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Invasion of the Party Snatchers: How the Holy-Rollers and the Neo-Cons Destroyed the GOP Hardcover – April 19, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Make no mistake: author Gold, a former speechwriter for George H.W. Bush and aide to Barry Goldwater, is one disgusted Republican. The GOP of the 2006 midterm election, he writes, is "a party of pork-barrel ear-markers like Dennis Hastert, of political hatchet men like Karl Rove, and of Bible-thumping hypocrites like Tom Delay." Gold looks to Goldwater, "a straight-talking, freethinking maverick," as the yardstick by which to measure just how far the party of Lincoln has fallen. He traces the beginning of the end to the 1980 Republican National Convention and the presence of "a militant new element...personified by Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell." The other half of the equation, the neoconservatives, are embodied by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, "two cuts from the same Machiavellian cloth." In efficient prose, Gold scrutinizes a significant swath of recent GOP history, in particular Newt Gingrich's 104th Congress and the Bush II White House, without losing momentum. He also has choice words for "the Coulterization of Republican rhetoric," the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street, and "sideshow" legislation like the Flag Protection Amendment. Gold sees a promising future for the Republican Party, but not until they lose some major elections and are able to keep down a slice of humble pie; for those disillusioned with the state of the GOP, this quick, uncompromising polemic provides substantial support, along with a large dose of cold comfort.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"While reading this entertaining, provocative book, I was reminded of the televised prize fights of my youth. If the viewer was lucky, two crowd-pleasing boxers would start punching as soon as the bell sounded and continue until the round ended: left jab, right hook, an uppercut, wham, bam, he's down, he's up. In 'Invasion of the Party Snatchers: How the Holy-Rollers and the Neo-Cons Destroyed the GOP, ' author Vic Gold comes out swinging at neoconservatives and the evangelical right he says have captured and ruined the Republican Party, and he never stops." --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
This exegesis on Brinton's "Anatomy of Revolution" may seem unusual in a review of "Invasion of the Party Snatchers" but it is actually quite applicable. Victor Gold, a former speechwriter for George H.W. Bush and aide to Barry Goldwater, finds that both a revolution within the Republican Party and an attempted revolution in government have run its course since 1980. In the 1970s the Republicans coalesced around a conservative agenda that found its voice in the presidency of Ronald Reagan and a broad coalition of supporters with differing priorities, including many traditional Democrats. That generally moderate Republicanism became more radical in the 1990s and the first part of the twenty-first century as extremists gained ascendency in the party and ruled on behalf of narrow but powerful elements--especially the so-called neo-conservatives and the religious right--to the exclusion of other parts of the party represented by such individuals as Victor Gold. Gold and other longstanding Republicans are mounting their own version of a "Thermidorean reaction" against that radicalism and intend to retake the Republican Party and return to a more traditional and appropriate set of priorities.
"Invasion of the Party Snatchers" is a fascinating indictment of neo-conservatism and religious right political priorities within the Republican Party. Gold describes that he calls a war within the party for the "soul of the GOP." He catalogs a range of abuses as these revolutionaries sought to remake both the U.S. and Republican Party, and finds much wanting in the current version of the party of Lincoln. His critique is endlessly captivating, sometimes extravagant, and often illuminating. Written for a broad, non-academic audience, "Invasion of the Party Snatchers" pulls back the curtain of the Republican Party to reveal what is behind the scenes. Read in conjunction with several other books--especially "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America by Chris Hedges, "American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century" by Kevin Phillips, and "What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America" by Thomas Frank--Victor Gold offers a valuable new perspective on recent politics in the United States.
This is truth to power from someone who has earned his stripes among true conservatives.
Then the book arrived and I actually read it.
Well - I had forgotten so much about the Good Old Bad Old Days and Victor reminded me of it all... Goldwater Republicans! Wow! Hadn't heard that term in, oh, way too long! But reading about Barry and his merry men from Victor's adoring perspective brought it all back. I was a bleeding heart liberal in those days; got Clean For Gene and all that... I had also cleanly forgotten one of our arch-nemeses, Barry Goldwater, in the years of ever increasing bad craziness since then.
I find myself thinking these days that the old style conservatives were much worthier foes than this new lot of what Victor styles "neo-cons". As Victor outlines in his pithy little book, the old school cons were logical and consistent and abhorred arguments based on "gut feelings" or anything that might smack of fuzzy thinking. I miss 'em, bless their hearts. I miss people who would quote chapter and verse of the Constitution to back up their political views rather than the current lot who quote much other chapters and verses.
In short, I found Victor's book interesting and definitely worth the lamp light. If you're old enough to remember Barry Goldwater, read this book for the hope it holds out that one day the left's Loyal Opposition will recover their aplomb and once again become worthy intellectual sparring partners.
Or, just buy it 'cause Victor's a charming old git and you want to give him some money. Either way.