Seeing the writing on the wall of his wife’s Presidential campaign, former Prez Bill Clinton did what any self-respecting Arkansas yellow dog Democrat would do in the situation: he threw the connubial also-ran under the bus and reached out to the next generation. Yes, the mantle of First Woman President has passed from Mom to Girl Child. Chelsea’s the one.
“If you asked me (if Chelsea would run for office) before Iowa, I would have said, 'No way. She is too allergic to anything we do.' But she is really good at it," quoth Bubba.
The era of the twelve year Presidential campaign is upon us. This one will culminate in 2020 when the former First Daughter will break the mystical 40 year barrier and become politically eligible to inherit what was really her mother’s by right of putting up with her father through all those horndog years standing by her man in Little Rock and Washington.
She’s already got twenty eight years experience at the heart of the Clinton ménage, eighteen of them as First Kid. She’s also on record as sharing her mother’s death-defying sprint through deadly rocket and sniper attack in Bosnia, an episode which in and of itself establishes her credentials as a Democratic contender alongside Internet Inventor and Global Salvator, Lord Al of Gore and Cambodian war hero and triple purple heart (go ahead, count them) recipient, John Kerry. It’s no wonder she’s up and running already.
She shares her name with a South London suburb and its football team but she was actually named after her mother’s favorite song, Joni Mitchell’s “Chelsea Morning”. She was also named after the world famous Chelsea Flower Show which her parents visited the year before her birth. No wait, she was really named after the yacht Schell See which sailed past Sir Edmund Hillary as he was resting on a beach chair in his native New Zealand after conquering Everest. In fact she was originally named Armstrong after the first man to walk on the moon but her parents changed it after the little tot was teased in pre-school. Among family and close friends her nickname is “Armee”. Any similarity to Napoleon's Grand Armeé is purely coincidental.
An accomplished ballerina and varsity soccer player, she is a fluent German speaker and Volkswagen Beetle owner. She also plays a mean piano! She makes the list of New York’s most eligible batchelorettes and was voted “The Gutsiest Kid in America” in 1999 though most of the credit for this must go to her father’s impeachment ordeal.
For all that, the road ahead is not smooth. The Clinton camp has already put out feelers for a Senate seat in two years time when Chelsea will be thirty and thus qualify for a family seat in the hereditary Upper Chamber. A short list of baseball teams she “was always a fan of” has already been drawn up in order to narrow the range of choices. Her election will break another barrier as she and Hillary will be the first mother/daughter pairing to serve in the history of the Senate.
She will, of course, have to play second fiddle to HRC in ’12 and ’16 as her mother strives again and then again for the Democratic nomination. These campaigns, while doomed from the beginning, will give her further invaluable experience of the rough and tumble of Presidential politics and enhance her already impressive Senate resumé. Her parents’ acrimonious divorce will also garner her a great deal of sympathy and support.
The fateful year 2020 will dawn as she and her mother face each other across the snowdrifts of Iowa. Chelsea loses narrowly to Hillary but rallies dramatically in New Hampshire when she tears up on the campaign trail on seeing a little dog that “reminds [her] of poor Buddy who had the same cute little tail, all waggly and stuff”.
In South Carolina the campaign goes negative as former President Clinton informs reporters that “Uh never had sexual relations with that woman, uh, Ms Rodham, since muh daughter was conceived”.
Meanwhile in San Francisco Senator Hillary Rodham, addressing a private gathering of the Bay Area Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trangendered Forum, is caught on tape declaring that she only tolerated Bill’s “fumblings” in order to “get a kid” since “the small bitter minds in those small bitter towns will only vote for ‘normal’ people, people like themselves with guns, Bibles, family and all that.”
This is seen as a master stroke since, the previous year, the DNC had mandated that half of the party’s pledged delegates should be drawn “from the LGBT community”. However the next day Matt Drudge publishes a photograph of Chelsea from her Oxford days dressed in a tuxedo and smoking a cigar as to the manner born. The issue fades from the news.
Its nip and tuck all the way to June when Chelsea eventually passes the 33,587 delegates necessary to achieve a majority in the Democratic Convention that will be held in Mexico City’s Grand Bull Ring in late August. Chelsea accepts the olés of her Party alongside her husband Salvador Allende Chavez while she hugs her five year old daughter, Armstrong (the pre-school teasers were led away in handcuffs this time round).
On the Republican side Texas Governor Jenna Bush Limbaugh handily defeats Arizona Senator Meghan McCain Buchanan to set up an enthralling Fall campaign.
Meanwhile in an Oprah Special Senator Hillary Rodham and one time actress and talk show host Rosie O’Donnell announce that they will marry in a beach ceremony in Malibu the following weekend. “When I first met her and couldn’t get a word in edgewise,” confides O’Donnell, “I knew right away she was the one.”
Senator Clinton declares that, whatever the outcome of the November ballot, she would be seeking the Democratic nomination for President again in 2024. “The time is right for America to have its first other-oriented President,” she said.
“And I’ll be the first First Womyn,” gushes a teary O’Donnell.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Seeing the writing on the wall of his wife’s Presidential campaign, former Prez Bill Clinton did what any self-respecting Arkansas yellow dog Democrat would do in the situation: he threw the connubial also-ran under the bus and reached out to the next generation. Yes, the mantle of First Woman President has passed from Mom to Girl Child. Chelsea’s the one.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
There is a rotting corpse in the Republican well. It's juices are leeching into the water this election year and poisoning the party's candidates all over the country even in the conservative heartlands. The decomposing carcass is the political remains of George W. Bush, titular leader of the Republican Party and Dead President Walking of the United States.
If the polls and the results of special Congressional elections are anything to go by the Republican Party are the Seventh Cavalry all saddled up and about to head out for the Little Big Horn of the November ballot. The electorate are the Lakota, Oglala and Hunkpappa Sioux now gathered about their campfires swapping tales of how they'll trap and overwhelm the Longknives and slay their intrepid leader, the impulsive egotistical Yellow Hair.
It may well come to pass. By the Fall the electoral Badlands will surely be strewn with the stripped and mutilated bodies of Republican candidates, victims of the wrath of a people long abused by the Great White Father in the East and his many Congressional minions. They promised peace and prosperity, the people cry. They gave us a vicious yet farcical war with no end in sight. And a tottering economy burdened by a national debt only a raving psychotic would have dreamed possible a few short years before. They preach virtue and restraint yet wallow in a steaming slurry of fornication, sodomy and financial corruption undreamed of since a landslide of fire and brimstone swept the ruling regime from office in Gomorrah all those millennia ago.
Yes, like the Plains Indians of Custer's day, the electorate are in an ugly mood. They ain't gonna take it anymore. The knives are honed, the arrows fletched, the spears gleaming in the moonlight. The morose Republicans, shifting uneasily in their saddles, trot inexorably on under a blazing sun, all but leaderless, with nothing left but the courage of the doomed and the ploys of the desperate. Every so often along the trail a smouldering cabin and the unburied bodies of the savaged homesteaders provide a grim prologue to their own fate.
They tell themselves fables to embolden their fainting hearts. The price of oil may tumble. An economic boom may fall from out the clear blue sky come October. Crippling mortgages may melt away in the July sunshine. Bin Laden may slip into the Vatican to be baptised by the holy Pope's hands. Iraqis may turn into Swiss and resolve their differences through gruff guttural arbitration and endless plebiscites. Their various Democratic opponents may be found with a pleasing multitude of dead girls and live boys. The autumn rains may wash the people's memories clean and purge their souls of vengeful thoughts producing a compliant electorate of simple-minded amnesiacs just in time to avoid a November bloodbath.
Only by such absurdities can the Seventh Cavalry of the GOP manage to keep themselves sane through the endless months that stretch ahead before they're declared officially DOA.
But what then, sang Plato's ghost, what then? - as the poet Yeats might say. It is well to remember that though the Sioux warriors won a stonking tactical victory at the Little Big Horn, a victory that shall be forever memorialized in the annals of military conflict, their essential strategic position remained hopeless. Crazy Horse and Young Man Afraid Of His Horses were brave and skillful fighters but their people eventually had to surrender. Sitting Bull, the legendary Hunkpappa chieftain, died in a petty quarrel on the reservation years after his momentous triumph.
So it is with the electorate. They may wreak a terrible and well-deserved revenge on the Republicans but it will be but a phantom triumph, a mere wraith that like King Hamlet's ghost must flee the coming dawn. As those that survive of the Great and the Good of the GOP preside over the obsequies of their fallen comrades, the victorious Democrats will flood onto the floor of Congress, cram the halls of the Government and throng the Federal Agencies, as thick as locusts, as deadly as gamma rays.
They will smother the nation with their programs and policy initiatives, gigantically wasteful of treasure and human resources and productive of nothing but even more political correctness and social and economic stagnation. They will carpet the rest of the world with their pieties and protocols, while the enemies of America will smile and smile and still be villains.
Identity politics, the oxygen of the Democratic party and the mortal bane of such a diverse nation as the US, will flourish more virulently with even more venomous results to the civic order and the body politic. The rehabilitation of the Supreme Court, in its present form the greatest threat to the democratic process ever tolerated by a nation of free citizens, will be forestalled by the appointment of "progressive" justices eager to legislate in the teeth of the people's will and commited to the perversion of the Constitution through the blind exercise of partisan zeal.
True, the GOP will retrench and after a journey through the wilderness for four or eight years will again be able to plausibly present themselves as worthy of decent people's support but in the meantime the country will be bucketing down the broad, smooth road to perdition beloved of the demons that have for so long possessed the soul of the Democratic Party.
So it is not for their past crimes and misdemeanors that the present shower of Republicans should be damned to hell but for the devastating future to which they have all but condemned us.
Monday, May 12, 2008
West Virginia has already made electoral history. Maybe that's why the Mountain Staters are not so all fired up to do so again. Back when Lyndon B. Johnson and Hubert H. Humphreys and the like roamed the earth West Viginia gave victory to John Kennedy in the Democratic Primary of 1960. A portentous moment. The received wisdom was that, like Al Smith in '26, JFK's religion and ethnicity would do for him.
The good, hardworking, God-fearing white Protestant folk of America were not about to hand the White House to a Catholic Irishman who despite the detergent power of his pappy's money still had the smell of the boghole about him, the stain of Popery in his blood. West Virginia, crammed to the gills with good, hardworking, God-fearing white Protestants, unreceived the wisdom and handed the young, handsome, Catholic Irish senator from Massachusetts a spanking win.
A taboo was broken. John Kennedy became the first Catholic President of the United States. Make that the only Catholic President. Strangely, shattered taboo and all, no Catholic has been elected to the highest office in the land since, though Ronald Reagan became the second descendant of the "mere Irish" to be so honored. The fear that Kennedy would rule in secret league with the Pope of Rome seems laughable now but was taken seriously back then even if it was based on a radical misunderstanding of both JFK and John XXIII, two men who history has shown had a somewhat elastic interpretation of Catholic dogma. Indeed Catholic politicians in the US and elsewhere have shown a remarkable capacity to adapt the supposedly unshakeable verities of their faith to the demands of their careers and still remain within the fold.
All this is very relevant to the greatest taboo breaker of them all, the junior senator form Illinois. If religion can be a hurdle race is a pole vault. Yet if Obama has achieved one thing it is to demonstrate that being black is no longer a bar to the Presidency. It may still be a disadvantage with some folks but so are baldness, shortness and coming from Pittsburgh.
This is not something brought about by Barack Obama himself. Like the Wright (that name again!) brothers' Flyer he merely shows that it can be done if the candidate, like the airplane, is constructed according to the laws of political aerodynamics. Unlike their physical counterparts these laws are contingent and once upon time the color of the fuselage rendered flight impossible and later caused crash landings. Now Obama has shown that long haul journeys are not only theoretically possible but altogether feasible.
I first came to this realization long before I even heard of the same Barack. I was watching 24. David Palmer became President. Ten minutes later it struck me. Hey, this guy's black! I was of course aware from the start that the actor playing the part, Dennis Haysbert, was black but I now realized that the President was a black man. In other words I was not at all struck by any incongruity, any straining of reality to accommodate the script to some Liberal ideal completely at odds with plausibility.
I'm talking about Demi Moore as G.I. Jane or Geena Davis as a CIA hit-woman or a senior high school class of thugs and thugettes turning into so many Henry Thoreaus and Marie Curies simply because the newly arrived charismatic teacher believes, I mean reeeeaaallly believes in them! No such absurd suspension of common sense was necessary for me to accept Palmer as a viable contemporary American president. The rise and rise of Barack Obama has subsequently validated my instinctive reaction.
This is a cause for rejoicing. Martin Luther King was right and will continue to be right "till rocks melt i' the sun": we should all be judged individually by the content of our character not the color of our skin. No American should be excluded from any office because of race. Now no one is. All Americans can and should be proud that this is so. And grateful to Obama for demonstrating it so dramatically and irrefutably. A crushing historical burden has become lighter as a result.
Does this mean that Obama will be elected in November? No, but he could very well win. That's the point. Will some vote against him because of his color? Of course. The same as some voters couldn't support Kennedy because of his Catholicism. But, as with JFK, they do not now constitute a critical mass that would deny Obama a plurality. The country has changed on this issue. And for the better.
All the signs are that West Virginia will give Hillary Clinton a handsome win on Tuesday and pump more futile oxygen into the corpse of her campaign. Kentucky will most likely do the same next week. As may Puerto Rico next month. Yet she will remain the Leader of the Undead of the Democratic Party as she rallies her fellow zombies among the Super Delegates. She rages against the dying of the light but she rages in vain. Ask not for whom the sun sets, Hill, it sets for thee.
In the absence of a July Surprise Barack Obama will be the first African American to be nominated for the Presidency by a major party. This will formally mark the beginning of a new period in the tumultuous history of the United States, a period which really began in Iowa all those months before.
Whoever wins America will never be the same again.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
All of us who have frittered away our time in school goofing off, hanging out, chilling with a Bud, thinking the long, fuzzy, wingéd thoughts of youth, have calmed our inner prefect by promising to get down to study tomorrow, next week, Christmas vacation, next semester, Easter for sure. Then the hour arrives when we break open the books, beg, borrow and steal class notes, sharpen the pencils, set the coffee pot on the stove and get to work.
After an hour doubts are rustling in the wainscoting. A couple of hours later a swarm of dreads are knocking furiously on the windowpanes, fear is scratching at the door.
Then at the very witching hour of night full blown terror swhooshes down the chimney and takes possession of the room liked a poltergeist with a three week old toothache. We stand rigid in a goggle-eyed panic before collapsing on a bed that's as stale and unmade as our mind.
Through the chaos one thought emerges as clear and sharp and unwelcome as broken crystal: You have left it too late, it says. There is too much to do and too little time to do it. Your failure is assured. Your golden future will never happen. You have proved yourself a little man and are now doomed to live a little man's life during which your early promise, your wasted talents, your broken dreams will never cease to mock you.
This is where Hillary Clinton is at. If North Carolina blew her away Indiana cruelly just broke her fall enough to allow her to limp away from the disaster with too few injuries to grant her a merciful death but enough broken bones and internal bleeding to guarantee that no future treatment will do anything other than prolong the agony. Obama holds the centre of the ring while his opponent, heaving on the ropes, blind in one eye, jaw dislocated, one eyebrow a bloody gash, pleads through split lips with the referee not to stop the fight.
If this were a World Championship bout the referee at the very least would call in the doctor and he, after a mere glance, would end the carnage. But this is politics, the cruellest bloodsport of them all and one where the cornerman has no towel to throw. The candidate alone decides when to quit and Hillary blindly staggered out of Indiana straight into the West Virginia arena where she hopes the crowd will be more supportive and Obama less surgically devastating with his right jabs and southpaw uppercuts.
This election isn't fun anymore. Rather than being a substitute for warfare this particular political process has transmuted of late into a series of bloody battles where the only thing missing are actual firearms. It's become as much a meatgrinder as Hamburger Hill and is bidding to last longer than the Somme. After each bruising encounter a handful of delegates are exchanged, leaving each side bloodied, unbowed and occupying essentially the same strategic ground.
The demographic terrain is cruel, unyielding, impenetrable to either combatant. Obama is secure among the white elite, the youth and the blacks. Hillary is dug in with the white working class, white women and the seniors. Any attempt to charge across the no man's land in between grinds to a halt under withering defensive fire.
Obama's strategic advantage gained in Iowa and consolidated among the causus states after Super Tuesday has held against the tactical blunders of Flag Pin Hill, Wright's Salient, the skirmish at Bitter Clinging Valley and the assault on Ayre's Redoubt. Clinton failed to turn any of these opportunities into a breakthrough, merely forcing Obama to make an orderly retreat at times but never being able to turn his local difficulties into an overall rout.
Like all wars of attrition this one will be decided by the resources which each side has still in hand. Obama's coffers are full. His forces, though fighting an essentially defensive war, are in excellent spirits. Those watching from the sidelines are more and more tempted to enter the fry on his behalf. And as time ticks away and Hillary's assaults necessarily flag, it's becoming increasingly probable that he will carry the day.
Hillary, on the other hand, is weak where he is strong and weakest where he is strongest. All her treasure is spent and she's sinking deeper into debt. Her followers talk a good fight still but heads are being to hang and crests to fall. Some hitherto staunch supporters are eyeing the chance to defect with dignity, if not honor, intact. Energy and morale are swiftly ebbing in spite of the steely determination of an increasingly desperate general. The uncommitted are now turning away, some reluctantly, others with no little bounce in their step. Her Chief of Staff and Consort is undoubtedly contemplating an end-game strategy which will leave open the opportunity for another campaign in more favorable circumstances.
Like the many Prussian, English, Russian and Austrian generals so often outmanoeuvered by Napoleon, Hillary's only hope is to stick it out on the chance that a random bolt of lightning will strike her opponent dead from out his saddle and give her victory by default. This is no doubt a forlorn wish but in this year of years it is slightly less impossible than one might otherwise imagine. Who of us foretold such a creature as William Ayres rising from his little puddle of history to trouble Obama's dreamings? Or the exotic pastor rampaging from his pulpit to loose a whirlwind of invective against the white race and the nation to which they gave birth?
Are there other dark genies in yet uncorked bottles that lie still undisturbed waiting for the fateful rubbing that will release their havoc upon an unsuspecting presumptive nominee already in the flush of near certain victory? Is there somewhere a tape of Barry and Jerry, drunk on Communion wine, cackling over the vengeance they will wreak on the traditional oppressors of their people? Or a recording of Obama empathizing with Bill Ayres' chagrin at not having thought of a 9/11 thirty years before bin Laden? Or a photograph of Tony Rezko slipping a fat brown envelope to Obama in some shady Chicago nook while burly "associates" with broken noses and bulges under their armpits look unsmilingly on?
These are the visions that smooth Hillary's sweaty brow as she surveys the latest battlefield strewn with the shredded body parts of her lifelong hopes and dreams. This is why she'll hang in there as long as she can. What a galling prospect if she raised the white flag and a week or two later that random bolt of lightning struck leaving the Dems to strap the political corpse of Obama to his trusty steed and lead him as best they could all the way to an inevitable McCain landslide next November.
Now God surely wouldn't play such tricks on a Clinton!
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Jeremiah Wright has broken out of the cage his illustrious congregant, Barack Obama, artfully, gently, with sedulous concern constructed around him in his Philadelphia speech last month. The reverend could have picked the lock and stolen quietly away nursing his wounded pride at his former protegé's precisely worded attempt at quarantine, and offered up the humiliation in a spirit of Christian forebearance and for the greater (viz. Obama's) good.
He chose instead to go the well-worn Old Testament, eye-for-an-eye route and snapped the bars into smithereens like so many lengths of uncooked spaghetti.
Revenge is a dish best served cold they say, but the Chicago pastor obviously prefers his nourishment sizzling hot and spicy enough to set the most jaded palate atingle. Yes siree, jouncin' Jerry's morphed into King Kong and come next week he'll be swinging off the top of the Empire State Building with a screaming Michelle clutched in his hairy paw while the doughty Barack strafes him from a buzzing bi-plane.
Obama - He Who Would Talk To Tyrants - is floundering, grasping at straws, stuttering and stumbling, bumbling and blustering when confronted by a mere cleric with attitude who is but one Rorschach Test away from being declared clinically insane. Presidential timbre indeed. He now condemns Wright for expressing the same rabid off-the-walleries which we've all seen the reverend utter from his pulpit with considerable more panache and pespiration for the last two months.
At the NAACP on Sunday and also at Monday's Q & A the Pastor, though as much an anti-American Hard Left racist kookaroo as ever, was at least engaging as a personality. You could imagine him carving the Thanksgiving turkey without having to fight back the urge to cut the throats of the impatient diners just for the heck of it. Yet Obama calls this a "performance" and a "spectacle" which left him "shocked", "saddened" - "outraged" even. "The person I saw", he declared with a kind of strangled solemnity, "was not the person that I'd come to know over twenty years".
Of course not. The Jeremiah Wright of recent days is as urbane as Cary Grant compared to the raving, flailing, spittle-flecked hate-monger Obama saw every time his "spiritual mentor" mounted the church rostrum and re-enacted the Nuremburg rallies "Shee-caag-ooo style". Yet these are the very "performances" and "spectacles" at which the Senator nary batted a proverbial eye. And for the aforementioned twenty years to boot.
Not to mention the many tete a tetes the two of them avowedly had as the reverend "counseled" and "guided" his favorite wannabe in that meek emollient way of his. We are to believe that such a fluent pontificator and demented obsessive as Mr. Wright never, ever, ever launched into one of his trademark rants on one of his many idees fixes while the two of them whiled away a slack hour in one of Hyde Park's latte lounges? That's akin to believing it won't rain in Kerry on your vacation!
What profound metaphysical change has transformed the nature of the man whom Obama was so careful to clasp to his well-tailored bosom in The Speech a short month ago and for whom he chose to make his grandmother a national joke - literally - rather than "disown"? What devious alchemy has turned the views which Obama then airily characterized as merely old-fashioned or eccentrically avuncular into what he now calls "a bunch of rants that aren't grounded in truth"?
Wright has not changed. Rather he has simply revealed himself more deliberately of late for the benefit of the slow learners amongst us who apparently found the videotaped sermons too intricate and subtle to interpret in a meaningful way. The same folk, one presumes, who persist in stroking the tiger through the zoo bars until they get their arm chewed off at the shoulder and then declare plaintively in the recovery room that he reminded them of a stuffed toy they played with long ago in kindergarten.
So why is the Transcendant One so seriously p*ss*d? Political expediency cry those from whose misty peepers the scales have newly fallen. I wanted to have his babies, they wail, but he's just another cynical politician, boo hoo hoo. If only that were true. The choice then would be simply between Hillary with Bill and a smoother, slicker Hillary without Bill. No such luck, my friends.
The real reason for Obama's sudden rage is to be found in the mysterious 24 hour delay between Wright's NAACP "performance" and the Senator's expulsion of him into exterior darkness where there is heard only weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth from those excluded from the Lambent Presence of the Paramount Leader Of Us All.
What happened in those lost 24 hours? What new element arose to devastate Obama's carefully balanced equation? Why, Pastor Wright indulged in his Q & A "spectacle" on Monday and along with the usual son et lumiére he purposefully exposed the tumor that is eating away at the rotting heart of his former friend's political existence from the very moment he entered upon his White House bid.
The reverend stated quite bluntly that "politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls, Huffington, whoever’s doing the polls". In other words he endorses the views of the Senator's fiercest critics and we've been quite a small band, even among the right, for most of this sorry saga.
Obama, the pastor is saying, is coming from essentially the same point of the ideological compass as Wright himself but he must posture and pander - lie and deceive - in order to attract enough votes from the gullible to achieve power.
From then on, unencumbered by the need to dissimulate, he will be free to pursue his real agenda and if he strays from the path of Hard Left righteousness Reverend Wright promises Obama that "[i]f you get elected...I'm coming after you, because you'll be representing a government whose policies grind under people".
This is what impelled Obama to hack away so furiously at the man who married him, baptized his children, inspired his book and, in a bizarre prelude to the main event, prayed with him and his family in the basement of the building from the steps of which moments later he launched his Presidential campaign with the Pastor's anointment fresh upon him.
Obama can co-exist quite comfortably with Wright while the preacher goddamns America, accuses a genocidal Federal Government of infecting blacks with AIDS, compares US troops to Christ’s' executioners, canonizes the unholy Louis Farrakhan, glories in 9/11 as justified retribution, mocks the way white people talk and think. None of this sorry litany, in part or taken as a whole, is a deal breaker for the man who exhorts us to joyously embrace him as the next President.
Remember Philly and The Speech which, we were breathlessly told, consummated what Lincoln had merely hinted at in that rain-drenched Gettysburg graveyard.
"I can no more disown [Jeremiah Wright] than I can disown the black community." But, hey, here's my granny. Gnaw on her old bones if you're feeling peckish.
But now even the terminally well-meaning know the truth of it.
It is only when Obama is personally the target of Wright's viciousness that a thoroughgoing repudiation is called for.
"That's a show of disrespect to me," the Senator hisses tellingly. "It is also, I think, an insult to...this campaign.''
So, Jeremiah Wright's mortal sin, his one truly reprehensible act is dissing Barack Obama!
What a worm this man is. What a toad. And what a total fraud. If the Fed ever gets around to issuing a three dollar bill they should stick his smug mug on it.
President? This guy should be selling the Brooklyn Bridge to Japanese tourists.
The shills and the flacks of the MSM, whose reputations would be in tatters except they were journalists to start with, the party political spinners and weavers, all the pundits, both personable and grotesque, continue to talk of polls and perceptions, delegates and popular counts, of demographic imponderables from Indiana and North Carolina through to Puerto Rico, but all is wind, a tornado of just talk.
No matter how many decks are shuffled or how many dice are cast Barack is a busted flush who’ll come up snake eyes in the end.
He started off last January at the head of a great army of acolytes and he still marches at their head. Listen carefully and you can hear their purposeful tramp.
Left, Wright...Left, Wright...Left, Wright...Left, Wright...
...straight off the cliff!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Having denounced the anti-Obama North Carolina Republican ad (see previous post) in the most portentous, self-righteous terms since Bill Clinton last wagged a finger at the media, John McCain dismounted from his favorite high horse, Driven Snow, a silver gelding by Ego Polisher out of Peacock Preen, and took a pot shot or two at the Democratic front-runner's connection with Jeremiah Wright.
He did this not from any sordid considerations of common sense or the squalid need to hold his opponent up to proper scrutiny by the electorate. No, he was guided by the always pure and noble principle of following Obama's lead. You see, the freshman Senator from Illinois had graciously declared his pastor problem a "legitimate" political issue.
With that Our Johnny was out the gate baying for blood. Well not for blood exactly and it was more a kittenish miaow than a full-throated hound dog in full pursuit of an escaped felon, but still in McCain World it's billed as a Tomahawk into the bridge of an enemy carrier. Yowza, yowza!
McCain apparently thinks that he can tiptoe like Tiny Tim through the tulips all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
What a tosspot! Like every other candidate in this execrable election the more you get to see, hear and smell him the more repellent he becomes. [UPDATE: Think I'm a bit OTP? Go here for Pat Buchanan's devastating exposé of Mac's mentality.] How can a nation of 250 million souls - that's a quarter of a billion, folks, - end up with such a wretched cohort of candidates to choose from: Hillary Fishwife, Barack Slimeball and John Crawthumper! It's like putting some ordinary innocent looking everyday object under a microscope and recoiling in horror at the death-dealing bugs swarming about.
In short, it's a bloody disaster.
Believe me, whichever of these thrown-togethers manages to hoodwink their way into office it won't take long before we're all looking back nostalgically to the halcyon days of Bush 43's wise and wondrous rule. At least the guy could laugh at himself we'll say in retrospective awe. Hey, he kept us safe for seven years. Sure, Iraq was a fiasco but, say what you like, it was no Vietnam. And his spouse was an actual human being! And you could still have a beer with him.
The terrible trio we're now faced with are individually and collectively an appallingly dysfunctional lot. As are their life-partners, Bill, Michelle, Cindy. Not one of this six-pack is...you know...normal! In fact they're all disquietingly peculiar.
Obama is poster boy for the truth of the aphorism "By His Friends Shall Ye Know Him", an individual who turns out to be the polar opposite of what he brazenly sell himself as. He sprouts - a la Pallas Athene - fully grown from the unlovely brow of the New Left and smoothly leverages his race to become a mainstream political superstar whose cloudy pieties mask an extreme ideology which can only find expression in furthering the Hard Left social engineering project that has blighted the country for forty years.
Hillary is a crook but these are politicians so we can't be too picky. She's also a pathological liar who parades her delusions on prime time TV. An obvious hysteric, she attempts to hide her emotional turmoil under a facade of ruthless ambition, elitist entitlement and Marxoid control-freakery. For her the Presidency is the only proper pay-off for the years of Bubbafication which she has endured. It has colonized her very being just as the thought of Jody Foster took possession of John Hinkley's twisted soul.
As for McCain, he's a simpler case because a less intelligent one. But what he manifestly lacks in brains he makes up for with ego. He is in the wrong party because no party would satisfy him. He cannot submit - he sees it as submission - to the demands of group membership at any level. He is not a team player because being a member of a team - even its captain - endangers his fragile sense of self. In Freudian terms his Superego is only vindicated by making a secret deal with his Id.
Thus he veers between obsequious "respect" for his opponents, otherwise known as fawning, and an abiding rage against members of his own party who by their very existence circumscribe his profound and ever urgent need to stand out, a man apart. The Straight Talk Express runs on very narrow gauge tracks and zig-zags willfully between strange, far-flung stops.
As for the spouses - oy vey! Cindy is gobsmackingly rich, and an out and out stunner. Twenty five years old when he met her, she was a true Arizona Princess and surely a fitting reason for Honest John, Heroic John, Honorable John to dump his wife, Carol, the mother of his three eldest children and a former model who was crippled and disfigured in a car crash while he was a POW in North Vietnam.
Yet, though pleasing - rich, beautiful, elegant, neither a slut nor a schemer nor a sanctimonious virago -what's not to like? - and infinitely preferable to her two co-consorts, Cindy has an eerie clenched-fist air about her. There is nothing of Laura Bush's "soccer mom" normality in her.
She always seems between nervous breakdowns. On stage she is immobile rather that still as if balancing upon an inner tightrope rather than simply being there for her man. Mostly her smiles are second hand like moonlight, borrowed to little purpose and less effect. The odd flash lights up her face and reveals a true loveliness that fascinates rather than seduces. For all that she seems diminished and sad, lonely. A remote and uninvolved figure even with herself, she stands before us yet is almost somewhere else, as if her presence is a kind of alibi for her far away thoughts and wandering soul.
Michelle, of course, is completely present, body, mind and furious soul. There is nothing but surface about her. No hidden dreams, secret sorrows, skulking hurts disturb the titanic tenor of her way. She is a volcano with the magma all on top. She drinks gall and spews bile. Like a teenage princess only smugness or resentment animate her strangely adolescent features. Her self-willed fury is nothing but pettishness given a podium to pout from. Her highly buffed sense of grievance is merely entitlement turned inside out, the frustrated longing of the stubbornly immature.
The more she is given what she has not really earned the more she proclaims herself deserving of everything else. The little she has been denied is inflated into a monument to an overarching injustice which sets all the trappings of success at nought. She identifies with those who truly have little or even less because not to have it all is as great, as unpardonable an offense as not to have anything at all. She is the Solipsistic Sixties come home to roost.
And Bill? What is there left to say except like the pathetic punch drunk has-been of so many boxing dramas "he coulda been a contender". Undoubtedly the Greatest President We Almost Had, he spent his life relentlessly playing Iago to his own Othello. The remaining years stretch bleakly ahead allowing him ample time to contemplate the still-born glories of a Presidency that never was. His desperate shills will continue to peddle the paltry excuses and tawdry lies, but the man himself, unique among his acolytes, is too intelligent to believe them.
Yet he had his brief Camelot. Without him Ireland would still be at war. There are people moving about that troubled isle right this very minute, laughing, drinking, loving, swearing, sipping tea, nursing an infant, driving to the seaside who would be under the sodden earth except for William Jefferson Clinton, the only American President, despite all the March 17 maunderings over White House shamrock, that gave a toss for the Irish who stayed at home.
When he dies set his body in his native soil but bury his heart in a quiet valley on the great Atlantic's eastern fringe where the drifting rain will keep its resting place forever fresh, forever green and the growling seas stand guard - eternally.
Whoever of the three unlovelies becomes the forty third successor to George Washington next January it is more than improbable that they will earn such an epitaph.
Of course we can always hope.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
North Carolina Lieutenant Governor, Bev Perdue, and State Treasurer, Richard Moore, are like most Democrats these days: they can't stand each other. Lusting after their Party's gubernatorial nomination the two Raleigh insiders have been smearing, catcalling and sniping at each other for the past year and a half like bitter spouses bent on mutually assured destruction in a divorce case that went thermonuclear from day one. They have only one thing in common, their commitment to the Great Unifier himself, Barack Obama.
With the North Carolina Democratic primary looming the state GOP saw an opportunity for a spot of creative meddling and were onto it like a hare through a gap. Here is their ad.
John McCain, who admits he hasn't seen the ad, immediately mounted his white charger and set out, sabre rattling, shield aglint, after his favorite targets - fellow Republicans! He lobbed a deadly e-mail into the “enemy” camp:
From the beginning of this election, I have been committed to running a respectful campaign based upon an honest debate about the great issues confronting America today. I expect all state parties to do so as well. The television advertisement you are planning to air degrades our civics and distracts us from the very real differences we have with the Democrats. In the strongest terms, I implore you to not run this advertisement.
This ad does not live up to the very high standards we should hold ourselves to in this campaign. We need to run a campaign that is worthy of the people we seek to serve. There is no doubt that we will draw sharp contrasts with the Democrats on fundamental issues critical to the future course of our country. But we need not engage in political tactics that only seek to divide the American people.
Once again, it is imperative that you withdraw this offensive advertisement.
The RNC entered the fray on the Senator’s side: "[W]e do not believe the ad is appropriate or helpful and have asked that they refrain from running it,” proclaimed spokesman Danny Diaz.
Linda Daves, North Carolina GOP Chairwoman was unmoved. This is not about the RNC," she stated. "It is about North Carolina, our values and two Democrat candidates who are out of synch with the values of North Carolina." In response to subsequent rumors that the ad would be scotched, she didn’t yield an inch: "I can't be emphatic enough that we're running the ad. We are not pulling the ad. It has never been a consideration for us to pull the ad."
It will air from Monday next, April 28.
The responses to all this unnecessary brouhaha have been varied.
McCain is a wily old pol. He wants to be seen to distance himself from negative campaigning so as to burnish his image with independents and conservative Democrats who this year of all years are vital to his chances come the Fall.
McCain is a duplicitous genius on a par with Machiavelli. He denounces the ad, covering himself in high-toned moral glory while at the same time ensuring the maximum publicity for and widespread free airing of the offending ad.
McCain is a straight shooter. The image is the man. He doesn’t lie. He doesn’t smear. He doesn’t do guilt by association. He stands on the issues, all the issues and nothing but the issues. A blessed throwback to an era before the sleazebags colonized both parties and reduced the process to a confrontation between packs of rabid dogs over a hunk of poisoned meat.
McCain is a self-serving po-faced craw-thumping windbag who likes nothing better than to stroke his ego with holier-than-thou displays of his own righteousness in contrast to the ethical ineptitude and stunted moral sensibility of all other members of his own party.
McCain is an idiot. Whether his attitude is mere posturing or reflects a genuine repugnance towards political hardball he’s missing the point big time. He’s got a real fight on his hands and here he is not only pulling his own punches but attempting to shackle his friends and allies to his own high-minded but out-dated gentility.
McCain is a bumptious busybody and should butt out. This is North Carolina not Arizona. These folks know which way is up in their own backyard. If he believes that the states should individually decide on such an overwhelming moral issue as abortion, then he should not interfere with Republicans running ads tailored to what they see as their own state’s political requirements.
I’ve written on McCain’s approach to campaigning previously but here he is entering upon new and very dangerous territory that goes beyond questions of principles, style and tone. His permission for the NC ad was not asked because it is not needed. It is quite bluntly none of his business. It concerns an internal North Carolina primary contest and has nothing whatever to do with his presidential bid which is all that should concern him. If he disapproves, as he does, he could say so in a few short words - if and when he is asked for an opinion - and leave it at that.
That’s not our Johnny’s style, though. Before the ad in question has become even a regional issue, before he’s even seen it, he turns it into a national controversy at the presidential level by immediately firing off a condemnation freighted with more high-flown rhetoric than an Inaugural Address.
In this way he sets himself up as not only ready and willing but eager to ride herd over every section of his party in all 50 states in respect of anything and everything that any and all Republicans will say and do in any campaign, local, state or general, between now and polling day.
This means that when some local pol breaks campaign wind in Methane Gulch, Idaho, the MSM pack will be all over McCain to hurl another Jovian thunderbolt upon the transgressor. In other words they’ll expect him to do their job for them i.e. to rubbish Republicans dawn to dusk
This has two very significant consequences. McCain’s comrades in arms are tainted by their own presidential candidate’s condemnations, and the candidate himself, while earning faint and worthless kudos from his sworn enemies in the media, is in a constant low-intensity conflict with his own party, frustrating his friends and alienating a none too enthusiastic activist base wary of him from the get go.
The implications of his condemnation of the NC Republican party go even further.
Pastorgate is plainly a very legitimate issue and acknowledged as such by everyone of whatever political persuasion except, for obvious reasons, the Obama faction of the Democratic Party. It not only goes to the question of Obama’s character, judgment and integrity, it raises grave concerns, as I have argued constantly, about his essential ideological orientation.
This, surely, is exceptionally relevant to where Obama stands on McCain’s much-vaunted “issues”: the ad is right, the Democratic front-runner is too extreme for North Carolina and everywhere else this side San Francisco’s Billionaires Row. And the two Democrats pilloried in the ad support him instead of Clinton.
Therefore it is not a smear to suggest they share his extremism, it’s merely rational political judgment. In so roundly denouncing it as a smear tactic McCain is not only selling the pass himself he is severely circumscribing the strategic capacity of his party to engage with the opposition on ground very favorable to Republicans.
Furthermore, McCain has – with breathtaking inconsistency – taken on Obama’s Weatherman connection, as he should. However, the Illinois Senator, if he is clearly tied to Ayres and Dohrn, is joined at the hip to Jeremiah Wright as not only his twenty year pewship shows but as his two books explicitly celebrate.
It is said that McCain wishes to stay away as far as possible from the radioactive issue of race and is therefore as wise as an owl in all this. What piffle! All Republicans at all times have been and will continue to be smeared with racism. It’s the Democrat way. None but they are free from such deplorable atavisms.
Between now and next week, next month, next August, next October McCain will also be thus maligned - as sure as a newborn’s diaper needs changing. It is the way of things. Immutable. Ordained. Writ in the very stars. The only commandment the Liberals acknowledge. O, Senator, do not forgive them for they know exactly what they do!
But McCain, the Straight Talker, the Fearless Maverick, the Grinch Who Doesn’t Flinch, rolls over and plays dead like a trained puppy. He plays the game by the enemy's rules, a bizarre approach for one whose military prowess is touted as being his paramount qualification for being Commander in Chief. And he does so because they’re also his rules.
He still gives credence to the long imploded pieties of the post-war Liberal Age in which he himself came of age. He is in fact an Old Style Acheson Liberal who seems to have wandered into the Republican Party because the Democrats were no longer what FDR had bred them to be. His big buddy, Joe Liberman, is now in the process of doing the same.
In an article in the WSJ, written after his Pennsylvania defeat, Karl Rove likens Barack Obama to Adlai Stevenson as does E.J Dionne of the Washington Post. However, it is McCain who in terms of sensibility, values, self-image and an ineradicable primness is more the Stevensonian legatee though with the street cred of an heroic military record.
McCain is Adlai, shall we say, with more than a soupcon of JFK toughness to give the added dash of vinegar necessary that makes him palatable to the GOP.
Jack Kennedy scraped home and then only on foot of vote-rigging shenanigans McCain would shrink in horror from.
And Adlai lost.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
The electoral process has been thown into chaos across wide swathes of Pennsylvania today as Democratic voters cast their ballots in the Keystone State’s much ballyhooed primary. Reports are coming in that officials are turning away thousands of would-be voters, especially in the western part of the state regarded as vital to Hillary Clinton.
“There’s no denying that we have a problem,” admitted Justin Case, Deputy Assistant-in-Chief of the Pennsylvania Electoral Board which oversees the process statewide. “A great many voters in all those small towns for which we’re justifiably famous are insisting on carrying their guns into the voting centers. This is in clear breach of a late 18th century local statute which bars anyone but signatories to the Declaration of Independence and their direct descendants to the third generation from bearing arms ‘within 2 furlongs, 8 chains and 3 perches’ of any properly constituted balloting area.”
In the town of Bitterton, acknowledged far and wide as the buckle on the Pennsylvania ‘rust belt’, the line of frustrated voters stretched over two hundred yards down Ram’s Hackle (formerly Main) Street as far as the now-derelict Sour Grapes bar which was in its hey-day a favorite watering-hole for workers from the 75 local steel mills and four dozen coal mines which have since gone to The Wall, an area in northern China that has proved a favorite spot for heavy industry to relocate. The empty plants and warehouses have all since been converted into churches while the strip clubs, casinos and five star restaurants of the boom times are now shooting ranges and bowling alleys.
A grim-faced Earl “Early Bird” Earls, 75, who lost his job as Head Coker in Robust Iron & Steel twenty six years ago, spoke for many when he said “This ain’t right”. Choking back the bile, the burly 350 pound great-grandfather held up his double barreled, pump action shotgun, saying “I’m exercising my Second Amendment rights and there ain’t no one gonna make me lay down my weapon so as I can mark a ballot.”
His wife, Muriel, a wizened, wispy 77 year old, wept as she told reporters that she just couldn’t let go of her .32 Smith & Wesson revolver. “No matter how hard I try i just can’t part with it. It’s like it’s glued to my hand.”
“I know what she means,” echoed Wilbur Eideldaze, an unemployed 47 year old machinist who has lost twelve jobs in succession as plant after plant closed around him. “ I find myself reaching for my Winchester every time I step carefully off my creaky porch. I just can’t stop myself. It's like it’s deer hunting season the whole year round. But,” he added wryly, “without the free meat.”
In a bizarre incident over the county line in nearby Hix Neck a man in his fifties collapsed and died of an apparent coronary while attempting to evade watchful election monitors by wriggling through a small window in one of the utility rooms in the voting centre. According to as yet unconfirmed rumors the paramedics who arrived within minutes were unable to prise the gleaming pearl-handled Colt 45 from his cooling, freshly dead hand.
His name has been withheld until local trackers succeed in locating his next of kin who are believed to be itinerant preachers among the primitive hill country folk of Mc Kean and Potter counties in the remote northern reaches of the state.
In a further twist that is sure to add to the confusion Scranton judge, Ruth Ginsberg-Kennedy-Bader, has granted the ACLU an order mandating that all voters in rural areas and in towns, townships and “agglomerated communities” with populations of less than 15,000 be bodysearched “to ascertain whether they are transporting, carrying or otherwise transferring contraband material” to the ballot. Gated communities are explicitly exempted in the court order.
ACLU spokesperson, So Su Me, described the measure as “vitally necessary in the ongoing battle to ensure the separation of church and state.” Almost immediately the polls opened many incidents had come to light, she confirmed, of citizens from disgruntled small towns, outlying areas and “mountainous terrain” attempting “to gain admission to voting centers while in possession of Bibles, prayer books, hymnals and even rosary beads” which were sometimes “brazenly held quite openly in their hands,” but more often “cunningly concealed in pockets or handbags. One woman even had ‘God Bless America’ embroidered on a particularly ghastly red, white and blue padded windbreaker,” asserted an incredulous Ms Me.
Speaking from On High, Saskatchewan, where he has gone for a speaking engagement, ACLU Chief, Hugh Sczmuk, noted that while the organization is “unreservedly committed to the full and free exercise of the franchise by every citizen – and hopefully in the not too distant future by the immigrant community as well, irrespective of legal status – we are above all else determined to utterly remove all religion from the public square. The complete sequestration of all forms of theistic belief to the privacy of the bathroom is the paramount principle upon which the nation was founded. The Constitution has quite clear emanations on this.”
Newly appointed Clinton Campaign manager, Ann E. Oake-Leigh, described the New York Senator as “shocked, dismayed, horrified and dadblamed hornswoggled” at the fact that “simple, God-fearing, chronically unemployed yet hard-working Americans were being compelled to choose between the Second Amendment and casting their vote for an experienced candidate who will be ready from Day One to launch nuclear Armageddon to protect the way of life of the simple, God-fearing, chronically idle yet vastly wealthy people of the United Arab Emirates, especially our good friends in Dubai.”
The Obama camp, meanwhile, expressed satisfaction with its get out the vote effort. “Our voters are serenely lining up waiting to experience the transformative power of casting a vote for the next President,” a highly placed source within the Campaign said. “They’re passing the time reciting The Speech to each other and pointing out the places where they felt particular rapture at the time and discovering new sublimities to concelebrate.”
The Senator himself, while visiting twelve widely scattered polling places simultaneously, declared that he was “feeling quietly zen about [his] prospects”. When asked by a reporter to explain his relationship with unrepentant terrorist, Bill Ayres, Obama replied that the question was “so bitter, so clinging” that it amounted to the “uttering of a stereotype” that made him “cringe”.
At a nod the Secret Service agents frisked the reporter for weapons. None were found but a driver’s license identified the man as Stephan Gorgeopolous. On hearing this, the Candidate merely shook his head slowly and murmured “Timeo Danaos et rogationes donatas ferentes” (I fear Greeks bearing gifted questions).
In other news Republican nominee, Senator John McCain, met with senior advisers at Campaign Headquarters in Glote, a Phoenix, Arizona suburb, where in a re-enactment of an ancient Apache ceremony called sh’ah dihn froid they rubbed their hands together vigorously as they intoned an obscure animist chant (the meaning of which is lost in the mists of time):
“The more the Donkey kicks, the louder the Elephant trumpets!”
Monday, April 21, 2008
Let's get it straight from the get go. There is no such thing as a terrorist properly so called, the way, lets say, serial killers are murderers. Violent sexual psychopaths kill for the sake of killing. The death of their victims is of the essence of what they're about. Terrorists on the other hand are political cadres who choose violence as a means of advancing their cause.
Apart from some lunatics - not many for they are of very limited use - whom they attract simply because of the prospect of mayhem, they are dedicated, coherent, purposeful operatives as capable of strategic and tactical judgments as anybody else. And, for the most part, perfectly at ease with the moral choice - and they make a moral choice - that now defines their life.
Though they may, at times, succumb to what the old Irish heroic tales call confadh catha or 'battle frenzy' - a well known phenomenon - they are not foaming at the mouth caricatures, drinking in their victims screams and glorying in their inhuman blood-lust. If they were, the authorities would be frogmarching them all the way to the penitentiary by the baker's dozen every day of the week.
Nor are they obviously any different from the rest of us. They are not Lex Luthoresque masterminds or Hannibal Lecterish geniuses. If they were, they'd have far greater success, far more quickly and far more often. They are run of the mill folk who exhibit a run of the mill range of abilities and weaknesses. Some are highly intelligent, some middling, others semi-literate ignoramuses.
They are not part of some well-oiled, slick, utterly efficient death-dealing machine. Their organisations are like every other organisation, peppered with incompetence, blockheadedness, nepotism, petty jealousies and disloyalty, and kept going by the capable, overworked and frustrated 10% who actually know what must be done and know how to do it properly if they could only attract a better quality work force.
In other words when someone becomes a terrorist he doesn't undergo a weird form of confirmation where he is annointed with a Satanic chrism that transforms him into a ccombination of Dirty Harry, Adolf Hitler and Hercule Poirot. He's just another guy but one who's now been given a gun and a bomb and a transcendent reason to use them and is supported by a network of other guys as wonderful or as woeful as himself.
"One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" is an aphorism that has many people reaching for Mitt Romney's varmint gun but it is half-true. Some terrorists are freedom fighters. The Mau Mau in Kenya, Umkhonto we Siswe (Spear of the Nation) in South Africa, the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, ETA in Spain, the Irish Republican Army (the longest-lived of them all) in Ireland, the various separatist groups in Chechnya and elsewhere in the Caususus.
The aim of such groups is the overthrow of a foreign regime or a goverment imposed by non-native elements in order to achieve political freedom for the people of the nation i.e. they are physical force nationalists in orientation and principle. Though they may espouse some form of socialism that is always negotiable. In the end many of the more prominent terrorists and their fellow travelers become political leaders as part of a settlement: Éamon de Valera, Michael Collins, Jomo Kenyatta, Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness.
There is another kind of terrorist quite distinct from movements of national liberation and having little or nothing politically in common with them. These are groups who attack and seek to destroy the society in which they live on the grounds of ideology alone. In the West they took the form of far left urban guerrila groups. The Brigate Rossi in Italy. The Rote Armee Fraction/Bader-Meinhof Gang in West Germany. The Japanese Red Army which, despite its name, operated internationally.
Flourishing in the seventies and early eighties, they were small tightly organised highly motivated and very violent ideologues. Their strategic aim was nothing less than the destruction of capitalism and the capitalist way of life. Fully aware that they could not accomplish such a task on their own they sought to 'seed the revolution' through consciousness-raising acts of extreme violence - bombings, assassinations, the kidnapping and murder of prominent politicians, judges and businessmen and their families.
In this way they attempted to destabilize the state and goad 'the ruling class' into an oppressive over-reaction which would radicalize the 'masses' and bring about the Marxis/Leninist/StalinistMaoist/Trotskyist/ Anarchist Revolution about which they fantasized. The participants in this well-directed mayhem were invariably scions of the well-to-do bourgeoisie who were their prime targets. They were the children of the university educated academic and professional elite which ran the societies which they were seeking to destroy in the name of a proletariat whom they only knew as domestic servants in the homes of the hapless parents they so despised.
The Weather Underground was such a group and William Ayres and Bernardine Dorhn were such urban guerillas. This terror group wasn't just another tiny splinter from off the many radical left wing logs that were set rolling through Western society with such vehement fervor in the Sixties. Unlike the far more notorious Unabomber - a single, mentally ill 'crusader' - they did more than cause fitful disorder and fatalities. This was a serious network of very sane violent revolutionaries who mounted a sustained and viable campaign from within against their own society and people.
Weathermen leaders such as Mark Rudd were smuggled into Cuba where they were welcomed by KGB Colonel Vadim Kotchergine and whisked away to secret camps for advanced indoctrination and training in urban terrorist techniques. Calling for war against what they always termed "Amerikka" - sounds familiar, don't it? - Bernardine Dohrn - aka Mrs Bill Ayres - hailed the murderous Manson Family as the precursors of the coming revolution: "Dig it. They first killed those pigs, then ate dinner in the same room as them. They even shoved a fork into the victim's stomach. Wild."
Wild, indeed, sister!
Lady Macbeth in
a purple mini-skirt
With such fingers on the trigger it is no wonder that the Weather Underground record of destruction and death is formidable, as the Chicago Daily Observer outlines:
7 October 1969 – Bombing of Haymarket Police Statue in Chicago, apparently as a “kickoff” for the “Days of Rage” riots in the city October 8–11, 1969. The Weathermen later claim credit for the bombing in their book, “Prairie Fire.”
8 October-11, 1969 – The “Days of Rage” riots occur in Chicago in which 287 Weatherman members from throughout the country were arrested and a large amount of property damage was done.
6 December 1969 – Bombing of several Chicago Police cars parked in a precinct parking lot at 3600 North Halsted Street, Chicago. The WUO stated in their book “Prairie Fire” that they had did the explosion.
27 December-31, 1969 – Weathermen hold a “War Council” meeting in Flint, MI, where they finalize their plans to submerge into an underground status from which they plan to commit strategic acts of sabotage against the government. Thereafter they are called the “Weather Underground Organization” (WUO).
13 February 1970 – Bombing of several police vehicles of the Berkeley, California, Police Department .
16 February 1970 – Bombing of Golden Gate Park branch of the San Francisco Police Department, killing one officer and injuring a number of other policemen.
6 March 1970 – Bombing in the 13th Police District of the Detroit, Michigan. 34 sticks of dynamite are discovered. During February and early March, 1970, members of the WUO, led by Bill Ayers, are reported to be in Detroit, during that period, for the purpose of bombing a police facility.
6 March 1970 – “bomb factory” located in New York’s Greenwich Village accidentally explodes. WUO members Theodore die in t. The bomb was intended to be planted at a non-commissioned officer’s dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The bomb was packed with nails to inflict maximum casualties on detonation.
30 March 1970 – Chicago Police discover a WUO “bomb factory” on Chicago’s north side. A subsequent discovery of a WUO “weapons cache” in a south side Chicago apartment several days later ends WUO activity in the city.
10 May 1970 – Bombing of The National Guard Association building in Washington, D.C..
21 May 1970 – The WUO under Bernardine Dohrn’s name releases its “Declaration of a State of War” communique.
6 June 1970 – The WUO sends a letter claiming credit for bombing of the San Francisco Hall of Justice; however, no explosion actually took place. Months later, workmen in this building located an unexploded device which had apparently been dormant for some time.
9 June 1970 – Bombing of The New York City Police Headquarters .
27 July 1970 – Bombing of The Presidio army base in San Francisco. [NYT, 7/27/70]
12 September 1970 – The WUO helps Dr. Timothy Leary, break out and escape from the California Men’s Colony prison.
8 October 1970 – Bombing of Marin County courthouse. [NYT, 8/10/70]
10 October 1970 – Bombing of Queens traffic-court building . [NYT, 10/10/70, p. 12]
14 October 1970 – Bombing of The Harvard Center for International Affairs [NYT, 10/14/70, p. 30]
1 March 1971 – Bombing of The United States Capitol . ” [NYT, 3/2/71]
April, 1971 – abandoned WUO “bomb factory” discovered in San Francisco, California.
29 August, 1971 – Bombing of the Office of California Prisons . [LAT, 8/29/71]
17 September 1971 – Bombing of The New York Department of Corrections in Albany, NY [NYT, 9/18/71]
15 October 1971 – Bombing of William Bundy’s office in the MIT research center. [NYT, 10/16/71]
19 May 1972 – Bombing of The Pentagon . [NYT, 5/19/72]
18 May 1973 – Bombing of the 103rd Police Precinct in New York
28 September 1973 – Bombing of ITT headquarters in New York and Rome, Italy . [NYT, 9/28/73]
6 March 1974 – Bombing of the Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare offices in San Francisco
31 May 1974 – Bombing of The Office of the California Attorney General.
17 June 1974 – Bombing of Gulf Oil’s Pittsburgh headquarters .
11 September 1974 – Bombing of Anaconda Corporation (part of the Rockefeller Corporation).
29 January 1975 – Bombing of the State Department in (AP. “State Department Rattled by Blast,” The Daily Times-News, January 29 1975, p.1)
16 June 1975 – Bombing of Banco de Ponce (a Puerto Rican bank) in New York .
September, 1975 – Bombing of the Kennecott Corporation .
October 20, 1981 – Brinks robbery in which several members of the Weather Underground stole over $1 million from a Brinks armored car near Nyack, New York. The robbers murdered 2 police officers and 1 Brinks guard. Several others were wounded.
As late as 1984 two former Weathermen, Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans were arrested with 740 lbs of explosives intended for further bombs. They received 58 and 40 year prison terms respectively but were pardoned by Bill Clinton just before he left office.
Pardoned by Bill!
Now works for Hill!!
Reviewing this sixteen year record, Ayers proclaimed, "I feel we didn't do enough" , enough shooting, enough bombing, enough armed robbing, enough killing! Note that here he is endorsing all the activities of the group, not just his own direct participation. He was indicted on three of the above 'actions' and God knows how many others he was involved in or helped to plan, approve or aid and abet as a member of the leadership. (His wife, Dohrn, was titular head of the organisation. Neither were they teenaged hotheads during these activities, being in their late twenties/early thirties at the time.)
"Memory is a motherf**ck*r."
-Professor William Ayres
Ain't it just!
Ayres is a criminal who escaped justice. "Guilty as hell," he crowed. "Free as a bird. America is a great country." He is now well feather-bedded in the elite that he and his fellow urban guerillas sought to overthrow by violence and death. He has not changed his views, he has merely ducked martyrdom for a snug professor's chair. The snake is still venomous. It simply chooses not to bare its fangs.
All terrorists are political animals. It is by their fundamental political motivations that they are ultimately judged, for some causes are worthy - a nation's freedom from occupation and oppression - while others are decidely otherwise. Bill Ayres' politics are that of the hard revolutionary left. His aim now, as in his bloody past, is the overthrow of the American way of life. Whether he ever primes another bomb or squeezes another trigger is quite beside the point. He is the same political creature now when he addresses an academic symposium as he was then lurking in the shadows with his ticking cargo.
This is Barack Obama's problem. It is not that Ayres and his femme fatale are unrepentant terrorists; the Senator isn't likely to don a balaclava and issue forth to kidnap Bill Gates anytime soon. It is rather that Ayres and Dohrn are unrepentant revolutionaries, a quintessentially political position.
Now politics is Obama's stock and trade and this is the couple who's rings he kissed in order to launch his own political career. But, we need to ask, how was the obeisance from such a weedy unknown as Barack so readily, indeed so spectacularly successful? Bill and Bernie are dedicated radicals. They risked life - their own and others - and liberty for their beliefs.
Such people, take it from me, do not lightly give their blessing to any vaguely leftish wannabe, fuzzy as fresh candy floss, least of all for the reasons his fans are now swooning over him. The Ayreses are hard-core and proud of it. it defines them. They are not going to waste their hard won political currency on woolly-headed idealists so naive as to believe that the evils of capitalism can be vanquished by uniting Blue States with, of all outlandish suggestions, Red States. For such revolutionaries politics is - must be (read your Lenin) - the continuation of war by other means.
But Ayres and Dohrn endorsed Obama handsomely and were able to open doors for him because of their revolutionary cachet, authenticated as it is by their terrorist history. They talked the talk and walked the walk, as it were. This in and of itself tells us an immense amount about the Democratic candidate's ideological orientation, the engine room, so to speak, of his politics.
True, Obama talks a very different political talk but, to judge by his sponsors and his own - to them - congenial record, the American people would be foolhardy in the extreme to give him sufficient votes to allow him to walk his ideological walk.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Faced with Hillary Clinton's newest incarnation as a rootin', tootin', rifle-shootin', moonshine swillin', bear-wrasslin' mountain gal, Barack Obama immediately went into offense mode with a stirring new war cry - "Remember the Pueblo!"
And we do indeed remember her.
The Pueblo is a US Navy spy vessel which was captured by North Korean warships in January 1968, an incident which made President Lyndon Johnson, already stuck in the tar pit of Viet Nam, look like a toothless old lion weakly pawing at a circling pack of snarling hyenas.
The captured crew had their own problems - none of them metaphorical. They were humiliated, tortured and made to "apologize" for their imperialistic blood-lust. Sounds just like a Code Pink rally in Berkeley, though lacking the fetching radical lesbian chic and aging baby boomer whimsy which help those gatherings put the sigh firmly back into asylum.
This chick's got some chic!
Meanwhile, back in the cells, Kim Jong Il's goons were taking photographs for the purposes of propaganda which, as its major export, is what still keeps the economy of that feisty little nation booming. This allowed the resourceful sailors to pull a fast one on their grinning hosts, as you will see for yourself in the famous photo below. Look closely now, this will be in tomorrow's quiz.
DPRK photographer's flipping bird's eye view of captured seamen
Now Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill) was a mere pup of six and a half when all this was going down, as we say in the 'hood. Yet he must have caught sight of this picture alongside autographed photos of George Wallace and "Bull" Connor as he rummaged through his racist Grandma's dresser drawers. It had a lasting impact on his young, impressionable, yet already noble mind.
It is no wonder then that in his time of trouble dealing with the cynically manufactured 'Bittergate' uproar and his clunky performance in the Philadelphia debate, it is not to be wondered at, I say, that he would reach deep down into his soul and do a Pueblo with a subtle dash of Pastorization. See for yourself. The video is quite unambiguous.
Just awesome. He da Maaan or what? What style! Such aplomb! The sheer sheerness of it all! Gives ya goosebumps in the brain, don't it? The classy way he brushes one of the crumbs of comfort thrown by the audience from his cheek with a deft but gracefully languid flick of his elegant middle finger while at the same time pointing Heavenward to indicate the ultimate destination to which he intends to lead Americans.
Observe with awe the manly yet strangely sensitive manner in which he mimics opening the door to America's new Golden Age with his clenched but always supple fist, a technique that's obviously second nature to him after twenty years of studying Jeremiah Wright, the past master of oratorical fisting.
The crowd, obviously hypnotized out of their true selves, yowl with a laughter rarely heard from mature adults when confronted with such a display. A smiling middle aged lady glances appraisingly at her companion to judge the propriety of her own mirth. Others applaud rapturously. Still more cry out for an encore. Obama chortles along with them, his features set in the sly, knowing look of saucy glee we all remember from the moments of our adolescent enlightenment.
I'm aghast. Agog. Agape even. I knew that we had but scratched the surface of the Senator's phantasmagoria of talents, had not yet even begun to plumb the depths of him. He would, I knew, continue to reveal more and more of his quite unique character. Sure enough, he here puts on show a side of him which leaves the much berated ex-President Clinton and his wife far far behind in terms of the behavior and attitudes for which they were heretofore considered untouchable.
No more. The crown has been swiped from the collective Clintonian head. The lurid torch has been passed on to a new generation of Americans born in the Sixties, tempered by the Hawaiian sun, disciplined by a hard and bitter Ivy League education, proud of their country for the first time in their adult lives.
Up till now the mere mention of the name Clinton has inspired millions to beseech the Lord to relieve the indefatigable couple of the awful burdens which they have taken on with a zeal last shown only by certain well-remembered European politicians in the last century.
After this extraordinary exhibition, which truly sets him apart from any political leader we know, it is certain that Barack Obama will be the object of even more devout prayers on the part of many mesmerized Americans. Surely in their wildest dreams they never imagined that such a one as he would seek the highest office in the land and the most powerful position in the world.
Yes, now we see what his devotees have always proclaimed: Barack Hussein Obama is truly unique. One of a kind. We all look forward with increasing longing to either the Democratic National Convention in August or election day in November, when we can fervently echo Hamlet's epitaph on his father: "All in all we shall not look upon his likes again!"
And a lusty amen to that.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
This is one of these "only in America" stories which makes the country so beloved of all those who glory in life's rich, varied, ever-new yet strangely unchanging cavalcade. Americans, it can safely be asserted, never do anything by halves. Take ball games. Every other nation on earth divides each match into two equal time periods. In the US you gotta have four.
Even baseball takes its officially ordained break not as logic dictates in the middle of the fifth inning of nine but in the seventh! And of course patrons get an opportunity for a hefty amount of shut eye at every pitching change as well. When the best two teams in the country slug it out each Fall the winners, without the slightest hint of irony or concern for semantics, are hailed World Champions!
Nothing is authentically American until it evolves into a gigantic version of what it should be. Football, a college runabout that lasted a measly hour, only became a national obsession when wiser heads came up with idea of stopping the clock every time a fan cursed one of the officials thereby turning it into a 3 hour plus butt-punishing marathon.
Other lands have dales, vales, fissures, ravines. The Land of the Free's got the Grand Canyon, Everest turned on its head. And there's Mount Rushmore - which is to chiseling stone what the same Grand Canyon is to erosion. There's even the world's fattest ball of twine that's still agrowin' courtesy of the good people of Cawker City, Kansas. Almost as awe-inspiringly huge as the amount of free time the good people of Cawker City have on their hands.
I blame it on Manifest Destiny. After setting up governance over a 200 mile strip of a land mass 3000 miles wide it takes some chutzpah to declare within two generations that the annexation of the other 2,800 miles was merely a matter of hitching up some covered wagons and giddy-uping in a vaguely western direction until you ran out of real estate. That kind of thing tends to get passed on in the gene pool. If the notoriously sex-shy Panda bear had been naturalized to the Oregon forests during the Carter Administration they'd have overrun the West as far as Colorado by now and be happily humping their way across the Mississippi by 2025 at the latest.
The same can be said for the Sixties, the decade when Timothy Leary was appointed the new Wizard of Oz and none of us - including the residents of Cawker City - were in Kansas anymore. Or have been since. This was the period when the United States was turned into a wrecking yard where the traditional social, legal and political structures of the Western World were dismantled and melted down for souvenirs, at first chaotically and then with an increasingly emboldened totalitarian thoroughness.
Martin Luther King's civil rights agitation - a completely constitutional movement to fulfill the Constitution itself by applying it unexceptionally to black citizens - became the paradoxical blueprint for the prolonged gang rape of the Founding Document that followed. What should have been the moment the Union transcended its historical origins and achieved the universality it had at its establishment claimed - "that all men are created equal" - became instead the starting point for a philosophically fraudulent and morally repugnant descent into the rancorous exceptionalism and relativist chaos we see today.
The speed with which America went from a virtuous engagement with its fundamental principles in LBJ's Civil Rights Act to the theatre de l'absurd of the prevailing social and judicial dispensation is staggering. Never have so few badgered, bamboozled and bullied so many to acquiesce in the total destruction of so much of what is necessary to live a civilized and civilizing life.
And so the most dangerous place most citizens born since the seventies have been or are likely to be is in the cradle of our race - the mother's womb. Around it cluster the medical thugees of the New Order, honing their scalpels and oiling their cranial vacuum cleaners. A grisly crew of self-styled "reproductive rights advocates", anti-death penalty politicians, puerile media hucksters, lethal feministas and airhead Hollywood engagés look on from the bleachers ready to applaud the grand slam home run of a "partial" birth abortion - hitherto known as murder in the first degree.
Motherhood, fatherhood, childhood have all been seized and broken on the wheel. Robin Hood was spared only because of his policy of enlightened wealth distribution. Marriage is now languishing in the progressivist dungeons, being daily stretched on the rack of social engineering.
It is here we enter the dark Zone of Irrationality, that bourne where the flagging Liberal Mind goes for some chow. This is a place "where nothing is but what is not" (Macbeth I, 3). However, instead of having "function...smothered in surmise", as the horrified Macbeth puts it, any surmise, however fantastical, outlandish, macabre or just downright silly, is invested with a multitude of functions.
The issue of marriage, a concept and practice easily understood because so widely practised, perfectly illustrates the reductio ad absurdam inherent in the Liberal mindset. It also demonstrates the deadly postmodern combination of unfettered self-centered emotionalism (i.e. irrationality) and ruthlessly goal-directed logic (i.e. ideology).
It invariably starts from some basic tenet of paleo-liberalism to which virtually all of us subscribe, viz. individual freedom is a sine qua non of a civilized society. From this is derived the proposition that, for instance, homosexuality should be decriminalized and homosexuals allowed to get on doing that thing they do as long as "they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses". (Which, incidentally, is why San Francisco passed an ordinance in the eighties forbidding the presence of any equine within the city limits unless suitably blinkered.)
Homosexuality enjoyed a very brief period of simple non-illegality before irrationality kicked in. Sexual deviance became rapidly valorized. Homosexuals are not, as was initially argued, "just like the rest of us" except, ahem, for a slight dissimilarity which only the terminally rednecked tend to dwell upon. Homosexuals, repackaged as 'gays', (only group members, after the pattern of 'nigger', are permitted to utter the pejorative stereotype 'queer' ) are now discovered to be in fact superior in every significant - and umpteen trivial - ways to normal men. These latter are promptly labeled 'straight' and in this way reduced to just another competing social group rather than the biological engine room of our species.
This marks the point at which the irrational and ideological merge. In the quest to normatively reconstruct social reality, normality (heterosexual relations, gender differences, marriage properly so called) is deconstructed (i.e. rendered essentially meaningless) as a mere cultural fabrication. At the same time this same normality is ingeniously recycled as a means of legitimating the abnormal. Thus gender differences have no objective reality yet women are set up as superior to men in actuality and so legally, morally and socially privileged on the sole grounds of their gender, the same category already denounced as a mere conceptual construct alone.
Though marriage in respect of heterosexuals (the only context in which it has meaning) is similarly denounced and disprivileged, the Neo-Liberal grandly declares that it is a fundamental human right of homosexuals to be allowed to enter into it! So, while less and less of the biologically capable plight their troth, great rafts of the absolutely unmarriageable are clamoring at the altar rails to be pronounced Chuck and Larry, Linda and Sue Bob.
Any such "marriage" is an ontological and physical impossibility. It is a squalid nominalist sleight of hand, abetted by brain-addled Massachusetts's judges playing the part of conjuror's assistants, complete with drum rolls, spinning bow ties and the abbracadabra of judicial mumbo-jumbo. It is the equivalent of painting a prune yellow, declaring it a lemon and popping a slice into your gin and tonic. A veritable witch's cocktail.
But the cavalcade rolls merrily on. Well, not quite merrily as it turns out. Hoodah thunk it! The one thing Massachusets Matrimony has in common with the real thing is that ever-lurking threat in all human interaction - buyer's remorse. Queer folk, having tied the knot, are no less eager to slip their leash as square folk, it appears. Divorce causes abundant problems and not just about who gets custody of Fidel, the remaining incontinent octogenarian chihuahua, his sibling, Ché, having gone to a farm in the country long ago as a result of a brave foray against a neighboring Bolivian tiger hound.
States which haven't yet passed the New England Hitching Post Law are refusing to grant "divorces" to matrimonialized gays because their union has even less legal standing than a loving father in Family Court. And Massachusetts requires that they live a year in the commonwealth before acquiring residential rights. This is causing great gay anguish.
Yahoo News reports that Cassandra Ormiston, a lesbian from Rhode Island, "who is splitting up from her wife, Margaret Chambers," is caught in this bind. "We all know people who have gone through divorces," she laments. "At the end of that long and unhappy period, they have been able to breathe a sigh of relief...[But] I do not see that on my horizon, that sigh of relief that it's over."
So here we are aboard the starship USS Boundless XS. Having already penetrated beyond the limits of the stellar dust cloud of Absurditas Extremis, it now begins its journey into the black hole named after its discoverer, Commodore D. N. Sayne. In his last transmission before he and his crew disappeared, the doughty Commodore urged all earthlings to follow him into what he called "this brave new world" of respect, harmony and unrelieved rapture based on "a socially equitable ontology" where each one of us "can be whatever it is we want to be at the exact moment we want to be it, anytime, everywhere".
Until that great day dawns hapless homosexuals like Ms Ormiston will continue to agonise over being trapped in a marriage that does not, because it cannot, exist in the world of brute facts while pining for a divorce that cannot be granted because the union it would break cannot as a (bio)logical reality be established in the first place.
The famous poet A. N. Onimous captured perfectly the painful metaphysics of such an exquisite dilemma in these poignant line:
Yesterday upon a stair
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today;
Oh, how I wish he'd go away!