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The International Writers Magazine: Reality Check + Readers Letters May 7th 2008

Keystone Kop-Out
James Campion
Why Barack Obama’s Inability To Bury The Clinton Ghost Dooms November

A few weeks before John McCain is sworn in as the next president of the United States, many in the press will likely ask What Happened To Barack Obama? The majority will use antiquated measuring sticks to speculate on his inability to connect with white men, Catholics, Hispanics, older women, or low-income Reagan Democrats.

Still others will ponder his first fractured weeks of April ’08, the spring of his discontent, when he had unlimited funds and media power, a groundswell of celebrity fervor, and two opponents both in and out of his party wounded by daunting preconceptions, relative campaign poverty, and the stench of old-time politics about them, but wasted valuable energy grappling with age-old labels of anti-Americanism, elitism and liberal mania. The rest will be left to deconstruct the night he tanked Pennsylvania and they’ll ultimately consider it his national election death knell. The night everyone finally realized that America would not be voting for a black, liberal, northerner, now matter how jazzed all the college kids and cable television hosts had become.

    And they will all kick themselves for not seeing the obvious signs anyone with half the experience and none of the access were afforded. How could they not see that time and again all the huge crowds and revolutionary fire burning across the Internet and on the streets of big cities and on large campuses and the increasingly bogus blogoshpere had failed to seal a single absolute?

    There are still very large holes in the “unsinkable” good ship Obama, flooded beyond retribution by the unshakably bizarre windmill-tipping masquerade of Hillary Rodham Clinton, spurned prom queen mutated into Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter.

    But those paid to dissect this most historic of Democratic presidential primaries continually misread the American voter. Just when it seems the starry-eyed fallacy of youthful grass roots rebellion has all-but convinced the last vestiges of Journalism 101, things fall apart. Yet they continue to hold out the faintest hope for something new and improved, while clutching to a greater vision for big-time political theater. But it is repeatedly squashed by cold, hard facts; vote tallies they constantly push in Obama’s direction, despite all the evidence to the contrary; then real, raw votes push back.

    Soon they will write that they did not heed the signs until it was far too late.

    Perhaps they were too busy handing over a New Hampshire contest to the dynamic new kid on the block that he did not deliver. Still they paved a yellow brick road of Super Tuesday momentum in California, New York and New Jersey, but he was crushed. They ignored that and ascribed him lofty ambitions in Texas and Ohio after an incredible run of 12 wins in a row, effectively burying his opponent, but leading to his penultimate failure; he could not make Madam Shoo-In go away. They even convinced themselves to put him on the fast track to a single-digit loss in Pennsylvania that they believed would finally implode the old-time politicos to abandon ship and hand the whole caboodle over to a spit-shine orator that gave them all the kind of chills they’d conjured when they picked up the pen and applied for the press cards in the first place.

    But it turns out no one has abandoned anything, and nobody with decades of bad road and shit-gorging and the soot and blood and sweat of long years on the stump and in the houses of congress and the backrooms of power are giving up the ghost that easily.

    This is not Hollywood. This is not Dreamland. This is not a romantic novel of high expectations and heroic figures with candyland aspirations. This is the deep end of the American experience, the knife-fight, killjoy, air-sucking brass-knuckle jungle, and it is no place for unfurling preconceived notions of bountiful honor.

    This is the black hole no one admits forms at the center of our high-and-mighty republic, a black hole that swallowed the Barack Obama myth in the Keystone State on April 22, 2008.

    If Pennsylvania acts as anything but a Democratic Waterloo, it will be nothing short of a miracle. The only maneuver that might save the party from total annihilation is if Obama steals Indiana and snaps the mass hallucination that is the Hillary Clinton campaign on May 6. Then he will be free to provide serviceable fodder for Dick Nixon’s legendary Silent Majority.

    But winning in November against a Caucasian gray-haired military Republican is now completely and utterly out of the question.

    However, if Obama fails to take Indiana and shake up these rubes that keep handing the Clintons money so they can play candidate fantasy camp, the following scenarios are tabled:
1. The whole sordid ordeal goes all the way to the Denver National Convention with a Goldwater/Rockefeller type party split motivating a frightened gaggle of super delegates to force-feed the combined ticket of a woman/black man, which will lose the national election by a minimum of twenty points.

2. The Clinton Machine tumbles forth into August demanding retribution for Michigan and Florida delegates, prompting a perceived kidnapping of the nomination against overwhelming mathematics (trailing in pledged delegates, popular vote, and overall contests won) and voter will, which would likely incite a mass walkout of over thirty states and lead to a GOP landslide, or even more fatal for Democrats, an Obama secession into a third party that would not only queer any chance the Democrats have in 2008 but obliterate the party’s standing for the all-important redistrict extravaganza of 2010 that currently has them salivating for a national power grab.
3. Obama limps to inevitable victory in late-June with enough mud on him to sink even the most vetted, lily-white southern-crossed governor, let alone a black guy with ten minutes experience.

    Not one of these scenarios ends with a Democrat in the White House, in a year that a splintered rake and a stripped ’74 Impala could defeat the Republicans. What started out as a press geek’s dream has turned into a Fellini nightmare of clowns and tarred nudes and painted mules parading into a big top of smoking mirrors.

    At the start of this thing, only three and half short months ago, Barack Obama looked like something we have never seen and would never see again, something almost weirdly pristine. After three months under constant campaigning, truckloads of cash spent, and Clinton Machine muckraking, he is sounding and looking like he might be just another tired Democratic leftist quack with not a chance in the world to cut into America’s very real Puritan/Racial/Cultural/Generational divide.

    Perhaps he carries down with him the hope and prospects of an anti-cynical stance for a new generation of voter, who is fast learning what we all learn eventually: This is not a game for high-minded idealism, but a cushy seat in the black hole.

© James Campion April 26th 2008


"It was clear-headed long-term thinking, well reasoned and stated without trepidation... I have to admit; I don't recall writing any of it." (IRAQ - THE NEW IRAN -- Issue: 4/16/08)

     I get that all the time. Makes me wonder who's talking when I'm on a roll, writing, typing, spitballing...
    Regarding your argument about Iraq, Iran, and the Middle East in general, they're going to fuck it up, and they don't know what the fuck they're doing, anyway. We're just self-aware monkeys on a rock orbiting a star, anyway. I've taken up golf seriously over the past six months, and when my mind starts to get in the way of my game, I just remind myself that I'm just a monkey on a rock hitting a ball with a stick. Seems to help. OTOH, I'm just getting some recreation. Those fuckers you describe are deciding the futures of millions of individual soldiers and billions of individual human beings. I'd really like to know: Who do they think they are?
    Or as I ask my children: What do you think you're doing? I can see what you're doing. What I want to know is what it is that you think you're doing?
The one thing I like about this war--okay, two things:
1.      It's not a war. No declaration, no other government(s) with which to negotiate, etc.
2.      It's so absurd that it exposes the futility and stupidity of war, of aggression's general failure to solve problems and its proclivity to create more problems.
That is all. Standing by the frequency, I remain,
Brad Morrison
Richmond, Texas

The question remains: Do the Democrats have the balls to stop this thing? My guess, if the 2006 mid-term election Big Lie is any indication, NO!
    So now that the Dems have lied about the war and the Reps have gotten us into this shit-storm, where do we go? Back to your boy, Nader? I would rather shoot myself in the fucking head.
    What the in the name of the almighty is going on in this country? Do we not see we are on a road to ruin financially and morally and philosophically? Are we so numbed by American Idol and Britney Spears we cannot see it? Are we already doomed?
    Is this the only place I can freely let those sickening thoughts exit my head and then sign an alias below them to protect me from my pie-in-the-sky liberal friends and finger-in-the-ass conservative pals?
     Oh, sage of The Desk...speak to me!
The Bowser

Can we get the Shah back in there at some time?
    Oh, and how can we try and hang Donald Rumsfeld for treason? His is an open and shut case. And war crimes too. Much war crimes.
M. Addas

Mr. Campion,
Your piece on elitism was the most un-elitist thing possible. (CONFESSION OF AN ELITIST -- Issue: 4/23/08) It is as if to point out the absurdity in calling someone elitist is in itself an elitist practice. You, on the other hand, seem to just hate and hate and hate and hate, even yourself. It is horrible, painful, and friggin' hilarious!
    I enjoy a Campion read over just about anyone. Honestly, that was one of the funniest pieces on the balance of intellectualism I have ever seen. Bar none. Amazing in its fierce brilliance.
    The only thing is...I fear you meant it.
Zampco D. Zampco

Good God man, there are too many funny lines in here to count! Bravo Sir James!
Ken Eustace

This past Saturday, my cat Harry bit me due to the fact that I had the utter audacity and unmitigated gall of picking him up and carrying him into the house. My reflex reaction to the attack was "Holy Shit Harry you just bit the hell out of me!!  What the Fuck?!!!"  Well, after once again showing audacity and gall by opening up my e-mail and reading your column, I suppose I could use that same reflex reaction and just replace Harry's name with yours. You surely pack a wallop, Mr. Campion!
L. Geller

Excellent! I enjoy any missive that throws Guitar Center under the bus. Those guys suck!

How dare you lump the CEO of Guitar Center in with Hitler, Pat Robertson and Bud Selig! If it wasn't for G.C's miraculous way of separating myself from my money I would not believe in magic!!!!
Chris Barrera

JC --
I have never been so insulted and laughed so hard at the same time. Strangely, I realized as I was combing through this most bludgeoning of diatribes that I too am an elitist, or in some kind of way everyone is, or becomes one eventually. It basically comes from just living. Yes, I think living and keeping ones eyes open leads to the utter disdain for all things stupid. But if not, where would we be, still crawling around on all fours in the muck trying to keep fire alive and picking bugs off our mates?
    Actually, after reading your rant, I think that is a pleasant alternative
.Brenda Gerdy
Sudden Elitist

Confession of an Elitist 04.19.08
James Campion

I am repeatedly, and in many ways, revoltingly astounded how utterly stupid most people are, and by most people, I mean anyone but me.

Iraq - The New Iran
James Campion

General Petraeus Hands Bush A Tehran Surprise ...the most important phrase uttered by the man was "malign influence"

The Party v The Machine
James Campion
Behind The Scenes Of Madam Shoo-In's Last Stand - desperate are the times for the doomed Hillary For President campaign
That Speech + Readers Letters
James Campion on Obama
To Our Bitter Demons & Better Angels
The Democrats are Burning
James Campion

The unabated immolation of the Democratic Party, has now officially become a raging firestorm.
The Emperor's New Factory Girl
The Madam Shoo-In Shuck Jive Express
James Campion
There is only one book ever written worth a damn on the subject of politics The Shining

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