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The International Writers Magazine:Reality Check + Readers Letters

Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie
Barack Obama Buries The Boomers
James Campion

This 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. Our time to offer a new direction for this country that we love.
- Senator Barack Obama, on the occasion of becoming the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee for President of the United States -- St. Paul, Minnesota June 3, 2008

I am not a woman or a black man. I am not liberal or conservative, and I do not vote or call myself Democrat or Republican. I am not, despite years of penning this god-awful dreck, particularly enamored with politics -- at least not in any meaningful way. Fittingly, for the purposes of this piece, I am definitely not a Baby Boomer. I was born in late 1962, and I don't care what sociologists say, if you were not feasibly able to spark a joint at Woodstock in the summer of '69, then you are not a Boomer. I was pushing seven, less than ten miles from Yasguar's Farm in the Catskill Mountains barely staving off stomach rot with the other unfortunates who were vacationing in an emerging disaster area. Our water supply had been fouled by overflowing wells contaminated by the collective defecation of a chemical-addled horde. Nope, I am no Boomer, and neither is Barack Obama. No sense asking him what he was doing during Nam, most likely flipping baseball cards or maybe puking up tainted water like me.

In fact, all the weird shit that passes for campaign bating these days doesn't work with Obama. He has no particular beef or on any vengeance trip, no tedious defense of failed revolutions or standing firm against The Man. Nobody knows who this guy is really. But we do know he doesn't have the Us Against Them baggage of the last two presidents; Boomer's both.

June 3, 2008, at around 9:01 in the pm, eastern time; a seminal moment in American history: Sure, an African American achieves the title of presumptive nominee for a major political party, but what is most telling is he happens to be from my generation -- the forgotten generation. Somewhere jammed between the Hippies and the Gen Xer's, the proud, the cynical, the overfed and over-stimulated; we now have ourselves a candidate.  He ain't old world and he ain't counterculture; he is new, as in brand-spanking, jack.

    The man is right; it is our time.

Shit, Obama may turn out to be a brilliant leader or another scrap paper fraud, squeak out the most unlikely of victories or be crushed like all the other lefty northerners before him, but he's our swinging dick, and we dig him plenty for it.
And it's about goddamn time. You know how long I've endured this parade of mediocre rich white guy /country bumpkins and their miserable children? Do you realize how many misogynistic, paranoid B-Movie actor jack-offs have captained this ship?

The Boomers had their shot too, and let's face it, the uprising of the sixties counterculture plummeting into a wretched yuppie gorge, then festering into the sappily nostalgic, and finally careening into a damaged political power play has gone denouement. The tally is in: It was an abject failure; ceremoniously imploded into crystal nothingness by the violence at Altamont, the frenzied con of the Manson Family, through Kent State, into the Age of Nixon, and all the way to the graveyards of Wall Street.

Thanks for the music and the drugs; now please burn out and fade away.

Hillary Clinton's doomed campaign of whining low blow militants is a requiem for the Boomers. There she was the night Obama turned a very heavy page talking about "deciding what to do next", as if anyone is interested in what the loser's next move might be. Perhaps she'll have her eggs sunny-side up or learn to marathon or finally divorce the troglodyte she's been carrying for decades.

It was a long, strange trip from the Inevitable Candidate, "This will be over by February fifth" to twisted RFK assassination references in order to hang around long enough for another mutant to emerge from Archie Bunker's psyche to destroy the New Wave. Yeah, the only problem with that equation is that Hillary is Archie Bunker now; an anachronistic voice wistfully harkening the "good old days" in a vein attempt to escape irrelevance.

By week's end the Clintons will have officially had the last shovel of dirt dumped on their botched attempt at being the alternative to the Reagan Myth, which helped usher in the laughably pathetic George W. Bush and his "compassionate conservative" hoax that effectively exposed the whole ruse as the century's last cruel joke.

Ultimately, America has Big Bill to thank for Captain Shoo-In, another dullard from the Age of Aquarius. Clinton's legacy, aside from his spastic libido, will be the choke-campaign of his vice president and his spouse blowing a 20-point national poll lead with an over $50 million coffer to a guy no one outside of the south side of Chi-town had heard of 14 months ago.

Baby Bush's claim to fame beside war, jingoistic fear-mongering and constitutional mockery, will be that he completely snuffed out the wounded remnants of the Reagan Revolution, which had barely survived on the fumes of the first two pathetically ineffectual years of The Big Bill Follies (followed soon after by the scandalized lame-duck years); proving once and for all that a granola-head conman who plays a mediocre sax and a faux cowboy drunkard with a gizzard full of silver spoon is no way to lead a country.

Two failed Baby Boomer presidents: The final influence of the gory sixties afterbirth pilfering an already bastardized system with a stale angst better left to the rigors of ancient history.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

We'll forgive Bush and the Clintons for their gaudy machinations and ill-conceived governing, coming as it has from a generation of spoiled, self-important, media whoring brats masquerading as revolutionaries; the last rancid fumes of the post-war fist-pumping, tie-dyed rip-off conjured from Madison Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue, which lorded over the brutal raping of genuine social, cultural, political and philosophical freedom rides from Berkeley to Selma to Greenwich Village.

In the end, the Boomers gave us presidents from both sides of the ideological fence, and they both came up snake eyes. The main issues facing the Clinton and Bush administrations were national health care and social security reform respectively and neither was brought to a vote. We might have even noticed, if not for a plethora of sex jokes and the pulpit grunts, piss fights and money-pit wars, and one disastrous day in the late summer of 2001.

Well, for the Democrats at least, the new generation has spoken: No more Us vs. Them or Burn Baby Burn or police bating, campus-riot, self-flagellating guilt-revolution chic. This is how real revolutions go: Hope. Change. Passion.

The Clintons hung on as long as they could, lying, cheating, changing the rules, and blaming the media. But they are dust, unless Obama has a brain hemorrhage and puts them on the ticket.

Otherwise, John McCain, this is your generation's problem now.

© James Campion 2008

Scott McClellan
James Campion
Scott McClellan wants to go to heaven now. He thinks writing a book confessing his sins will get him there. Some may have forgiven him for it, but God is not likely to be counted among them.

16 June

Mr. Campion,
You couldn't have been more on the ball here. (KEYSTONE KOP-OUT -- Issue: 4/30/08) There is a growing concern among Democrats that Obama is damaged goods now, thanks to the Clinton Smear Machine. That, and also, as you so succinctly (for a change) pointed out; a dismal showing among key demographics in the old-world party platform. Although, again (as you say) there are winds of change with the "youth vote" and a massive African American showing in these primaries and caucuses, can Obama beat McCain, a fairly moderate Republican, nationally by tanking these people? Seems as though his camp has abandoned trying to reach the less affluent and less educated white base, who have rushed out to clutch at Mrs. Clinton's hem for protection and pandering populace rhetoric, not to mention the women, who will likely listen to the Clinton bilge about being "ripped off" or rejected by media or party officials, and abandon the cause, slipping into office another flawed candidate.
This will be the death knell of Obama and the country's overwhelming call for change eventually, not that he is young, inexperienced, black, liberal, or has a funny name.
A. Daughtry

Bam may be doomed to fail, because of his Muslim name, liberal stance, religion and fears of a black planet. However, many folks may be subconsciously voting for a divided government. Every time one party gets both the Congress and the White House we get socked with out of control spending and dumb-ass quick-fix programs like "No Child Left Behind."  It happened in the first two years of Bubba, and the Republican majority under Bush rubber stamped every friggin' crackpot idea he came up with, exploding the budget to levels never seen EVER.

Many middle of the road voters could see Mac as a one term transition guy who is middle of the road just like them, someone who could work well with a Democratic Congress in an effective bipartisan way. It would be up to Barack (or Hillary) to convince the American people that they, and only they, can save the USA from slipping into a depression while portraying McCain as a tired old man out of touch and bent on continuing a never ending war.
Chris Barrera

I have to admit...for the first few minutes I wanted to believe in Barack. Here was a young guy with what at first seemed like new, young ideas but at the end of it all he became just another pol willing to say or do whatever was necessary to win and right there he was the latest invocation of the last verse to The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again".
It's a shame, but you are spot-on correct about the political class "Black Hole". It's dark, deadly and unforgiving.
Bill Roberts

Typical, Campion: Dour, angry, pessimistic, and doomstruck.
Oh, and did I mention rational?
Jill Shawndra

James --
I have read similar scenarios about Hillary making nice in other places. (LET'S MAKE A DEAL -- issue: 5/14/08) But I see your sources though come with anecdotal asides, which always adds to the continued and appreciated Gonzo beauty of this column. I especially love the intern's desperate plea; "What are we doing here?" and then your response: "No one, it turned out, had a serviceable answer." But I must respectably disagree with how this will come out.
Hillary shows no signs of slowing down. I see her as squeezing these people dry until she either gets on the ticket or destroys Obama and the party completely, or suspends the campaign to get her cash and horde her delegates all the way to the August convention for a nasty power play. Her irrational and sometimes narcissistic lunacy thus far has spoken to this end; not the kind of sober, resigned type of negotiating you depict in your column.

I think your point though about the Clintons hanging onto the last vestiges of party power is correct. This is what is left now, her trying to save her husband's damaged legacy and put herself into a position to log-jam congress in the event that Obama wins the presidency and does not adopt her socialist health care initiatives, which will doubtless bankrupt the system and destroy our free enterprise society.
How many times must she fail and all of us have to pay for it?
I ask you!!!!!!!!

One of your funniest columns to date.
    "The truth emerged twelve hours later. The Machine had officially gone belly up, and reports by late afternoon the next day had the candidate personally in the hole for over $11 million."
    Although, I won't believe any of it till I see it. If the bitch concedes this week, I will do an Irish jig in the middle of Taksim Square here in Istanbul ... the busiest part of the city.
    "All of her public office earnings spent on a random fling across key national election swing states downing whiskey shots, toting rifles, fitting for hardhats and telling the national press she was going to 'obliterate Iran'".
    This is just funny.
    Can't wait to see what happens next.
    You're writing has been very insightful of late and equally funny. Keep up the good work.
Via Turkey

This is an abomination! What is with you media assholes trying to kick Hillary to the curb? You are so far up Obama's ass you cannot see that this is a contest of votes and ideas and principles being battled out within the party, not for your amusement or speculation, but for the future of this country: a country that would be better off with Hillary Clinton than an old war freak like John McCain or a weak, elitist suck-up like Barack Obama.
I am so sick of all this "Won't she see the light?" crap! You wouldn't be seeing the light if you had the popular vote and won every swing state by double-digits, and have the last name of the only Democratic president to be re-elected since FDR.
This might be Hillary's last shot, and she does not have to be demure or magnanimous or "play fair" for you or anyone else who thinks she is evil or conniving or whatever, something you forgive men time and again for, but heap derision upon a woman candidate, because you, and not Bill Clinton, are the misogynist! And you can't see that either, because of your self-righteous, name-calling and goofing around.
This is a person's life at stake here, her life, and the future of the United States, not some half-assed corporate back-room deal.
Fight on, Hillary!  If for nothing else, but to prove people like you as the fools you truly are.
Brenda Ianucci

I think you have been too accommodating to Hillary Clinton. She is the dark lord of resident evil and everything sick and wrong and pathetic about national politics. She not only deserves to lose, but in doing so, become the laughing stock of all.
I am sorry you don't see this as an imperative, but merely as a sign that we are in "business as usual" territory again.
The Bastard Son

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