Friday, March 13, 2009

Send in the Nimitz!

Supreme Courtship
by Christopher Buckley

There are some authors who--even when they're not at their best--are so much better than almost anyone or anything else. Christopher Buckley is just such an author.

I don't think that Supreme Courtship is his strongest work. The satire isn't quite as clever and cutting as some of what he's done in the past. I'd call it "Buckley light." That said, you'd have to be made of stone not to get a giggle from this book. It's just silly and fun.

In the novel, the US is governed by a wildly unpopular president. (I'm not even going to say anything here.) Not only is he unpopular with the people, he's even more unpopular with his own congress. (He vetoes all of their pork barrel projects.) As revenge, the senate subcommittee eviscerates every Supreme Court nominee he sends their way, no matter how honorable and qualified. It's painful to watch. At his wits end, in an attempt to nominate an untouchable, he nominates Pepper Cartwright, America's favorite television judge. Hilarity ensues!

Not only is Buckley lampooning all three branches of the federal government, he takes pot shots at reality television, the uninformed populace, and possibly the writers of The West Wing. Again, this is a very light and fluffy book. If you're looking for in-depth insight into the workings of the Supreme Court, you're barking up the wrong tree. If, however, you're looking for a pleasant and not too challenging way to pass a few hours, you could do a lot worse. Christopher Buckley makes me smile. And you'll never look at the Nimitz the same way again, LOL.

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