Short stories and essays by Shaun Costello, as well as excerpts from manuscripts in progress.




By Shaun Costello


As Barack Obama’s inauguration as America’s 44th President draws near, those journalistic mouthpieces for the country’s political right wing seem to be sinking into a quagmire of disappointment, and bewildered resentment. While Rush Limbaugh’s network execs have forbidden him from playing the “Barack, the magic negro” song on his show, even though the catchy tune has become the anthem for his ilk, he can be heard happily humming the melody to himself out of spite. Tony Blakely, that stalwart gatekeeper for the conservative side of everything the Washington Times prints, which is everything the Washington Times prints, seems befuddled when appearing on televised gab-fests, his neo-con bravado much faded now, replaced by a demeanor of beleaguered astonishment. Dana Perino, Dubya’s diminutive, thumping  ‘Thumbelina’ of the White House Press Room, seems stuck in first gear (her only one), passing on unwanted, and unasked-for advice to her successor, while you can bet that Rupert Murcoch is salivating over the image of Bush’s bellicose Barbie Doll grilling the Dems for Fox News. And that brings us to Christopher Hitchens, that self righteous, ever-angry, always-cranky gasbag. Do any of us remember back as far as 1991, when Hitchens, at the peak of his buffoonery, pedantically predicted that Saddam Hussein’s mighty Republican Guard would slaughter the coalition forces at the gates of Bagdad, in the “Mother of all Battles”? Or his revelations regarding Bill Clinton’s complicity in the murder of a White House staffer because he had been caught having sex with Hillary on a table in the White House kitchen? You just can’t make stuff like this up, but Hitchins did, and still does. From the look of him lately, on televised appearances, Mr. Hitchens seems to have forgotten to take his meds. He never quite recovered from the fact that America elected, and then re-elected Bill Clinton, but Obama’s victory, and impending Presidency, has pushed Mr. Hitchens to new levels of pugnacious punditry. The man is simply losing it.

They seem to yearn for those Reganistic days of yesteryear when things were as things ought to be. When you could tell the worth of a man by the name of his Country Club. For an America with Spiro Agnew at the helm – oh, the possibilities. And maybe back further still, when men in office wore uniforms, and the trains ran on time. Rush, and Tony, and Dana, and Christopher would have fit right in. Ah, the Wagnerian splendor of the good old days, with the little house painter in the driver’s seat, and Rupert Murdoch pulling the strings. Back when the righteous right was something to behold.




© 2009 Shaun Costello

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