30 March 2009

21. Term Limits

Term Limits by Vince Flynn

This was a pretty good book. I had some idea what to expect concerning the writing style because I have heard Vince Flynn mentioned in the past. Most recently I heard his name on the Rush Limbaugh show because Rush was giving away one of his books. (FYI...I think Rush is an arrogant ass who likes to say stuff just to be controversial) I knew that Vince Flynn was being compared to Tom Clancy, so I expected the writing to be a bit like him. It was.
This was Flynn's first book. I would think his writing would get better in the later books. He has published six more since then. For a first book he did pretty darned well. He told a good story and kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. It is a thriller, so that is what is supposed to happen. I guess it would not be much of a thriller if I felt like I could put it down and walk away.
This story is about a US Government that is mired in partisan politics, full of self-serving politicians whose sole purpose is to get re-elected, and a country that is stagnating. To seriously simplify the story...some ex SEALs decide to fix it by killing a few members of congress that thy deem to be career politicians that are a threat to the real national security. Then the President's Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor decide they can use this to eliminate political rivals and sew up the next election for the President by spinning the story. The FBI, CIA and the Pentagon work together to solve the crimes.
There are two groups of terrorists. Good terrorists and bad terrorists. Terrorists that only kill there target and never their security teams (Secret Service, US Marshals, Marines, etc.) and terrorists that set of bombs that kill anyone in the area. Terrorists with the countries best interests at heart and terrorists that only care about their own political futures. Terrorists we like and should call them freedom fighters and terrorists that we don't like and should call them dirt-bags.
My opinion of that...it was a major flaw in the story. It seems that when the initial assassinations occurred (3 Senators and Speaker of the House) the press and the American public's overwhelming response was "Oh well, we might be better off with new blood anyway." THAT is total bull. There is no way we would respond like that to people killing members of congress. No matter how much we disliked what Congress was doing, assassination is not the way to send the message.
Assassination of elected government officials is completely anti-democracy. How can one say they are killing to defend the constitution and protect democracy when the very people they are killing are democratically elected? Yes, I know there are some far reaching arguments as to why this could be the case, but I do not agree. Don't re-elect them. That is the democratic way to change things that we feel are wrong.
How am I supposed to think that the "good" terrorists are OK, when I think the entire premise for their mission is faulty? So I couldn't. I had a problem with both sides. I ended up hoping the FBI/CIA team would win a total victory and everyone would end up in prison...yeah right. No such luck.
Also, I really didn't like the Chief of Staff character. He was verbally abusive and totally disrespectful to heads of government departments. He would belittle them in meetings and go on tirades. As the story went on he became a nervous and agitated sniveling whiner with no spine. Al this was completely overlooked by the President. It was just too hard for me to believe. Why would the President have a man around like that?
Overall I enjoyed the book. I will read more of Vince Flynn's novels. I will hope for some growth and will probably see it. He is not Tom Clancy, but it is written in that style, and the story keeps hitting like an assault rifle on automatic. Flynn is good and has potential to be an author I really enjoy reading. I will find more of his books at yard sales and flea markets. :-)

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