Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 9, 2008

SCHADENFREUDE WATCH: HEWITT EDITION.... In 2006, a few months before the midterm elections, conservative blogger/talk-show host Hugh Hewitt published a book on the drive for a "permanent Republican majority." Soon after, Democrats won a sweeping, historic victory, and reclaimed the majority in both chambers.

In 2007, a few months before the primaries, Hewitt published a book on Mitt Romney and the prospects of a "Mormon in the White House." Soon after, Romney blew leads in Iowa and New Hampshire, and withdrew from the presidential race after a surprisingly poor showing.

In 2008, Hewitt has a new idea for a book. It's called, "How Sarah Palin Won the Election ... and Saved America." There's a small problem: no one wants to publish it. According to a report in the New York Observer, Hewitt's literary agent, Curtis Yates, has already given up on selling the book.

"The idea was to tell the story behind the effect that Sarah Palin has had on this election and how it is and why it is that she has basically turned the election around for McCain and why it is that she is resonating with so many people in the country," he said. "The intent was to finish the book by a week after the election, and to have it out before the inauguration."

Was that the plan regardless of who won?

"The book obviously presumed [a McCain-Palin victory]," Mr. Yates said, "but the theory was that her impact on this election will have a lasting effect regardless -- that she's not gonna go anywhere, that she's just gonna be a figure in G.O.P. politics going forward."

Christopher Orr responded, "Oh, Hugh. If you didn't exist, humorists would have to invent you."

What's more, I think Atrios has the right idea: "They should publish it, and Fox News should just provide a complete alternate reality for its viewers, one in which McCain is president, Obama has been arrested and sent to Gitmo for terrorist activates, Joe Wilson gets indicted, American Carol made a GAZILLION dollars at the box office, etc."

Steve Benen 2:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (31)

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"They should publish it, and Fox News should just provide a complete alternate reality for its viewers, one in which McCain is president, Obama has been arrested and sent to Gitmo for terrorist activates, Joe Wilson gets indicted, American Carol made a GAZILLION dollars at the box office, etc."

Yeah, that's the ticket. You could make it into an MMORPG, like World of Warcraft. Except call it "World of Wingnut." We could then develop sensory inputs, put them in holding tanks, and use their body heat for power.

Energy problem solved.

Posted by: bdop4 on October 9, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Soon after, Democrats won a sweeping, historic victory, and reclaimed the majority in both chambers.

Whoa there, Capt. Partisan! "(A) sweeping, historic victory . . ."? Hardly. The Dems (not to be confused with anything vaguely liberal) have a paltry one vote advantage in the Senate. Hardly the veto-proof majority needed to make 2006 an "historic" election.

Posted by: Jeff II on October 9, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Considering Hewitt's comprehensive record of FAIL it's only a matter of days before he's invited to start writing editorials for the NYT.

Posted by: Dennis - SGMM on October 9, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Fox News should just provide a complete alternate reality for its viewers,

Isn't that part of their business plan already?

Posted by: tomeck on October 9, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

My husband and I always found The West Wing's President Bartlett a comforting alternative to Bush. So the Fox thing might work. The difference being that we knew we were watching fiction...

Posted by: gradysu on October 9, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II@3.04p - the Dem victory WAS stunning when you realise how far "down" they were in the Senate!

I think Atrios' idea is very good. I would actually love to read about Palin's effect on the race and it might be somewhat interesting to read it from the right's view.

Posted by: phoebes in santa fe on October 9, 2008 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, my. I certainly hope Mr. Hewitt hasn't jinxed Governor Palin's chances.

Posted by: kc on October 9, 2008 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Easily fixed:

"How Sarah Palin Won the Election (for the Democrats)... and Saved America."

Posted by: apm on October 9, 2008 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

I've been meaning to read one of those 'if Hitler won the war' things. Are there any worth reading?

Posted by: Luther on October 9, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

"They should publish it, and Fox News should just provide a complete alternate reality for its viewers, . . ."

Um, isn't that what Fox News is already doing?

Posted by: on October 9, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

(A) sweeping, historic victory . . ."? Hardly

The Dems picked up 6 seats in the senate and 31 in the house. I believe it was 23 of 33 victories in the Senate. 233 of 435 in the House. And there were about 40 House elections that the Republicans won by less than 3%. Bush is seldom right, but when you consider the normal pattern of incumbant success, that was a thumpin'.

Posted by: Danp on October 9, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Luther wrote: "I've been meaning to read one of those 'if Hitler won the war' things. Are there any worth reading?"

The Man In The High Castle by visionary science fiction writer Philip K. Dick.

Novels by Dick were the basis of the movies Blade Runner, Minority Report and Total Recall among others.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on October 9, 2008 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Look, someone could publish it and just market it like every other "best selling" right wing tome. Offer a copy for 25 cents with every paid subscription to every imagineable conservative magazine published. The book was "sold" and a million copies are distributed.

Posted by: steve duncan on October 9, 2008 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is seldom right, but when you consider the normal pattern of incumbant (sic) success, that was a thumpin'. Posted by: Danp

Again, it wasn't a first (go back to the mid-term election of 1974) or the biggest. That was a House. cleaning. More important, it hasn't meant shit in terms of legislation.

49 seats

3 seats

Posted by: Jeff II on October 9, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

I would actually love to read about Palin's effect on the race and it might be somewhat interesting to read it from the right's view.

Well, you don't really have to wait for Hewitt's book to find out how the right views Palin's place in and effect on the 2008 election. I don't know that I'd put it at "interesting"; more like "horrifying", or "depressing".

A conservative friend told me just today that she appreciates the "breath of fresh air" that Palin represents. The idea that I'm surrounded by delusional people just reminds me of a George Romero movie.

Posted by: DH Walker on October 9, 2008 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, one of Philip K. Dick's brilliant notions in The Man In The High Castle -- a novel about an alternate reality in which Nazi Germany and imperial Japan won World War II -- is that several characters in his story are reading a novel-within-a-novel entitled Heavy Lies The Grasshopper, which is about an alternate reality in which Germany and Japan lost the war.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on October 9, 2008 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Or it could go to Angola with the 2008 Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots t-shirts!

Posted by: Aeneas Taint on October 9, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Well she certainly has had an effect. You can now run for one of the highest offices in the land with absolutely no qualifications, no knowlege of any world politics or situations,decare that you will answer only the debate questions you want and pronounce that you will not allow yourself to be interviewed by reporters lest they tax you with troublesome "gotcha" questions. Ms Palin has
lowered the bar in this country to somthing less than what would be expected of your average teen age fast food worker.

Posted by: John R on October 9, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

"... she's not gonna go anywhere, that she's just gonna be a figure in G.O.P. politics going forward."

Right. Like Dan Quayle. It never fails that these minor figures who make a big splash at the outset are pegged to be big stars "going forward." Funny thing, though, is that it never happens. She might get some kind of gig at Fox News, but that's about it.

Assuming the Palin/McCain ticket loses, that is. (wink)

Posted by: Jack Lindahl on October 9, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

DH Walker wrote: "A conservative friend told me just today that she appreciates the 'breath of fresh air' that Palin represents. The idea that I'm surrounded by delusional people just reminds me of a George Romero movie."

Speaking of George Romero movies, you may, or may not, want to watch these video clips of Palin supporters at recent rallies:

The McCain-Palin Mob

The Sidewalk to Nowhere: McCain Supporters in Bethlehem, PA

Warning: watching these videos requires a stronger stomach than watching a George Romero movie. The zombies are more realistic and more frightening.

These folks are already living in an alternate reality.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on October 9, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

What's more, I think Atrios has the right idea: "They should publish it, and Fox News should just provide a complete alternate reality for its viewers, one in which McCain is president, Obama has been arrested and sent to Gitmo for terrorist activates, Joe Wilson gets indicted, American Carol made a GAZILLION dollars at the box office, etc."

And then we can send them across the bridge to nowhere never to be seen again. I like it.

Posted by: on October 9, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Why won't they publish? Sounds like a wonderfully comedic work of fiction.

Posted by: doubtful on October 9, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II:

Again, it wasn't a first (go back to the mid-term election of 1974) or the biggest. That was a House. cleaning. More important, it hasn't meant shit in terms of legislation.

I guess you can parse "historic" vs. "record-breaking" all the livelong day, but filibuster-proof majority or not, the importance of the '06 midterms was having committee chairmanships change hands.

Gonzales would still be AG, among many other things.

Posted by: Uli Kunkel on October 9, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK
I've been meaning to read one of those 'if Hitler won the war' things. Are there any worth reading?

I'd recommend "Fatherland" by Robert Harris.

Posted by: SeanH on October 9, 2008 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

I guess you can parse "historic" vs. "record-breaking" all the livelong day, but filibuster-proof majority or not, the importance of the '06 midterms was having committee chairmanships change hands. Gonzales would still be AG, among many other things. Posted by: Uli Kunkel

I can't really see how there has been one meaningful change in Congress since the 2006 midterm. Gonzales was on his way out anyway and Mukasey is hardly an improvement.

Posted by: Jeff II on October 9, 2008 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

"Gonzales was on his way out anyway."
Better trolls! Oh, wait -- I responded.

Worse trolls!

Posted by: Uli Kunkel on October 9, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

James P. Hogan's "The Proteus Operation" is one where a team goes back in time to undo Hitler's victory.

Posted by: jim h on October 9, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

To add to the list, try "SS-GB" by Len Deighton, set in 1941 Britain after Germany has successfully invaded and conquered the island.

Of course, a really interesting "what-if" would be what if Hitler hadn't declared war on the US in December 1941, and then World War II had evolved into two related but separate wars, with the US, Australia and Britain fighting Japan in Asia/the Pacific and Britain and the Soviet Union fighting Germany in Europe?

The probable result would have been the US winning in the Pacific and the Red Army winning in Europe and sweeping all the way into France and Italy and possibly even Spain and Portugal. And then a Cold War between the US as master of Asia on one side, and the Soviet Union as master of Europe (with the exception of Britain) on the other.....

Posted by: Stefan on October 9, 2008 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

And then a Cold War between the US as master of Asia on one side, and the Soviet Union as master of Europe (with the exception of Britain) on the other.....

We have always been at war with Eurasia.

Posted by: Gregory on October 9, 2008 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, a really interesting "what-if" would be what if Hitler hadn't declared war on the US in December 1941, and then World War II had evolved into two related but separate wars, with the US, Australia and Britain fighting Japan in Asia/the Pacific and Britain and the Soviet Union fighting Germany in Europe? Posted by: Stefan

Except that by 1941 Britain wasn't fighting Germany in Europe, barely fighting them in N. Africa, had lost all it's colonies and such in Asia to the Japanese, and was having increasing problems with India.

In all likelihood, Europe would have been under the yoke of the Nazis for quite a while had Germany invaded Britain instead of the Soviet Union.

The U.S. entering the war is the only thing that "saved" Europe (and Asia). By itself, the Soviet Union, even with Lend-Lease, was never going to completely defeat the Germans. They could have kept them out of Mother Russia, but they never would have driven them all the way back to Germany. They did not have the industry or technology.

Posted by: Jeff II on October 9, 2008 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Hewitt was shopping a Palin book? No wonder he got the softball interview, then went on the cable nets to defend her.

Posted by: Trapper on October 10, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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