Presidential Fictions


J.L. Wall

J.L. Wall is a native Kentuckian in self-imposed exile to the Midwest, where he teaches writing to college students and over-analyzes Leonard Cohen lyrics.

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20 Responses

  1. Avatar Scott says:

    We should be worried now that Barry is letting the DHS carry out backdoor amnesty for illegals.Report

  2. Avatar Jeff says:

    It’s heavy on the wrenching stories of migrant experiences, something the President already knows quite a bit about.

    Becasuse he’s not REALLY American — he’s secretly still Kenyan. But no racism here, no sirree.

    I’m just glad we have a President who reads! (All those who think that GWB would have any idea who the authors mentioned in this pat are, raise your hand.)Report

    • Avatar Scott says:


      How typically elitist. Barry is superior to Bush b/c he reads what you would read, right? How do you even know that Bush didn’t read or what he might have read?Report

      • Avatar Jeff says:

        “How do you even know that Bush didn’t read or what he might have read?”

        Because I listened to him.Report

      • Avatar LauraNo says:

        ‘Barry’ and ‘Bush’? Should it not be either ‘Barry and Georgie’ or ‘Obama and Bush’? This seems so juvenile as to make you unworthy of reading. So I’ll just skip on by. It’s a shame, I have always been impressed with the discourse I find here.Report

  3. Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

    I liked Kaus’ observation. BHO is on the ropes in polls of Hispanics, whom he needs sorely for his re-elect, so it’s PR. Either that or BHO is completely self-absorbed and spends his spare time reading mirrors of his own experience.

    Hopefully, POTUS’ reading list is full of things that might actually help him find a way out of the current crisis [crises], like an Econ 101 text.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      If the President reads things which mirror his own personal experiences, then that just means he’s a lot like the rest of us. Including a goodly number of us here at LOOG.Report

      • Avatar NoPublic says:

        I know I spend a great deal of time dealing with incursions from the Unseelie Court and figuring out how best to deal with the zombie hordes in my personal life. Just to pick a couple of my vacation reads at random.Report

      • Avatar Art Deco says:

        I would not be all that sure that that was what Kaus was driving at when he said the ‘president knows quite a bit about’ wrenching migrant experiences. ‘Wrenching migrant experience’ is a rather florid way of describing Obama’s move to Indonesia with his mother in 1966 and his return to Honolulu to live with his grandparents in 1971.Report

      • Avatar Scott says:


        I didn’t realize that Game of Thrones mirrored anyone at LOOGs personal experience.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

          I’ll have to ask if the incestuous couple next door and their dwarf brother are reading it or not.Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko says:

          Perhaps not in the sense that no one is sleeping with their siblings, running swords through their enemies, or engaging in complex and deadly political and military machinations. At least, I sure hope not.

          But there is a concerted effort to tease out human emotional experiences from the books, like loving a sibling that you aren’t quite sure you actually like; having to weigh personal advantage against ethical ideals; wrestling with competing visions of the ineffable; or balancing the value of observing the law for its own sake versus taking a chance at a better policy goal with different (or no) rules.

          I think you probably don’t have to look all that hard to find some resonance.

          Of course, I also don’t think that the only thing people here are reading is A Song Of Fire And Ice. But it sure is fun.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      It’s hard to picture the list is PR designed to appeal to Hispanics, when not one of the books is, you know, about Hispanics. Nor do I see how a family drama set in Israel, or crime novels set in Louisiana are mirrors of BHO’s experience.Report

  4. Avatar Jeff says:

    BTW, this is one of the main reasons we liberals think that people like Klaus are ridiculous:

    Liberals bashed Bush because of his actions, especially those that got people killed. Idiots like Klaus bash Obama over his freakin’ READING LIST! Guh!!!Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      Kaus is a registered Democrat. He was a clerk for Judge Stanley Mosk of the Supreme Court of California, then on the Domestic Policy Staff of the Carter White House, then on the staff of Harper’s during Michael Kinsley’s tenure as editor, then an aide to Sen. Ernest Hollings. He has always been somewhat irritated with the dominant opinion within the Democratic Party.Report

    • Avatar LauraNo says:

      And before the reading list it was the earthquake and before that it was the vacation and before that it was the bus tour while Congress is out of town, NOT doing their job, and before that it was…oh I don’t remember, something Rush had to say? white men being picked on again I suppose.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    “This is not to say that fiction should be didactic (God forbid it!),”

    Unfortunately, Ayn Rand didn’t believe in God.Report

  6. It’s almost sad, the trajectory of Mickey Kaus’s career. Almost.Report