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.
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?