Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The book-industry newsletter Publishers Lunch regularly lists "unique bestsellers" -- books that have made only one newspaper's bestseller list. This week, the "unique" list (which, alas, is in a subscription-only part of the Publishers Lunch site) notes that The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex and Feminism, written by Carrie L. Lukas and published by Regnery, appears on the Washington Post list and nowhere else. That suggests that it's found a wide audience only in D.C.

Here it is, at #9 on the Post's nonfiction paperback list.

The publisher's description of the book, which appears at its Amazon page, promises us that

In The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to Women, Sex, and Feminism, Carrie Lukas, a young career woman and new mother, sets the record straight: correcting the lies women have been told and slamming the door on the screaming harpies of NOW, feminist professors, and the rest of the bra-burners who have done so much to wreck women's lives.

("Bra-burners"? Has anyone actually burned a bra in the name of feminism at any time in the past thirty-five years?)

Carrie Lukas, by the way, is an "Expert" at the anti-feminist Independent Women's Forum, where she "authored the IWF special reports, Dependency Divas: How the Feminist Big Government Agenda Betrays Women and Recess from Reality: The Feminist Failure to Embrace School Choice" -- although her expertise seems to lie elsewhere: we're told that "Lukas has already had a distinguished career defending economic liberty and personal responsibility" (at the Cato Institute and elsewhere).

Now, there've been a billion feminist-backlash books published in recent years. They get a lot of press, but they rarely sell. Why is this one selling -- but only in D.C.?

Here's a theory: It's because Washington has become Wingnut Central, a company town for the loony right. Washington has become a place where people actually think that if they buy a book like this -- or any book in the "Politically Incorrect Guide" series -- they're sticking it to The Man (who in this case has a vagina). And they believe this even though nearly all of them, directly or indirectly, work for The Man. (They don't quite understand that actually running the country makes you The Man.)

I think this would help to explain why the Beltway media is still feeding us Democrat-bashing and Bush cheerleading long after the rest of the country has had enough. If my theory is correct, Washington is to GOP far right what certain Sunni neighborhoods of Baghdad are to Saddam Hussein, places where the debunking hasn't penetrated and no one can really believe that the old days of glory aren't just around the corner.

Conservatives have always said Washington was out of touch with the rest of the country. I think that's true -- not the way conservatives think, but exactly the opposite way.

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