Received today. Buckley is quite possibly, the funniest political satirist currently writing. P.J. O’Rourke might be his equal in the non-fiction essay, but for side-splitting laughs that skewer the political class in general and the politically correct in particular, you cannot beat Buckley. His first novel, The White House Mess, back in 1986 had me laughing out loud. Thank You for Smoking brutally savaged the world of Washington lobbyists. Boomsday, published last year, took on the impending conflict between the boomers and the gen-x & millennial generations.

Supreme Courtship is just plain fun. Imagine a frustrated, unpopular middle-of-the-road president who is so frustrated when the Senate rejects one of his Supreme Court nominees (because he wrote a less-than-enthusiastic review of To Kill a Mockingbird in his elementary school newspaper) that he sends up Judge Judy as his next nominee. Only imagine Judge Judy recast as a Texas drawling not-to-be messed with steel magnolia. The confirmation hearings alone are golden.

Sample lines:

The President had evolved into the sworn enemy of the majority of the United States Congress, whose members understand that their main job, their highest calling, their truest democratic function, is to take money from other states and funnel it to their own. What greater homage to the Founding Fathers and the men who froze at Valley Forge could there be than a civic center in Tulsa paid for by the taxpayers of Massachusetts?

Senator Dexter Mitchell despised President Vandercamp because he had vetoed S. 322, a bill Mitchell had sponsored that would have required every helicopter rotor blade in the U.S. military to be made in his home state of Connecticut.

“Judge,” Senator Shimmerman began, “I wonder if perhaps you might tell the committee a little about your judicial philosophy.”

“Basically, do your best to keep an orderly courtroom. Make sure everyone abides by the rules. Punish the wicked and acquit the innocent. That’s about it. Want to fast-forward to Roe v. Wade?”

If you’re the slightest bit interested (and irreverent) about politics and politicians, you will love this book – and probably be laughing out loud at more than one passage.

And if Buckley hasn’t already started on a movie script and pitched the part of Judge Pepper Cartwright to Dolly Parton, he’s crazy. I had Dolly in mind about two pages into the book!

– Rob Shearer

Fair Warning: Buckley has no qualms about accurately transcribing the colorful vocabulary of some of his characters. I tend to mentally block and skip the “f” & “s” words, but not everyone can.