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In conservative political circles, you can't keep a bad man down; he'll just come back and write a novel.  And so comes word that former Christian Coalition wunderkind, Jack Abramoff crony and failed Georgia GOP candidate Ralph Reed is joining Scooter Libby, Lynne Cheney and Bill O'Reilly among the pulp pushers of the right.

On Monday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Reed will soon publish his first novel, Dark Horse.  As to its subject, the AJC speculates only, "The guess here is that it won't be a bodice-ripper."

If not, Reed would not be following in the footsteps of other recent right-wing partisans for whom poorly crafted, soft-core pornography has become quite the cottage industry.  For example, long before former Cheney chief-of-staff Scooter Libby became a convicted felon for his role in the Plamegate case, in 2001 he penned The Apprentice, a bizarre coming of age tale set in 1903 Japan featuring prostitution, deviant sexual acts and bestiality.  25 years before Second Lady Lynne Cheney authored her 2007 paean to her husband Dick, she conjured up Sisters, a tale of forbidden lesbian love in the Old West.  Even culture warrior Bill O'Reilly demonstrated his lack of a gift for fiction in his 1998 trashfest, Those Who Trespass.

But in his novel, Reed doesn't need to follow Scooter Libby's lead in writing about arousing a bear with a stick or asking "if they should f**k the deer."  The Fox News contributor and high-profile consultant who traded Pat Robertson for Jack Abramoff can just write crime thrillers based on his own life.

Reed, after all was a central figure in the Abramoff scandals that helped undo the Republican Party (as well as his own bid to become Georgia's lieutenant governor).  Like Abramoff, Reed feasted on native American tribe to the tune of millions of dollars for casino lobbying.  He famously joined Abramoff, Ohio Congressman Bob Ney and Bush procurement official David Safavian on the notorious golfing trip to Scotland.  (Abramoff, Ney and Safavian were all latest convicted for their crimes.)  In 2004, Reed received $4.2 million to mobilize Christian voters to fight new casinos opposed by Abramoff's tribal clients.

As it turns out, Jack Abramoff even provided Reed with a cheat sheet with enough material for a trilogy.

In October 2005, Time published excerpts from Reed's email correspondence with Abramoff.  The emails provide a treasure trove for the would-be novelist, including how to tap highly-placed officials like Karl Rove and Haley Barbour for greasing the skids for dirty deals and how to dupe tribes of both sides of the casino conflict in Mississippi and Louisiana.  (In one message just after 9/11, Reed tells Abramoff he "put in a tag call to Karl to find out the best contact at FEMA" for a scheme to house Ground Zero rescue workers on leased cruise ships.)  There are even some potshots at the future Republican presidential nominee, John McCain.  

Even before his dealings with Abramoff, Reed was already describing his work as a groundbreaking Republican operative along the lines of a Tom Clancy plot.  As he told the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot in 1991:

"I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag. You don't know until election night."

In early 2006, Phil Dacosta, a Georgia Christian Coalition member and now former Reed backer offered the perfect "fall from grace" story line:

"After reading the e-mail, it became pretty obvious he was putting money before God. We are righteously casting him out."

Hopefully, the readers of America will do the same.

** Crossposted at Perrspectives **

Originally posted to Jon Perr on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 09:56 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It will be fiction similar to Grisham (0+ / 0-)

    A lone Preacher fights against gambling in his state. He tells the faithful God doesn't want it. But the faithful find out the Preacher is being paid by gambling interests in the next state over. The faithful revolt and toss the bum out on his ass.

  •  it'll be more like a jock-strap ripper (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jiordan, KenBee

    Ralph Reed pegs out my Gaydar, big-time.

    I can't wait for him to get busted in a bathroom somewhere.

    "The great nations have always acted like gangsters, and the small nations like prostitutes." - Stanley Kubrick

    by Inky99 on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 10:02:56 AM PDT

  •  Oh boy (0+ / 0-)

    A book written by a guy who think the Bible is the greatest book ever written.

    Have you tried to read that thing?  It's not very good.

    My dogs think I'm smart and pretty.

    by martydd on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 10:03:37 AM PDT

  •  probably ghost-written (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, doinaheckuvanutjob

    many of these politicians who attempt to write 'fiction' couldn't properly address an envelope, let alone create a novel-length piece of fiction.

    Ralphie boy may have had an 'idea', but I'll bet a pot of kona and a box of Dunking Donuts that somewhere there's a writer who 'polished' up his idea and put another 100K of words around it.

    When it's released, check out the colophon page at the front of the book, sometimes the actual writer gets a credit of some sort noted there.

    Why yes, I've known a few writers who have 'polished' up a few books that had a Big Name up front, why do you ask?

    •  Years ago, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      when I worked in a bookstore, we got a pub advance of that novel written by Dan Quayle's wife--anyone remember that gem?

      It was so wretchedly, horribly bad, I've blocked out the name, but I still have it, tucked into my "never should have been printed but I don't believe in book-burning" shelf.

      "I drank what?"--Socrates 399 BC

      by jiordan on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 10:09:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't remember that classic (0+ / 0-)

        but it fits the pattern, don't it?

        It's been a long time since I worked in the retail trade, but I can still recall taking a few galleys of the earliest examples of this scam that came into my store and dumping them in the trash once I opened the mail.

  •  it's all about the advance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that's the big part of the scam, the 'writer' will get a big honkin' advance that wouldn't earn out if the writer wasn't Stephen King. The 'writer' pockets the non-returnable advance, the publisher eats the pile of unsold and remaindered books for the cause.

    It's another example of Wingnut Welfare.

  •  What's WITH these guys? (3+ / 0-)

    I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag.

    Sounds like Cheney's "work the dark side" and "in the shadows" bravado. Neither has ever served a day. Why don't they take their toys, camouflaged outfits, and Tom Clancy mentality and play their stupid-ass games somewhere else? What are they ... twelve?

    "One cannot be pessimistic about the West. This is the native land of hope." Wallace Stegner

    by Mother Mags on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 10:16:31 AM PDT

  •  soon to have sales rank #1,000,000 at Amazon (0+ / 0-)

    Beyond College Republicans and people buying off Billy Graham's website, you have to wonder at the market for these books.  Part of the disintegration of conservative thought is that it is no longer interesting or funny or thought-provoking to people lacking major anger issues, or to those not stuck in a dysfunctional relationship with fact:  thus the disappearance of the "1/2 Hour News Hour" from Fox News.  If people wanted a conservative fantasy world they could read the WSJ editorial page.

  •  God don't like it, No, No (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Moody Loner

    God don't like it and I don't either

    from: 'GOD DON'T LIKE IT'
    eb. No. 1026. Pearson Funeral Home Choir, Columbia, S.C., 1937.
    just some of the verses...

    You say you've been converted, You ought to quit telling lies
    Quit drinking so much whisky, Live more civilized.

    Preacher in the pulpit. Preaches so loud and bold;
    He's preachin' all about money, Nothin' about savin' your soul.

    the chorus, and these people know all about Ralph Reed, he's been around a very long time, in many different skins:

    God don't like, no no
    god don't like it and I don't either
    god don't like it no no
    it's scandalous and a shame

  •  I saw the title of the diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and thought, "Oh, God. More bear-fucking."

    You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!

    by Moody Loner on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 10:35:30 AM PDT

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