- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Capitol Press (March 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0981572804
- ISBN-13: 978-0981572802
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,225,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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What Sex is a Republican?
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This book is a mixed bag of the personal recollections of a former politician and continuing activist held together by the theme of populism and grass roots activism. It also attempts to provide some guidance in the related arts of running for political office and building a reform movement. This sort of political memoir is fairly common, but this book is unique in this genre in that it actually contains significant and original ideas on politics and governance. McCormick from all appearances is an idealist who maintains that fast disappearing conviction that the first loyalty of any elective official ought to be to constituents not to party. She is a republican and a conservative, but more in the manner of Thomas Jefferson than Karl Rove. Her political philosophy closer to the center than that of libertarian republican Ron Paul, but she clearly would be comfortable with many of his ideas. Like Paul she believes that the U.S. Constitution is the definitive blueprint to governance in the U.S. rather than a "living document" containing broad and often ambiguous advice. She is a conservative thinker, but not an ideologue. She is a critic of the duopoly (Republican/Democratic) hold on power in the state and national legislatures, the tyranny of party over principal, and the focus of both parties on maintaining power in the hands of the select and keeping the status quo. McCormick's stories of are depressing indeed. It is encouraging however that McCormick, at least in this book, is a strong advocate for integrity on the part of politicians, the media, and most importantly the electorate. She appears a strong advocate for real fiscal responsibility, educational reform, and an engaged electorate. These are positions only the duopoly could argue with. --Amazon
So okay, I am the perfect person to do a review of this book. I am, ahem, a Republican, not that I'm necessarily proud of this. I wrote a book, hand to God, titled "Republican Sex" although I have not published the thing. My book, however, is an R-rated affair, fiction, with a helluva plot and a good story but let's not go there. When I saw this book up for review I decided it was good for me. I am nothing like this book's author, either. As the book's cover asserts: " Terri McCormick,M.A.-is a public policy and leadership innovator. She was a State Rep to the Wisconsin legislature from 2000to 2006." I am a common Blogger. Here's what Terri McCormick has to say about Bloggers, from the book: "Realize that bloggers represent their own interests and are not credible, reliable or subject to the ethics code below" The little bit of bemused justice here is that this Blogger of her own interests gets to review might Terri McCormick....M.A.(why is this part of her author's title?) Which is not to say I did not enjoy the book. In fact I did enjoy the read, I found McCormick's observations and experiences to be right on, I consider this book a must read for a certain sort of individual, more on this later. Let's begin with the title. It makes no sense at all and has little to do with the book's contents. McCormick does write almost exclusively about the Republican party and by me she's got the party mentality, issues and problems nailed dead on. But it has nothing whatsoever to do with sex. Methinks Ms. McCormick was trying to attract a salacious sort of attention to her offering, a salacious attention that MY book should, without misleading anyone, attract. Not that my book's published or anything but we've already dealt with that. I'd be too embarrassed to publish my book for the sex scenes but maybe someday, under a pseudonym. McCormick guides the reader through her story of entry into the political scene, through her trials, and tribulations, in the Wisconsin state legislature. She does give some background of her life, tales of her parents, their story. This book is not, however, a book written by someone who sees his or her self as a future candidate. Two things make this not the case. First, Terri McCormick now runs a political consulting firm and leads to the next conclusion that this is not a "meet the candidate" tome...specifically the way it is written. For rather than getting up close and cuddly with the reader, McCormick writes to an audience learning the political ropes. In fact, this book is written exactly as if for a Political Science course. It has bolded chapter topics, bulleted chapter conclusions, inspirational quotes to begin the chapter and summaries at each chapter's end. Thus it is hardly the stuff one would take along to the beach. It is, however, a great insight to political machinations. There are morals to each story. There are great hurrahs and ways to overcome and at times one can almost hear the Battle Hymn of the Republic faintly in the background during the read. I offer that this is a good thing. I admire Terri McCormick, how she had an idea, how she stuck to her guns. I admire this book which exhorts those with similar ideals should carry on, HOW they should carry on, WHY they must carry on. It's not a Pollyanna world, as McCormick readily explains. Her verbally graphical explanation of the "front row" versus the "back row" as well as her run-ins with her nemesis, the "speaker" in the Wisconsin legislature, make clear that there are obstacles but obstacles can be overcome. It's a perfect book for a novice political activist. A Tea Partier, for example. Buy the book. Read it before the upcoming November elections. Read it before throwing YOUR hat in the political ring. --Amazon
In the modern, polarized atmosphere between the political parties, books that describe political dirty tricks and their consequences are routine. What is extremely unusual about this one is that the author was a Republican in the Wisconsin state legislature and her fellow Republicans executed the tricks that were played on her. McCormick chronicles a sad and disgraceful situation where the Republican front row political elements (and some Democrats) played a cynical game where the order of importance was: 1) Self 2) Party 3) Constituents, as long as this did not conflict with (1) and (2). This book has almost everything you do not want to read about in a political book. There is collusion between the political figures and selected industries to thwart badly needed attempts to protect the environment, manipulations of programs designed to provide jobs so that they enrich certain elements and create few new jobs and the actions of the teacher's union to prevent educational reform. National figures in the Republican Party also intervene in the Republican primary process in an attempt to prevent the maverick McCormick from winning the nomination to a seat in the House of Representatives. In summary, if you follow politics and are watching how figures such as Florida Governor Charlie Crist are being drummed out of the Republican Party in favor of units more amenable to following the party line, then there is little here that will surprise you. So much of what has made America great is being lost as both political parties are now concentrating on maintenance of the status quo and their own positions of power. McCormick is a rational, moderate Republican, the kind that the party now has little room for. Her story is one all aspiring political reformers should read. --Amazon
About the Author
Terri McCormick is a public policy and leadership innovator. She is the President of the McCormick Dawson CPG, Ltd., a marketing and public relations firm. Terri McCormick was a State Representative to the Wisconsin Legislature from 2000 to 2006. She is a Wisconsin Truman Scholar. She lives in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Top customer reviews
The author covers her campaign to become the State Representative of Wisconsin, which she held from 2000 to 2006. During this time, she talks about the mistreatment she encountered from other politicians and media outlets. It was not because of her sex, but because of her political beliefs.
Terri became what I would refer to as a "rare politician" - an official who is working for the people and not their political party. She discusses about the radical partisanship that is in both parties, and the "front row politician" - the party leaderships that pull the strings on the bills and amendments being passed.
The book is not a straight autobiography. At times, I felt like I was reading a text book about the corruptions and backstabbing in our government.
Terri McCormick does a good job on writing about how our government has changed. Our country's founders wanted a nation that was run by the people. It seems the politicians have forgotten about our Constitution, and instead they only think about their parties and their own agenda. The book covers the ups and downs of campaigning, which would be a good guide to read if you are thinking about running for an office seat. I recommend "What Sex is a Republican?" to any political junkie, or just someone who wants to learn how to make some changes in our troubled government.
The author, a resident of Wisconsin, first got involved in state politics while working to get a law passed establishing charter schools in Wisconsin. It was intended to help those students who don't fit in the usual classroom setting. The state teacher's union was not happy. McCormick ran for the state legislature on the Republican ticket, but with a populist philosophy. Solving problems that affect the people of Wisconsin should be uppermost in the minds of all state legislators, right?
Republicans are all about cutting spending, and shrinking the size of government, at least in public. But, heaven forbid that a Republican legislator should propose a bill to actually cut spending. The Republican leadership will make sure that the bill never sees the light of day, and the legislator will be told that if they even think of ever doing that again, they can expect a primary opponent at the next election. Many members of the Wisconsin legislature are there simply to line their own pockets (while McCormick was in the legislature, several senior Republicans were under indictment for fraud). The next most important job for a Wisconsin Republican legislator was to do whatever was necessary to make the Democrats look bad. Helping the people was at the bottom of the list.
Intending to keep McCormick busy and quiet for several months, the Republican leadership gave her a task force, involving Medicare Cost Sharing. After several months of meetings and public hearings, McCormick wrote a bill that would actually save the state some money. She was not supposed to do that.
This is a very eye-opening look at the condition of state government in America. If you think Congress is partisan and inflexible, read this book and see that, frequently, state government is just as bad. This is very much worth the reader's time.
While I think everyone has some idea about the inner workings of the political machines, this book goes pretty deep to expose the way things really work.
The approach of the book is to track Terri McCormick journey as a Wisconsin State Legislator and her run for national office.
In my opinion, the book loses some of its punch because she tries to cover too much ground. I believe there are three themes in the book. The first is her personal journey. While this is interesting and gives a detail look at the workings of the Wisconsin State Legislature, there is a little too much detail that is not of significant interest to those living outside the area.
The second theme of the book is the problems plaguing both political parties. The career politicians are more focused on their own standing and have lost touch with the citizens who elected them.
There is a third theme, how to run a political campaign. While there is some valuable information in that section, the information will be of little interest to most readers.
Terri is very sincere in trying to alarm the public about the current sorry state of our political system. However I believe her message would have been much more successful if she had narrowed her focus and omitted a lot of the material that was specific to her and her experience in the Wisconsin Legislature.
I found the title intriguing, but as she is quick to point out, there is no connection between the title and the content of the book. The major political parties are both plagued by leaders who are more concerned with their own agenda than that of the people.
Terri McCormick throughout the book advocates a strong press as a check on the politicians. While in theory this is correct, I believe that too much of the press has their own agenda and reports the news from their own bias.
The main message of this book is that "We the People" must take a much more active interest in and control over the political process. We must make the elected people accountable.
Unfortunately there seems to be too much voter apathy for people to really do the work necessary to become knowledgeable on the issues and hold the politicians accountable. There is also the entitlement problem. We have become very focused on "What's In It For Me." Too many people are willing to tolerate bad legislation so long as they are getting what they want.
A good message but not nearly focused enough in the presentation.
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I am, ahem, a Republican, not that I'm necessarily proud of this.Read more