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Its My Party Tooby Christine T Whitman
"Christie Whitman has long been a puzzle to New Jersey residents, and It's My Party, Too will give them plenty of company. Whether as a rallying cry for moderates of both parties, or as an argument for Whitman's continuing value to Republicans (or Democrats), the book is almost comically unconvincing....The fact that 'moderate' Republicans like Whitman were willing to play loyal soldiers in this fight leaves us with the question of what good they are to anyone." Steven Hart, Salon.com (read the entire Salon.com review)
Synopses & Reviews
From one of the leading moderates in the Republican party — and one of its most powerful women — a thoughtful and provocative critique of the party's hard turn to the right and a call to arms for a return to its moderate roots.
The Republican party is embroiled in a heated and high-stakes battle between its far-right and moderate wings — with conservatives declaring open warfare on the moderates who ask themselves "Whatever happened to the party of Lincoln?" Bearing profound implications not only for the future of the party but also for the future of American politics, this momentous battle will rage on no matter what the outcome of the presidential election.
Christine Todd Whitman retired as a member of the Bush administration in June 2003, tired of the ideological battles in Washington and eager to return home to New Jersey. A lifelong and loyal Republican and a leader of the party's moderate wing, she is a passionate believer in the power of the "productive middle" in politics. In the tradition of Democratic Senator Zell Miller's national bestseller A National Party No More, which critiqued the Democratic party's move to the far left, in It's My Party Too she offers a passionate and revealing insider's argument against the hijacking of her party by zealous "social fundamentalists." Recounting many stories from the front lines of her own battles, both as a two-term New Jersey governor and on the hot seat as EPA administrator, she takes readers inside the tumultuous world of our politics today to reveal how a moderate approach can work wonders while that of extremists only leads to more division and fewer solutions.
Relentlessly pushing their ideological stances on abortion rights, race relations, the environment, tax policy, and go-it-alone foreign policy, the conservative extremists are not only violating traditional Republican principles, she argues, but are also holding the party back from achieving a true majority. By playing so slavishly to the far-right base, running negative campaigns and marginalizing women, the party has forsaken the much broader base that propelled the "Reagan revolution" and has fueled the country's overheated polarization.
Writing with the straight-talking and keenly intelligent candor that launched her onto the national stage — and made her such an inspiration to women all around the country — Christie Whitman sounds a rallying cry that will be vital reading for the millions of moderate voters who are fed up with the extremism of both parties.
"It's her party and she'll cry if she wants to. Former EPA Chief and New Jersey governor Whitman laments the rightward shift in the Republican party, concerned that it 'will now move so far to the right that it ends up alienating centrist voters and marginalizing itself.' In her view, the aggressive tactics of the 'social fundamentalists,' to whom 'the concept of choice...is anathema,' are to blame. Only if centrists transform themselves into 'radical moderates-people ready to fight for what they believe even if it makes waves in the party,' can the party restore its equilibrium. Whitman explores her own GOP heritage and her adventures and misadventures with hot button issues like abortion, stem cell research, race, the environment and women's rights, reinforcing the party's distinguished record. For example, she points out that Republicans ensured passage of the Civil Rights Act and created the Clean Air Act. If moderates would only stand up for themselves, she contends, the party platform could return to the essential issues-'fiscal restraint, reasonable and open discussion of social issues, environmental policies that promote a balanced approach to environmental protection, and a foreign policy that is engaged with the rest of the world.' While the writing is straightforward and the anecdotes interesting, the account drifts from its core theme, culminating in a plea to visit a grassroots Web site and a generic suggestion for 'issues-oriented campaigns.' Nowhere does Whitman identify who these social fundamentalists are, what they want or why they have proven so powerful in today's electoral environment despite being outnumbered. Though this book succeeds as an overview of the Republican party's accomplishments, it's a less than adequate battle plan for moderate Republications looking to attain their past glory." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In the vein of Zell Miller's breakout bestseller A National Party No More comes a bold critique of the Republican party's hard turn to the right and the extreme polarization of American politics today. Written by a Bush cabinet member who resigned rather than continue to promote a hard-line conservative agenda.
About the Author
Christine Todd Whitman served in the Bush cabinet as EPA administrator from January 2001 to May 2003. Prior to that she was the first woman elected governor of New Jersey, serving two terms from 1993 to 2000. The daughter of parents who were active at high levels in the Republican party, she has attended every Republican National Convention since 1956.
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