Richard's Reviews > Don't Vote, it Just Encourages the Bastards

Don't Vote, it Just Encourages the Bastards by P.J. O'Rourke
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Dec 31, 10

bookshelves: politics
Read from December 25 to 31, 2010

As has been noted in other places, this rant of P.J. O'Rourke's is not as entertaining as Parliament of Whores, but I think it is indicative of a change in his reporting position: When he wrote Parliament of Whores, he was still working in Washington and had regular contact with politicians and policy wonks of all types - you'll never find a better (or more infuriating) look at federal bureaucracy than his chapter on the Department of Transportation. In Don't Vote, a lot of it is just P.J. ruminating on things that aggravate him. While his aggravation is amusing to read, it's not quite the entertaining/educating work of a journalist.

My only other gripe is that a number of pieces are reprints of various op-eds he produced for other sources. This has the effect of making the book slightly disjointed as we switch from topic to topic without a whole lot of rhyme or reason.

All that being said, P.J. O'Rourke is still an immensely talented writer with a talent for metaphor that makes seemingly complex concepts understandable. I say "seemingly" because what I think P.J. really does is strip away complex verbiage that he powers-what-is use to make simple concepts (zero-sum, the effects of government investment) seem too complex for the plebeians. Even at a distance, his nose for B.S. is still very keen and makes for entertaining reading.
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