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The International Writers Magazine: Reality Check + Readers Responses

Super Dud
Derailed February for GOP Ends with a Super Tuesday Whimper
• James Campion
Money, influence, and party politics are turning to chum whatever reasoning Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich can muster for staying in a race for the Republican nomination for president. The contest has been, for all intents and purposes, over since this space declared it so on January 18.

Well, not completely "over" in that it will take an unforeseen streak for the inevitable nominee Mitt Romney to reach the requisite 1,191-delegate threshold by the August convention, which makes way for greasy dealings and backstabbing galore.
But at this juncture either Gingrich or Santorum would have to first convince the other candidate to leave the race and make Romney sweat his 38 percent voter ceiling to lend the slightest credence to a sustained candidacy. But neither is likely to do that and thus with mostly proportional delegates awarded, this dog-and-pony show will likely drag on long enough to force the Romney camp to spend crucial general-election cash and endure a slew of unflattering interviews and awkward stump speeches further yanking its candidate to the Right.
So far the Right has not been kind to Romney, neither in base voting, which languishes in the 28 percent range, nor perception; whether it is his spectacular three-hour flip-flop on the idiotic Blunt Amendment or the bold-face lying on his opposition to a single-mandate Health Care Law, which he trumpeted as late as 2009 in his own Wall St. Journal op-ed piece. It is a place Gingrich initially (immigration) and now Santorum (social issues) have succeeded in cornering Romney that has slowly eroded his national election polls among likely Independent, women and Latino voters.
    Still, the math favors Romney measurably.
    Super Tuesday's six-out of ten state grab-bag for the frontrunner may have provided fodder for punditry, but it hardly changes the cold fact: Even a mano-a-mano campaign with either Santorum or Gingrich would call for the challenger to net over 60 percent of the remaining vote to make this competitive.
Wrangling over a margin of victory in Michigan or Ohio (likely Democratic states come November) or his no-show Southern vote unless Ron Paul is the only challenger on the ballot, as was the case in Virginia (another strongly potential Barack Obama battleground) still finds Romney entering the late-spring in a commanding position to gather more Republican establishment power and unite the guaranteed 42 percent of the national electorate.
    And so the two-year TEA Party run is reduced to a sad echo and whatever is left of the whining "Anyone but Mitt" contingent will be expected to get in line like obedient anti-Obama automatons, hold their collective nose, and vote, vote, vote.
    The only question now is how much more damage can the Gingrich/Santorum Road Show do to the Republican brand?
Gingrich is finished. His campaign trail has lead to a sad commentary on his character and more so on his very subsistence on the national stage that appears more of joke every day he spits out his predictable Clinton-Era drivel. He is the comedy relief, the new Donald Trump; a slow-motion political car wreck merely perpetuated for cheap headlines and bombastic quotes. Ironically, only his sworn enemy, the media -- beyond a Las Vegas gambling mogul -- gives a shit about Newt Gingrich anymore. He's good press like Lindsey Lohan or the Octomom. Gingrich has succeeded in being the celebrity footnote he'd always dreamed, but this farce of his has a week to go.
    Santorum is another thing altogether.
Santorum has the Mike Huckabee mojo behind him. He will keep getting Republican votes, as they were painstakingly created during the Reagan Revolution and used to great effect by Karl Rove in George W. Bush's 2004 re-election. The Religious Right may not have national muscle, but regionally, especially in the South, it is a bitch and it resonates. It resonates so sharply that a candidate with practically no funding and an organization so inept it failed to fill out simple campaign paperwork that cost Santorum key congressional districts in Ohio and the entirety of Virginia Primary is still relevant.
The Religious Right, despite its abhorrence of the Catholic Church, urged Santorum to up the ante on the religious liberty canard, attack birth control, slander homosexuality and engage in an embarrassing breadth of moral proselytizing. This daily emesis stirred the Liberal press, which consequently tumbled into the Conservative radio market, where its champion, Rush Limbaugh channeled his inner Howard Stern and began to sound like the crazed mother from "Carrie", chasing over 30 sponsors and provoking his obligatory public apology.
    Why in the world, beyond placating sponsors, would a man handsomely paid to be provocative have to apologize for doing his job is anyone's guess, just as it is anyone's guess why the Georgetown law student he called a slut, or any woman or man over the age of ten for that matter, would give a flying fart what this gasbag says?
    Fuck Limbaugh and fuck this whining little shit, and fuck the president for "calling to see if she was all right". This gratuitous condescension reeks of dime-store misogyny and sets women's rights back decades. Limbaugh is a glorified carnival barker with crippling marrying and eating disorders. This Sandra Fluke woman is as much a victim as the poor souls who have to listen to her sniveling martyrdom. If she is a victim at all, it is merely of bad taste and a shitty swipe at humor from a guttural swine that wouldn't know funny if it bit him on his considerable ass.
    I ask you; who isn't the victim of bad taste?
    Holy crap, this column has gone off the rails.
Suffice to say the only subjects worth writing about when the alternative is Mitt Romney are disc jockeys, law geeks and a Democratic Party that exploits this kind of atavistic "kitty stuck in a tree" garbage every woman in America should find offensive.
    I'll tell you one thing; I'd rather be a slut than a victim.
    And I'd rather not write anymore about Mitt fucking Romney.
© James Campion March 9th 2012

READERS RESONSES March 16th 2012

Nice job on this one. (A QUESTION OF SECULAR FAITH -- Issue: 2/15/12) It is amazing how the facts surrounding the origins of our nation have been hijacked by the same miserable jack asses who hijacked Christianity. It's almost as if it were a plot. Oh, right, it is a plot. Wake up everyone; you are being duped because your sense of history is vague and thus the spaces created by bad education, laziness, youthful distractions, and overall hubris have left you vulnerable to those who wish to oppress you with lies and manipulation.
    This latest stupidity over religious liberty concerning the law of the land is intellectual terrorism. This is as harmful to our freedom as any foreign intruder. These are our elected officials making a mockery of our country. I too hated the Health Care Law, but religious liberty? Come on! Are these half-wits joking?
    The more I read hard-hitting commentary like yours I am more enraged at my inability to be able to fight these bastards with the right weapons. Lord knows I elect the wrong ones on personal concerns or what goes in and out of my bank account, while this nation is being run by Neanderthal lunatics who know full well we have no grasp of our actual history or what the framers of this nation's laws intended.
    This is indeed a secular nation hijacked by religious fanatics, who use that weapon to rip from us our liberties.

S. Brusco

Brilliant. Well said. In this 21st century, I think the concept of arguing about birth control is ludicrous. BIRTH CONTROL! For crap's sake people, wake up.

jonathan young
Smithfield, RI

Wow. This is a ripper of a column, sir. It hits all the touchy areas with a sledgehammer and keeps on bashing. My only issue with this and much of your work is the continued tongue-in-cheek hat tipping to the republic with a tinge of disrespect for its foundations. Although it is ugly at times and glorious in others, it is a great nation with complexities beyond our comprehension now, never mind 250 years ago.
    More subtly could be a blessing from you, but it is entertaining. I can say that without hedging.
    I guess I would prefer less entertainment and more respectful monologue.

Gabriel Ross

You godless heretic!
    Stop pointing out the obvious factoid and wade comfortably in the sewage of cable news yapping! What are you doing? Are you trying to wake us from our familiar, comforting slumber? Do not be so bold as to think this little independent reasoned thinking is going to CHANGE anything. No, Not now, not ever!
    It must be quite gnawing to you to realize you're pissing up a loooooooonnnnnnggggg rope, Campion.


Mr. Campion,

This column may be the last bastion of reason left us. And since that is a frightening prospect, it is also cleansing in the sense that everywhere I read or listen with the minimal exception, argues with a pre-set stance of talking point droning. This latest debate, if you could call it that, on religious liberty vs. women's rights vs. civil rights vs. government overreach is as you always point out a multi-faceted one. But it is, as usual, whittled down to a political/ideological fight, as if there are only two sides to any argument, when there is clearly various sides, much of it ignored by the Right and the Left, almost all of the media, and many of the citizens, who I think are mostly confused by it all.
    I am an educator and have had my students read this piece out loud and break down many of your points and even fact-checked their accuracy within the parameters of the U.S. Constitution and the founding of this nation's laws. And I am here to commend you and let all your readers know that despite the gaping holes in the public discourse, this piece has without question the most directly air-tight dissection of this critical issue; whether gender, culture, political or government oppression. It is a masterwork.
   I thank you for you honesty, bravery and continued disassembly of the vox populi.


It is obvious you hate religion. But why do you hate this country? Why do you fill this column up week after week with this smut, this misinformation of revisionist claptrap? Besmirching Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the very founders of our laws defending freedom by dubbing them secular is horrifying. Consider this my last read.

Mary Ann Gisler

Two ways of looking at this fight; Either Obama knows he is going to be defeated in the fall and wants to get as much of his "dismantling of America" policies enacted before he gets sent back to Community Organizing or he thinks he will be re-elected no matter what he does and this is just a taste of the future.
    The man has to be defeated.

Bill Roberts

Interesting article, James. (THE ISRAEL THREAT -- Issue: 2/22/12)We dump a lot of bread into Israel's back pocket. Meanwhile, anyone in this country who questions the actions of Netanyahu is branded an anti-Semite by the colossal and very effective cash wielding Pro-Israel lobby. To even hint that you may feel an ounce of sympathy for the Palestinians is akin to shouting out the "N" word at Whitney Huston's funeral. Ahmadinejad (AKA Ringo in pajamas) is great at stirring the pot and saber rattling, but like his brethren in Syria and Yemen, his house of cards will soon topple. Whatever happened to the good old days when a handful of Mossad agents took care of the whole thing? Speaking of The Mossad, don't be surprised if you get a knock on your door late one night. Shalom.


What the hell is Israel doing? We pay for that operation. They do what we tell them to do. They bomb whom we tell them to bomb. Otherwise we take the bombs back, and then good luck to them.

DJ Carroll

This is pretty serious now. Iran has always been out of control, but now that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has lost his own control of the Iranian parliament. Soon he will likely be ousted and the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has full control of all decisions, especially foreign affairs anyway. Does that finally render Ahmadinejad silent and ineffectual? What does that do to Iran's nuclear operation?
    This is a fluid situation that does not need nuts like Benjamin Netanyahu or these idiotic Republican presidential candidates going off half-cocked.
    There is still time to affect change and use the soft-walking big stick.
    Also, who the hell wants more war? Has anyone read that poll?


Dear Mista Christie
James Campion

The following was sent to the N.J. governor's office 11 days after Chris Christie vetoed the New Jersey legislature's bill to legalize same-sex marriage in a mostly progressive state , which already recognizes civil unions, and whose majority of citizens support the referendum....

The Israel Threat
James Campion
A Sideways Path to War with Iran

Our overextended and bankrupt nation is about to be dragged into a direct confrontation with Iran.

Proving God by Consensus: My Problem with the Religious Right
Robert Levin

A few decades ago I was awakened at seven o’clock one Sunday morning by the persistent droning of my downstairs door buzzer.

A Question of Secular Faith
The Role of Law in Perpetual Religious Times
James Campion

a divisive political climate and the opportunity of an election year has curiously turned a legal matter into an issue of "religious liberty", as in why should Catholic-run institutions be forced to provide a service its dogma is patently against?

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