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Completing the Revolution: A Vision for Victory in 2000 Hardcover – January 17, 2000


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Robert D. Novak is perhaps the most widely seen conservative commentator in the United States, appearing regularly on three separate CNN "talking heads" programs as well as writing the syndicated "Inside Report" column. So when he puts forth his opinion on the Republican Party's chances for success in the 2000 elections, every member of the GOP--and more than a few of their ideological adversaries--will hear him out carefully.

Having failed to achieve their goals after seizing both houses of Congress in the 1994 "Republican Revolution," Novak writes in Completing the Revolution, the GOP has been reduced to trying to counter the spin from Bill Clinton's White House. "The Republican Congress should have been courageously advancing the Republican agenda and should not have been afraid of it," he argues. "But they're not playing to win; they're playing not to lose." Whereas most analysts view Clinton's "triangulation" as shifting the Democrats' platform to the right, Novak believes that it has really enabled the White House to maneuver Republican members of Congress into voting for leftist legislation. Only by regaining control of the White House, he continues, will the GOP be able to advance its agenda.

Novak has 10 very clear ideas about how to take back the Oval Office, ranging from the obvious (radically simplify the tax code, stand firm on the anti-abortion platform) to the unusual (not only is Novak in favor of term limits, he suggests nearly quintupling the size of the House of Representatives to 2,000 members and cutting their annual salary down to about $27,000. He argues this would prevent the entrenched careerism that plagues Congress today). After outlining his strategy, Novak does a quick sketch of George W. Bush, the man the Republicans appear to have anointed as their candidate in 2000. Will he win? Only, Novak suggests, if he and his party have the courage to stick by what the Republican Party really stands for--and if they run to gain political ground, not merely hang on to what they've got. Completing the Revolution offers a compelling argument sure to get heavy play as GOP leadership figures out its game plan for the 21st century. --Ron Hogan

From Publishers Weekly

Novak strives for an ideological extreme that few but political pundits could embrace. The well-known columnist and television commentator identifies himself as "a conservative who has been on a steady trip to the right" and the Republican Party as the only available vehicle to pursue his agenda. Naturally, he approves when the party veers to the right and is critical of moderate tendencies. After excoriating perceived retreats from the Gingrich agenda of 1994, Novak lays out his prescription for conservative purity and victory with supreme confidence that the former will lead to the latter. Key points include cutting taxes and replacing the income tax with a sales tax, privatizing Social Security, considering campaign finance reform, embracing global free markets and religious conservatives, affirming the right to life, reaching out to women and minorities without compromising policy positions, pursuing a strong foreign policy and term limits. Although Novak believes that capturing the presidency is crucial, his discussion of the upcoming nomination is restrained. He recognizes that George W. Bush meets certain criteria, but he does not look too closely (perhaps to avoid glimpsing that Bush is a pragmatic rather than ideological conservative). The normally highly opinionated Novak suggests only that a Bush nomination would be a "gamble" that may or may not pay off. Despite the tension between Novak's policy rhetoric and his lukewarm endorsement of Bush, his fans will enjoy what is otherwise a strident performance.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; First Edition edition (January 17, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684827468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684827469
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,439,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hasan Colakoglu on March 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Robert Novak carries his feisty Conservative commentary on Crossfire to his latest book. He makes a powerful case against the Clintonization of the Republicans who surely need to stick with their core principles if they want to win in Election 2000. This book combines Novak's dual-roles as a powerful reporter and a Conservative commentator, spicing his recipe for success with interesting behind-the-scenes bits. His perspective is well-rooted and the reader can tell Mr. Novak has been around for a long time.
While Mr. Novak produces a detailed 10-step plan for capturing the White House and keeping the Congress in the 2000 elections, the main theme is, as indicated above, Republicans must stand firm on their principles. This book is the cure for "conventional wisdom" which suggests that GOP must become moderate and move to the middle to win. The truth is that the greatest GOP victories came when the Party delivered a staunchly conservative message in 1980 and 1994.
This book is a great read and I'd highly recommend it - even for the liberal readers, who may want to take a peek at the enemy's battle plan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "ksquare1" on March 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
...I must say that this is arguably the most well-written political book of the last year - it is certainly amongst the top 3 or 4. I found myself enraged at times reading this book, and often frustrated beyond belief. For although I am not a liberal Democrat - I am someone who arguably disagrees with Novak's premise even more - a moderate, centrist registered Republican. I believe that in order for the Republican party to succeed, it must move to the center of the political spectrum and become tolerant of varying ideas. Mr Novak believes the exact opposite - that the Republican party will only be successful when it sticks firmly to conservative principles. He believes that if those conservative bedrock principles can be articulated and explained better, than many more people will be attracted to the Republican Party. And he believes that if those bedrock conservative principles are abandones, very few people will be attracted to a "wishy" party.
But to oversimplify things as I just did is to do Mr. Novak an injustice. Mr. Novak knows his stuff and is a persuasive arguer. His strong, articulate writing style shines through throughout his tome. So does his experience in politics and Washington. When you read this book, even if you disagree with it, you feel confident knowing that Mr. Novak is an expert in the ways of Washington, his sources are strong, and his knowledge base is beyond expansive. Beyond that, he is also an interesting writer - it was difficult to put this book down at times.
Possibly the strongest compliment I can give this book is that I found myself having to stop and think about Mr. Novak's arguments several times, although it seemed I have heard them expressed (far less articulately and convincingly) before. And although I did not leave Mr.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Enigma on April 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading Mr. Novaks book and I must say it is a superb book. It is a book that every person who is in the Republican Party should, NO, must read. The book also helped vindicate many of my feelings that I had after I switched parties several years ago. First of all Mr. Novak tells us that the Republican Party is great (or was great; maybe I'm more pessimistic than he is) because it stands for principals. This is in contrast to the liberal parties whose only principal that they seem to have is that they have NO PRINCIPALS. Since the left has no standards it is truly a malleable plaint propaganda front used to inculcate the masses to a life of extreme bondage under the guise of egalitarian socialism.

Back to the book review, Mr. Novak puts forth the conjecture that when the right buys the distortion of the left that the only way it will win elections is to become more centrist in nature, they are in effect destroying the core of the philosophical ideals of the right. Remember, the left over the years has slid farther and farther into the deadly grips of socialism until ideas that were consider middle of the road 20 years ago are now re-characterized as extreme right wing today. The democrats continually try to paint the conservatives as radicals when in reality it is the democrats that have slid into an ultra liberal position and it is they who have become the radicals. What is amazing is that the Republicans have bought into the lie and feel that they must become more middle of the road. So in essence we no longer have two distinct political parties anymore, instead we have Socialist Party A and Socialist Party B. Or in other terms the Republicrats and the Demicans.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Bob knovak knows who a traitor in the Bush Administration is. He gladly published the name of one of our own, his own, CIA operative for the sole purpose of partisanship. I don't mind partisan journalists, but as long as Knovak hides his secret, he is a traitor and I am ashamed to see he is still an active member of the American media.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
After hearing Mr. Novak on a local talk radio program, (Doug Raymond Show), I was compelled to purchase this book. I'm glad I did. Mr. Novak provides the answer to my question "What happened to the Contract With America"? He also provides a blueprint for victory for the Republicans in 2000. I doubt the Republicans, who in Mr. Novak's words have been "Clintonized", will head his words. I do know that after reading this book, I understand more of why Republicans do what they do. Well written. Well done Mr. Novak.
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