THE HURLY-BURLY of election season is upon us, so it’s a smart idea to stock up on ammunition for your next incendiary political debate. In case of a visit from your Limbaugh-loving Uncle Frank, let Win McCormack, owner of local publisher Tin House Books, be your arms supplier. In YOU DON’T KNOW ME: A CITIZEN’S GUIDE TO REPUBLICAN FAMILY VALUES (Tin House Books), McCormack has compiled an impressive, reader-friendly compendium of Republican malfeasance that makes the good people of Sodom and Gomorrah look like Quakers. While he does include plenty of examples of ethical impropriety on the part of Democrats (Bill Clinton, anyone?), McCormack produces the most shock and awe when pointing out that intriguing right-wing juxtaposition of outspoken self-righteousness and clandestine debauchery. His investigations into the Caligula-like activities of such upright citizens as Ted Haggard, Newt Gingrich, Mark Foley, and Larry Craig flush out instances of sadism, drug abuse, pedophilia—even bestiality. McCormack makes confetti out of the family values espoused by these pious members of the right, supporting his claims, Smoking Gun-style, with police reports and court records. The next time Uncle Frank wants to take the moral high ground on an issue, simply direct him to the section on Florida state representative Bob Allen.
This article appeared in the September 2008 issue of Portland Monthly.