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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Department of Book Reports 45: How to Win a Fight with a Conservative

You’ve all probably seen the ad for the book on the General’s sidebar. I decided to peruse the book and pick up some tips, and I gotta say, Daniel Kurtzman not only has a fine first name, he’s a funny guy. And for those who get befuddled by Conservative nonsense, it is a useful tome. And the bonus for those with short attentions spans, the book is not very long.

How to Win a Fight with a Conservative (Sourcebooks $8.95) is divided into nine chapters, each of which prepares you for the knock-downs you might face either at the Holiday table with the reactionary Uncle, or the blow-hard talk show host. The chapters include such morsels as what it means to be a liberal, knowing what conservatism means, how to frame your arguments, pointers on specific contemporary issues, how to detect bullshit, and, when all else fails, a schematic for name-calling.

Kurtzman, who is editor of, has many diagrams to aid in the fight against Conservatives. His wit shines through in them. For instance, in a section entitled, How Not to be an Asshole, he highlights what one might be tempted to say, and how that should be translated into more diplomatic speech. Instead of saying “Do I need to speak slower, with fewer syllables?”, one should say “I’m not sure we’re communicating”. Instead of “What do the demons say when they come for you at night?”, try “How did you arrive at that conclusion?”. And instead of asking, “Did the lobotomy leave a scar?”, perhaps “Do you honestly believe that?” might be more appropriate.

Apparently Kurtzman has also written another book, How to Win a Fight with a Liberal, which cannot be stocked here in the People’s Republic of Seattle. (We suspect that it is really a blank book.)

This fun book is available at Jackson Street Books and other fine independent bookstores.

And speaking of politics, for those of you who enjoy watching the links at Crooks and Liars, and other blogs, let me recommend Darryl’s place, Hominid Views, where every Friday night, he links to many, many fine sites. Tammy and enjoy catching up on the events of the world there every weekend.

For those of you in the Puget Sound area, allow me to invite you on Sunday night to come hear Margaret Willson speak at JSB at 7:00pm about her book Dance Lest We All Fall Down (Cold Tree Press $15.95) which describes her experiences of working in a Brazilian shantytown.

democommie™™™™®© is currently moving into his stately mansion and could not be reached for comment.

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We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.