Technically it’s the Allen camp that nuked him by issuing the press release, but come on. Who has the launch codes? Who’s the one capable of putting this into media orbit?

A few thoughts.

1. In Webb’s defense, American ass is, in fact, an important product.

2. Yes, “ma-cock-a.” I get it. No need for further e-mails.

3. John Hawkins broke this story ten days ago with help from an unknown “someone” who called it to his attention. Read his post, as it places the passage in context. It’s an odd little vignette, to be sure, but the other characters seem as mystified by it as the reader is. The story’s about Vietnam; maybe he’s describing some obscure cultural practice that he encountered there. Or, just maybe, he made it up. Have we actually reached the point where Senate seats now turn on the sex scandals of fictional characters?

4. If George Allen had written this book, not only would the left be going berserk, they’d be circulating lists of characters in his other books whom they suspect of being gay.

5. E.M.’s too easy on Foley but her larger point is, as usual, right:

Its not a major scandal, by any stretch, since it doesn’t appear as though he acted on any of the impulses that he wrote about in his novel, but if a few vulgar IMs can send the media into a major fit for nearly two weeks, and a stint at the Playboy party can become a running gag on The Daily Show, this deserves at least a lookover in a campaign commerical and a few “rescue” interviews, or at least some sort of new adjective attached to Jim Webb’s name when he’s mentioned on nighttime political stew shows, something right in the middle of a Foley and Ford, Jr.

Yeah, there’s no getting away from “[he] turned him upside down, and put the boy’s penis in his mouth.” Once you’re famous for having written something like that, you’re famous for having written something like that. If he beats Allen, they might as well refer to him that way when calling the roll. “…Mr. Obama; Mr. Pryor; Mr. Put the Boy’s Penis in His Mouth…”

Henceforth, forevermore, it shall be seared, seared in our memories.

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Update: Here’s another one for the “Malkin never criticizes conservatives” file.

Update: A pox on both their houses, says Moran:

Issuing a press release that quotes a character from one of Webb’s saucy war novels doing unspeakable things to his own son (sorry – find the damn link somewhere else. I don’t link to porn.), Allen may very well have sealed his victory by “outing” Webb’s fictional day dreams but he has lost his soul in the process…

But doesn’t this make anyone else’s skin crawl? Both because Webb wrote it and Allen brought it into a political campaign?…

There must be limits beyond which a candidate is penalized for exceeding. The absolutely disgusting nature of the passages quoted in the Allen press release fills that bill. The fact that they are quoting piece of fiction obviates only slightly Webb’s startling and disturbing imaginative wanderings into the sexual dark side of the human mind as it also reveals the depths to which Allen’s honor and integrity have sunk.

If this doesn’t doom any Presidential hopes for the Virginia Senator, it certainly should.