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"Youthful political reporters are always told there are three ways to judge a politician," write Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose in Shrub. "The first is to look at the record. The second is to look at the record. And third, look at the record." The record under scrutiny in this brief, informative book belongs to one George W. Bush--dubbed "Shrub" by Ivins--governor of Texas and 2000 presidential hopeful. These two veteran journalists know how politics are played in Texas and they've done their homework, writing a comprehensive examination of Bush's professional and political life that's a lively read, to boot. And if the title alone doesn't convey their particular slant, perhaps the following caveat from the introduction will: "If, at the end of this short book, you find W. Bush's political résumé a little light, don't blame us. There's really not much there. We have been looking for six years."
Beginning with his admission to the Texas National Guard during the Vietnam War (where he bypassed a waiting list of about 100,000), the authors go on to deconstruct his losing congressional bid, his failed career as an oil executive, and his role as managing partner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, revealing how he was helped every step of the way by wealthy and influential friends of the family. Ever popular, Dubya has always been good at rounding up powerful players to bankroll a variety of ventures, including political campaigns. For this reason, explain the authors, along with his lineage and social status, Bush's primary allegiance is to the business community. While his speeches may deal with the "entertainment issues" of "God, guns, and gays," Bush is a "wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America," they write. They further point out that Texas ranks near the bottom of the nation in terms of a number of social categories, such as poverty, health insurance for children, and pollution, spearing the governor for his less-than-compassionate conservatism.
Shrub is not a complete Bush whacking, though. The authors laud the governor's record on education, in which he has managed to raise standards, push local control of schools, and launch a successful reading campaign. They also cite his wooing of the Hispanic vote and his ability to bridge the gap between the Christian right and the economic conservatives within the Republican party as evidence of true political acumen, though they maintain he lacks a penchant for actual governing: "From the record, it appears that he doesn't know much, doesn't do much and doesn't care much about governing." Bush has admitted that he dislikes reading, particularly about policy issues, and that he hates meetings and briefings, causing the authors to wonder, "The puzzle of Bush is why someone with so little interest in or attention for policy, for making government work, would want the job of president, or even governor."
Love him or leave him, Shrub leaves much to consider about the man who would be president. And it can be read in about a day. --Shawn Carkonen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Colorful, popular and very Texan syndicated columnist Ivins (Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?) takes on Republican front-runner "Dubya" Bush in this short, informative, fun and obviously partisan political biography. The book is designed to make liberal readers laugh (and vote) and to make moderates change their minds. Behind the down-home style and tasty jokes, Ivins and DuBose (who edits the Texas Observer) lay out plenty of well-documented dirt on GWB's career--though it isn't nose candy they're after: instead, the authors make a case that the affable governor has climbed ladders, traded favors, bent rules and enriched himself, without doing much for the people he governs. W.'s oil ventures "lost more than $2 million of other people's money," netted him $840,000 and tied him to international banking scandals, say the authors. Former Texas governor Ann Richards, plus settlements from tobacco litigation, they say, brought the state the fiscal well-being for which W. takes credit. The authors claim that he's spent his own term repaying political favors, "protect[ing] major air polluters," ending successful drug treatment programs, hurting the working poor and executing the mentally retarded. For Ivins and DuBose, "Dubya's" real accomplishments--besides his last name--lie in his sense of political timing and positioning: while his views make him "a CEO's wet dream," his manner, his often-touted religious beliefs and his savvy advisers help him appeal to "gay-bashing gun-toters" too. Ivins combines a liberal worldview, a sense of the ridiculous and a just-folks delivery--and enough work like hers might just derail the Bush train. But don't bet on it: "This guy is not just lucky: if they tried to hang him, the rope would break." First serial to Time magazine. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Don't like her style. Her approach is not to my taste. I won't buy her work ever again even if others like her.Published 22 months ago by Dottie. Mitchell
Ok, so this book was written in 2000. Still, in retrospect, George W. Bush hardly had a "short" political career, when compared with the horrors of the following president and his... Read morePublished on December 2, 2012 by criscrossqz
This story is written and NARRATED by the late, beloved and lamented Molly Ivins. Her gentle Texas twang is perfect for this story about Texas politics, and she gets a good... Read morePublished on July 5, 2010 by ted
I bought this for someone else, but had read it years ago. She was a terrific writer. Molly Ivins and Anne Richards were the best - they will be missed. Read morePublished on May 9, 2010 by Z
If more people had paid attention to Ms. Ivin's wryly-funny-but-dead-serious dismemberment of George W. Read morePublished on December 7, 2009 by Felix
Well, you can't expect even-handedness in a book about the (at the time) future President Dubya, especially from the late Molly Ivins, fellow Texan and not exactly one of the Bush... Read morePublished on September 20, 2009 by Muzzlehatch
If you still can't believe the first eight years of this century were real, this book will convince you. This book should embarrass everyone who voted for this clown.Published on February 27, 2009 by Pete Lister
This provides a good insight into George W. Bush's character as governor of Texas, a character that keeps "shining". Read morePublished on March 24, 2008 by Bobble Moose