Thursday, January 08, 2004

Paying the Bills

In this political year, we are seeing a plethora of hate-Bush books leading the best seller lists. Heading into Christmas, the first three books on the New York Times bestseller list were “Dude, Where's My Country?” by Michael Moore, the clown prince of Bushophobia, “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them”, a leftish rant by Al Franken, and then an angry conservative rejoinder, “Who's Looking Out For You?” by Bill O' Reilly of Fox News. Just below them sits another hefty seller—“Bushwhacked” by two Texan detractors, Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose.

But to me, the most interesting offering is Kevin Phillips' "American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush," just out from Viking Press. It is accompanied by a media blitz in (the usual suspects) leftie rags like Mother Jones and Rolling Stone. It is, as far as I can see by reading reviews, the book is extremely thin on fact or footnotes, relying instead on unsupported innuendo and speculation. After reading the coverage of this book, my only thought was that I never realized just how badly Kevin needed the money. Plillips, a (formerly) conservative political commentator and the guy who literally wrote the book that became the blueprint for the party's dominance of presidential politics, served as the chief political strategist for Richard Nixon in 1968, and, in The Emerging Republican Majority, he formulated the "Southern Strategy" that helped hand the White House to the GOP for a generation.

Whatever happened to loyalty? Thank goodness not all writers are whores like Phillips and Dean (Dean chimes in with "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush," from Little, Brown in April). It sure looks like anti-Bush tomes are making a ton of money, but one would think that, before committing such a betrayal, one would need some facts to write about. I know that Michael Moore and Al Franken live in a world without fact, but until recently Kevin Phillips was a resident of a more real, and (dare I say it?) intellectual world.In fact, the only real criticism I have of all of these books is that their publishers have chosen to classify them as Non-Fiction.

I would have loved to have given this book a real fisking but, since I have not been able to lay my hands on it yet, I think I'll pass. After reading the coverage of this rag, I have no need or desire to delve into it further. To a certain sector of the public, G.W.Bush is the bogie-man, the absolute personification of all that is evil in the night. I now know that Kevin Phillips resides in that sector. That's how he is paying his bills. That's all I need to know about this book.

[Update] In the "Great Minds Think Alike" department, The American Thinker has a post on Kevin Phillips' demonology of the Bush family, which refers to a Los Angeles Times article based upon Phillips' book. In the "I wish I had Turned a Phrase Like That" department, I offer this bon mot:
Inquiring minds would question how a President so putatively in hock to Middle Eastern oil interests manages to be a firm supporter of Israel who also promises to transform the Middle East by firmly establishing democracy there. If Phillips’s argument had any heft to it, he owes us an explanation of why he doesn’t praise George W. Bush for transcending the limitations he inherited from his “dynasty.”

When the 41st President, George Herbert Walker Bush, stood for election and re-election, there was ample chance to excavate all of these historical roots of his family, and many conspiracy theorists spun their webs. Dredging up such stale charges a fourth time is not only a disservice to the character of public discourse, it is an insult to the intelligence of the American public.
Well put, as per usual, which is why I blogrolled American Thinker the first time I read their site. Check it out.