Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Steal this book

James Carville is back at it again, this time with old partner in crime Paul Begala. They have put out a book called "Buck Up, Suck Up...And Come Back When You Foul Up". It's easy to find out more - just Google for "Carville and Begala suck".

Once upon a time I met a man who was a diver. He told me that you always wanted to dive with a partner and a knife in case you were attacked by a shark. When attack appeared inevitable, you were to take the knife out and start stabbing. Not the shark, your partner - while he's incapacitated, you swim away like hell.

Expecting similar wisdom, I picked up the book. Lo - it has blurbs from Tom Peters and Newt Gingrich. It can't be any worse than the news about the crematorium in Georgia. Since I live in a country where the bookstores still have comfy chairs, and had resolved that these two would never see a dime of my money if I could help it, I grabbed it and hid in the corner to read a few chapters.

There's some good stuff in it. Some of the political anecdotes are interesting, and Carville is nothing if not a BS artist - bull sessions with him and Bill Clinton must have been something to behold . And there's the usual recipes.

As for their guidance for budding political strategists, well.... It's no surprise that first off they admonish you never to give up. And they practice what they preach - just after they declare that the book is not partisan, they start dumping on Kenneth Starr.

They follow up with that peculiar amoral righteousness that they do so well. They even criticize Bill Clinton in spots. But not for his politics of course - they said he should have 'fessed up to make the scandals go away sooner.

So if there's not a car wreck nearby, check it out. Just don't buy it.

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