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The International Writers Magazine: Reality Check 2011 + Readers Letters

Congress Circa 112
James Campion
"The business of America is business."
-Calvin Coolidge

The 30th president of the United States was a horrible jackass with an incurable rash of brain warts and a queer brand of constructionist that ran a counterbalance to all known modes of reasoning.


Calvin Coolidge was simply the worst Republican politician of the 20th century whose name was not Richard Milhouse Nixon. His ideas were roundly debunked within minutes of his injurious attempt at governance, the gory results of which fueled the greatest meltdown in modern capitalism. This brought about a bastardized gargantuan liberal dream for the better part of a quarter century, also debunked as severe a suicidal fiasco as could possibly be fashioned by a modern soul not named Karl Marx. Only the third worst Republican president of the American Century could renew FDR's New Deal spirit, in one G.W. Bush, who's bungled two-term disaster put Barack Hussein Obama in the Oval Office and, with the eager assistance of a predominantly Democratic legislature, monitored the tripling of the national debt.

And so here come the denizens of Coolidge's rancid dung heap; the corporate lackeys and scourge of the union thugs, the anti-environment, deregulation fanatical New Republicans, whose proposed mission is to "fix broken government" by dismantling its unchecked gluttony.
Of course this only happens on talk radio and Ayn Rand books, but in this government, the one the 112th congress and its hordes of freshmen enter with heads held high, it will be business as usual. Business being the operative word, since this will be the Business Congress or as it will be known for a short time before The System bogs down their lofty rhetoric and even loftier ambitions, The Laissez-faire Marauders.

Yes, but that will die as quickly a death as did the anti-war fervor that ushered in the 110th congress, which collectively talked trash about ceasing the two unfunded, ill-conceived, unwarranted foreign occupations, only to slink away four years later with both still raging and only a heap of dubious domestic spending to show for it. Neo-conservatism was out in '06, broke and embarrassed under a siege of misappropriations, absent funds and scores of dead Americans for what was beginning to appear as a red herring, this strange and terrible ruse perpetuated on an angered and sandbagged public. Now it is half-baked liberal hubris sent packing under the guise of fiscal revolution and power to the people. Its architects run out of the capitol on a rail as their president's approval numbers climb on the wings of a debt bloating extended tax cut.

The 110th congress galloped in high on the horse of transparency in government and a halt to the heaps of illegal shenanigans that doomed their previous Republican cohorts, only to engage in backroom dealings and rule-bending partisanship and whatever insane shit Charlie Rangel pulled. But now the 112th is here to "triumphantly return to open rules", akin to the Bush Era being a new time for clean and respectable government after the nasty Clinton besmirching of the office, only to be awash in a parade of scandals from Scooter Libby to the unprecedented political house-cleaning of U.S. Attorneys.

The great Hunter S. Thompson once told me that there is only so much shit people will eat, but I disagree. I think a healthy gorging of dung is what makes penning this column each week so satisfying. Hell, it keeps us voting. Most importantly, it keeps the illusion of democracy alive and well in this the Chinese Century.

The last congress put the kibosh on Hope & Change, much as this one will be pissing on the TEA Party mirage, when "the will of the people" will be best served as hollow voices for another attempt at raping the business landscape with guiltless banshees masquerading as free market saints. Reminiscent of the gutted Fanny & Freddie bottomless pits which held the state's manipulation of the market hostage, coupled with faceless bank gamblers who sold crap bonds for sure things and then bet against the house.

It is time to roll again, a Wild West show worthy of the last Wild West show and the one before that, more watered down free market malarkey prefabricated by The Gipper and the self-mutilating Contract With America.

Thirty-three hours into the New Guys came an immediate backtrack on the latest Pledge to America. Cutting $100 billion of government spending in the first year now becomes a "hypothetical cut". Cut-As-You-Go bill proposals allowing for only budget slicing initiatives goes bye-bye with the showy House vote to repeal the Health Care Law, which according to the Congressional Budget Office would add $230 billion to the current national debt. And then there's the all bills must have a clause in the U.S. Constitution giving it absolute authority scheme. However, of the initial three initiatives proposed by the 112th -- cut the congressional budget, repeal the health care bill, and instruct House committees to present new health care legislation -- none carry the aforementioned citation.
If I were John Boehner, I too would be openly weeping.

But who really thought any of this would change a thing? The closest this space came to buying any portion of this falderal was in 2008, when a new generation was supposed to carve out a true "progressive" approach to governing. Instead it was more goofy old-world big government kowtowing to party politics and then finger-pointing windbag gobbledygook draped in a "what's good for us" palaver. It was wrong and defeatist and put the very notion of change on hiatus when the entirety of a Carter/Clinton redux marched into the president's cabinet, not to mention tax frauds and hedge fund cheats in top finance positions, the whole shebang put on effective flat line notice today when William M. Daley (a fucking Chicago Daley of the Son of "beat on the hippies" Daleys) was named chief of staff, replacing the previous Chitown party-entrenched troll.

Anyone who has the balls to label yours truly a cynic after this recidivist crap needs to rub the fairy dust and red white & blue gook from their peepers and salute your commemorative Ollie North plate.
Happy New Year, indeed.

© James Campion Jan 7th 2011


This column is at best a year too early. (CONGRESS CIRCA 112 -- Issue: 1/12/11) Save it and reprint it next year if your prognostications come true. To be signaling the death knell for the 112th two days in, tears or not, is a bit drastic. So too is your vote of no confidence in the Tea Partiers, but it's understandable after all the veiled and failed promises by Dems and Repubs alike over 40+ years of ineptitude. And you should mean Hoover, not Coolidge, being the prelude to what was the complete disaster of FDR and his New Deal. If it weren't for Hoover's Smoot-Hawley Tariff and Woodrow Wilson's Federal Reserve the '29 crash would never have happened and would have rendered FDR's presidential run in '32 as lame as his polio-stricken legs.
Ken Eustace

Excellent point about Coolidge, who is always given a pass over the vilifying Herbert Hoover for the horrors of the Great Depression. While Hoover fiddled like Nero while America burned, the man who held the match to the fire hazard of unregulated greed and stupidity is unquestionably Coolidge.
    Nice job. Not an easy argument especially in this new deregulation climate.
Bobby Mead


"Anyone who has the balls to label yours truly a cynic after this recidivist crap needs to rub the fairy dust and red white & blue gook from their peepers and salute your commemorative Ollie North plate" is incredible.
    Please never stop writing this column.
    You sick bastard...


I wouldn't call you cynical, I would say dismayed.

I believe you are a cynic. Because, you see, I have trusted in your usual libertarian harangue, assuming you must have some tingles where it counts on what the Republican congress will do or undo this coming year. It is the only chance to get anything back for this handout brigade run by Pelosi and Reid. I'm not one of those neophyte whiners on the net or FOXNEWS simps who paints the president or those two idiots as socialists, but come on! What is the point of a national Health Care bill of that size and scope if not to restructure how the government runs the system? It is without question a broken one, but nowhere in my experience of dealing with government intervention has the state been able to fix a problem without first or permanently exacerbating it.
    While it is true that it will probably all be smoke, mirrors and a lot of name-calling, I still think a change is in order. And I cannot in good conscience see how anyone with your astute observational skills and I think fairly well rounded political views can ignore it unless you are a cynic.
    So there!
Marilyn Cho

I think cynicism is underrated. Is it realism? And who could read what you wrote and not come away defeated. Maybe it is a fixed game. Why do we vote? Really. Excellent question.
Saint II

This is hard to digest. (THE ECHOES OF TUCSON IN THE UNITED STATES OF FANTASYLAND -- Issue: 1/19/11) I am sure it took guts to write this and send it to press. It took even greater guts I think to just allow the words to come in the first place. I mean, people think this, but do they ever say it or put it out there, and not anonymously, but hardcore, like this. Seriously hardcore, dude. What the fuck? This was like three or four days after that massacre, and people everywhere are pulling in the reigns and you're spouting ultra-freedom shit. It is unbelievable. How do you sleep?
    Fucked up.

Thank God for you, Mr. Campion. Did you hear those fucking nuts on Meet The Press talking about forcing people to take meds or institutionalizing people based on shit they put on the net? How about that kook congressman with his proposed bills to ban people from holding guns within four hundred yards of government people? What about us? They get to fire off weapons at us? Fuck these assholes.
Japeier Salvino

I do think a certain -- not all! -- blame has to go to someone like Sarah Palin, because of the unabashed odes to violence she wears like a cape. Gun sites, shooting animals, using mamma grizzly references, and these juvenile fighting references all the time, like she wants to be some kind of tough guy. It's true. I think she suffers from a clinical case of penis envy and has casually flaunted it to feel less like a wallflower. I think you may have been right way back when you called her a prom queen or something like that. She runs from it like a scared little girl. There is a part of her that sounds so completely dull when she tries to pull it together, but far more comfortable shouting aggressive things to crowds. Again, I am not saying she is to blame, of course no one is except those who ultimately pull the trigger, but it's there. No one can deny it.
    And I think it was cute you snuck in the mosque controversy. So many people who were crying about poor Sarah Palin being roped in with lunatics were the same ones roping the ones who wanted to innocently and legally buy a spot in lower Manhattan to build an Islamic center. It's weird how pushing one agenda further off the reality path seems to get traction, while still another is considered a witch hunt.
Carol V.


America SHOULD exist in a "what should be" state of mind, otherwise we never would have gotten rid of slavery, given women the right to vote, or cleaned up New York City from the days of Fort Apache, crack and worse.  Just because the USA has a cowboy mentality that we may never shed doesn't mean that things should, can and will get better in many (most) ways.  Heck, if a complete fuck up like Robert Downey Jr. can right his own ship, anybody can.
Chris Barrera

Why do liberals always take the opportunity to bash groups when individuals act violently? Is there a new Michael Moore film far behind?
The Gary

Here's to hoping James Campion isn't in on this new civil discourse. Long live Reality Check!
TT Roef

Citizen Health Care + Readers Letters
James Campion
The new year will begin for the federal government in the courts, where the Health Care Law, derisively dubbed Obamacare, will be deconstructed and hammered about, as it should be.

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