Third Party & Independents Archives

Webb of Salaciousness

Embattled Republican Senator George Allen of Virginia may have caught a break with the revelation of a few “interesting” passages posted on the Drudge Report this week from the fiction novels of his Democratic opponent, Jim Webb.

With control of Congress at a boiling point and an election less than ten days away, Democrats are optimistic about taking over the House and/or Senate with two years of the Bush administration left remaining.

One race that's absolutely critical is in Virginia, where current Senator George Allen is fighting off bogus charges of racism and cultural insensitivity. Lucky for him however when his campaign discovered this little gem among others written in various fiction novels by Jim Webb:

"A shirtless man walked toward them along a mud pathway. His muscles were young and hard, but his face was devastated with wrinkles. His eyes were so red that they appeared to be burned by fire. A naked boy ran happily toward him from a little plot of dirt. The man grabbed his young son in his arms, turned him upside down, and put the boy’s p**** in his mouth." (Lost Soldiers; Webb, Jim pg 333).

Webb was quick to respond, saying "I actually saw this happen in a slum in Bangkok when I was there as a journalist." It does appear that this rather unusual behavior graphically depicted in "Lost Soldiers" is practiced in certain cultures. So who are we to judge?

But then, well, there's more. In "Something to Die for" Webb tells a story that makes you wonder if he saw that too as a reporter. You can read it and more of Webb's good stuff at The Drudge Report where it's still a top story.

Democrats are defending Webb's fiction as something that has nothing to do with his qualifications and suitability for the Senate, and they make a good case. Surely uglier skeletons are there to be found in the closets of our beloved politicians, and Webb has every right to publish anything he wishes under the category of fiction.

If the act described in "Lost Soldiers" is not sexual in nature then it isn't fair to label it as an act of pedophilia, but that hasn't stopped some conservatives from doing so. In reality no crime has been committed.

But will Virginians see it that way? Personally - as a George Allen supporter - I certainly don't mind watching Webb's downfall.

Posted by Scottie at October 29, 2006 5:21 PM
Comments
Comment #191353

Scottie,

Your concluding paragraphs made it unncessary for me to quote graphic scenes from great literature. But, essentially, you are saying that while the charges against Webb are bogus you don’t care because you want him to go down, so to speak.

Posted by: Trent at October 29, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #191354

Well Scottie, Are you sure you support Allan when the best his people can do is quoting works of fiction? To bad your guy cant run on the issues and his record. Then maybe just maybe he wouldnt have to stoop to such a low level in an attepmt to scare the voters of Virginia.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 29, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #191357

Johnny Reb Allen’s Swift Boating Of Jim Webb

Posted by: Adrienne at October 29, 2006 6:09 PM
Comment #191361

To bad your guy cant run on the issues and his record.

On one hand, it is too bad for Allen (not that I am a fan), because his record carries him a long way here in Virginia. He has been fairly popular even with opponents. He was viewed around here as the victim of a dirty Webb campaign and a media that was willing to misrepresent him. Black leaders - many of them Democrats - have spent time on Richmond’s airwaves telling listeners that Allen is not racist. Allen may have lost a lot of that image with this smear tactic. Even if he wins reelection, it isn’t a glamorous start for his presidential aspirations.

But on the other hand, it’s rather hard for Webb’s supporters to demand a race based on issues and records. After the macaca incident, the race-baiting, and the outright lies they have put forth, it’s just a matter of “he who plays in mud will get muddy”.

Posted by: Wulf at October 29, 2006 7:27 PM
Comment #191365
bogus charges of racism and cultural insensitivity

Let’s see. He used an offensive term to describe someone of a different race. He assumed that someone of a different race wasn’t born in America (he was born and raised here). His mother had to apologize when telling him that she (and thus he) had Jewish roots. Good friends from his college years say that he often used the n-word, and he proudly displayed the Confederate flag (though he wasn’t actually from the South).

Hmmm… Not so sure about your defense of him, Scottie.

Posted by: LawnBoy at October 29, 2006 8:07 PM
Comment #191370

I’ve read a great deal of fiction, and you could use the words of a great many popular authors to allege they were perverts or folks with unusual inclinations…

…so long as you were willing to take everything out of context and forget that depicting and approving of a thing in a book are two different things.

It’s telling that Webb’s opponents have to dig up isolated passages from fiction to smear his character. Unfortunately for them, the stuff they get whacked on is mostly real.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 29, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #191371

Lawnboy, you forgot one — check out my link and that picture of Allen. Not a racist? It is to laugh!

Posted by: Adrienne at October 29, 2006 9:02 PM
Comment #191373

Stephen, very well said.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 29, 2006 9:04 PM
Comment #191376

You’re right, Stephen, and a whole lot of popular writers would never get elected to public office for just that reason.

I liked Webb at first, but he’s run an extremely sleazy campaign (and Allen hasn’t been much better). As a Democratic Senator from Virginia, Webb would most likely be at the top of potential presidential contenders by 2012, but it looks unlikely now that it will happen.

To get elected to state-wide office in Virginia often means (because of the profile of voters in the state) that you’d make a strong national candidate as well. Which is why Allen, not that impressive a figure in my book, is so often talked about as a presidential possibility.

I actually voted for Mark Warner, and I personally think that the Dems lost any chance of winning the presidential election in 08 when he announced he wouldn’t run. No Democrat who wasn’t a former Southern governor has won the presidency since LBJ (and he originally got in because of JFK’s death).

As a result of this nasty campaign—no matter who wins it—I think that Webb and Allen both have shown themselves unsuited to occupy higher office.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 29, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #191390

Allen is an incumbent. He is therefore, part of America’s problems, and not their solution. That’s really all that needs to be said about Sen. Allen.

I hope Webb wins, so we can boot his incumbent rear end out in 2012, if Congress hasn’t stopped creating more problems than it solves.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 29, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #191396

A video of Webb defending his writing, for your viewing pleasure.

You know, I think the single defining element of a Swiftboat attack is this: the issues involved remain a problem to nobody much for years on end, despite the fact these things were no secret, and then people out of the blue start throwing this kind of shit against the wall until it sticks.

This guy’s books were on Military reading lists and praised in widespread publications for years before Drudge started publishing three or four lines out of books hundreds of pages long. Somebody would have noticed if they were obscene filth quite a long time ago.

What these allegations are meant to do is create an emotional shock to the system based on what are essentially lies: misrepresentations of the work, and therefore the character of the author.

We’re supposed to be getting at the truth here. If you want to convince people James Webb is a scumbag, why don’t you dig up something real. Digging this stuff up indicates you either don’t care whether you use the truth, or you don’t have much in truth to use against the candidate.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 29, 2006 11:28 PM
Comment #191555

All Jim Webb has to do is say he likes women. Given the closet boy oriented Republicans being exposed weekly, a male candidate who likes women is a shoe in :—)

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 30, 2006 5:18 PM
Comment #191584

Neo-con Pilsner:

I watch both, and Allen’s ads are far worse in my opinion.

Posted by: womanmarine at October 30, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #191619

Some of you will hate this, but so what? I’m considering reading some of his books now because the style of the passage quoted in the article was quite good. Not overwrought, not lurid, but crisp and clean.

I thought we fought this battle about literature decades ago. I may have to reread D.H. Lawrence.

Posted by: Trent at October 30, 2006 8:13 PM
Comment #191634

Trent, lots of people who defended D.H. Lawrence’s ability to write and publish whatever he wanted would never have voted for the guy if he ran for office.

Freedom of speech is not the same thing as a right to be elected. I enjoy a lot contemporary art, music and literature by artists who may have my undying admiration but would never get my vote.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 30, 2006 9:04 PM
Comment #191683

Neo,

Oh, I just consider it all to be irrelevant, especially in this case. As I understand it, Webb was writing about things he actually witnessed, and not approvingly. But, to be fair, I like a lot of artists I wouldn’t vote for either. But it does raise a question. If we enjoy art that contains salacious elements, aren’t we complicit with the artist?

Posted by: Trent at October 30, 2006 11:27 PM
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