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43 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars nihilist lullaby, February 5, 2006
This review is from: Bush Country : How Dubya Became a Great President While Driving Liberals Insane (Hardcover)
Podhoretz's attempt to portray the Bush administration in sunny optimistic terms is partly a desperate bid to recapture the fabled halcyon glow of the Reagan years. It falls flat, because let's face it, the Bush administration is pretty darn nihilistic. It takes extreme mental hopscotch to try and feel that same optimism that Podhoretz apparently does. To give the devil his due, Podhoretz does acknowledge that 53 million American voters-- the majority as it were--beg to differ.

Podhoretz is all sport in his mythmaking. Prince Hal was born in Connecticut, but perceiving the hostility to the North in his new-found land of Texas, he quickly adopts the walk and the talk. Hal cut his teeth in politics, as a member of the "Scrub Team." He was responsible for enforcing loyalty to poppy's administration. Although Bush worked hard to establish his own identity, he doesn't like "psychobabble," i.e. self-reflection. The son was liberated by his father's defeat. No more moderation. As liaison to the Christian Conservatives, Bush forged bonds, assuring the righteous ones that one day he'd "reciprocate by hewing to their views on social issues like abortion."

For the most part, Podhoretz avoids the Anne Coulter School of partisanship. He's more insidious. He likes to plant seeds of slander here and there, sometimes in the midst of some seemingly innocuous statements, e.g. "The view from Paris is, as has been the case so often, echoed by Leftists in the United States." By inference, dissenters are all leftists, whose ideas contain the germ of foreign thinking, rather than the old-fashioned, corn-pone, home-spun, heimat homilies of the righteous right (when in need of a good propaganda thrust, always resort to xenophobia & commie-baiting.) His take on Joseph Wilson is nothing but a glib rendering of factoids, and doesn't bother to address any of the relevant facts. Such as: Wilson's expertise, the extent of his contacts and the fact that there were only a few mines in Africa capable of producing uranium in any quantity--one was owned by a Euro consortium, the other was flooded.

Since I am used to this partisan polemic, there are only a few things that really raised the hairs on the back of my neck. Here's one example: Podhoretz likens the criticism of Wolfowitz and other Jewish Neocons to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. By even invoking Protocols in this taunting careless bad faith manner, Podhoretz comes perilously close to blood libel himself. It also betrays the uneasy relationship between Jewish Neocons and Christian Fundamentalists within the Bush administration. Wolfowitz and Kissinger are as representative of the Jewish people, as Clarence Thomas is to all black people, as Ann Coulter is to the state of Connecticut, and as O'Reilly is to all persons of Irish heritage from Long Island. Wolfowitz and Coulter are fringe elements, so radical and nihilistic, they defy any sane person's understanding. They betray any traditional, sound upbringing. But that's probably pretty hard to understand if you don't talk to at least 53 million Americans who don't share the same ideology, (unless you have to, Ann Coulter.)
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