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Trainwreck: The End of the Conservative Revolution (and Not a Moment Too Soon) 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
In a domestic cooptation of the neocon End of History thesis, talk radio host Press (Spin This!) argues that conservatism's record of failure should condemn it to a subordinate place in American politics—it can survive to check the excess of the majority, argues Press, but must never again be allowed to govern. For Press (who unfurls a dishonor roll of scandals, policy failures, corporate toadying, double standards and outright criminality), this betrayal of public trust has meant the betrayal of conservatism's own purported principles. Thus, citing the conservative canon of the mid-century right-wing intellectual Russell Kirk, and even Barry Goldwater, Press lambastes Bush, Cheney and other Republicans for turning away from the ideals of small government and limited executive power. Likewise, on the environment, conservatism was formerly synonymous with conservation, notes Press, pointing to early Republican leadership on this score from Teddy Roosevelt to California state senator and environmental pioneer Peter Behr. These contradictions rarely come as revelations—indeed the bulk of this narrative will be familiar to anyone paying even passing attention to the news—but by presenting all this material together, Press creates a serviceable election-year handbook for voters, particularly the Democratic opposition. (Apr.)
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Top Customer Reviews
This reader is not wholly convinced, however, that keeping conservatives as a perpetual dissenting minority, the Washington Generals to the Democratic Harlem Globetrotters, is a good thing. Small government conservatives have been successful in many state governments, and by holding power in either the legislature or executive, would counterbalance the modern progressives who seem to run the Democratic Party. Besides, the idea that the American people are ready to completely abandon the George Bush, Ronald Reagan brand of conservativism seems more like a bout of progressive wishful thinking than reasoned political reality. This platform will continue to attract voters for many more election cycles.
Press spends almost an entire chapter alleging that Ronald Reagan was a "racist" for launching his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi - the town memorialized in the movie "Mississippi Burning". He also point out the Trent Lott simply met with members of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which is an organization descended from the Ku Klux Klan...but he doesn't mention the following: Harry Truman, Robert Byrd, Edward Douglas White, Hugo Black, Theodore Bilbo, Bibb Graves, Clifford Walker, George Gordon, and a whole host of others were ACTUAL members of the Ku Klux Klan...and guess what? They were ALL Democrats. Can't believe that people of color still buy into the hogwash that the Democrats are not the racists in this country....the current administration (O-Dumbo's) has certainly made it clear that they are also 100% anti-Semitic with the stance they have taken vis-à-vis Israel in the Middle East! Go figure.
And supposedly scandals like Watergate, Tea Pot Dome, and Iran-Contra only happen on the Republicans watch, right? I'd love to see Mr. Press explain Mr. Obama's "Fast and Furious" scandal, with hindsight being 20-20. Gotta love more recent history coming back to bite you right in the third point of contact, eh Bill?
Let's see...oh, Presidential grabs for power? Mr. Obama puts G.W. Bush to shame with all of his czars, completely incompetent cronies (that have never worked real jobs, just talk about them as politicians). Seems Mr. Press has issues with putting people with REAL experience into any government job....probably because he simply can't grasp the fact that as Ronald Reagan said: Government IS the problem.
You all will love this too: Bill Press lambasts President Bush (no fiscal conservative, by a long shot) for getting the national debt up to $9 trillion before he left office. God, I'd love to see him talk himself out of the fact that under the current Spender-in-Chief we are now at $18 TRILLION and climbing. Got any answers for that, Mr. Press?
Bill Press says that some government "successes" include Medicare and Social Security...both created under Democratic Presidents, both of which are the two largest Ponzi schemes in history. Bernie Madoff went to jail for a Ponzi scheme that is dwarfed by the MESS that both of these systems have turned out to be. If the average American was actually forced to put their portion of Social Security taxes into a 401(K) like investment vehicle, rather than trusting the government to provide for them when they are retired, all of those seniors would now be sitting on quite a nest egg. The government was supposed to be using the employer AND employee portions...and the system is going bankrupt!!! Incompetence run wild....
Mr. Obama has also done nothing to close Guantanamo Bay...he has done nothing to release these "enemy combatants"....why? Simply because the Bush Administration was RIGHT in not applying the rules of the Geneva Convention to terrorists! Terrorists/spies, etc. are specifically excluded from the Geneva Convention...maybe Mr. Press should read it. Or, perhaps Mr. Press should have worn a uniform at some point in his life?
For Bush's Katrina disaster...we have Obama's mishandling of the oil spill in the Gulf. FEMA is not the answer: LOCAL response is the answer. Blame Bush for Katrina...while allowing the Democratic Mayor of New Orleans at the time off the hook, AND the Democratic Governor of Louisiana off the hook. How is that even POSSIBLE? The lack of local preparation, evacuation, and immediate response in the wake of the hurricane was laughable....and it is no wonder neither the mayor nor the governor were re-elected.
In the meantime, I'd love to see what grade Mr. Kress would give Mr. Obama for dealing with any of the current foreign issues facing our nation: an aggressive (Cold War-like) Russia, the growth of ISIS, the nuclear proliferation desires of Iran, Boko Haram, Cuba....I can just imagine him applauding our moron-in-chief for the disaster that has become America's foreign policy.
He compares the "Bush Doctrine" to the "Wilson Doctrine"...without reminding everyone that Wilson went so far as to enact the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918...which basically was his way to crackdown on ANY anti-war protestors. Guess you can't be against a Democrat once they make a decision to enter the country into a war....a war which resulted in over 100,000 US deaths, and over 300,000 US casualties.
I could go on and on...but it is far too easy.
Again, gave this four stars because it is really good to see just how warped the other side truly is....and Bill takes the cake, that's for sure.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt warned us of the depridations of the "industrial dictatorship," and that is why Rush Limbaugh hates FDR and the government agencies (when they are not corrupted by Big Business) that can curb the excesses of the "aristocracy of our monied corporations" (to use Thomas Jefferson's phrase). "Train Wreck" outlines the many ways in which the "conservative" movement has operated in opposition to actual conservative values - they have not been fiscally responsible as our massive debt illustrates, they have directed an interventionist military agenda The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project), they are disrespecting our environment and squandering natural resources Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy, they are disrespecting states' rights on issues like medical marijuana Waiting to Inhale, and they are trouncing our civil liberties Unconstitutional - The War On Our Civil Liberties. What we have been witnessing hasn't actually been a "conservative revolution," but rather a corporate coup The Corporation. A segment of the population, around 20%, has profited from this coup. Maybe they work in the fossil fuel, pharmaceutical or prison industries; so they are happy to see our government become the representative of business executives instead of the general public. And those that have profited are politically active and are misinformed each and every day by radio hosts across the country, and by corporate news channels like Fox, which receives sponsorship dollars from war profiteers like Lockheed Martin. In terms of media access, political influence and wealth distribution, the U.S. is becoming more and more like a two-tiered almost feudal society that we're accustomed to seeing in the Third World. And to maintain these disparities and injustices, we have a growing network of government agencies like the CIA, DIA, NSA, DEA and other ominous developments. Today's "conservatives" bemoan the "nanny" state (that provides social spending that the general public wants), but they love the authoritarian "daddy" state that surveils us, imprisons hundreds of thousands, regulates small business to death, and makes life miserable for economic refugees from nations where the "conservative" revolution has had even worse effects Free Market Missionaries: The Corporate Manipulation of Community Values.
Fortunately, as Press suggests, corporatism may have reached its apex regarding the ways it has colonized the American mind. In addition to Bill's show, there are other liberal hosts like Thom Hartmann What Would Jefferson Do? and Bob Kincaid who are informing liberals and creating a community of activists. There are also cable tv efforts like Current TV, Link TV and Free Speech TV to counter the right-wing noise machine; as well as a huge growth in independent films that are exposing the deceptions of our corporate media Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky and the Media.
Concerned Americans do have opportunities to take the country back from the right-wing elite that has led us down this anti-democratic and militarist path, but it will take efforts beyond electing the right person to the presidency. John Dewey said "democracy begins in conversation." The progressive revolution begins when we start to have the conversations that Hannity and other "perception managers" don't want us to have.
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
- Abraham Lincoln