I don’t normally like to take on the fine folks over at the Complete Reviews’ Literary Saloon. Mostly because they are smarter and better read than me (a key to life is to know your weaknesses). But I must confess I found a recent post quite disappointing. The post dealt with Vice President Dick Cheney’s wife Lynne and the re-issue of her book Sisters. The folks at the Literary Saloon are upset because apparently Lynn Cheney isn’t interested in having the book republished given its controversial content and the likelihood it will distract from her husbands election campaign. I really am not upset that they expressed their displeasure with this turn of events but I find their hyperbole a bit tired. Here is where they tie it all up into one neat slam on the Bush administration:
Still, the whole episode seems representative for the Bush administration: actions that are completely self-serving and just the opposite of the public interest are taken (the only one who benefits from the non-re-issue is Lynne, while there is keen popular interest in easy access to the book — and NAL (which apparently still holds the rights to the book) could have made good money by publishing it (helping the economy as a whole !)), and then ridiculous and alien-to-the-real-world explanations are offered for why the actions supposedly don’t harm the public interest (America’s used bookstores will be able to satisfy any possible demand).
I find fascinating the picture the left paints of Bush as an all powerful dictator running around thwarting the public interest at every turn. Anytime someone dissents in the media about some aspect of the Bush administration’s actions the conclusion, sometimes insinuated but often boldly stated, is that the Bushies will immediately seek to punish or silence the dissenting opinion. Given the fact that dozens of people seem to be getting rich attacking the president in books, movies, plays, radio, and television I find this a bit rich. If Bush is attempting to stiffle dissent he is doing a pretty poor job of it. But that is the irony isn’t it? Bush is a power hungry dictator AND an incompetent boob.
But using this ridiculously minor literary dust-up as a chance to disparge the character of the entire Bush administration seems petty and silly. Does Lynn Cheney really have a duty to ensure that a book she wrote is readily and inexpensively available to the public when it is highly likely that the media, and the public will attempt to use it against the Cheney’s and the President? Is there really a “public interest” involved in this? If there wasn’t a lesbian scene involved no one would care one bit about the book.
I know most of the left leaning blogs are probably tired of me bringing this up and could really care less what I think about it. But given that everyone feels free to air their political opininons freely I shall feel free todo the same. Plus, it still bugs me that almost no opportunity is left un-used to throw a cheap shot at Bush and to insinuate that he is a dangerous threat to everyone’s civil liberty. And yet you never hear a peep about the ridiculous hypocrisy of John Kerry who loves to slander John Ashcroft with absolutely no concrete evidence of abuse and despite the fact that his Senate record is no better than Ashcroft’s when it comes to these issues. John Kerry can vote for the Patriot Act and then denounce it on the stump. He can act as the protector of civil liberties when his own record is less than stellar.
I understand that the Literary Saloon isn’t a fan of the current administration – and that is fine, I understand people have different views – but its seems rather lame to use Lynn Cheney’s personal choices about her book to cast aspersions on the entire Bush Administration. And to attempt to connect this to the situation in Iraq is below the usual intelligence of the Literary Saloon.