on January 23, 2010
I received this book the day before Republican Scott Brown was elected as the newest Senator for the bluest state in the union, Massachusetts. His election has to rank as one of the biggest historical upset of recent times; this of course came on the heals of Virginia and New Jersey governorships being won by Republicans and rather than the Democrats "ruling" for 40 more years as Carville predicts it appears that they cannot even keep the momentum going for 10 months.
The book was published in May and by November virtually all of Carville's predictions had fallen flat, many of them coming to the exact opposite fruition but that is not that surprising. Carville is a far left partisan, for him ideology comes first and then facts if they happen to fit his beliefs. Most of the times he simply twists, distorts or denies any inconvenient evidence to help insulate some of his cherished beliefs.
There are many errors in this book and many down-right contradictions; Was McCain "The farthest from being a Bush Republican [pg ix] OR was McCain a Bush clone pushing his agenda as the rest of the book kept saying? While I could pick error after error such as Carville attacking Fox News saying that "Only a massive liar or blatant hypocrite would dare argue" (42) what Fox News claimed about Obama, for instance Fox "Said Obama was educated in a Muslim Madrassa" (42). If Carville or his assistance that wrote most of this book had looked into this they would have found the source of the claim was the "a massive liar" according to Carville (NOT ME) Barrack Hussein Obama, since he wrote that in his autobiography and Fox was quoting from that book. Nice going James, maybe that is why Obama has that weird look on face on the cover of the book, sort of like, get your hand off of me punk.
There were three main narratives (his word not mine) or stories made up by Carville to help push his ideology that were blatantly false but keep getting repeated. Much like Goebels Big Lie concept, Carville believes if you tell a whopper and then keep telling it over and over again pretty soon some people are going to believe it. Let's hope for our sake that Americans have just a modicum more intelligence than Carville thinks we do.
Narrative #1 Gore won Florida - The people who actually believe that are the same type that think the earth is flat, the holocaust never happened and the aliens are coming to invade today. Sorry Mr. Carville, you "wanted" Gore to win but he didn't, now you go about making up wholesale BS such as on page 108 where you state 180,000 felons had been improperly scrubbed form the voting rolls. WOW that's a huge number, but you foot-noted it so I looked it up and guess what your source didn't say that, they actually said 33,214 felons were removed from the voting rolls AS REQUIRED BY LAW.
The facts of Florida are clear, in every recount ever done Bush won by more votes than the official total, but wait a second Carville, did say the NORC said that "Under a full accounting" Gore would win. That is true, but you never explained that the NORC looked at counting the ballots 12 different ways. 11 out of the 12 scenarios had Bush winning only one had Gore and they called it the "full accounting" scenario. Aren't you just a little bit curious what that method was??????? I was so I looked it up, it meant that every ballot that was cast and the vote or non-vote could not be determined 100% (hanging chad for Bush, no vote for president, double punched for Bush and Buchanan, etc.) EVERY ONE of these ballots would then automatically count for Gore, and then he would have won. Sounds fair to me (banging head on table), you go Carville.
Carville forgot to mention about the 170,000+ overseas military ballots that were never counted, the early calling of the state for Gore that even Democratic pollsters Said cost Bush at least 10,000 and up to 20,000 votes in the panhandle region. The blatant politicking by the Florida State Supreme Court to rewrite the election rules AFTER the election and to force only Democratic counties to be recount. The Democratic parties' multi-million dollar campaign to find all the disenfranchised voters that couldn't vote that turned up just 11 people and only 2 that could actually be verified as attempting to vote and the irony was that these 2 were White elderly Republicans.
The bottom line is Bush won (and I didn't vote for him, so this is about my guy winning) it's just best to admit the facts and not live in the fantasy land. Now if we really want to look at voting irregularities what about Ohio in 2008 when a record 146,000 homeless people voted (hmmmm homeless population according to homeless advocates who always overestimate the actual number puts Ohio's homeless population between 32-37,000) Or what about mysterious Franken ballots that kept turning up in the backseat and trunks of officials cars. Yeah they misplaced a ballot box that surprise, surprise contained 415 ballots - and a remarkable 413 of those ballots were votes for Franken, nope nothing suspicious there. Imagine if these events had been for a Republican candidate the news would still be talking about instead it is quietly pushed under the rug.
Narrative #2 We do much better under Democratic presidents than under Republican presidents. His whole premise is as faulty as it comes because he doesn't use economic statistics that are relevant. Virtually every economist will tell you it takes 2-5 years (average is 3) for a president's economic plan to affect the economy. This can be seen historically very easily. What Carville does is simply take the date a president is put in office for example Obama would be liable for everything that happens in 2009 but is that really fair? Of course not because the budget for 2009 was enacted in 2008 under Bush, Obama's first budget will one that effects 2010. So most economists when judging fiscal policy take the time line and move it three years ahead, if we follow the expert's model and not the political hacks we find that we do modestly better under Republicans than Democrats. One thing is crystal clear though we do worse when one party (doesn't matter which) controls the presidency and the congress. And we actually do the best when there is a D in the white house and the R's control congress.
Once again the facts and competent analysis do not line up with Carville.
Narrative #3 Katrina
This one chaps my hide, I have been a volunteer first responder for over a decade, I have worked nationally and internationally on some big disasters (part of my team is in Haiti as we speak, I turned it down due to family issues), I have worked with FEMA and I was put into Long Beach, Mississippi after Katrina and two days later went to NOLA.
What Carville does in this book is the blatant politicizing of a national disaster; he is using people's lives and hardships for crass political gain. Rather then stepping back and analyzing why the levies weren't funded (Clinton vetoed it but I don't blame him it was part of a larger bill that should have been vetoed), why NOLA was on the list of the least prepared city in America for a natural disaster and why they did not act on that, why no evacuation plans were in place, why massive amounts of people ignored mandatory evacuation notices and the police did nothing to compel them, why the mayor decided to use a shelter that was banned from use.
From an insider let me tell you the real reason why this happening, first and foremost, people refused to evacuate, they ignored a mandatory evacuation order. I don't mean to be rude but if you don't leave there is and the event hits your area there is high probability that you will be injured or lose your life PERIOD. This was not a surprise people, they had three days warning from NOAA and while Carville has a sad story at the back of the book I still have to wonder why that person did not take responsibility and at least gas up his cars to be ready to leave - and yes there was gas in NO, we had plenty of containment problems from gas stations to deal with.
The second problem in NO is that they had NO plan - nada - zilch - zero, their disaster planning was non-existent it was like we had stepped into the stone age. There is a saying that all disasters are local and what that means is that the local people are the ones who know the area best, they should have detailed plans from the simplest to the absolute worst case scenario. That way when help arrives we "told" what to do by the local experts, that is what happened in Mississippi and that is why Mississippi was never spoken about on the news even though they suffered the brunt of the storm. They were organized, efficient, people evacuated, and things were pre-planned, we went in, did a search for victims, cleared areas and allowed people back in. Help was there, rebuilding was starting while we were leaving - it was a picture perfect example of good emergency planning. NO on the other hand was the exact opposite, they expected us to run the disaster for them, they expected the govt to step in and be experts on their problems. It isn't designed that way and to blame Bush for this is asinine. The failure was local PERIOD.
One last comment, I understand that that the story of the Katrina survivor was supposed to portray his hardship but I read it differently. For 13 months this person was housed, given support money, took his kids and extended family to baseball games and amusement parks, flew free on airplanes, traveled back and forth to New Orleans to buy food, received free medical care, and then had the government rebuild his home all FREE What more did he want? No offense but disasters are called disasters for a reason, it sounds to me that while it was inconvenient he actually had it pretty good and yet he is still complaining. Maybe he expected a suite at the Ritz Carlton for 13 months and the use of his own private jet? I am a little jaded because I have seen disaster victims receive a whole lot less than Katrina victims and they were happy, yet for some reason there was a mentality of many people in New Orleans that they deserved more.
There are so many questions that SHOULD be answered so something like this doesn't happen again yet people like Carville use natural diasters for political gain and that is saddening. What he doesn't realize that unless these issues are dealt with people will die again, but he doesn't care as long as he can use it to as a tool to get power and rule he is happy. Have you no shame?
on December 14, 2012
Some of the material is "dated", as you might expect, since it was written some time ago. But, Carville's "down home" wisdom and insight is both entertaining and revealing. I think that conservatism is the best foil for progressive's to wrestle with and will bring the best ideas from the debate for most political and cultural outlooks for us a nation. What seems to be the problem and continues to stop this great debate and exchange of ideas, is extreme positions on both sides of the middle, to over-use this literal metric. Any extreme position, either left or right (seems to be happening more on the right these days - when was the last time ANY progressive mutated into "Angela Davis" clone?) accompanied by a unwillingness to compromise, is a recipe for what we have today: a paralysis in government and too much name calling. Grow up, be patriotic, and work something out! Carlille's book helps you get started.
on November 18, 2012
In under 180 pages, James Carville has painted quite a vivid and detailed picture of how the United States will appear in the next forty years. He starts off his book by explaining how and why the Republicans are going to "get spanked" over and over in the coming years. Much of his time is spent bashing the republicans and previous republican government officials, but he does take his time to thoroughly explain why all of the current problems in America began because of the republicans. Most of his attacks are directed toward ex-President Bush, John McCain, and the biased media networks (specifically Fox News). Carville implies that if ever there are short comings, it's because of the Republicans.
Although he does spend much of his time attacking republicans or whining about the controversy in Florida back in 2000, he presents some great, useful information as well. As much as I hate to admit it, his reasoning as to why the Democrats are going to rule seems very legitimate and believable. Most of his reasoning focuses on the demographics of America. Voters are now younger and more ethnically and radically diverse. This shift will work out in the Democrats' favor and so far it appears to be true. As Democrats continue to appeal to the growing number of young voters and various ethnicities, the Republicans will need to rethink their strategies. Working only for the favor of the wealthy, white, educated, employed, over 35 male population, republicans are going to have to find a larger fan base and the only way to do that is to change some of their values. Until then, it appears as if the Democrats will in fact control the government for several years down the road.
Carville seems to be a very intelligent man. For the most part, he is spot-on in his theories and reasoning, a few other times he expresses a very strong and unfair bias and tries to pass it off as fact. (In his defense, who doesn't have some form of bias?) He doesn't "sugar-coat" his words. He is out-right blatant in many of the things he says and I respect that. He holds very strong beliefs and will remain unchanged; unless his Republican wife can do something about it. Hats off to this guy expressing such powerful opinions!
I can honestly say I enjoyed reading this book. Although I disagreed with some of what he had to say, he did make me rethink some of my previously held values. He made me think, and I appreciate that. The book was well written, easy to understand, and I even found it to be humorous at times. I highly recommend this to Democrats and Republicans alike!