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Allen's Webb novel gambit is beginning to show signs of backfiring...

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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-27-06 06:02 PM
Original message
Allen's Webb novel gambit is beginning to show signs of backfiring...
This is in its nascent stage, and hasn't really bubbled beyond the beltway here in Virginia too much...but this is starting to feel to me like this is going to backfire on Allen. Webb's response has been right on, and he is getting defended by some prominent right wingers...McCain and George Will who gave glowing reviews of his novels...and even the Washington Times (see below)

This from the Washington Times...

George Allen is an opportunistic philistine.

What other conclusion to draw from the senator's outrageous cherry-picking of "underage sex scenes" in his opponent James Webb's novels?


This is an even cruder variation of the literal-minded smear that attached to Vladimir Nabokov after he published his brilliant "Lolita." Some readers refused to accept that someone who wrote in a fictional context about pedophilia did not approve of pedophilia -- or, worse, was a pedophile himself.

If, today, anyone is scandalized by what Webb wrote, that's their right -- and their folly.

Earlier this week I floated the scenario that if he wins Nov. 7, Allen might come out of the race an even stronger, steelier contender for the 2008 presidential nomination. This may or may not eventually prove true.

What I know for sure is that is I can't now vote for Allen in good conscience

Steve Jardings blistering response from the Webb campaign...

From: Steve Jarding
Re: Shame on both of you
George Allen and his campaign hit men this week chose to again attack Jim Webb and his military experiences, this time by taking passages from Webbs novels to try to suggest that the explicit war time experiences Webb writes about are demeaning and repugnant.
On their attacks, I would like to say two things. First, the novels that the Allen camp attacks include Fields of Fire, which has been called the classic novel of the Vietnam War and was for years required reading on college campuses nationwide in classes relating to the illumination of war. They include, The Emperors General, which has been called a masterpiece of literature and was called by that raving liberal George F. Will, This compelling, fascinating exercise of historical fiction proves, again, that Jim Webb is as fine a novelist as he was a Marine. Enough said; and they include Born Fighting, which has been called brilliant and the most important ethnography of our time. Perhaps the Allen camp should learn to read books before they begin burning them.
Second, let me say one more time to George Allen and his lapdog assassins. Senator, you have not earned the right to question Jim Webbs wartime experiences, from the ugliness of combat to the ugliness of what happens to civilians in nations ravaged by war. Senator, Jim Webb wrote of things he witnessed. They may have been ugly, but we should learn from their ugliness about the consequences of our votes and actions before we send men and women into war.
And Senator, you would not know this, but, war is demeaning, war is repugnant. People die and get maimed there. Innocent boys and girls are forced into prostitution, and are forced to perform heinous acts there. Jim Webb witnessed it all. And he wrote about it. You dont think this is happening in Iraq?
Perhaps if you had read Webbs book, you would not be so quick to take his experiences and attempt to twist them for selfish, personal, political gain. Perhaps if you had purchased Webbs books and at least read about these types of atrocities, you would not have been so gung ho about blindly following the misguided and malfeasant actions of another man who did not witness firsthand the ugliness of war, George W. Bush. And perhaps if you had gone to Vietnam and served as a company commander instead of serving as a drover at a dude ranch, or serving as a surfing instructor on Malibu Beach, you would temper your feigned indignation. A man who did read this same book you disparage, John McCain, praised its honest portrayal of the heinous nature and repercussions of war.
Perhaps Senator, if sheltered Hollywood neighborhoods and elitist dude ranches had unspeakable death, destruction, rape, and unspeakable inhumanity to man and woman, you might now know how self serving your shock and indignation is. But, until you have witnessed firsthand the ugliness of war and the destruction it reaps upon all people, including the innocent ones, you should learn to keep quiet.
I understand, Senator, that your campaign is desperate and as such it is doing desperate things. But it is not lost on anyone that you were the one who went on statewide television pleading for a campaign on the issues. You clearly did not mean the words you uttered.
And finally, to Chris LaCivita, who did serve. Your statement regarding Jim Webbs recollections of his war experiences, do not warrant a response. Shame on you.

Rumblings abourt Allen's divorce records bubbling back up again...

Emails began pouring in earlier today about a rumor on Capitol Hill about some trouble in Sen. George Allen's (R-VA) divorce file. Josh Marshall and others cannot get a response from the Allen campaign.

It seems everyone is emptying their opposition research files today.

Update: A very reputable political reporter tells me this isn't from Democratic opposition research and that it's probably coming out because many feel Allen "crossed the line" when he started talking about Jim Webb's novels.

I'm told divorce records are usually sealed for two reasons: (a) to protect kids, and (b) to protect large financial fortunes. Neither situation applies in Allen's case, so the suspicion is that it's something not very nice.

Update II: A clue might be in Ryan Lizza's recent piece on Mark Warner that cites a story that had been "making the rounds" about a 2008 presidential contender who "once spit on his wife." That rumor was also about Allen.

Even the MSM is getting in on it...

Lynne Cheney being forced to lie on national TV...

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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-27-06 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. Maybe the MSM did what Skinner did and looked it up on Amazon

and read the pages before and after that one liner.... DUHHHHHHH....
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C_U_L8R Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-27-06 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. Tweety seems pretty pissed off by it
"who cares"
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-27-06 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
3. I think we have to wait and see what the early polls will say
I don't know how this will cut politically.
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-27-06 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yeah...right now
Edited on Fri Oct-27-06 06:16 PM by SaveElmer
This is a gut feeling...just random observations on how this is playing out in the media, and the nature of the response...and more importantly the type of people (Republicans) that are defending him just smells like other Republisleaze tactics that have backfired...

One that comes to mind immedietely is the attempt here in Virginia to use Tim Kaines religion against him...the famous Hitler ad from last years election!

Not only that, the response again forces attention to the fact that Webb is a decorated Vietnam war hero while Felix worked on a dude ranch...

Just smells like a big backfire to me!

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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-27-06 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
5. More criticism from the right here ->


Webb's bad fiction: "The man grabbed his young son in his arms, turned him upside down, and put the boy's penis in his mouth." So runs one sentence from Virginia Democratic Senate hopeful Jim Webb's Vietnam-based novel Lost Soldiers. (The author claims to have witnessed just such a scene firsthand as a journalist in Bangkok.) What does such a work and its X-rated sequels say about the man behind them? asks George Allen's shocked, shocked camp. Not much, reply righties online.

Kathryn Jean Lopez at the National Review's The Corner finds the Allen salvo against fiction "lame and unbecoming," though she also wonders how graphic the excerpts would have been in the Washington Post had a Republican penned them. As it happens, a prominent Republican didn't mind reading them: "Would this be a bad time to mention that John McCain wrote a blurb for ?" Lopez adds.

Fellow righty Allah Pundit at Hot Air sees using a candidate's literature against him as the nadir of a particularly nasty election year: "The story's about Vietnam; maybe he's describing some obscure cultural practice that he encountered there. Or, just maybe, he made it up. Have we actually reached the point where Senate seats now turn on the sex scandals of fictional characters?"

Guess who else feels a desperate GOP incumbent is losing it? "Are the passages in Webb's 'Lost Soldiers' bizarre and perverted? Yes," writes popular conservative blogger Michelle Malkin. "But they are no more proof of Webb's immorality and unfitness for office than the passages in 'Sisters' are proof that Lynne Cheney hates men or that the passages in 'The Apprentice' are proof that Scooter Libby endorses sex between children and bears."

Muddy, bloody, and rude national politics may well be, but come on, reacts Rick Moran at conservative Rightwing Nuthouse: "There must be limits beyond which a candidate is penalized for exceeding. The absolutely disgusting nature of the passages quoted in the Allen press release fills that bill. The fact that they are quoting pieces of fiction obviates only slightly Webb's startling and disturbing imaginative wanderings into the sexual dark side of the human mind as it also reveals the depths to which Allen's honor and integrity have sunk."
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TheFarseer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-27-06 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
6. This is about sleazy campaigning now
And the sleaze is coming from Allen. I haven't seen any of that from Webb (granted I haven't really been looking). They won't even call Allen's remarks (Macaca etc) racist.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-27-06 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. My wife saw Mrs Chenney on CNN. Said she was struggling with defending the lesbian
scenes in her own book.
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-27-06 11:49 PM
Response to Original message
8. It is a clear sign of desperation
Edited on Fri Oct-27-06 11:50 PM by alcibiades_mystery
It makes one wonder about Allen's internal polling numbers, in any case, because it is such a high risk smear.

A smear like this either works completely, or makes you look foolish. You wouldn't resort to it if you weren't seeing a bad moon rising.
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #8
9.'s a huge gamble...may piss off Vets...
My understanding is that Webb's books are highly thought of among veterans and active military men...this could really tick them off!
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quiet.american Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
10. Jim Webb sure has a FIGHTER as his spokesperson.
Steve Jarding joins David Wade on my list of fantastic Dem spokespeople.
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