The Democratic Party has long presented itself as the party of the poor, the working class, the little guy. As Jay Cost's sweeping revisionist history reveals, nothing could be further from the truth.
Why have the Democrats gone from being the people's party of reform to the party of special-interest carve-outs? In Spoiled Rotten, political analyst Jay Cost tells the story of the modern Democratic party from the end of the Civil War to the present, tracing the sad decline of a once noble political coalition that is no longer capable of living up to its lofty ideals.
When Andrew Jackson formed the Democratic party in 1828, he promised to stand up for the little guy against the rule of privileged elites. What has become of this promise? According to Cost, recent history has shown the Democrats to be anything but the party of and for the people. Instead, they have become a collection of special-interest groups feeding off the federal government, exchanging votes for subsidies and benefits.
With the creation of a partisan spoils system in the nineteenth century, both parties practiced the politics of patronage. But, starting with the New Deal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt used the power of big government to transform whole classes of society into clients of the Democratic party. Urban machines, southern segregationists, and organized labor all benefited from this approach. FDR's successors—Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter—followed suit, turning African Americans, environmentalists, feminists, government workers, teachers, and a number of other groups into loyal Democratic factions. As a result, the Democratic party has become a kind of national Tammany Hall whose real purpose is to colonize the federal government on behalf of its clients.
No longer able to govern for the vast majority of the country, the Democratic party simply taxes Middle America to pay off its clients while hiding its true nature behind a smoke screen of idealistic rhetoric. Thus, the Obama health care, stimulus, and auto bailout health care bill were created not to help all Americans but to secure contributions and votes. Average Americans need to see that whatever the Democratic party claims it is doing for the country, it is in fact governing simply for its base.
Hard-hitting and uncompromising, Spoiled Rotten is a timely, powerful polemic from a rising intellectual star.
Jay Cost writes the twice-weekly "Morning Jay" column for the Weekly Standard and was previously a writer for RealClearPolitic and a popular political blogger. Cost received a BA in government from the University of Virginia and an MA in political science from the University of Chicago. He lives in Pennsylvania.
It is a great history of the Democrat Party and the forces that changed it.
Regarding tone and objectivity, Cost is writing from a conservative point of view, but this is not overwhelmingly distracting for most of the book.
For how much information is packed in here, it is a surprisingly readable book.
This is an excellently-written, meticulously-researched history of the Democratic Party. It explains the often confusing history of the party in the twentieth century, and how it... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Juvenal
The premise of this book is rather simple. In any democratic political system political parties that aspire for the control of the body politic will invariably attract various... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Dr. Bojan Tunguz
As Jay Cost notes in "Spoiled Rotten," all political parties in democracies bestow some amount of patronage on their supporters following an election triumph. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Eric Mayforth
I buy into the premise. The book was too long/ too wordy. None-the-less I am sold he is onto the truth.Published 19 months ago by R. Peet
The book arrived quickly and in perfect condition. It was a gift that hopefully was enjoyed.
Hopefully the recipient of the book found it interesting.
Provides an indepth look and why the US debt developed through the last 100 years. Well written and provides a very good perspective from several political perspectives.Published 23 months ago by Michael N. Powell
Jay Cost has written a history of the U.S. Democratic Party from a conservative perspective. His thesis is that, while the party was founded to represent the interests of "the... Read morePublished 23 months ago by John M. Ford
Based on the cover and blurbs you might mistake this book for a partisan polemic, but it is in fact a detailed, even-handed, and fascinating history of the Democratic Party.Published 24 months ago by Jerome Cole
This book details a lot of nuanced stuff too many liberals and progressives are reluctant to think clearly about. Read morePublished on November 20, 2012 by Jim Babb