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Naughty politicians
November 4, 2006 7:26 PM   Subscribe

Should a politician's "artistic endeavors" come into play when voters go to the polls? George Allen thinks that parts of his opponent, Jim Webb's, novels are demeaning to women and contain depictions of incest. Also, Republican candidate for Texas Comptroller, Susan Combs, is being accused of writing porngraphy because of excerpts like these from a romance novel she wrote 15 years ago. And they're not the only politicians who've written naughty things.
posted by eunoia (40 comments total)

 
politicians are humans too. they had lives before they got elected to public office. i think we need to know where to draw the line between the downright depraved like the text message case and writing steamy romances to pay the rent in the past. jeez people.
posted by infini at 7:39 PM on November 4, 2006


Well, George Allen is at least speaking from a position of authority on demeaning women and being a racist good 'ol boy. He's a pro. No wait, he's definitely a con.

In other George Allen news, Mike Stark was detained for allegedly shoving an Allen supporter. Stark said that he overheard the guy say he was going to take a dive.
posted by fenriq at 7:40 PM on November 4, 2006


It's fun to follow the news in US & A.
posted by fire&wings at 7:43 PM on November 4, 2006 [3 favorites]


George Allen thinks that parts of his opponent, Jim Webb's, novels are demeaning to women and contain depictions of incest.

What a macaca.
posted by clevershark at 7:48 PM on November 4, 2006


Of course it's wrong. But you have to get mud from somewhere.
posted by smackfu at 8:11 PM on November 4, 2006


Er, well, Webb's fiction isn't quite up there with either Benjamin Disraeli's or Edward Bulwer-Lytton's. (OK, those aren't exactly lofty heights.) Next thing you know, some politico will start aspiring to write poetry just like Richard Monckton Milnes'. That Combs novel, though...that's boilerplate romance fiction, hardly an erotic historical or anything.

Then again, a campaign against literary incompetence does have a certain appeal.
posted by thomas j wise at 8:18 PM on November 4, 2006


Web defended his writing. He's won numerous acolades, including being on the Marine Corps recommended reading list, and for a while being the #1 required book on collage campuses about the Vietnam war.

To judge a whole novel by a single half paragraph is really ridiculous. If you mined deep enough you could probably find strange or poor things in almost any authors writings. Calling webb an 'incompetent' writer based on a few half paragraphs selected by the authors enemy is beyond hackish.
posted by Paris Hilton at 8:25 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


jim webb responds in video (part 2). People should watch it before bitching.
posted by Paris Hilton at 8:32 PM on November 4, 2006


It's fun to follow the news in US & A.

posted by fire&wings at 4:43 AM CET on November 5

If there were such a thing of best expression of world sentiment, that comment summed it all up nicely.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 8:34 PM on November 4, 2006


Here is the whole speech (part two)
posted by Paris Hilton at 8:35 PM on November 4, 2006


I find Webb's 2002 Op-Ed warning against invading Iraq, which was right about everything, far more interesting.
posted by homunculus at 8:37 PM on November 4, 2006


Roses are red, violets are blue, oh my lump in the bed, how I've missed you.

Roses are redder, bluer am I, seeing you kissed by that charming French guy.

The dogs and the cat they miss you too, Barney's still mad you dropped him, he ate your shoe.

The distance my dear has been such a barrier, next time you want an adventure, just land on a carrier.

posted by papakwanz at 8:52 PM on November 4, 2006


I was going to make the statement about webb but it's already been done. Also he has been on the marines required reading list for more than 20 years.
posted by sourbrew at 9:07 PM on November 4, 2006


I just have a hard time finding how the overall discussion is interesting.
posted by unpoppy at 9:16 PM on November 4, 2006


What I don't understand is how an asshat like George Allen can have a 24 point lead in Virginia. I thought Virginia was for Lovers, not assholes.
posted by fenriq at 9:23 PM on November 4, 2006


OK, I'll be the first to go out on a limb here and say that I actually enjoyed reading Webb's work. He's no Pynchon, but he does a great job of drawing one in to the mind of a Marine.

And to try to use your opponent's fiction against him in a tightly contested election seems to me to simply say, "Hi, I'm a clueless asshole grasping at straws."
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:23 PM on November 4, 2006


"Put that pipe down baby and get my pipe up," Bill O'Reilly, from some sick porn novel he wrote about teenaged crack whores.
posted by BillyElmore at 9:38 PM on November 4, 2006


See, Mr. Elmore, that's PRECISELY the point. I don't hate Bill O'Reilly for his clunky prose -- I hate him because he's a STUPID ASSHOLE, and I know that from watching him on TV. Fiction is just that: fiction. Some of it is good, most of it is bad, but all of it is NOT REAL, because it's FICTION. I can say, "Gee, Bill-O sucks as a fiction writer!" but it's not fair for me to say, "Bill-O is a crack-smoking hooker-fiend, because I read it in a novel."

This points to a greater problem, namely the ability of the US public to distinguish reality from made-up bullshit, but that's a problem for better minds than mine to sort out.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:50 PM on November 4, 2006


Let's not even get started about Scooter Libby's literary antics...
posted by clevershark at 9:53 PM on November 4, 2006


Webb's 2002 op-ed is impressively prescient.
posted by gsteff at 9:55 PM on November 4, 2006


Damn, I must have been looking at an old news story since the race is really close between Webb and Allen. Which makes alot more sense that Allen would be taking cheap shots at him. I just thought he was an even bigger prick than I already do.

Damned sites that don't post dates on their articles clearly. Or maybe I just missed it. Oh well, I feel like an idiot now (well, more so than usual).
posted by fenriq at 9:56 PM on November 4, 2006


Didn't Allen drop this last week? He brought it up and Webb's poll numbers shot up like 5 points.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:59 PM on November 4, 2006


American politicians should not try to do anything creative. Certainly no joking, because appreciating a joke so often requires that people have a sense of humor about themselves. No writing novels, because reading a novel requires the ability to separate the truth from fiction.

Politicians are allowed to be in business, because business is politics and politics is business. They raise capital, develop and manage projects, line their pockets, placate shareholders/voters, and get involved in hostile takeovers when they can't just walk in and buy what they want. A vote is an investment. The prospectus answers "What's in it for me?" When Bush announced Saturday that "Democrats are still determined to raise taxes," he was advertising his investment firm's approach to finances and warning investors off the other big firm in town.
posted by pracowity at 12:13 AM on November 5, 2006


If politicians are to be held to account for what they have written in the past, then may Dubya be held to account for the lack of the same?
posted by mek at 12:43 AM on November 5, 2006


Er, sorry to be a spoilsport, but the Carter one is a silly parody.
posted by imperium at 1:07 AM on November 5, 2006


What I don't understand is how an asshat like George Allen can have a 24 point lead in Virginia.

Yes, that would be shocking...if it were true. But, in fact, polls show Allen to be behind between 1% and 4%.

Didn't Allen drop this last week? He brought it up and Webb's poll numbers shot up like 5 points.

Allen launched this attack two weeks ago. A week later he dropped like a stone in the polls, with every major pundit (conservatives and liberals alike) condemning him for his ham-handed attack. He hasn't recovered yet, and he may well not by Tuesday.

Thankfully we have some staggeringly stupid Republicans here in Virginia who continue to think that this attack is a smart one, and they keep on bringing it up. I'm very grateful to them.
posted by waldo at 7:20 AM on November 5, 2006


and Jefferson fucked his slave babe
posted by Postroad at 7:57 AM on November 5, 2006


waldo, yeah, I did finally catch my gaff and saw that Allen is on the ropes which makes me like Virginia a little more again.
posted by fenriq at 8:57 AM on November 5, 2006


Some think that Hitler was a pretty fair painter. So would that go in his "plus column"?
posted by Julie at 9:10 AM on November 5, 2006


Didn't Allen drop this last week? He brought it up and Webb's poll numbers shot up like 5 points.

Nope, I saw an obnoxious TV ad on the topic just yesterday.
posted by musicinmybrain at 9:27 AM on November 5, 2006


Webb's fiction isn't quite up there with either Benjamin Disraeli's or Edward Bulwer-Lytton's. (OK, those aren't exactly lofty heights.)

Goddammit, read some Bulwer-Lytton! He's was a damn good writer with a fine mind.
posted by QuietDesperation at 11:56 AM on November 5, 2006


Actually, the precedent for this goes all the way back to the 1930s when Upton Sinclair lost the race for governor of California, because his Republican opponent, Frank Merriam, got newspapers in the state to publish out-of-context quotes from his novels. In addition, Upton Sinclair lost support with some voters who confused him with Sinclair Lewis, the author of Elmer Gantry.
posted by jonp72 at 11:29 AM on November 6, 2006


Voter suppression in Virginia
posted by homunculus at 2:19 PM on November 6, 2006


FBI Investigating Voter Intimidation In Virginia
posted by homunculus at 9:09 AM on November 7, 2006


The last day of the Virginia Senate race brings out George Allen's inner crybaby.
posted by homunculus at 12:40 PM on November 7, 2006


Recount?
posted by homunculus at 12:04 AM on November 8, 2006


Get ready.
posted by homunculus at 2:09 PM on November 8, 2006


Sen. Webb, true conservative? His novel about a war crimes trial suggests he'll join Dodd and Leahy's efforts to repair the constitutional vandalism wreaked by the Military Commissions Act.
posted by homunculus at 8:32 PM on November 16, 2006


Son also rises in testy Webb-Bush exchange
posted by homunculus at 10:07 AM on November 29, 2006


No Pandering Here: Virginia Senator-elect Jim Webb is the rare Washington figure who doesn't suck up to power.
posted by homunculus at 1:18 PM on December 2, 2006


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