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Posted November 19, 2009
This book would be more aptly titled "Blind Partisan," because that is what the author Senator Barbara Boxer is, abundantly demonstrated in this thin and uninspired political thriller. Boxer amply upholds her distinction bestowed by Bob Dole as the most partisan Senator he had ever seen as she portrays Republicans as all being malignant and conspiratorial (except of course for the moderate Republican husband of the main character Ellen Fischer--compliant, cave-in Republicans being the only kind Boxer has any use for) and Democrats as virtuous and good.
The book is disturbing, but not in the ways I think Boxer intended. These include Boxer's disdain for political opposition and dissenting views as starkly demonstrated in the villainous character of Sam Slaughter, a conservative radio host obviously representing Rush Limbaugh, who Boxer characterizes as "abusing the First ­Amendment" and says of him "That man's evil. He's like a disease."
What does Boxer consider to be "abusive free speech," speech not actionable in a civil court as either slanderous or libelous? The Founders didn't recognize such a concept. Interesting Boxer portrays herself and her party as such champions of the constitution and civil liberties when she is so glaringly contemptuous of free speech rights in this part of the book and considers dissenting views "evil" and "like a disease."
Did Boxer consider Michael Moore's smears against George W. Bush all but accusing him of a role in bringing about 9/11 or Democratic slander that Bush lied about Iraq having WMD "abusing the First Amendment" despite nearly every top Democrat from Bill Clinton and Al Gore on down all saying Saddam had WMD long before Bush was president and long before Bush claimed that, as well as Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Harry Reid and many other Congressional Democrats who saw the same intelligence as President Bush?
The book's uninteresting, non-engrossing plot centers around a smear campaign against Senator Fischer by of course those Republican fiends, involving the Senator's investments and a chief of staff whose religious background is called into question. Of course Democrats would NEVER seek to take out their opponents at the knees using charges of ethical and financial impropriety, not to mention trying to make them look like religious nuts. Just ask Sarah Palin!
Interesting that Boxer uses this book to announce she now finds such smear campaigns so morally repugnant after having engaged in a few herself first against Clarence Thomas and then later her first Senate opponent Bruce Hershenson, accusing him of being a patron of strip clubs (while she later hypocritically defended Bill Clinton engaging in an affair with a White House intern.).
As a thriller the book fails to create tension or to draw in the reader. What held my attention was her thinly guised contempt for Republicans and those passionate about national security (like that on full display in Boxer's "call me Senator" tirade against Brigadier General Michael Walsh in the Senate committee hearing) as shown in the Carl Satcher character turning him into some crazed and craven characture of a national security professional with no analogous persons or policies in the real world.
If you're trying to be a serious novelist "MA'AM," you've got a long way to go!
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Posted October 4, 2009
Ms. Boxer is a great politician whom I admire, when I learned about her book and plot I immediately bought it. It was enjoyable reading, almost a page-turner, the characters and plot were very well developed; current, real politics.
Perhaps my interest in politics influenced me in a way that made me hope for a more complex, thicker, richer scenario. Not that Blind Trust doesn't have it, I just wanted more. It could be that the book is so descriptive and well written that it left me wanting for more.
I usually stay away from fiction, however, Ms. Boxer's book is not entirely fiction: her scenario is very realistic, but again, I needed more insight into the 'alternative' world she creates. More of the Senate, more of the Press, more of the White House. MORE.
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