beaver boundary

place, politics and power in oregon

Novick Follows Up Pirate Talk with Lebowski Reference October 22, 2007

Filed under: Primary 2008,U.S. Senate — taoiseach @ 5:21 pm

Senator Chris Dodd has taken center spotlight recently for his one-man crusade to preserve the constitution and civil liberties by placing a hold on the FISA bill in the Senate. As you probably know, the current version of the bill contains sections that grant telecommunications companies immunity for colluding with the NSA to spy on Americans. Senator Dodd deserves the accolades he’s receiving from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, but the one he just got from Senate candidate Steve Novick seems highly on the non-sequitur side.green bowling

The Men of Witigonen, a fine new blog about Oregon politics and zeppelins, among other things, caught Novick’s blog entry before the Boundary. A tip of the hat to them. From www.novickforsenate.com:

As an opponent of warrantless wiretapping and a fan of The Big Lebowski, all I can say is that Dodd’s the Dude! I appreciate his hard work to protect our civil liberties and stand up to the Bush Administration and I look forward to working with him, either as a colleague in the Senate or as our next president.

Is this another example of Novick’s convoluted political logic? People say he’s wickedly smart–perhaps Novick understands cultural references on an entirely different level. But the Boundary is an avid Lebowski fan, so let’s challenge this comparison and see if there’s any value in it.

Clearly, The Big Lebowski is a fine cult classic. But The Dude, aka Jeffrey Lebowski, is not exactly a statesman. Sure, he says he helped author the Port Huron Statement (the original, mind you, not the compromised second draft) and that he was a member of the anti-Vietnam War group called the Seattle Seven. And The Dude did spend time ‘occupying various administration buildings’, for whatever reason. But that’s the extent of The Dude’s politics: a sketchy haze of failed leadership in the New Left social movements of the 1960s, followed by a lifetime of slacking with thai stick and the occasional acid flashback. Certainly not a ‘Profile in Courage’.

Senator Dodd, on the other hand, is a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves during Vietnam and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. And instead of occupying various administration buildings, he was president of the student association at the University of Louisville. In fact, Senator Dodd is what the Big Lebowski might call an ‘Acheiver’.

Senator Dodd is not The Dude. Far from it.

So, if there’s no substantive connection between The Dude and Senator Chris Dodd, is Novick just pandering to college students and fans of cult classics? Or if the Lebowski reference isn’t political, then does it symbolize another instance in the pattern of pure whimsy at the Novick campaign, which started with references to college mascots and most recently culminated in ‘Talk Like a Pirate Novick’?

It makes one wonder how seriously he takes this race. And, if Novick values Dude-like qualities in a Senator, does that mean he’ll spend his recesses bowling?

Advertisements
 

13 Responses to “Novick Follows Up Pirate Talk with Lebowski Reference”

  1. torridjoe Says:

    Jesus Christ. You’ve never heard someone referred to as “The Man?”

    Just because you may be used to politicians groomed and overconsulted to say nothing the slightest bit interesting or demonstrative, doesn’t mean someone without that handicap “isn’t taking the race seriously.”

    Sheesh.

  2. taoiseach Says:

    ‘Obviously, you’re not a golfer’…that is to say, obviously, you’re not a Big Lebowski fan. Which would put you in the running for not being a very big Coen Bros. fan…

    ‘The Man’ and ‘The Dude’ are totally different. And I’m pretty sure that the Novick’s consultant friends, who branded the ‘Hook’ line, don’t know that.

  3. Terry Says:

    Cult classic? How about great movie? You’re attempt to marginalize The Big Lebowski is almost as lame as Witigonen’s entirely anal effort to label Novick “unSenatorial” because he’s a fan of The Dude.

    Frankly, what we need in this country are more candidates like Novick who aren’t afraid to speak their minds, candidates, in other words, who have no fear of sounding “unSenatorial.”

    Imagine, Al Franken and Steve Novick both speaking on the Senate floor. C-Span’s ratings will go through the Capitol dome!

  4. torridjoe Says:

    “‘Obviously, you’re not a golfer’…that is to say, obviously, you’re not a Big Lebowski fan. Which would put you in the running for not being a very big Coen Bros. fan…”

    Ah, the “you’re not in the club” putdown. It IS possible to be a Coen fan and not like TBL (but of course I’ve seen it); what does that have to do with how it was used? Do you really think Novick is literally making a Dude comparison?

    I says again, sheesh.

  5. taoiseach Says:

    Ah, the “you’re not in the club” putdown.

    By ‘club’, do you mean Democratic Party? Because you’re not in that club, and that membership does seem to matter come primary election time.

  6. Nick Wirth Says:

    It IS possible to be a Coen fan and not like TBL (but of course I’ve seen it)

    No, no it’s not. Nevermind everything else in this thread, that comment clearly is the most divisive.

  7. James Says:

    “Imagine, Al Franken and Steve Novick both speaking on the Senate floor. C-Span’s ratings will go through the Capitol dome!”

    Putting Al Franken and Steve Novick in the same league is insulting to Al. As I’ve said, funny and jokes are great, but this quote was just nonsensical as so deftly argued above.

  8. Terry Says:

    Ah, James, you continue to miss the point. Al and Steve are certainly “in the same league” when it comes to speaking “unSenatorially.”

    Besides, Steve is one funny dude!

  9. torridjoe Says:

    “By ‘club’, do you mean Democratic Party?”

    try to follow along. We were talking about the Coens.

    And TBL is their attempt at broad humor. It’s their least appealing work, along with John Goodman’s.

  10. Stephanie V Says:

    WTF?!

    It’s very encouraging to me that this is the most vigorous criticism taoiseach seems to be able to muster against Steve Novick.

    He’s way less than six feet tall. He doesn’t have ten fingers or perfectly coiffed hair, and he doesn’t speak weasel as either his first or second language. In fact, he speaks with authenticity and enthusiasm. I guess that means he is doomed to be considered “unsenatorial” by taoiseach and James. I’m glad it’s not up to them.

  11. Taoiseach Says:

    It’s very encouraging to me that this is the most vigorous criticism taoiseach seems to be able to muster against Steve Novick.

    Really I could put more effort into it, but I don’t see why at this point.

    Also, SV, I do get to decide between Merkley and Novick on any factor I so choose because I’m a Democrat, which is more than I can say for many of your blog team contemporaries.

    Of course, I choose Merkley over Novick for none of the reasons you mention. I prefer substance, which is best demonstrated to me by experience and accomplishment. The 2007 session, of many items, is enough proof of Merkley’s substance for me.

    Now go start your own blog; it seems you have a lot to say.

  12. Stephanie V Says:

    Flattery will always win a girl’s heart, taoiseach!

    But I don’t have time to start my own blog, and besides, it’s so much more fun to annoy you here.

  13. Emmaline Says:

    Heey! The babes are here! This is my sexiest site to visit. I make sure I am alone in case I get too hot. Post your favorite link here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s