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Return to Baracks. That's an order.

By Michael J. Smith on Monday November 6, 2006 10:07 PM

I need to read The Nation online more often. It always cheers me up when I do. Unaccountably, I missed this gem last month from Sam "I Am" Graham Felsen:
Mark Warner tried hard to build a youth constituency for a possible '08 bid. He was one of the first politicians to create a full-fledged Facebook profile.... Despite all the effort, Warner--who declared he's no longer running last week--never really caught on with Generation Y.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama, who had done virtually nothing (until now) to directly court young people, has developed vast youth following. I counted nearly thirty Facebook groups, many ranging from hundreds to several thousand members, which explicitly called for Obama to run for President in 2008. There were almost twenty other pro-Obama groups with titles such as "Barack Obama is Amazing," "Barack Obama is My Only Hope," and "Barack Obama Can Ba-Rock Me Anytime."

I did a search for pro-Hillary in '08 groups and found a dozen or so, but I found many more groups urging Hillary not to run or openly opposing her....

Coincidence or not, days after Warner dropped out, Obama began using his Facebook profile to reach out to young people--creating two "notes," or Facebook announcements in the past two days, urging his followers to vote in the '06 elections and watch him on Oprah and YouTube.

My hat's off to Facebook for its signal un-enthusiasm about that arch-Boomer, Hillary Clinton. But at the same time, the pathos of this piece -- Sam the Sham Graham getting morning wood over Barack Obama's Facebook position. This is sad, sad stuff. I know, it's brutal to subject you to any more of it -- it's cringe comedy, like The Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm -- but I can't resist:
One thing is clear: if Obama decides to run, he will have a tremendous base in young people. Obama would likely draw an unprecedented number of new young voters to the polls, and he would amass a huge volunteer core (one that would make the Deaniacs look like the Teeniacs).

As far as I can tell, he is by far the political superstar of the moment---and perhaps ever---for Generation Y.

*returns from vomitorium, wiping lips* Glass of water, somebody -- ahh, thanks.

Generation Y? Aren't we into the the Greek letters by now, or even the Hebrew alphabet -- the aleph-null generation?

I fear the source of Sammie's enthusiasm is all too clear. He doesn't give a hoot what Barack has to say, or what he will or won't do. What gets Sammie's pulse pounding is the idea that Barack might actually bring some of these fresh-faced Generation-Upsilon delinquents trotting back up the ramp into the Democratic Party's abattoir.

Oh, fresh blood! It's been so long!

Comments (17)



Sam's been a friend of mine for years, and those of us who are his friends write emails like this about him back and forth all the time. (Always behind his back, of course.) He certainly has a comical writing style! Grandiose, prone to the occasional cliche. We have better nicknames for him than the ones you came up with (though yours are good!), but I'm afraid I don't trust you enough to reveal them here.

Don't worry, though -- although Sam probably has you pretty badly beat on readership (but maybe not for long! based on the quality of your writing, the sting of your wit, and the originality of your insights -- not to mention your superb choice of topic -- this blog is sure to blow up soon), you've easily matched him on unintentional comedy. For those of us who count Sam as a friend, this is an incredible twofer: we get to laugh at him *and* we get to have a good old knee-jerk left wing laugh at your expense, as well. Please continue to subject Sam's Nation posts to the admirable vigilance of your critical eye and droll pen. While it would be foolishly optimistic to think that one irrelevant knee-jerk conservative blogger could have any significant effect on raising Sam's profile, if you're willing to get a few of your friends on board, a bunch of irrelevant right-wingers all reduced to vomit by Sam's writing might just propel him to stardom. Or, potentially, some (undeservedly!) more significant pundit might pick up your insights and run with them. Then Sam might really take off.

So keep up the good work!



Golly, that was quick.

Was Sam being ironical? I'd love to think so. I don't see his stuff that often, so maybe I've done him an injustice.

But still -- Barack Obama! If Sam was being subtle, I fear he was being too subtle.

J. Alva Scruggs:

We could launch the next Nation cruise on a sea of ironic vomit. Wouldn't that be even funnier?


"one irrelevant knee-jerk conservative blogger"

Oh, man. I thought today was kind of crappy, but this JL character has just made my day.

Michael Smith, you irrelevant right-wing kneejerker.

J. Alva Scruggs:

There's the argument from backstabbing.

The argument from depth of readership.

The post-ironic argument, sort of like an onion: we're laughing at us laughing at you laughing at us, etc. . .

My personal favorite: The Argumentum ad Vomitum.

The argument of fatuities so subtle that sometimes the author himself is unaware of them.

And the argument that MJS is a twerp, so neener neener neener.

I dunno. I'm unconvinced.

U.S. Leland aparently has no interest in defending Obama, if indeed he knows anything about him. Aparently the main point is to defend his cafe klaatsch buddy. Oh, and slipping in the oh-so-original notion that if you don't cream yourself over some slick-talking protege of the DLC whose record and tenets aparently aren't worth discussing even when he's the subject of a post, why, you must be a right-winger.

Pwogs. God love 'em, since no one else in his/her right mind would do so.

Actually, a vomitorium is an exit (vomit is apparently from the Latin word meaning 'exit' or 'leave'.)

J. Alva Scruggs:

Ms. Xeno, we need some kind of sitcom to do justice to the state of affairs.

I can picture a genial, gardening, pro-war Marxist professor, who chides people for not understanding how supporting invasions is truly revolutionary. He likes to point out that he was one of the first to denounce Stalin, back in the day. He has three sons. One of them is an investment banker, who maintains that socialism's finest flower is to be found in hedge fund guideliness. The second son learned the error of his commie, antiglobalism, anti-war ways doing a summer internship with Greenpeace. Though very good looking, none of the people he worked with wanted to sleep with him. What's up with that? The old left is so sex-negative! The third son can quote all of Lacan's work from memory, but he also has the common touch, which he proves by telling funny stories about his brothers' flatulence.

The family next door is headed by a feminist soccer mom, who is deeply concerned that her support for sensible conduct of the war on terror will be taken to mean opposition to reproductive rights. She wants to defend Enlightenment Values against muslims who can't take a joke when their religion is lampooned by right wing pundits. She has three daughters. The eldest is an enviromentalist and a lawyer, who wants her fellow greens to move past their knee-jerk villification of oil companies. Her second daughter dreams of opening a nationwide network of soup kitchen/job counseling centers, where the poor will be encouraged to make something of themselves and get help finding affordable child care. The third daughter is working on a new fundraising model to help elect progressive candidates. It will leverage the power of the internets, the way Kos has, only with more accountabulity, and she will become a Berkman Fellow on the strength of it.

One day . . . but I think know how it plays out. What do you think? Have I got a winner?

Wow. Jed's little screed just reeks of pwoggie flopsweat. Normally you have to visit websites made by UFO abductees to see a something as incoherently desperate as that.


J. Alva, that's just plain inspiring. Which one gets splattered by the homemade oil rig they build in the backyard?

J. Alva Scruggs:

Djur, we may never get a chance to find out. Everyone I've asked for money to get this going has responded negatively. There were some suggestions that are too rude to repeat. The nicest response to my pleas for financing came from one fellow who said, cryptically, "you've got the power!" and then asked me for money.

But assuming it did get made, I think the Lacan-spouting son qualifies for oil rig splattering.

Man, oh, Manischewitz, what a bunch!

- Mark Warner, a guy who I can't see having achieved anything at all, except perhaps doing a really fine job of looking like your classic stereotypically handsome, perfectly-coiffed white-boy politician a la Robert Redford's "Candidate".

- Barack Obama, a guy who I hadn't heard of at all until the '04 Democrapic Convention, when the Washington Post suddenly had him splattered all over their pages like he was Elvis or something. The great light-skinned inoffensive not-too-black hope, who sounds like he's going for the BET demographic.

Goddamn, I can't wait for '08 -- in a sort of perverse manner, in the same sort of way that I enjoy watching old films of Mercury-Atlas test-launch failures from the early '60s. Ooooohhhhh! Aaaahhhhhh!

And, Jed Leland....waitaminnit, wasn't he Charles Foster Kane's best bud? Damn, Jed, you really are geezin', huh?

Oh, and btw, I know you didn't mean anything by it, Smiff, but how could you? How could you insult the name of the great "Sam The Sham", frontman of the Pharoahs, composer of timeless classics like "Wooly Bully".

Yeah, watch it now, watch it watch it watch it...

Scruggs, you dragged me away from a lovely evening with Sticks and Stones for that?!

Sherwood Schwartz meets Sherrod Brown ?


J. Alva Scruggs:

I'm sorry, Ms. Xeno :'-(

I also blame Roger.

Scruggs, you are so NOT sorry, and when Smithee recovers from his latest coke jag, I am so giving him a twenty to kick your sectarian ass !!!

js paine:

this citizen leland's
curlie gibber
left me unfocused

jejune bugged in fact

though it seemed to praise our addison for his prose

i couldn't be sure of its level

unless there's the obvious
cleft chin of
muscular irony
i'm tone deaf

or is there more
hiding under a false beard of ambigutity ??

a fear of appearing too strenuous perhaps

i understand
that was always a style point loser
when i was back at choate
but at any rate
most of the time
i couldn't tell who was the target
and who was doing the targeting

since no one seems to be bleeding much

such are the hazards of
shooting with the aid of a mirror

though it allows one
to keep an eye on your own deliciuos smirk
none the less
if the shot just flashes in the pan
its hard to know who it was aimed at

then again thanxs bub

for your sweet n sour gripery

on behalf of all
of us here
bent over in the smiff choir
a little razz goes along way

even if it fizzles


Mike F --

Didn't mean any disrespect at all to the original Sam the Sham, or the Pharaohs either, but I just can't resist a rhyme. It's a weakness of character, I know.

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