I've been an admirer of Gore Vidal for as long as I can remember. As a child, my mother would read to me from his books when I had trouble sleeping. His weepy jeremiads for the death of the America our Founding Fathers envisioned at Woodstock never fail to touch me profoundly. But after reading his latest work, I fear Mr. Vidal may be losing his mind.
From start to finish, I Luv W is nothing more than a rambling, 340-page love letter to George W. Bush.
It starts out harmless enough. In the first chapter, Vidal recalls the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks:
"I surveyed the chilling destruction with my flinty, steel-blue eyes, scanning the wreckage for any signs of life. But without the gold-plated binoculars Jacqueline Kennedy gave me on the occasion of my 23rd birthday, all I could see from my luxurious Manhattan penthouse were tiny ants scurrying around the rubble. As a decorated war hero who fought bravely on the battlefields of Vietnam, I felt the urge to do something - anything - for those poor, innocent people trapped under tons of twisted metal and concrete. So without a moment's hesitation, I sent Jeeves down with a stack of autographed 8 x 10's."
Seems like a typical Gore Vidal work. But then, he goes completely off the deep-end:
"Even then, as I clutched the ivory walking stick Nelson Mandela presented me at a White House dinner in my honor, I knew that unscrupulous individuals would exploit this horrible tragedy for political gain. Wild conspiracy theories would sprout like weeds, blaming our beloved president for the attacks. Some of my punier, less intelligent progressive comrades were even claiming that Bush staged the attacks as some sort of diabolical Goldfingeresque plot to steal the Middle East's oil. Well, "poppycock", I say! Poppycock! Anyone educated beyond Saturday morning cartoons trusts the president implicity, for he is a kind, compassionate man with a swagger that'll melt your heart. Oh, how I love my big ol' George Worgie Bushie Wushie Bush Bush!"
Sweet mother of Goddess, the man is turning into the Anti-Dowd!
The rest of the Cheney-Bush junta doesn't escape Vidal's gushing adulation, either. He devotes an entire chapter to describing how "Wyoming Sexy" Dick Cheney is, whatever that means. The ten pages of photo inserts showing Vidal's head pasted onto Lynne Cheney's body are downright creepy. The final 150 pages of the book are nothing but "I Heart Georgie Worgie" written over and over again. He even dots the I's with little pink hearts.
It would be one thing if Vidal's bizarre assertions were based on reality. Instead, he allows his irrational affection for Bush to cloud every issue. Like a lovesick child, he accentuates every rumor and innuendo that paints Bush in a favorable light, while rejecting any facts to the contrary. Ultimately, he comes off sounding not like the bulbous-headed liberal intellectual whose name will get you laid when casually dropped at any self-respecting wine & cheese party, but rather like a blubbering, politically-biased imbecile who bases every argument on how wonderful Bush is. It's something I'd expect from a right-wing hack like Ann Coulter, not the Pulitizer-Prize winning author of America Stinks and Lincoln Was a Fag.