‘Capitol Hell’ Tells the Story of Stereotypical Republicans and their Rise to Power

Kurt Thurber

 

Capitol Hell is certainly a book that challenges preconceived notions.  Do Republicans with their moral grandstanding and fear mongering even have a sense of humor? In this debut novel, they try.

 

Two former Republican Congressional staffers, Jayne J. Jones and Alicia M. Long are co-authors of Capitol Hell. They tell the tale of a young, naive, exuberant scheduler, Allison Admundsom and the dog-eat-dog world that is Washington, DC politics.  Allison works for a freshman Republican Senator from Minnesota, Anders McDermott III, who goes from not being able to switch his laundry to a frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nominee in a matter of pages.

 

One of the first things stressed in writing classes is to show, not tell your story. Capitol Hell goes the other way.  If the reader does not grasp the humor or wittiness from an exchange, not to worry because Allison’s internal monologue is there to explain why the said exchange was especially pithy.  Plot points in the book just seem to happen in order to show what zany conundrum Allison and Janet, her trusty sidekick, can get out of next.

 

Allison’s boss, Senator McDermott, does not seem to offer much as a national political candidate. He constantly makes media flubs and seems to have no political message, much less a national platform. McDermott seems to be even more incompetent outside the halls of Congress. He is unable to complete any rudimentary task and his only constant ambition is to have an extramarital affair with a female celebrity. The only person who can save him from himself so he can lead the world’s foremost military power is a scheduler from a small South Dakota town who is less than a year post-college graduation.

 

Despite its 300 pages, Capitol Hell feels unfinished.  The characters, including the protagonist Allison and Janet are not fully drawn out.  It is never fully explained why Allison, who was already an integral part of Senator McDermott’s initial Senate campaign, accepts a $20,000 a year job with 12-hour-plus work days other than shoehorned placed statements about her love of country and patriotic duty.

 

Capitol Hell positions itself as a Sex in the City chic-lit type novel for summer beach reading, particularly for people with conservative political persuasions.  There are family values—Janet is a virgin whose mind is in the gutter and Allison has had sexual escapades in college, however, she puts her promiscuous ways on hold to get the job done. Not that the authors do not have an open mind, one of the Congressional staffers is alluded to as being homosexual. This is never confirmed and the character disappears in the last third of the book.

Not to worry, immigrants and people who seek government assistance are duly put in their place for using up taxpayer money. None of this actually moves along the plot or provides much-needed character development. However, it does establish the authors’ ideological bona fides.

 

If anyone is curious as to what CPAC participants and college Republicans find whimsical or find they need to kill time at an exclusive beach club where the only minorities are the grounds crew, then Capitol Hell is worth the read.  

 

Author Bio:

Kurt Thurber is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine.

 

For Highbrow Magazine

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