John Dean's new book, Conservatives Without Conscience


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Showing 1-21 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 10, 2006 8:55:57 PM PDT
Heard JD discuss this book on Countdown with Keith Obermann on MSNBC July 10, 1 day prior to pub date. Fascinating topic and premise.

It IS intuitive not to listen to this guy, given his sad history in Watergate, but it is wise, nonetheless, to listen to what he says, and read what he writes.

He was right when he wrote "Worse than Watergate," and his premise now, that conservatives run the risk of being overly authoritarian, both as leaders, and worse, I think, as followers, is revealing and insightful. This country needs to look at its red state/blue state scenario these days, and certainly after years of genuinely disastrous policies coming from the White House, we could stand some fresh thinking.

I've watched this guy, and read him, now, for some time. I'm convinced he's redeemed himself by "speaking truth to power," and he's been doing so during the Bush administration, before it became more popular, as it is today.

So check this out. And word to the wise... on a personal note... there's an analogous situation here that Dean describes to anyone considering buying a home in an HOA. Rather than attracting community minded citizens, anyone who has had to deal with HOA (Homeowner Association) issues learns, often the hard way, that these boards often attract highly authoritarian leaders and board members... a situation worsened by the phenomenon Dean addresses in his new book, i.e., followers who thrive on authoritarianism.

Food for thought... and at amazon's prices (including a very reasonable price for an unabridged CD audio book version), at low cost as well.

Let JD off the hook. I think he's earned it.

David in Colorado

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2006 9:42:50 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2006 5:27:47 AM PDT
Yawohl, Herr Nugent!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2006 5:27:55 AM PDT
Yawohl, Herr Nugent!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2006 8:36:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 11, 2006 8:39:04 AM PDT
Nancy Peden says:
I agree with Michael that Nugent's remarks are in tone and content authoritarian and absolute and emotionally volatile, just as Dean seems to be describing in our current leaders (who in my view, were not elected but appointed).

I have not read the book but I am very glad that someone of this level of power, position and political persausion is speaking of character styles in leadership, right or left, that are totalitarian, controlling and dominating.

The right or left will never be entirely "right" all the time. And to deny people their inherent ability to choose is in my view shameful.

Domination will ultimately be toppled simply by laws and processes of nature. Domination is not sustainable ultimately and it causes so much pain in the meantime.

I would much rather that we all learn how to be our own authorities, able to work individually and for the greater good.

The net shows that systems can be designed but ultimately take on a character of their own. If John Dean helps us become aware of the character of our current leadership and vets it through the work of others, I am open to listening, even as I recognize his position.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2006 9:31:02 AM PDT
D. Conner says:
Thank you, Mr. Nugent, for proving Dean's point.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2006 12:29:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 11, 2006 12:30:01 PM PDT
Hysteria anyone? Did Dean blame 9/11 on the Bush admin? I haven't read the book to know whether or not it is 'an abomination' and neither, I am certain, has the poster. I wonder why he doesn't want us to read it and make up our own minds?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2006 1:52:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 11, 2006 1:55:20 PM PDT
J. Villano says:
Nugent: All those words and yet you managed to avoid putting together one single factual argument and conclusion. But lots of name-calling. I'll assume you haven't read the book, but rest assured you fit the description in it (by an apolitical sociological study) of lemming-like authoritarian followers to a tee.

Let the swiftboating begin!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2006 1:54:06 PM PDT
Edd says:
Okay now, picture Stewie from Family Guy, then read this typo-riddled rant from "Mr. Nugent" with Stewie's voice in your head. All that's missing is the final, "Victory is Mine!"

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2006 3:19:31 PM PDT
Caradoc says:
As I recall, Dean was something of a hero in the Watergate affair. Was it not the possibility of his truthful testimony the very thing that brought the scandal into the open?

I will not pile on to Mr. Nugent, but would say that there is every indication that the Bush cabal has made an effort to build and sustain fear of terrorism. There is no doubt that they have transformed Al Queda from a loose knit collection of jihadists into an international force on a par with Hamas. And they have inflamed an animosity against the US that has never been known before. Were they behind 911? At this point, that's not settled. But if so, it would be easy enough to include the Whitehouse as a target, knowing that it would not be hit and that the POTUS would be down in Florida hearing about goats.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2006 10:58:21 PM PDT
The premise is not as absurd as you think. The Bush administration may not actively fueling terror, but their policy does. We've been in Iraq for almost FIVE YEARS! It took less time to take down Hitler and rebuild Europe. For what purpose, and why are we still in Iraq. Our presence is only agravating the terrorist factions. The quicker we leave, the sooner that country can start down the road of peace...yet the Bush administration insists on staying. I believe Bush said, during the 2004 campaign, that we would be out within a couple of years. That deadline has expired, and we are still there.

So, the premise is not absurd when you consider the administration's indirect actions are fueling terrorism in Iraq and giving them reason to strip our freedoms here at home: illegal wiretaps, phone records, and now financial records!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2006 11:05:38 PM PDT
A Reader says:
Mmmmm. Big words. Beautifully crafted strawmen. Do you realize how desperate and silly you sound?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2006 7:00:05 PM PDT
E. West says:
John Dean has a tremendous political background from his many years as a white house advisor to a Repugnican administration. He has the experience of having to support a criminal presidential administration, had the balls to tell them (Nixon) not to go there, and then took a fall for them without complaint. He is an awesome source for the impending impeachment -- understanding the laws that have been broken better than anyone on this blog, guaranteed. He has the inside scoop. Can't wait to read his awesome book.

E. West

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2006 1:01:22 AM PDT
Great summary of Dean's background as it is relevant to the current administration. This really puts the book in perspective. Thanks, E.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2006 8:48:17 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2006 1:46:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 28, 2006 1:48:01 PM PDT
"Proud Conservative" can I ask why is it that people like you (the new breed that uses Conservative as a mask to hide behind) have to (and I mean "have to") reduce every argument to the level of childish name calling? Why is it that you can only attack the messenger, rather then discuss the message in an adult manner? Why do people like you expend the energy to call someone a moron when you could be explaining why you disagree with them?

As Dean points out, the humiliation and degregation of the opponent is a tactic of the "authoritarian rightwing". It allows you to lash out without requiring you know anything about what you are commenting about.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2006 8:24:42 AM PDT
Aodhan51 says:
Mr Nugent said: This book'spremise is the most absurd yet. He implies tha the Bush Administration fuels terror to preserve and expand quasi-dictatorial powers.

Mr. Nugent, you're correct. That's exactly what Bush and Cheney do. They're completely amoral.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2006 9:15:49 PM PDT
L. Jones says:
You mean he's a "has-been that is trying to cash in on his past fame" like tough guy extraordinaire, G. Gordon Liddy?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2007 11:53:09 AM PST
D. Bourland says:
A book by the psychologist whose research informs Dean's work is available for free download from his website:
Robert Altemeyer, "The Authoritarians"
http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2007 2:35:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 7, 2007 2:36:41 PM PST
John says:
Nugent,

No, communism maybe but not western liberalism.Communism is different from fascism only by which group of people they want to have all the power (a powerful capitalist class in fascism, the workers in communism). They both are destructive and disregard their individual citizens' rights and needs. True liberalism (not the Fox "News" caricature), however, is the real ideological enemy of fascism.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2007 12:57:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 21, 2007 12:58:48 PM PDT
cavenewt says:
T. Nugent, you do Dean a disservice. His TV appearances and books (I have read the last two, including the one under discussion here) show him as thoughtful and objective, not highly partisan like a lot of the commentators of both sides. In this book he does state that he's a conservative and a Republican who is saddened by the hijacking of his party by the current leadership with their obviously authoritarian attitudes and tactics. Attitudes and tactics which have been alarming me more and more as time goes by. I really appreciated his scholarly presentation which made sense of a lot of it for me.

I'm 53 and I remember listening to the whole Watergate debacle every day for weeks on end. I don't think Dean was a bad guy, especially not when compared to the likes of Colson and Liddy and many others.

By the way, just because our government is fighting jihadi authoritarians, it doesn't mean our government isn't also authoritarian.
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Participants:  20
Total posts:  21
Initial post:  Jul 10, 2006
Latest post:  Apr 21, 2007

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Conservatives Without Conscience
Conservatives Without Conscience by John W. Dean (Paperback - August 28, 2007)
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