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September 27, 2009


Unless he's gunning for a future senatorial run, he may feel no need to moderate if elected, given Virginia's single term rule. Modern conservatives seem to take pride in their extremism, though that is somewhat trickier in a mixed place like Virginia. But if he no longer has to answer to those voters, what's to stop him carrying on his crusade?

Another example for anyone planning on going into politics. Never write anything and be as bland as possible when you do write something. See President Obama as a good example.

You should also point to how the Washington Post made excuses for Mr. Deeds for his poor debate performance. The Washington Post said that Deeds was a bad salesman for a good product.

Of course, McDonald has no chance of winning and the Republican party in Virginia will continue to fad away.

I certainly wouldn't call "Dreams from My Father" bland, it was a fantastic book, extremely compelling and well-written; but I will conceed that "The Audacity of Hope" was a total campaign publication (which I never could finish).

I tend to agree with quihana that it seems likely that McDonell, if elected, would have few qualms about being a strident conservative which is why it is important that his real opinions and feelings were exposed before the election.

I don't think so Superdestroyer - I think it's a matter of "If your views are so drastically different then the people you wish to represent, don't go into politics."

See President Obama as a good example.

Indeed, many popular books that are big commercial successes are noted for being extraordinarily dull.

Doesn't Obama have enough real flaws so that we don't need to fabricate new ones?

"Indeed, many popular books that are big commercial successes are noted for being extraordinarily dull."

Quite true in the context of campaign books; They're one step above vanity press, having a guaranteed market.

I think any young governor (even in one-term states) has an eye to at least Senator or beyond. But if he doesn't, then sure, maybe it won't matter.

I think Superdestroyer was referring to the way the controversial "Dreams From My Father" put an end to Obama's political career.

Apparently, President Obama has no real flaws because the continued recitation of made up ones (He's a muslim, he's a radical, he's black, he's really white, he's Acorn, he's the bankers best friend, he's hitler, he love dictators, he is too handsome, he wears "mom jeans," he's weak, he's a bully, he's indecisive and a novice, he talks too well/he needs a teleprompter, he thinks too much...blah blah blah) takes all the oxygen
out of the room.

You have to love the attack on Dreams from My father which was an astonishingly good book *especially* for a politician's book. There are people who would die happy if they could say they'd written one memoir that good as literature--let alone made it to the white house on the strength of it.


Kind of scary to imagine McDonnell's version of 'Dreams from my Father'...

There are some quite dull books that nonetheless were and are quite successful.
The phone book may be in a category of its own (non-commercial) but I hear that the Kinsey report is not equal to even the lamest p0rn and that The Book Mormon is dry enough to cause silicosis. And how many people have read Das Kapital voluntarily (Marx himself predicted iirc less than a dozen serious readers)? A lot of books are owned by many but read by few (according to Thomas Mann that defines a 'classic'). To go a bit further back, the Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches) was THE bestseller of its time but is a pain to read (even ignoring the actual content). There is a theory that the author* just bound his collected notes, faked the approval (academic endorsement) note and publishd it without proofreading**. Just a personal opinion: Hitler was a much more entertaining writer than Stalin but I would usually recommend Churchill, if you have the choice.

*The usually named second author had probably very little to do with the actual text being composed.
**leading to chapters being titled "x questions on..." with the number of "questions" rarely adding up to the actual number

How many policy positions, editorials, or academic papers did President Obama really write. Remember the controversy of Michelle Obama's senior thesis. President Obama managed to avoid such problems.

And the problem of all politicians is determining what will be main stream in 20 or 30 years. No one in college will know what is politically correct or not in 30 years yet what they are writing in college will become important for some (read the more conservative candidates).

"The phone book may be in a category of its own (non-commercial)"

I admit to being puzzled by the notion that the phone book is non-commercial.

I think non-commercial is that it isn't written for a commercial audience. Kind of like imagining a driver's ed film being analyzed in terms of Aristotle's 6 elements of drama.

I really don't understand what SD is trying to say. Obama wrote editorials, academic papers and policy papers. They are out there for anyone who wants to read them. Michelle's senior thesis became controversial to maybe 5% of the population, mainly because there was nothing controversial to it.

Regarding McDonnell, I generally disregard anything written or done 20 to 30 years ago. People do change over time. More important is whether or not many of his positions in the current day tend to mirror what he wrote back then. Unfortunately for him, there tends to be a lot of consistency between then and now.

People might change over time, and some might not. John's assertion on the importance of people changing over time, and the relevance of whether or not one's positions in the current day tend to mirror what one wrote back in the day, though, contradicts itself a bit; when what have been reported as some pretty extremist views back then seem consistent with one's voting record now, then one cannot just disregard what was written at one time; it is relevant, because it was at least in part a blueprint for the legislative imprint he's wanted to leave in the present.

When you consider that this thesis was submitted in 1989 at a fairly Christian conservative school, he was on pretty ideologically safe ground at a time when the cultural and political climate was right for it; the right were basking in the Reagan legacy and the first chips in the Wall, so it must have been pretty natural to have expected a comprehensive conservative agenda within the scope of his thesis.

What is missing then, from the alarm over him is the fact that he was only one of many who held such beliefs. I came of age in the 80s, and the number of people whom I knew who were absolutely convinced that Reagan was the greatest president in living memory and that America was a divinely-inspired, Christian country spawned immacuately between God and the Founding Fathers was pretty widespread. It never surprised me that the road to stilted roles for women, the "corroding" effects of government, and a yearning for institutionalized homophobia were pretty straight and short, with a lot of people going down that road eagerly. McDonnell was just one of many, so being upset over what was his fairly predictable thesis now seems fairly predictable to me, and it seems Deeds is reaching for something fairly predictable to attack him with this now.

I really don't understand what SD is trying to say. Obama wrote editorials, academic papers and policy papers.

Maybe he's saying that Bill Ayers wrote them.

McDonnell has spent four years as Attorney General of Virginia. He has issued many opinions on matters of law. They reveal him as a full-dress wing-nut of the starboard variety. He's trying to disown not only his thesis but his record in office.

Creigh deeds is boring, and he's further to the right than I would like, but compared to McDonnell he's a voice of sanity. If he has a problem, it's that he behaves as if he understands the difficulties and complexities of governing. McDonnell is going to balace the budget, double spending on education and highways, and cut taxes. In that, he resembles Reagan. On social issues he makes Reagan look like the president of NOW.

Virginia has finally entered the 20th century. Let's hope it gets to the 21st in the near future.

I think non-commercial is that it isn't written for a commercial audience. Kind of like imagining a driver's ed film being analyzed in terms of Aristotle's 6 elements of drama.

I think that's an EXCELLENT idea. Think about how much more effective "Blood on the Highway" or whatever it was might have been if we'd cared about the protagonists. As it was, for most safety films the message I took away was: "Thank god they're out the gene pool."

I think the point is that sexism is exciting. Those Politically Correct police suck all the woman hating joy out of life. Plus, you never know when some other aspect of your boorishness will get called out, so you don't get to be an a88hole to anyone! So unfair.

Over here phonebooks are free of charge, therefore they are not bestsellers.
As for dramatic instruction movies you may check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forklift_Driver_Klaus_-_The_First_Day_on_the_Job>this. (subtitled version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUwki29-rYQ>here)

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