International Writers Magazine : Reality Check
to the People
Bailout Crumbles Beneath Populace Outcry & Candidates Scramble
To Keep Up
the most dramatic display of democracy in modern times, the electoral
map has revealed a seismic shift. The American people have spoken
loudly and the presidential candidates had better be listening.
Congress sure listened.
You don't think
so? When was the last time you witnessed a final and very public failure
to pass a bill of such dire magnitude as that of the Bail Out? I can
tell you, if you like? How about never. Bills that significant with
that much pre-hype and unfettered grandstanding never fail that miserably
when all indications were to the contrary. Illustration of this unprecedented
congressional anomaly was a stock market in record freefall.
Normally congress, unless it is headed by puppet demagogues like Newt
Gingrich, even at its most inept, is shrewder than this. It is regularly
a body careful not to rock boats and appear as rudderless and foolhardy
as it did last week. Normally votes are meticulously considered, vociferously
argued and either pushed through with beating chests or abandoned outright,
not changed on the fly and abjectly booted with millions of voters looking
on aghast. Normally laws, as Benjamin Disraeli once mused, are like
sausages; best not seen being made.
There could only be one reason for such an upchuck in spineless etiquette;
the citizenry went ballistic, or as one congressional aid put it to
me; "By Monday afternoon these people had the fear of God in them."
Who put it there?
Angry constituents pummeling the Capital Hill switchboard in record
Not since the pending impeachment of Richard M. Nixon had the legislative
branch of this government been harassed so vehemently. It was an unprecedented
free-market protest that some deemed arbitrary and naïve and others
as responsibly heroic. Either way, it's ultimately what this democracy
jag is all about.
Consequently, the fallout has rendered this most historic of presidential
For the first time, this space is willing to concede that there is a
serious chance Barack Obama could be the next president of the United
The Democrats are the ones handed the Golden Parachute. Let's face it;
if a Southern Caucasian were running instead of an African American
Liberal, it would be a faits accomplis. McCain and this bespectacled
hood ornament he calls a running mate could take their ball and head
home, because it would be over and done. But, sadly, this is not the
case, and even one of the most ineffectual and laughably goofy campaigns
in recent memories still has a fighting chance.
For two solid weeks John McCain has acted as if he'd awoken from a frenzied
round of shock therapy. His every move has sabotaged his candidacy.
The "suspending of my campaign" and nearly pulling out of
the debate for a Here Comes The Calvary two-step backfired when house
Republicans flat-out ignored he and his lame-duck president, forcing
McCain to scuttle to Mississippi where he spent two agonizing hours
acting like a condescending jack-ass in front of millions of debate
Ironically, it was the Arizona Senator who emerged the victor, but you'd
never know it. His humorless crank show bogged down by wooden platitudes
turned an extremely weak performance from his opponent into looking
oddly presidential. In a weird twist of fate, this is works out better
for McCain, since Obama's ability to actually formulate coherant thoughts
has always been a glaring drawback to obtaining the presidency.
Speaking of which, the Palin choice for VP, a queerly devised cocktail
of ballsy desperatation just a few short weeks ago, has quickly gone
from intriguing freak show to complete implosion. Two fairly timid network
interviews revealed the woman as a stammering dimwit. Aside from authoring
some of the funniest evening news soundbites in recent memory, it caused
over a dozen prominent conservative scribes to demand her immediate
dismissal from the ticket.
Palin's entry into national punchline coupled with almost daily disasterous
economic news, and McCain's inability to have anything close to a singular
position on any of it, began to heavily tip heretofore swing states
such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wisconsin, and stunningly
Virginia to Obama's side. Top McCain aides, against their candidate's
wishes, received their week-long pleas to pull funds from Michigan completely,
and within days even Ohio, for the first time since this battle was
forged, had severely lessoned its Republican support.
But to the surprise of more than a few, the vice presidential debates
did not bury the McCain ticket after all. Palin was not as dismally
vertiginous as advertised, and at times even used her folsky populism
to score points with the usual rube-voter block. Meanwhile, Joe Biden
spent endless sentences displaying his wonky dance of the bland, regurgitating
a mind-numbing rollout of facts and figures. Of course, Biden won the
bloodless contest, as did McCain the week before, because he is better
versed in the deeper details of governance. Obama, as Palin after him,
has a broader appeal, both choosing to give speeches instead of answers.
Throughout her overly rehearsed robotic performance, Palin completely
ignored direct queries to meander aimlessly into melodrama.
(Fill blank in with question here)
Biden: Blah, blah 7,400, blah blah, forty-percent since
1984, blah blah, $600 million."
Palin: Blah blah, gosh darn it, blah blah maverick, blah
blah (add wink here).
Whether any of this makes a headline beyond the weekend is dubious.
Soon the reformed Senate version of this massive federal government
economic band-aid with its porked up millions for Puerto Rican rum and
tax benefits for auto racetrack owners will head back into the House
where it will surely pass this time.
And the temperature of the people will again be taken, and where that
leads will inevitably decide how the last month of this election season
At some point John McCain needs less more bold moves and bizarre forms
of performance art or pulling distracting side-shows from his hat, and
more finding of a way, any possible way, to not look like the poster
boy of a stale government sitting on bad wars and a shitty economy.
And Barack Obama had better not think for one solitary minute he is
still not the underdog.
© James Campion
October 4th 2008
October 10th 2008
Honestly, I don't
see the ultimate math playing out old school like you anticipate.
(OBAMA IN THE UPHILL Parts I & II -- Issues: 8/6 -- 8/13) The economy
is going nowhere at best between now and November, Bush has the lowest
approval numbers since they have been recording such stuff, and not
even the staunchest Repugnicans seem to be able to crank up so much
as an stiff nipple for J-Mac. You are not hearing ANYwhere in repugni-land
"MCCAIN, BABY, YEEAH!" It's more like "Uh, well, McCain,
I think as we spin closer to Election Day, Obama will
continue to pull people in with his irresistible charisma, enthusiasm,
head-bob-inspiring strategies for tackling specific issues and his undeniable,
un-derailable ability to rouse, enthuse, and convert, while the angry
white worm will continue to, in variety of ways, reinforce the perception
that he is simply Bush 3, which is exactly right and true.
Don't underestimate the power of the people's extreme
disgust with the state of things after 8 years of abject folly, and
don't take the polls to the bank. A LOT of Bush voters who don't like
Obama are simply going to stay home and work on continuing to erode
the threadbare shiny spots on the seats of their Barco-loungers, rather
than make the pilgrimage out to the firehouse or the elementary school,
stand on a long line, wait on tired feet, just to raise flaccid, non-plussed
fingers to pull a cold, cold lever for a guy they really are just not
NO ONE wants 4 more years of idiocy.
Don't equate lip service in the polls with actual voter
Obama in a landslide, you heard it here first.
I just don't get it; I don't get why some people think Obama is such
a consummate orator, charismatic, standing for change. I just don't
see it. I just don't get it. When I listen to him, I want to barf. When
I look at him, and I'm trying to be nice, I see ooze. He is so full
Yes, as you point out, the mere act of electing him president
represents inherent change by virtue of the fact that he would be the
first black (albeit half) president. But that's where any good change
ends. The merit, the qualifications, the experience are all lacking.
He is an empty husk with no good ideas that bode well for this country
(well, if you consider far left, extreme liberal, socialist, hate America
blather ideas then you might disagree with me) and I don't understand
why people don't see that. Forget that this is, still, a relatively
free country where people are allowed, so far, to believe in what they
want and express what they want. Although, that continues to change;
I heard one has to be careful in NJ now not to joke about religion in
the workplace. Thanks, liberal court, for another effort to squash freedom
So look, if race is the qualifying degree of change, then
lets elect Morgan Freeman as the democratic candidate.
Elizabeth Vengen Esq.
What makes Obama
different (enough) is everything, and that will, I
hope, include the way momentum travels. Even Dylan "endorsed"
him. Oh, the times they are a changin'! This will be the first time
I've voted for a president in 20 years and only the second time ever.
My vote is for my son, no one should be allowed to talk down to our
very smart 11 year olds ever again as McCain does, as if a lecture straight
out of "Leave It To Beaver". No son, we weren't really in
black and white back then, that was just TV. Color hadn't been invented.
But it's here now!
Laura @ Motif
Your post of "Obama in the Uphill II" is some very accurate
work. It is about the numbers! "Everybody knows the dice is loaded.
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed." - Leonard Cohen
Mack in South Carolina
You state that "Ohio,
the most economically devastated state in 2004, loudly resounded that
it would rather collectively starve than vote for any pansy liberal,"
yet they keep sending Dennis Kucinich back to Congress.
~The Hesh Inc.
Whether he wins
or not, I hope what comes out of this Obama business is a collective
getting over of the black thing. (THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SHILL -- Issue:
9/3/08) Do the slack-jawed troglodytes of this country really need a
protracted, over-priced sham of fucking sycophants in Denver to convince
them that we're all just people?! I've been "getting that"
notion for years.
I keep hearing this "It'll be so great for the black
community if he wins" garbage, mostly from well-paid white liberal
self-haters, one of which I'm currently dating, who love to wring their
hands and feel guilty about shit they never had anything to do with.
Like somehow Obama winning is going to level the playing field and automatically
erase what's left of racism in this country. What the?! Yeah, they may
feel better for a minute...until they realize The Man is still The Man,
just a different color than we're used to.
It doesn't take much investigating to find that Obama
is just the flipside of the same old tired political wooden nickel,
and that's about as close to "change" as you're ever going
to get. His side likes to suck $ from the economy and funnel it into
diseased financial sinkholes, the other likes to play Fear Factor by
sticking our nose in other people's business at a few billion dollars
Four years from now, no matter who becomes President this
November, both parties will gather again for another 4-day waste of
time and money to convince the P.T. Barnum suckers of this country that
the previous four years were great because of them or lousy because
of the other guy. And people will buy it. Scary. Maybe that's because
the two things you can do in this country without having to prove you're
not a complete fucking idiot is have a kid and vote.
You are correct in your analysis that the McCain campaign needed to
shake things up after Obama's great speech in Mile High (HURRICANE PALIN
STEALS THUNDER FROM RNC -- Issue:9/10/08) But speaking as a conservative
who has been TOTALLY uninspired throughout the McCain nomination, I
am very excited at the Palin selection. I loved watching Olbermann &
Matthews squirm after her speech was over. They definitely fear her.
She has the ability to re-define who today's 'women ' are (not Gloria
Steinem's definition) proud mother grounded in values, walks the walk
on her pro-life stance (electing to go forth with the birth of her down
syndrome son) -- very tough and yet feminine. Yes, she's a little hokey...but
this will play well in Punxatawney, PA and other parts of the Mid America
I have been saying that McCain was doomed for a very long
time now, but this may come down to the wire after all -- strictly based
on their VP choices. Biden was the VP choice of only 6% of the Democratic
delegates prior to the convention and brings very little to the table,
and he simply re-affirms how left of center this ticket truly is...game
James, James, Jamsie
Don't be a hater - you really need to get your facts together! Regarding
the section of your "piece" where you say Governor Sarah Palin
is "embroiled in an ongoing investigation on the firing of an in-law".
Try reading the editorial in Investor's Business Daily dated 9/3/08
entitled "About That Trooper" for the real story. As far as
her "weird connections to the Alaskan Independence party which
continuously proposes the secession of the state", this is also
more garbage spewed out in an attempt to smear Sarah Palin. Oh, and
as for her "knocked up" teenage daughter--- remember, if Obama's
momma didn't get "knocked up", we wouldn't be having this
discussion now, would we?
to the People's Republic of America
Over The Ashes Of Free-Market Capitalism In The Age Of Avarice
It became frighteningly apparent these past weeks the gang running for
high office knows even less about this than you
Total Eclipse of McCain
Palin Into Driver's Seat
is no point ignoring it any longer; John McCain's brief stint as the
focal point of the Republican ticket for president of the United States
is over. Sarah Palin is in charge now. The polls, the press, the people,
and the opposition party's obsession with confronting her at every turn
have spoken; it is all Palin all the time. McCain is simply in the way
Palin Overshadows McCain
one fell swoop the McCain camp galvanized a flaccid base, challenged
the gender/generational voting gap, and put some historical wow into
a comatose candidate fronting a damaged brand.
Democrats Make Mile High Noise and History - James Campion
are only two aims of achieving success at a major party's national convention;
define/redefine the candidate while skewering his opponent and bridging
any chasms widened by primary overzealousness, power positioning, and/or
the expected special interest harangues.
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