James M. Wall is currently a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. He has made more than 20 trips to that region as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region. Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. Jim launched his new personal blog Wallwritings, on April 24, 2008.

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A “Bad Moon Rising” Over An Obama Victory

Editor’s Note:  Chris Matthews a known Obama supporter is obviously extremely disappointed by the President’s debate performance.  “We go after the people and the facts,” heartbroken Chris Matthews claimed. “What was [Obama] doing tonight? He went in there disarmed!”  Chris not only attacks what Romney said, he does not  ignore what Obama did NOT say.

Hopefully the President may be goaded by the criticism of his supporters to shift tactics the next time around.

Chris Matthews Unloads On Obama:



In the first debate, the President displayed a surprising indifference to attacks from Romney. One debate performance does not a defeat make, but it does remind Obama supporters that no politician can avoid the threat of “a bad moon rising”.


by James M Wall


Those voters looking forward to a second term for Barack Obama, were shocked by the President’s sub-par first debate performance.

A month before the election, it now appears that an Obama victory is no longer a certainty, pending a final judgment, of course, on the findings of post-debate polling.

If Obama continues his laid-back style in upcoming debates, Romney may persuade enough voters, especially in crucial swing states, that his vision of Republican conservatism, is superior to the current policies of the President.

In the first debate, the President displayed a surprising indifference  to attacks from Romney. One debate performance does not a defeat make, but it does remind Obama supporters that no politician can avoid the threat of “a bad moon rising”.

The President failed to bring up the fact that money is corrupting our politics. In a recent Carter Center speech, former President Jimmy Carter (right) provided him with his text. Carter issued “a blistering indictment of the U.S. electoral process”, saying the process “is shot through with ‘financial corruption’ that threatens American democracy.”

Carter’s indictment of the current Supreme Court is a reminder that the election of Romney would assure the continuation of a right-wing court well into the next quarter century.  Elections do have long-term consequences.

If Obama continues his lackadaisical debate style, the neocons shaping Romney’s views on Israel and Palestine, will rejoice all the way through the November 6 General Election. There is, without a doubt, a “bad moon rising” over Obama’s campaign.

John Fogarty wrote Bad Moon Rising in 1969. He and his band, Credence Clearwater Revival, made it a staple of their concerts during those days when darkness constantly loomed over a generational longing for better days.

Bad Moon Rising was first a hit single. It became the feature cut on the Credence Clearwater Revival‘s album,  Green River. Bad Moon Rising was eventually recorded by over 20 bands and singers. It was featured in the 1983 film, The Big Chill. Fogarty said he wrote the song after watching the film, The Devil and Daniel Webster, which included the depiction of a destructive hurricane.

For those whose hearing is not attuned to the musical language of that era, the song’s opening lyrics may be found below the video. I thought of that song, one of my favorites from the 1960s and 1970s, at the beginning of this campaign. I have been holding it for the right time during this election, should the need arise. This week seems to be the right time.


I see a bad moon arising
I see trouble on the way
I see earth quakes and lightnin’
I see bad times today

Don’t go around tonight
well, it’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise

I hear hurricanes a blowin’
I know the end is comin’ soon
I feel rivers over flowin’
I hear the voice from rage and ruin

Don’t go around tonight
well, it’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise

For Obama backers, the “bad moon on the rise” reminds them that debates can be deadly to candidates who perform poorly.

Of course, it is a time-honored American sports adage that the voters “do not  pay attention to the election until after the World Series has ended”.

The President’s surprising, almost casual style in the first debate left the impression that he seemed indifferent to the 50 million viewers who tuned into the debate. If the “time-honored American sports adage” about elections and the World Series, is still operative, the failure of voters to pay attention will prevail well into November.

The Big Money owners who run major league baseball have pushed the World Series well beyond its traditional date of early October. They did not do this to affect elections. They were motivated instead by another adage of America’s Big Money, “greed is good”, made popular by Michael Douglas (as Gordon Gekko) in Oliver Stone’s 1987 film, Wall Street:



President Obama missed a huge opportunity when he failed to link Romney to Gordon Gekko’s appeal to greed. It would also have been a nice segue into a discussion of Romney’s rejected 47%, those voters Romney described in a secretly taped fund-raising event in Florida, calling the 47%, “takers, not givers”.

Obama also missed a chance to point out that the real “takers” of our society are the one percenters at the top of the pay scale, who want their tax rate kept low, a clear celebration of  Gekko’s philosophy of greed.

In his address at the Carter Center, President Carter also said ”we have one of the worst election processes in the world right in the United States of America, and it’s almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money.”

He was referring to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows “unlimited contributions to third-party groups that don’t have to disclose their donors”.

The dynamic is fed, Carter said, by an income tax code that exacerbates the gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the electorate, allowing the rich even greater influence over public discourse and electioneering.

He added that he hopes the “Supreme Court will reverse that stupid ruling”.

Had Obama quoted Carter and Gordon Gekko during the debate, the media might have given him credit for two “zingers”, memorable moments that would be remembered long after the election is over.

There is a “bad moon rising”, when the President who burst onto the political scene through his inspiring oratory, missed too many opportunities to “zing” a former Bain corporate executive  who still keeps a portion of his fortune in off-shore investments.

The picture of President Carter, above, is from Huffington Post.


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Posted by on October 4, 2012, With 0 Reads, Filed under Civil Liberties, Corruption, Foreign Policy, Government, Legislation, Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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