About The Book
What is the Republican Party Reptile? It is a creature of the eighties. It’s neoconservatism with its pants down around its ankles, the Rehnquist Supreme Court on drugs, a disco Hobbes living without shame or federally mandated safety regulations. The Republican Party Reptile supports a strong defense policy, but sees no reason to conduct it while sober. The RPR believes in minimum government interference in private affairs’unless the government brings over extra girls and some ice. In short, the RPR is the new label that our political spectrum has been crying out for”the conservative with a sense of humor and a healthy dose of depravity.
Here, in the twenty-one pieces collected in this book, P.J. O’Rourke, reactionary and humorist, articulates this strange new philosophy and shows us the progenitor of the species’namely himself”in action. O’Rourke visits the Lebanese civil war and the Marcos election campaign, sees Russia through the bottom of vodka bottle, examines sundry aspects of Western civilization such as the great bicycle menace and the history of the last fifteen minutes, and even explains how to drive a pickup truck into the woods at sixty miles an hour. Mean, outrageous, and always funny, O’Rourke is, as Christopher Buckley has said, ‘s.J. Perelman on acid.”
The Platform of the Republican Party Reptiles:
“I think our agenda is clear. We are opposed to: government spending, Kennedy kids, seat-belt laws, busing our children anywhere other than Yale, trailer courts near our vacation homes, all tiny Third World countries that don’t have banking secrecy laws, aerobics, the UN, taxation without tax loop”holes, and jewelry on men. We are in favor of: guns, drugs, fast cars, free love (if our wives don’t find out), a sound dollar, and a strong military with spiffy uniforms.
“There are thousands of people in America who feel this way, especially after three or four drinks. If all of us would unite and work together, we could give this country. . . well, a real bad hangover.”
“To say that P. J. O’Rourke is funny is like saying the Rocky Mountains are scenic”accurate but insufficient. At his best he’s downright exhilarat”ing . . . Republican Party Reptile is as rambunctiously entertaining as a greased pig catching contest. If you can find a funnier writer than P. J. O’Rourke, buy him a brandy, but don’t lend him the keys to your pickup.””Chicago Tribune
“Republican Party Reptile is hilarious. I laughed so hard reading this book that my armchair needs reupholstering. P. J. O’Rourke has got to be the funniest writer going, and boy does he go. This is high-octane wit, S. J. Perelman on acid.””Christopher Buckley
“The funniest writer in America . . . . His wonder at life’s irregularity is also what makes Mr. O’Rourke a reporter of the top chop . . . . He brings to his chaotic encounters a keen eye, a vivid, seemingly spontaneous prose style dense with jokes, and an expansive sympathy for his subjects . . . . For con’servatives and liberals, or for anyone bent double under the weight of political earnestness, Republican Party Reptile is a wonderful bonus indeed.””Andrew Ferguson, The Wall Street Journal
As once anything was excusable in the name of patriotism, now anything is excusable in the name of safety. We will kiss some low place on every dishtowel-head in the Levant rather than have a single breeder reactor on our shores. We will make every lube artist in America learn Japanese rather than produce an enjoyable automobile . . . This is treason. America was founded on danger. How many lifeboat drills were held on the Mayflower? Where were the smoke detectors in the Lincoln family cabin? Who checked to see whether Indian war paint was made with Red Dye No. 2? It was the thrilling, vast, wonderful danger of America which drew people here from all over the world–spacious skies filled with blizzards and tornadoes, purpled mountain majesties to fall off, and fruited plains full of snarling animals and armed aborigines. America is a dangerous country. Safety has no place here.
In fact, safety has no place anywhere. Everything that’s fun in life is dangerous. Horse races, for instance, are very dangerous.
But attempt to design a safe horse and the result is a cow (an appalling animal to watch at the trotters). And everything that isn’t fun is dangerous too. . . . Death was invented so we could have evolution. The process of Darwinian selection does not work on things that don’t die. If it weren’t for death we would all still be amoebas and would have to eat by surrounding things with our butts.
Copyright ” 1987 by P. J. O’Rourke. Reprinted with permission from Grove Atlantic, Inc. All rights reserved.