Do my eyes deceive me? My book is up on Amazon. Adorned by the title, After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery, it is on its way to the bookstores for an April 20 pub date. Already the notion of “Hangover” has caught on. Today’s Washington Post headlines Kathleen Parker’s piece on Republican excess “The GOP’s Michael Steele Hangover.” Yes, “Hangover.” Well, in my book I note that the Republicans’ excess has been going on for some years now. Ever since the late Bush years, practically every elected Republican official whom I encountered looked like hell: blood-shot eyes, wobbly on the feet — overall quite crapulent. They had been spending like drunken sailors and veering as far from conservative principle as their insobriety would allow them. Yet in my book I offer a road to recovery. Call the book a therapeutic. Call me Doctor Tyrrell.
Yet it is a little creepy to see the term “Hangover” already being applied to the Republicans. Could it be that we are going to see a reprise of the days when my book titles, The Liberal Crack-Up and The Conservative Crack-Up inspired all the talk of various and sundry political “crack-ups”? Will “Hangover” become as popular a diagnosis of the political condition as “Crack-Up” became?
If so, remember when I apply these terms I anticipate laughter. As William Churchill said, a joke is a serious thing.