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Voting to Kill: How 9/11 Launched the Era of Republican Leadership Paperback – September 19, 2006
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Geraghty made his mark blogging coverage of the Kerry presidential campaign for National Review. In this insightful book, he deconstructs all the theories about Republican popularity as part of a craving for family values and focuses on what he considers the real issue: national security and safety in the face of terrorist threats. Americans favor a political party they think will not hesitate to kill terrorists. Drawing on recollections by ordinary Americans of the fear they felt on 9/11 as they faced the harrowing choice of which child to pick up from school first, Geraghty believes this fear created "Security Moms and Dads" singularly focused on safety who believe that Republicans are most likely to deliver on that issue. Geraghty suggests that to have any hope of regaining political power, Democrats need to project a tougher image on terrorism and stronger support for defense spending. To remain in power, Republicans need to balance their hawkishness. Readers wondering how long the political agenda will be ruled by 9/11 will appreciate this comprehensive look at terrorism and American politics. Vanessa Bush
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Yet he got the 2006 midterm elections horribly horribly wrong. Interesting reading for a retrospective view on why the Republicans erroneously failed to see themselves in serious trouble going into the '06 midterms. Overall, though, the shelf-life on this book has passed its expiration date.
The catchy title of chapter ten says it all: "You Can't Win If You're Angrier at Halliburton Than Osama bin Ladin." Too many Democrats perceive George W. Bush as far more of a menace than Islamic terrorism. One can't "Even Trust Hawkish Democrats," adds Geraghty. Such individuals are placed under enormous pressure by the leftists surrounding them on a daily basis. The risk that they might eventually capitulate is not worth taking. Geraghty points out that it is downright weird when left-winger Senator Hillary Clinton is "The Democrats' Most Unlikely Hawkish Role Model." Republicans, however, still "need to appear as reluctant warriors" and not overly eager war lovers. Destroying terrorists is a necessity, and not an inherently enjoyable activity.
The war on terror will not end anytime in the near future. Tragically, the GOP is the only game in town. We cannot afford to have "The Party of Terrorists' Rights" running our government during this Post 9/11 era. Please read Jim Geraghty's book before entering the voting booth next month. You should also consider buying a few extra copies to give to your friends and neighbors.
Flares into Darkness
Geraghty's book is exhaustively researched and yet remains a pleasure to read. His blogger's wit and irreverance combines with spot on analysis to make this the political book of the year.
Geraghty does overstate his case in some instances, and understates it slightly in others, which is why I gave it 4 stars rather than 5. It's a pretty good book, but with a little more editing it could have been a great one.