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Trainwreck: The End of the Conservative Revolution (and Not a Moment Too Soon)by Bill Press
Synopses & Reviews
One of the country's most well-known progressive commentators on how — and why — the conservative movement went off the rails.
According to even Newt Gingrich, Republicans have lost their way. "Always better with one-liners than worthwhile policies," John McCain recently said, "We spent money like a drunken sailor. Although I never really knew a sailor, drunk or sober, with the imagination of my colleagues."
Bill Press, however, says the Republicans have been governing exactly the way you'd expect. If a politician's most basic belief is that government always fails, why would anyone think he'd try to prove otherwise? Trainwreck details the rise of the modern conservative movement from Robert Taft to Ronald Reagan and its fall from Newt Gingrich to the abject failure of George W. Bush.
Once champions of fiscal responsibility, conservatives have brought us, instead, record high federal spending and bloated budget deficits. Once leery of foreign entanglements, conservatives have launched us, instead, into an unprecedented age of imperial wars and conquests. Once apostles of honesty and integrity in government, conservatives have, instead, used their positions of power to enrich themselves or evade the rule of law.
For decades, conservatives struggled to topple liberals from the federal throne, but, once in power, they didn't deliver. Everything they touched, they trashed. Here is the story of who, how, and why.
"If Republicans were a restaurant, 'they'd have been closed by the Board of Health,' Bill Press says. 'If they were a Hollywood starlet, they'd be in rehab.' On the first page of his new book, the former host of CNN's 'Crossfire' announces that 'the conservative revolution is finally over — and it was a total bust.' He pounds away at that theme with relentless derision for 200 more... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) pages, recapping recent scandals in a section titled 'The Congressional Hall of Shame' and delving into education policy in a section called 'No Bureaucrat Left Behind.' 'From historic deficits to pre-emptive wars,' he argues, President Bush has 'delivered the exact opposite of what conservatives had always promised.' Only in the last three pages does Press propose an alternative. What liberals want, he says, is 'not a dogmatic agenda, but a pragmatic one': environmental protection, balanced budgets, universal health care, protection for U.S. jobs and 'strong anti-terrorism measures with no erosion of our fundamental constitutional rights.' It's 'really not rocket science,' Press writes — which sounds a bit like what conservatives were saying at the beginning of their revolution." Reviewed by Alan Cooperman, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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Book News Annotation:
Political columnist and radio host Press declares the modern conservative movement, which began with Robert Taft's opposition to the New Deal, a failed corpse. They failed, he declares, not by his own liberal standards, but by their own alleged governing principles. He details these failures, showing how conservatives from Reagan to the second Bush have violated their own professed principles when it comes to the environment, restoring honor and dignity to government, making Americans safer, avoiding foreign entanglements, cutting governmental waste and fraud, maintaining fiscal responsibility, and shrinking the size and power of the federal government. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
One of America’s best-known progressive commentators reveals that, far from betraying conservative ideals, George W. Bush’s administration has behaved exactly as anyone would expect of a group that believes government is evil and always doomed to failure. Bill Press demonstrates that conservative positions have remained consistently wrong, and that, from its inception, the movement was dedicated to tearing things down, not building them up. Trainwreck will convince you that the conservative movement has remained on track for decades—and that, from the beginning, those tracks were headed for disaster.
Ten things trainwreck reveals that REPUBLICANS HOPE YOU NEVER FIND OUT
In Bill Press's funniest and most astute book yet, he drives the final nail into the coffin containing the ideas of the so-called party of ideas. And it's a coffin many Republican presidential candidates have been using as a campaign bus.
Conventional conservative wisdom holds that somehow, during the first seven years of the twenty-first century, the Republican Party lost its way and abandoned core conservative principles while maintaining absolute control of all three branches of government. Is this true? Or are unnecessary wars, ballooning deficits, rampant corruption, incompetent governance, inadequate public services, crumbling infrastructure, and repeated attempts to deceive the public the inevitable consequence of any government based on conservative political philosophy?
In Trainwreck, one of America's best-known progressive commentators reveals that, far from betraying conservative ideals, the administration of George W. Bush has behaved exactly as anyone would expect of a group that believes government is evil and always doomed to failure. Why, asks syndicated radio host and newspaper columnist Bill Press, would people whose primary message is that government doesn't work want to prove otherwise?
Press traces the history of the modern conservative movement from the rise of Robert Taft in the 1940s, through the glory days of Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich, to the long and agonizing fall of George W. Bush. He examines the movement's intellectual underpinnings in the writings of Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley Jr. and its national political birth with the nomination of Barry Goldwater for president in 1964.
This in-depth analysis reveals three very salient facts: hatred of government has been a core value of the conservative movement from its inception; the behavior of the George W. Bush administration has mirrored that of the Reagan administration in every important way; and, until Hurricane Katrina revealed in 2005 that the emperor had no clothes, movement conservatives were the president's strongest supporters and closest allies.
Press demonstrates that, while constantly changing and evolving, conservative positions have remained consistently wrong, and that, from its inception, the movement was dedicated to tearing things down, not building them up.
Trainwreck will convince you, once and for all, that the conservative movement has remained on track for decades—and that, from the beginning, those tracks were headed for disaster.
About the Author
Bill Press (Washington, DC) is the host of Sirius Radio's Bill Press Show, which is also syndicated across the country, and writes a syndicated column for Tribune Media. Formerly the host of CNN's Crossfire, his books include Spin This, Bush Must Go, and How the Republicans Stole Christmas.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Loving the Great Outdoors.
Chapter Two: Restoring Honor and Dignity to Government.
Chapter Three: Making Americans Safer.
Chapter Four: A Safeguard Against Tyranny.
Chapter Five: Avoiding Pointless Foreign Adventures.
Chapter Six: Cutting Waste, Fraud and Abuse.
Chapter Seven: The Party of Fiscal Responsibility.
Chapter Eight: Less Power to Washington<.
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