ProgressNow Colorado's Michael Huttner really, really wants to sell loads of 50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America, a new book he's co-written with Jason Salzman, even subjecting himself to a session with Fox News' Neil Cavuto in the name of publicity. And now, he's gotten an assist from frequent FN guest pundit Michelle Malkin, who's now based in Colorado Springs. Late last month, she posted a blog tying ProgressNow to right-wing punching bag George Soros and asserting that Huttner's real goal was to dislodge conservative authors from the bestseller lists -- like, for instance, Michelle Malkin, whose latest tome is entitled Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies. That prompted the Washington Post to offer Huttner a chance to respond in its Short Stack section -- and startlingly enough, he accepted. Here's what he wrote:
Our book is exactly the opposite of Michelle Malkin's. She devotes entire chapters to attacking not only the first lady, but Vice President Joe Biden, the Clintons, the Service Employees International Union, ACORN, and Democrats large and small.
We didn't fire off a nasty name at anybody, even at Malkin, who's an extremist by anybody's calculation. In fact one chapter of our book explains how to "Reach out to Conservatives."
We focus on solutions. Our book is about civic engagement, with everything you need to know about how to meet with your members of Congress, how to become a community organizer, how to volunteer in your community (including the local library and school), how to use new media, how to run for local office. You'll find pages of resources on how to get involved to make America better.
The book rises above partisanship -- the vast majority of our information is just as useful to a Democrat as to a Republican. Anyone who cares and wants to get involved in civic life could put our book to use in support of whatever political position or ideology they have.
If Malkin thinks this book is for the "nutroots," then I guess her allies don't spend much time registering voters or learning how to use new media technologies, which are covered in our book.
We know that progressive authors can be hard hitting and partisan, and they hit the bookshelves with plenty of name calling themselves.
But progressive authors, even our own attack dogs, don't tear down without offering alternatives. We try to inspire action with solutions. Maybe every book doesn't detail 50 ways you can make America a better place. But when progressives write, people are used to hearing how problems can be solved.
Of course, 50 Ways will only make the bestseller lists if its publisher starts wrapping it in dust covers stolen from copies of The Lost Symbol. But Malkin's attack provided Huttner with yet another boost courtesy of a Fox News regular. Maybe we can all get along!
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