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America’s most subversive conservative, O’Rourke describes government as a devil’s bargain between power, freedom, and responsibility, and goes on to hilariously skewer the politicians who have bargained with us to consolidate power, and the many mini-bargains and evasions that citizens have made with the consequences of their choices.
P. J. O'Rourke begins with a party game that comes to us from late-night giggle sessions in all-girls boarding schools: “Kill, F@#%, Marry.” Pick three men - or, in O’Rourke’s version, three political ideologies, i.e., Democrat, Republican, and Independents (a.k.a. Confused). Then you have to choose which to terminate with extreme prejudice, which to go for a roll in the hay with, and which to settle down with permanently for a boring life in the suburbs. This astute tool of political analysis works on the parts of government as well as on the political thinking that led to those parts: Kill the Department of Education, screw Social Security, and marry the Armed Forces. The same for political policies: Screw the bailout, marry a balanced budget, and national health care kills you.
O’Rourke explores the basis of our democracy - the aforementioned power, freedom, and responsibility, a.k.a. the “Kill, F@#%, Marry” of liberty and self-rule. O’Rourke favors - reluctantly, he admits - responsibility. From the woes of nation-building to the woes of letting politicians rebuild the automobile industry, no irresponsibility of America’s political establishment is spared. Why, he asks, was the health care reform debate framed in terms of health insurance? ("When your house is on fire, do you call Allstate or 911?") Listen to P. J. O’Rourke on the pathetic nature of politics and laugh through your tears or, what the hell - just laugh.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Fernando on 11-05-12
Would be much funnier with a different narrator
Would you try another book from P. J. O'Rourke and/or Christopher Lane?
No. I don't think Christopher Lane has the right tone to deliver what O'Rourke writes.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
O'Rourke has very witty comments about the political system. The chapter about freedom was a bit too long.
How could the performance have been better?
It could have been miles better.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Don't Vote - It Just Encourages the Bastards?
I wouldn't cut it, just make sure that he narration has the same tone as the book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By James on 11-06-11
Amusement for political nuts
This book is very amusing, but filled with interesting information. I finished this in two days so it's very easy to get through and not boring at any level. Probably not the best O'Rourke book, but it's still worth having. I will say that O'Rourke is getting both bitter & better in age. Try it, you'll like it.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Elephant908 on 11-09-11
PJ is getting too conservative
PJ is probably one of the funniest American writers ever. I like to hear him wax on and off about his early life and about his wacked out libertarian views on everything from sex, drugs and cars. But here to takes on the Obama administration and demonizes it too heavilly.
He's funny, but angry and his bitterness at democrats having won the election is too much for the more free thinking listeners. Gone are the days of his rebel tales and fun stories, and now here comes this conservative, not even a libertarian one at that. Don't bother getting this, get the one about cars and get age and guile.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful