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Hullabaloo


Sunday, October 29, 2006

 
Concerned Women For Pornography

by digby


Think Progress has Wolf Blitzer's response to Lynn Cheney's ridiculous claim that she was invited on CNN's the Situation Room 10 days before an election to talk about her dipshit children's book:

Blitzer:...In this most recent interview, she, of course, knew we would would be speaking about politics. That was reaffirmed to her staff only hours before the interview. As a former co-host of Crossfire during the 1990s, she knows her way around the media. She was never shy about sparring with Democratic strategist and co-host.


Lynn Cheney has a schtick and it's the "offended Republican mom responds with righteous indignation." You'll recall her excellent use of it in campaign 2004 with her "this is not a gooood man" line. In this case she aped Bill Clinton's earlier complaint when he was sandbagged on FoxNews by Chris Wallace, but it doesn't hold water --- Blitzer says the wide ranging topics were reaffirmed by her staff before the interview.

Cheney likes to pretend that she is just an indignant political wife and mother, but in fact she's a Republican political operative well-known in her own right --- far more than Hillary Clinton ever was before she became first lady. Lynn and Dick Cheney are the Borgias of American politics.

The minute I heard she was coming on CNN yesterday I posted that everyone should watch because I knew that she was coming out in full Republican harpy mode. That's what she does. It's her thing. I knew she would get especially outraged because her hubby was being heavily criticized for saying that "dunking" terrorists in water was a no-brainer and her own lesbian romance novel was back in the news since George Allen had gotten Drudge to post the sexy scenes from Jim Webb's Vietnam fictions.

In the final days of an election, when the Republicans are confronted with an uncomfortable truth concerning the Borgia clan, they send out Lynn, Queen of the Harpies with her rabid incoherent schtick to shut down that line questioning. It's all about attitude and Lynn has it in spades:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you agree a dunk in water is a no- brainer if it can save lives?

VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: Well, it's a no-brainer to me, but I -- for a while there, I was criticized as being the vice president for torture. We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: It made it sound -- and there's been interpretation to this effect -- that he was, in effect, confirming that the United States used this waterboarding, this technique that has been rejected by the international community that simulates a prisoner being drowned, if you will, and he was, in effect, supposedly, confirming that the United States has been using that.

L. CHENEY: No, Wolf -- that is a mighty house you're building on top of that mole hill there, a mighty mountain. This is complete distortion; he didn't say anything of the kind.

BLITZER: Because of the dunking of -- you know, using the water and the dunking.

L. CHENEY: Well, you know, I understand your point. It's kind of the point of a lot of people right now, to try to distort the administration's position, and if you really want to talk about that, I watched the program on CNN last night, which I thought -- it's your 2006 voter program, which I thought was a terrible distortion of both the president and the vice president's position on many issues.

It seemed almost straight out of Democratic talking points using phrasing like "domestic surveillance" when it's not domestic surveillance that anyone has talked about or ever done. It's surveillance of terrorists. It's people who have al Qaeda connections calling into the United States. So I think we're in the season of distortion, and this is just one more.


Nobody does it better. She's as good as anybody in the GOP.

Here she goes right in Blitzer's face:

L. CHENEY: Well, all right, Wolf. I'm here to talk about my book, but if you want to talk about distortion ...

BLITZER: We'll talk about your book.

L. CHENEY: Well, right, but what is CNN doing running terrorist tape of terrorists shooting Americans? I mean, I thought Duncan Hunter ask you a very good question and you didn't answer it. Do you want us to win?

The answer, of course, is we want the United States to win. We are Americans. There's no doubt about that. Do you think we want terrorists to win?

L. CHENEY: Then why are you running terrorist propaganda?


It doesn't get any more aggressive than that. And then she went into an angry spin that would make a dervish dizzy:

BLITZER:Let's talk about another issue in the news, then we'll get to the book. This -- the Democrats are now complaining bitterly in this Virginia race, George Allen using novels -- novels -- that Jim Webb, his Democratic challenger, has written in which there are sexual references, and they're making a big deal out of this. I want you to listen to what Jim Webb said today in responding to this very sharp attack from George Allen.

L. CHENEY: Now, do you promise, Wolf, that we're going to talk about my book?

BLITZER: I do promise.

L. CHENEY: Because this seems to me a mighty long trip around the merry-go-round.

BLITZER: I want you to -- this was in the news today and your name has come up, so that's why we're talking about it, but listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES WEBB (D), VIRGINIA SENATE CANDIDATE: There's nothing that's been in any of my novels that, in my view, hasn't been either illuminated the surroundings or defining a character or moving a plot. I'm a serious writer. I mean, we can go and read Lynne Cheney's lesbian love scenes, you know, if you want to get graphic on stuff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

L. CHENEY: Jim Webb is full of baloney. I have never written anything sexually explicit. His novels are full of sexual, explicit references to incest, sexually explicit references -- well, you know, I just don't want my grandchildren to turn on the television set. This morning, Imus was reading from the novels, and it's triple-X rated.

BLITZER: Here's what the Democratic Party put out today, the Democratic Congressional -- Senatorial Campaign Committee: "Lynne Cheney's book featured brothels and attempted rape. In 1981, Vice President Dick Cheney's wife, Lynne, wrote a book called "Sisters," which featured a lesbian love affair, brothels and attempted rapes."

L. CHENEY: No.

BLITZER: "In 1988, Lynn Cheney wrote about a Republican vice president who dies of a heart attack while having sex with his mistress." Is that true?

L. CHENEY: Nothing explicit. And actually, that was full of lies. It's not -- it's just -- it's absolutely not a...

BLITZER: But you did write a book entitled "Sisters"?

L. CHENEY: I did write a book entitled "Sisters."

BLITZER: And it did have lesbian characters.

L. CHENEY: This description -- no, not necessarily. This description is a lie. I'll stand on that.

BLITZER: There's nothing in there about rapes and brothels?

L. CHENEY: Well, Wolf, could we talk about a children's book for a minute?

BLITZER: We can talk about the children's book. I just wanted to...

L. CHENEY: I think my segment is, like, 15 minutes long and we've had about 10 minutes of...

BLITZER: I just wanted to -- I just wanted to clarify what's in the news today, given -- this is...

L. CHENEY: Sex, lies and distortion. That's what it is.

BLITZER: This is an opportunity for you to explain on these sensitive issues.

L. CHENEY: Wolf, I have nothing to explain. Jim Webb has a lot to explain.

BLITZER: Well, he says he's only -- as a serious writer, novelist, a fiction writer, he was doing basically what you were doing.

L. CHENEY: Jim Webb is full of baloney.


I'm not sure who she persuaded with that argument, but I have no doubt that she impressed all the phony GOP women who profess to be traditionalists but who are actually thoroughly modern power brokers --- and the allegedly traditionalist housewives who voraciously devour those pornographic sexually explicit romance novels while decrying the Democrats' libertine values. Lynn Cheney's incoherent defense soothes their cognitive dissonence and makes them feel better about supporting torture and getting off to women's pornography racy fiction. That was her job, she's a professional and she did it well.


Update: To be clear regarding romance novels. First, I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with (adult) pornography, but I'll accede to the fact that romance novels may not be pornographic in the way that many people think of pornography. But they are indisputably very sexually explicit, which I guess many women find to be different from men's pornography because the sex is in the context of committed relationships. Different strokes (and I mean that in the nicest way.)

In any case, they are no less X-Rated than Jim Webb's books, even if they depict a more romantic form of highly detailed descriptions of sex from a female point of view. I'm all for whatever people enjoy and I'm not passing judgment. My objection was to the hypocrisy of women who read these books and then vote Republican, complaining that the Democrats are libertines. And there are bunches of them. Romance fiction is the highest selling paperback genre in the country.



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