
victory in the face of a rudderless strategy ad infinitum.
Two weeks ago there was some discussion, much of it in this space, that
Hillary Clinton had two ways to go: A) Succumb to the immutable truth
of math and realize she could never achieve the allotted pledged delegates
needed to overtake Obama, and recede into the humbled statesman her
deranged husband could never be, uniting the party and forging a bright
political future as the most powerful legislator in the American landscape.
B) Abandon all decorum to rip and shred her opponent, raising doubt
and remolding the way-of-the waves to her own cirque-due-soleil in the
feint hope she could circumvent the system and forcibly abduct her prize.
She chose B. Overwhelmingly so. And, apparently by some queer force
of mind-bending fortune, to the tune of a two-to-one late arriving undecided
vote in both Ohio and Texas, which after 20 debates and as many months
of campaigning is so off-the-charts asinine it bears study.
Mostly, she chose Fear, Dirt, Guilt, and Doubt, the core instincts of
the American Vote manifested in the heart of the Ohio Voter and now
spread like wild fire all over what can now officially be described
as the final bell for the collective scam of Momentum and Inevitability.
That ship has sailed for the Democrats. This is going all the way to
Pennsylvania, seven more tormented weeks of nasty backbiting, lower
blows and bellowing headlines of hidden tax records, questionable liaisons,
voter fraud, stump cheating, and the dangerous weakening of both doomed
hopefuls. To April 22 and beyond, all the way to the convention in late
August; pecking and spitting and kicking and whining, and, dread of
all dreads; pathetic court battles or an inevitable costly re-vote in
Michigan and Florida; vital national election swing states utilized
as political torture chambers.
How this helps either Clinton or Obama is anyone's guess. Some say it
strengthens the candidates. Some also say the earth is flat and Oswald
acted alone. Some people are still looking for hairy bipedal humanoid
creatures inhabiting the greater northwest, but they are dumb and in
need of care or chemistry. Three months of this spastic horseshit will
help only one candidate; John Sidney McCain III. He sits pretty, running
the first unopposed national campaign; unquestioned, undeterred, and
earning money -- not spending it wildly across the Pocono Mountains
grinding mincemeat out of whatever unlucky sap might survive it.
So now that we have video of Madam Shoo-In saying only she and the Republican
nominee can lead the free world, the earth has returned to its familiar
axis. We can all get down to picking another Democratic runner-up in
the grand tradition of McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry.
This is the raw, ugly, and violent world of politics I've come to know,
and in some sick twist of ignominious fate, love. Not all this goofy
appeal to the masses about generational progress and the evolution of
thought. It is cheap body blows lobbed from smiling harpies on late-night
variety shows changing masks on the fly: Queen Of Inevitability, Weeping
Damsel, Sleeve-Rolling Actuary, Wounded Media Victim, Lunch-Pail Factory
The now infamous Billary "Kitchen Sink" policy of dragging
the lofty, spit-shine Master Barack Show into the quagmire of old-time
political theater is in full swing. Get on board or get the fuck out.
Know this, you people who cherish the flimsy ideals of The Vote; The
Clinton Machine didn't just muddy the waters in Ohio and Texas, but
commandeered the delicately structured Peace Train that might have written
a far different manifesto against a rubber-stamp war fiend like John
McCain and drove it into a ditch.
Let's all say it together; "Here's Johnny!"
© James Campion March 8th 2008
Cheesehead Victory Lap
seconds after the Associated Press had called the Wisconsin primary
for Barack Obama, the young senator stood at center sta ge grinning
from ear to ear.
has crossed the divide of this polarized nation than the quickly emerging,
highly influential, and increasingly mighty Independent vote.
Romney Bails/Madam Shoo-In & Master Barack
one party has managed to rubber-stamp a presumptive nominee, John McCain,
whose right-wing obstinacy and an abject rejection from the south has
all-but gained him a seat on the big ride.
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