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Foxes in the Henhouse: How the Republicans Stole the South and the Heartland and What the Democrats Must Do to Run 'em Out Hardcover – March 28, 2006


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The Conservatarian Manifesto by Charles C.W. Cooke
The Conservatarian Manifesto by Charles C.W. Cooke
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Those who stayed up late to watch with worry or woke in dismay after the November 2004 presidential elections will welcome this answer to "How in the Hell did this happen?" as the first chapter, aptly titled, promises to explain. In this humorous discussion of what went wrong and how to change it, Harvard professor Jarding and Virginia politico Saunders present a method to secure a Democratic victory by gaining the lead in the South and the Midwest. The book encourages Democrats to open their minds to the rural culture of "Bubbas," or blue collar, religious folks who despise government intrusion, have been voting Republican and would respond to political "NASCAR marketing." Jarding and Saunders keep it lively, interspersing low-blow jabs at Republicans with statistics, political history and strategies for Democrats to connect with Bubbas over contentious issues like gun control, environmental protection, gay marriage and abortion.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

""Foxes in the Henhouse" is a kick-ass and take-names primer on how to clean up the Republican corruption in Washington and get back to old-fashioned Democratic values. Does the Democratic Party want to get back to winning in rural America? Well, here's the playbook. Steve and 'Mud' are good ol' boys who have won big in what the 'experts' said was Republican territory for keeps. This is a must-read for Democratic candidates and strategists, but especially for anyone who is interested in replacing the special-interest politics of the GOP with the public-interest priorities of the Democrats." -- Ben "Cooter" Jones, former Georgia congressman and "Dukes of Hazzard" star
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743286510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743286510
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,622,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on March 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Jarding and Saunders provide a credible, well-reasoned, and easy-to-read critique of recent Democratic campaigns, along with suggestions for significant improvement.

"Foxes in the Henhouse" begins by dissecting the '04 Presidential election into numerous dimensions, showing that Bush had improved over '00 results in about every way possible - concluding that the problem was not that eg. "Bush was a wartime President - very difficult to beat" but that Kerry, et al, had run an ineffective campaign.

Kerry's last mistake was ending up with $15 million in the bank, and 75,000 votes short in Ohio that he possibly could have won had the money been used. His first mistake - conceding the equivalent of 27 states (Bush campaigned everywhere) and their 227 electoral votes - 84% of the total Bush needed to win. Most of the 27 states were in the South, fastest growing area in the U.S. and an area Saunders had recently demonstrated as winnable via Democrat Warner's 2004 victory in the governor's race.

The authors assert that character assassination is now a conventional weapon for Republicans, and Democrats need to fire back. Kerry, for example, should have immediately gone after Bush on the Swift Boat attacks, and called for a debate on military matters (current issues and past service), and held it in the South. They also believe that '04 Democrats mistakenly focused on the economy instead of the war on terror, and added Wesley Clark or Bob Kerrey to the ticket. (Another possibility was Sen. Graham with a 70% approval rating in Florida. a state with 27 electoral votes - enough for Kerry to win.) Instead, Kerry let himself look foolish on the topic by being framed with the "I voted for the "87 billion in spending before I voted against it.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Southern Dem on May 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a Southern Democrat, proud and true. This book is for ANY AND EVERYONE associated with progressive politics or the Democratic party. Not only does it outline just what went wrong the past years, but it tells us how to get our butts in shape to get things back on the right track. Real people are being affected by bad policy, and are being douped into buying into the system that is screwing them over. It's time to listen to Mudcat and get movin in the right direction.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Patsi Bale Cox on March 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Foxes in the Henhouse should be required reading for any Democrat or Independent who loves this country and is unwilling to let it continue on the Republicans' disasterous course. (Any writers willing to say that Reagan couldn't carry LBJ's jockstrap are aces in my book!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Lindner on April 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Too much of this book is spent on telling Democrats how they can win back the White House, and, more importantly, the voter's trust. Nice premise, but it lacks imagination. While they make a good case that Republicans lie their way into wars they can get out of and give taxpayer money to wealthy associates, authors Steve Jarding and Dave Saunders spend a lot of time complaining. This is probably what makes the Democrats. Democrats whine about everything and agree on next to nothing. There is no sure thing if you're a Democrat (nominating a decorated war hero for president to oppose a clueless draft dodger) didn't accomplish anything. Of course John Kerry had the charisma of a fence post, but that's another issue.

One area of concern is the author's ability to gloss over reality. Take the opening sentence to chapter 5 on page 105. How many blacks or homosexuals, or any other left of center group could identify with the statement that "several generations of Americans had witnessed firsthand the power and compassion of a government dedicated to equality, justice, fairness, and opportunity[?]" Jarding and Saunders seem out of touch, way out of touch, with the plights of many Americans who likely would associate themselves with the Democratic party. The bulk of the book impl;ies that the best way to reach out to voters is to take a page out of the Republican's book. Isn't that what's gotten us into this mess in the first place?

This book just never hit home with me. I like how they paint the National Rifle Association as a radical group that threatens our freedoms more than they support them. They also have a nice collection of quotations on page 197, but the overall impact misses the mark.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. Wrampelmeier on August 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I started reading this book with high hopes and expectations and finished it feeling less than satisfied. While the authors presented interesting theories as to how the Democratic Party could make advances in the mostly Republican-held South and Midwest, the number of successful examples they presented were few. They seemed to revolve solely around their participation in the election of Mark Warner for governor of Virginia. So would these proposed tactics work in other states? I think the jury is still out.

What I found more disturbing about the book was the blatant hostility and name-calling the authors decided to include in their text. Their interesting ideas get lost in between the lines of equating the GOP with Satan. At times I felt as though I was reading a book by a Democratic Ann Coulter. I really was expecting a better product than what I read.
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