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Painting the Map Red: The Fight to Create a Permanent Republican Majority Hardcover – March 27, 2006
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From the Inside Flap
Painting the Map Red is the insider¹s blueprint for achieving a permanent Republican majority.
Bestselling author, political strategist, and nationally syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt shows you how conservatives can take down the Democrats, expose their liberal extremism, and reignite the Reagan Revolution.
Calling on his own extensive experienceand on the savvy political minds of Mark Steyn, Fred Barnes, Michael Barone, and others in exclusive interviewsHewitt reveals: The Five Key Messages and Four Crucial Steps to a permanent Republican majority How big is too big? Which senator deserves to get pushed out of the Republican big tent The next generation of liberal Democratsif you thought Ted Kennedy was bad, wait till you see the party of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Howard Dean How extremist groupsespecially on the Internetare driving the Democrats¹ agenda Why the Democrats¹ assault on religion is just ramping up How Republicans can retake the courts and end Democrat obstruction How the Democrats¹ alliance with liberal mainstream media can be turned against them both Where we go from here: coming up with the right candidate after Bush
In politics, as in war, it pays to play offense, and Hugh Hewitt knows how the GOP can fight and wincoast to coast.
Want another Reagan Revolution? Here¹s how. It¹s time to finish Painting the Map Red.
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Being a staunch conservative, he sees the liberal agenda as something not only bad for America, but actually dangerous. If he could get the Democrats down to a stub party, he would be happy. However, I would caution that such a success might lead to something the conservatives might not intend. The American two-party system is really based around the idea of 51-49 political divides. The major parties are actually not continuing repositories of beliefs. They adapt over time to whatever will get them a majority. This is why the parties look quite similar to those on the extremes. The abortion debate has been great fodder for both sides because it locks in the extreme wings and allows them to jockey for moderates. If the Republicans actually did conquer the Democrats once and for all, it would not lead to one party rule. It would almost certainly lead to a split within the GOP and lead to the formation of a second major party from that breakup. It has happened before and our country, but hasn't happened in a long time because the parties are so adept at shifting with the political winds.
That aside, what strategy does the author of this book lay out? That the GOP should nationalize the election (this is riskier than he lets on, but he wants the big win so badly that he probably is willing to accept the risk or he doesn't see it) and that there are five messages the GOP should emphasize all the time and everywhere. They are: 1) The Democratic Left and the Mainstream Media (MSM) have declared war yet again on the military. (Remember, I am not saying he is right or that he is wrong, just reporting what Hewitt is saying). 2) The Democratic Left has declared war on religion (think about Schumer's statements about judges and their disqualification for "deeply held beliefs"), 3) The Democratic Left and its Senators have declared war on the judiciary (look at the extreme politicization of the confirmation of ALL Federal judges nowadays), 4) The Democratic Left wants to radically redefine marriage while portraying Republicans as bigoted, and 5) The Democratic Left is addicted to venom and is poisoning the political process. You can decide for yourself what you think of these positions once you read the book, but don't simply assume you know his positions from reading these one sentence summaries.
Hewitt also declares that the GOP must regain a semblance of party discipline and unity and withhold support from those who turn against party positions. He also cautions that the Border Security issue can be very divisive within the party. We are actually seeing this play out on our TV screens and reading about it in our newspapers.
The author uses twelve words to summarize it all:
-Win the war
-Confirm the judges
-Cut the taxes
-Control the spending
You know, if the GOP could actually get these twelve words into action rather than rhetoric, they probably would continue in power. However, Gingrich points out that the best campaign slogan the Dems can use in 2006 is, "Had Enough?" and I am afraid Gingrich might be right. While it is true the demographics within the individual races make it hard for the Dems to regain the House and they have to run the board in the Senate races, but it has been done before.
This book is an interesting voice in the debate about what should be done during this election year. It will be interesting to see what actually plays out.
Hewitt devotes a chapter to each talking point supported by source material interspersed with commentary. If you do not think of this as a resource book, the number of lengthy excepts in the body of the text may be offputting. Take it for what it is and the format makes sense.
Hewitt continues to be very clear on the need for pragmatism as well as principle, indeed he argues for pragmatism in the service of principle. As in his past writings, he argues for political maturity in achieving and retaining a governing majority by allowing significant dissent, NO LITMUS TESTS, even on immigration and abortion. He names one politician as an exception that proves the rule: Lincoln Chafee.
Hewitt specifies four crucial votes, that tie to his 5 point agenda and his concern for building and maintaining a governing majority, on which Senator Chafee voted against the President and the Senate Republican Party. I confirmed Hewitt's factual claims by going to the Senate Voting Record, the Providence Journal, and the Americans for Democratic Action websites. Hewitt argues that it is necessary to defeat Chafee, even if that means Republicans voting for a Democratic senator in the general election.
The key problem this book identifies but does not satifactorilly address is getting party leaders and members, once elected, to actually carry out enough of the party platform to justify further investment of time and money. Nevertheless, Hugh Hewitt has provided a coherent center-right agenda for the next two elections; worthwhile as a basis for discussion, thoughtful debate, and action on either side of the political aisle.
Recommend that some other reviewers read the book prior to making their partisan and biased reviews which don't actually discuss this book at all. Even if you disagree with the stated goal, the political strategy is noteworthy.