Book Review: The Devil Inside the Beltway, by Michael J. Daugherty


Lets not kid ourselves and pretend like Mike Daugherty was Mr. Pro-Government before any of the FTC shenanigans plagued his business. Riddled with anti-government quotes and worshiping at the throne of Ronald Reagan, Daugherty tries to paint his battle with a David v. Goliath brush that overdoes it just a tad. (I wrote that note while on page 86. On page 103, he actually uses the D v. G comparison for the first of many many times). I’m not arguing that he was treated fairly or that he shouldn’t be upset over the actions of the FTC as he outlined in the book, but dialing back on the righteousness wouldn’t hurt.

Every dozen or so pages, he’ll remind you that his attorneys aren’t working for free. The phrase “billable hours” is used about 46546135 times. Later, you’re treated to a recap of a conversation with an attorney about what he would and would not be billed for, down to arguing over one-tenth of an hour billing breakdowns.

He used the term ‘Federal Leviathan.” Because a pain in the ass government employed lawyer is EXACTLY the same as the worst creature the Old Testament could cook up.

(Yeah it’s the Supernatural version of a Leviathan but it’s super creepy.)

He spends 350+ pages talking about “sticking it to The Man” while…doing exactly as they say. He waits over two years to google the company that started the mess that overtook his life. In TWO YEARS he didn’t think of getting the least bit of background on them? Really?

He had a myriad of attorneys over the course of four years and no one though of filing a FOIA until May 2012. It’s the government. It’s public record. This should’ve been one of the first things they did.

At one point, he compared the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) to the movie Dangerous Liaisons because…uh yeah, I didn’t get that part either. Later, he cast himself as Michael Corleone in The Godfather planning the murders of the heads of the Five Families, which is EXACTLY the same as complying with government agency and being unhappy about it.  I wish I was kidding.

Another gem: The federal government could’ve stopped Julian Assange and Wikileaks if they hadn’t been so concerned with Daugherty’s small lab in Atlanta. The ego on this guy is insane. If Daugherty is so concerned about looking like an ace (and he is, make no mistake about it), he should’ve hired a copy editor that would’ve caught the many mistakes throughout the book.

A favorite moment was when he compared dumping a lawyer to the death of Anne Boelyn. Because nothing says ending a professional relationship like beheading the sitting Queen of England.

When he didn’t like Julie Brill’s comments about working on behalf of the people against unfair business practices, he somehow related that to Communist China.

Here are the best things I can say about the book:

1. It’s easy to understand. No need for a vast amount of legal experience to understand it.

2. Um….the cover is cool looking.

That’s it.

There’s a disclaimer tucked in the front of the book alongside the copyright info and ISBN and other fun book stuff. It basically says “I don’t remember all the exact conversations so I took liberties dramatizing for effect.”  Ya think? No one actually talks the way Daugherty writes himself. Soooo many metaphors that are out of place and straight up cheesy. I spent so much time rolling my eyes.

Here’s the biggest issue, Michael Daugherty may be a perfectly nice person, but he comes off as such an ass and is proud of that fact throughout the book and his public persona.

He’s a rightwing conservative that hates the government BEFORE all of this, so there are so many times he doesn’t try to hide his prejudices for Democrats or anyone not beating the “repeal all regulations!” drum.

He shows a ton of disdain for academia despite having graduated from the University of Michigan. Because that makes sense?

At one point, he slams Obama for for appointing people in charge of his troubles despite the fact that the breach (yeah I said it!) took place in February 2008 and was brought to his attention in May 2008. That’s eight months before Obama was elected and almost a year before he was sworn into office but whatever! Pesky details!

“But he had a bad experience so of course he’s going to come off a little miffed while telling his story!”

Fair enough. Let’s take a deeper look at Daugherty. His website is used to push his book and reblog all the good press for it. No issues there. Oh he’s on Twitter? Lets take a gander, shall we?

He regularly retweets Rand “I don’t understand what plagiarism is” Paul. You may recall Rand Paul recently challenging a female journalist to a duel. No, really.  He did that.

He shows love for Ted Cruz, Tea Party sweetheart and Dr. Suess aficionado. And, as required, commentary of Obama. The commentary? Oh no bigs, just saying the President of United States suffers from mental illness and is certifiably crazy. YAY PATRIOTISM!

Daugherty closes his book by talking about tyranny. Maybe he should look into that a little more because, if this were a country under control of a tyrant, he would be killed and dragged through the streets for speaking out against his government. So really, not the same thing at all. Surprise! He also likened “broad, long and unclear requests letters” to PHYSICAL TORTURE.  Paperwork and waterboarding are identical. You heard it here first.

Oh, he also claims that the Founding Fathers set up three branches of government to protect against Hitler. I had no idea George Washington & Co. were psychics that could see the future and/or had a crystal ball. So jealous.

I can’t even begin to explain how much of a waste of time this book turned out to be. Thank goodness I didn’t actually pay for it.

The full disclosure: I won a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads giveaways.

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