October 29, 2006

Allen says Webb novel had a character who thought about hating religious conservatives once

Posted in Congress, political satire at 6:06 am by thewashingtonbeltsider

by Paula Berrer

Virginia Senator George Allen, locked an increasingly heated re-election campaign against challenger James Webb, came out accusing the former Secretary of the Navy of “disparaging religious conservatives in his mind” yesterday, and said “This is not the mind of a man who should have any say on the direction of this country at this vitally important time.” He argued that one might conclude this from reading Mr. Webb’s novels, such as one where a former army corporal relates at one point, “I have thought unkind thoughts about Christians in my mind, from time to time, and I regret that.” Allen said “As a writer writes things, they think them, and therefore, this is a man who hates Christians, at least this one time.”

A reporter asked if, by this reasoning, one could also assume Webb believes he is a dog, as does one of the mentally ill characters in another of Webb’s novels, Allen said it is very likely, and questioned the patriotism of a man who would be willing to put America’s future, and the fate of the military in Iraq, in the hands of a dog. “It is a shameful example again,” Allen told the crowd to an eruption of cheers.

Later at the rally, he said the New York Times’ Review of books once called Webb novel “hackneyed,” and complained of an unsympathetic major character, and Allen urged voters to reject a writer of “hackneyed and unsympathetic characters.”

Webb’s office released a statement in response, that read, in part, “Mr. Allen and his advisors and supporters need to sort this sort of thing out with someone in the psychiatry profession, as soon as is practical.”

“Plus, a lot of the reviews have been pretty good,” the statement read. “Your supporters should read the books and decide for themselves. That was only one review. The Boston Globe had a very favorable review of that book. You can’t judge a book from one review only.”

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