My God, they finally did it.
“Fires of Siberia,” a bodice-ripper starring a Michele Bachmann-like figure goes on sale June 1. “Presidential candidate Danielle Powers, full of firebrand pluck and red state sex appeal, has the country in a tizzy. But on an international tour to beef up her foreign policy experience, disaster ensues—her plane explodes over Siberia. Miraculously, Danielle survives, along with one other passenger—a mysterious stranger named Steadman Bass. Trapped in a wilderness of snow and ice, the two begin a journey that pushes Danielle to the brink. There she must confront her deepest self and choose between civilization and a wild, primitive ecstasy,” says the description. Er, okay. It’s almost as wild a fantasy as Bachmann’s statement that the IRS has a “vast database” of our health-care information — all our “personal, intimate, most close-to-the-vest secrets will be in that database, and the IRS is in charge of that database? So the IRS will have the ability potentially …to deny health care, to deny access, to delay health care.”
Based on the rest of the publisher’s catalogue, as the Atlantic Wire notes, the book is on the border between performance art and straight-up beach read. It includes some interestingly purple prose. When she first shakes hands with Steadman Bass: “They shook hands, and Danielle felt the hot vitality of his blood. His hand was surging with warmth. His fingers were weathered like a workman’s, but his touch betrayed a grace and kindness his face otherwise kept guarded. She wanted to stay fastened to him, so essential was the heat.” Zoiks!
But it makes one wonder: if this is a success, what other political bodice-rippers lurk in the depths?
• “Desert Passions,” inspired by Marco Rubio. “GOP up-and-comer Davo Sapphiro has everything — enthusiasm, youth, and most of his original hair. But on a jaunt to demonstrate the viability of his plan for comprehensive immigration reform, his truck breaks down, leaving him stranded in the middle of desert with nothing but the one thing standing between him and his nationwide ambitions — Dee Rpark, a talking plastic bottle of water.”
• “50 First States” inspired by John McCain, where Joe McStick pursues an on-again off-again relationship with the national media. “I will warm to you slowly, lavish attention on you, even come to love you in time,” his paramour coos, “just not in 2008.” A war hero is transformed into a monster in the eyes of Belle Weather, a member of the national media, by his decision to join the Republican party. But the more time they spend together, the more she comes to see him as a human being. As the flower in the West Wing slowly sheds its petals, will she choose to help or hinder him in 2008?”
• “Appalachian Betrayal” and its sequel, “Crying in Argentina,” inspired by Mark Sanford. This is not fiction.
• “Wide Pumpkin Carriage,” inspired by Larry Craig. This is a retelling of the Cinderella story, where a senator must travel the whole nation, across airports and stalls, hunting for the foot that fits the shoe that once tapped memorably for him.
• “Cry Havoc,” inspired by House Speaker John Boehner. A prematurely orange member of the leadership finds himself stranded on an island with the woman of his dreams. The only catch? To win her heart, he must promise not to shed a single tear for three years.
• “That American President,” inspired by President Obama. “A president and a New York Times columnist are stranded together on a desert island for several days after Marine 1 experiences engine trouble. At first, he is frustrated by her repeated suggestions that he ‘make one of those charts like they had in ‘This American President’ and ‘use the magical powers of the presidency to fix everything that is wrong.’ But finally she grows on him, in a novel that reviewers describe as a “Sorkinesque liberal fantasia.”‘
• “The Biden Collection.” This is not a novel so much as it is recently unearthed footage of Vice President Joe Biden reading the entire “Harlequin Presents” romance series aloud to himself, pausing occasionally to giggle at weird times.