October 27, 2006
JON HENKE, George Allen's campaign blogger, responds to criticism of the Jim Webb novel story in my post this morning by emailing:
Something to remember about the Webb/book story -- here's Keith Olbermann talking about the sex scenes in Scooter Libby's book:
"we have beaten the hell out of Libby for this, and deservedly so. If a Democratic White House official had written this book, his head would be on a pike somewhere."
Well, now a Democrat HAS written that kind of book. So it's funny to see how quickly the Democrats have rediscovered the irrelevance of fiction writing. If voters are not bothered by Webb's work, fine....but it's not a 'smear' to cite the public record that Webb himself talks about in commercials, interviews and on his campaign website.
It's true that the Dems have gotten mileage out of steamy Republican novels in the past. Though "steamy" isn't quite the term I'd use here.
UPDATE: Ann Althouse thinks it's stupid to judge a candidate by his fiction writing. Well, if Olbermann does it, that's a strong argument . . . .
Amusing line from Althouse's comments, where there is much interesting discussion:
Republicans who write about sex and murder are depraved, fucked-up sickos who write about grisly repressed fantasies. Democrats who write about sex and murder are artists, flowering the world with beauty and challenging our perceptions.
Christ, don't you people understand how it works?
Yes. Kind of like this: "When Republicans appeal to rural, white, socially conservative voters, they are Neanderthals. When Democrats do it, they are shrewd tacticians." I'm beginning to sense a pattern here!
MORE: Matt Rustler writes:
I hate to break it to you, folks, but the military -- especially the Marine Corps, the service that Webb knows best -- is largely composed of macho young men with foul mouths and an unhealthy obsession with all things sexual. It's a giant locker room. No one who's been in the naval service beyond boot camp -- especially back when Subic Bay was still open -- hasn't heard a story or two about a Filipino stripper dicing a banana with her vagina. . . . I admit that I don't see the point of some of the rather bizarre, homoerotic scenes mentioned in Allen's press release. But they're presented entirely out of context. And I'll bet that if I read those books, I would see the point.
He's voting for Webb, though he was before. I think that Allah captures both sides of this story best, with two passages. First: "Have we actually reached the point where Senate seats now turn on the sex scandals of fictional characters?"
But also: "If George Allen had written this book, not only would the left be going berserk, they’d be circulating lists of characters in his other books whom they suspect of being gay."
Yes, it's that bad.
MORE STILL: Novelist Bill Quick weighs in.
Meanwhile, the DSCC isn't elevating the tone: "GOP Conservatives’ Library Features Bestiality & Pedophilia."