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Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush Paperback – March 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Common Courage Press (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567513107
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567513103
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,521,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born and raised in Montana, Josh Frank lives in New York City. His work has appeared in many publications, including Counterpunch, Left Turn and Z Magazine. This is his first book Jeffrey St. Clair is an award-winning investigative journalist, co-editor of political newsletter CounterPunch and author of nine books, including Whiteout: the CIA, Drugs and the Press, Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of Nature and Imperial Crusades: Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia.

More About the Author

Joshua Frank, born in Billings, Montana, is a journalist and writer living in the United States and covers current political and environmental topics. His articles and essays appear in CounterPunch, Z Magazine, Truthout, and Alternet, among other publications. His work can be found at: http://greenmuckraker.com/

He holds a graduate degree in environmental conservation from New York University.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By SR on June 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
This really is an excellent read. Although Amazon states that this book was released in March of 2004, it was actually just released in June 2005. It is an analysis of the 2004 elections from a left-liberal perspective.

Frank's introduction is about an experience he had in DC with his Montana Senator Max Baucus, and how at a young age he was a stanch Democrat who didn't ask questions, but just went along for the ride. It was only later that he realized that not all Democrats could be trusted. And Sen. Baucus taught him a harsh lesson.

From there Frank opens Left Out! with a 100 page or so section on DNC chair and ex-Vermont Gov. Howard Dean for his tenure in Vermont and positions on many issues during his campaign for president. Frank argues that by analyzing Dean and his candidacy, which was on top for so long, we can learn a lot about Democratic politics and progressive "change" within the party. This section of the book is really great. It uncovers more on Howard Dean than any other book out there, and I've read all of the Dean books. This is one journalist that isn't afraid to dig deep. And he does just that. The Dean section alone should be enough to entice any Democrat, Deaniac or progressive to read this book. It really could shake some things up.

From there Frank exposes Wesley Clark and even the late liberal Senator Paul Wellstone, both supposed anti-war politicians. But as Frank argues, they were anything but. Frank than goes into many issues so many think Bush has spearheaded: the assault on civil liberties, the environment, Iraq, the economy, domestic issues etc. This section of the book is quite provocative. Frank lays out very clearly how Bush and the neo-cons have capitalized on the Clinton years.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Robin Orlowski on August 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
Written by a progressive, this book concedes that the Democrats failed to capitalize on the ever-growing citizen opposition to the Iraq war during the 2004 elections. After saying how badly we wanted to have Bush out of office, we failed to accomplish this on Election Day because our message became virtually indistinguishable from the Republicans.

Although they started out good (nominating a Vet who later became an anti-war organizer) the Democratic Party became timid during the actual fall contest. Ironically as Kerry was being portrayed as a "Massachusetts Liberal" he was attempting to moderate himself. Unfortunately, this moderation was what undercut the efficacy of the campaign.

When it became a race to see who would not say anything bad about anything having to do with the military, some voters tuned out. They supported the troops, but had wanted to hear straight talk about how the Bush administration forged evidence and wasted taxpayer money in Iraq. With the information that they were then-being given, these people had assumed that the candidates were uniformly alike and/or having Bush remain in office during a 'war' was better than attempting to change course with an 'unknown'.

The main problem was that the Kerry campaign did not clearly articulate where and how it differed from the White House. While it is true that incumbents do have an organization advantage over their challengers, an effective challenge provides strong justification (as did the 1992 election of Bill Clinton) for a regime change.

Then the Bush campaign proactively defined Kerry's image to the voters. Kerry spent the campaign having to tell voters who he was while he should have been able to instead talk about the issues which were going to be decided by and through the election.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Chris on September 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book seems to have been very quickly written. It seems sloppy and lacking clarity at times. At the same time, the first half of the book at least, is very well researched.

The first half of the book is devoted to Howard Dean. Frank quotes an official at a right wing Vermont think tank who remarked during Dean's presidential campaign that the candidate's populist liberal persona was quite different from the persona of Howard Dean the Governor of Vermont from 1991-2003. Dean instituted welfare reform in Vermont and enthused over Clinton's national version of it. On law and order issues, he was a typical demagogue,. In 1999, as governor he blocked the provision for Vermont of 115,000 dollars in federal grants for legal representation for mentally ill defendants.

He praised Newt Gingrich's schemes for medicare. He repeatedly declared himself against any government run health program, a position which he seemed to reverse during his campaign. As governor he postured as a fiscal conservative in the usual fraudulent ways of politicians. He cut 7 million dollars in funds for state education and teacher's retirement, 4 million in health care for the elderly, 2 million in welfare benefits for the disabled and 1.2 million in medicare. Of course while he cut funds for the working class and the most vulnerable in the relatively small population of Vermont, he appropriated 30 million for new prisons (and for the pockets of prison contractor corporations and the rest), seven million for a low interest loan program for businesses and cut the state income tax by eight percent. By 2002, Dean had increased funding for Vermont's prisons by 150 percent but for it's colleges and universities, only increased 7 percent.
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