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Excerpt from The Republican Playbook

The following is an excerpt from the book The Republican Playbook
by Andy Borowitz
Published by Hyperion; October 2006;$16.95US/$21.95CAN; 1-4013-0290-4
Copyright © 2006 Andy Borowitz

Infiltrating the Democrats: Dos and Don'ts

In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon ordered a team of burglars to break into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., to steal the Democrats' plans for the upcoming election. While this burglary and the subsequent cover-up became known as the Watergate scandal, the real scandal, from the Republican point of view, was how few plans worth stealing the Democrats actually had. After ransacking party headquarters, the best that the Watergate burglars could come up with was a cocktail napkin with the words "Nominate a Liberal" scrawled on it. All in all, such a "secret plan" hardly justified all the time, effort, and money we put into breaking into the place.

Over the years, the Democrats' plans for victory have gotten no more sophisticated ("Nominate a Liberal from Massachusetts" appears to be the latest incarnation), but our espionage techniques have grown by leaps and bounds. We no longer use such crude methods as burglary, but instead rely on high-tech listening devices and wiretapping technology developed by the Republican Party's sister organization, the National Security Agency (NSA). Sometimes, however, particularly at the local level, the best way to get information out of the Democrats is also one of the most old-fashioned dirty tricks in the book: infiltration. The Democrats are usually all too willing to welcome one of us into their sorry band, since they have been so thoroughly demoralized over the years that they are surprised, if not amazed, that anyone would actually want to become one of them. That's when the fun begins.

As easy as infiltration might sound at first blush, however, it is actually one of the most distasteful tasks around, because in order to be successful at it, you must actually look, sound, and act like a Democrat for hours at a time. Needless to say, this is not a task for the squeamish, and posing as a Democrat can cause unfortunate physical reactions such as unsightly rashes, hives, and projectile vomiting. With that caveat in mind, here are some Dos and Don'ts for posing as a Democrat:

Do pretend to listen to National Public Radio. This is a radio service that is available at the lower end of the FM dial that features an unappetizing stew of liberal-biased news, scratchy bluegrass recordings, and a supposedly entertaining automobile-repair program. In order to pass as a Democrat, you must be conversant in all NPR programming and be prepared to discuss it lovingly. This means you will have to sit through all of it, including a truly interminable show called A Prairie Home Companion. As we said before, this assignment is not for the squeamish.

Don't let on that you have ever attended a NASCAR race. No Democrat has ever gone to NASCAR, and even the most casual mention of it will give you away. If the word "NASCAR" should somehow slip out and one of your Democrat "friends" asks what you said, reply, "I said the new film by Pedro Almodóvar."

Do walk around with slouched shoulders, shuffling your feet in a depressed manner. Remember, the Democrats have been going down to electoral defeat for years and as a result, they now lead lives of quiet desperation. When you show up at campaign headquarters, you should appear as though it took everything you had just to get out of bed in the morning. If you act in that cheerful, upbeat, I-just-got-a-dividend-tax-cut way, you'll instantly be branded as a Republican and the jig will be up.

Don't wear a flag lapel pin. Remember, the Democrats want to burn all our flags. If you can somehow find a lapel pin of a flag on fire, wear that. Ladies, don't wear a brooch. Only Republican ladies wear brooches. Also, never refer to yourself as "ladies." There is no such thing as a Democrat lady.

Excerpted from The Republican Playbook Published by Hyperion. Copyright © 2006 Andy Borowitz All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

Andy Borowitz is a comedian, actor, and writer whose website,, enjoys a wide following and critical acclaim. With new material posted Monday through Friday, it is syndicated in newspapers across the country, including the LA Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Named one of the most powerful forces in television by Esquire magazine after he created the hit television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he also produced the film Pleasantville, which was nominated for four Academy Awards. Borowitz is the first-ever winner of the National Press Club’s humor awards, and has won seven Dot-Comedy Awards for his website. He was a 2001 and 2005 finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor, and in 2002 he was inducted into the Friar’s Club of New York. This is his fifth book.

Review of The Republican Playbook
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