Catalogue


Comeback : conservatism that can win again /
David Frum.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : Doubleday, c2008.
description
viii, 213 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
9780385515337
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Doubleday, c2008.
isbn
9780385515337
catalogue key
6348210
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Excerpt from Book
ONE GEORGE W. BUSH: What Went Wrong? In January 2003, I published one of the very first memoirs of the Bush administration,The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush. Over the years since, the Bush administration has been hammered by difficulties and disappointments. And I have often found myself fighting against the administration I once served: against the prescription drug plan, against the Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court, against amnesty for illegal aliens. During those fights, it was usually only a matter of time before I was sarcastically asked, "Sois George Bush still 'the right man'?" On the credit side: George Bush led the U.S. economy through its longest-ever expansion. He correctly identified the tyranny and misgovernment of the Middle East as the crucial cause of Islamic terrorism. He enhanced the security of the whole world by removing Saddam Hussein from control of the second most important Arab oil state. Bush showed courage on stem cells, and (Miers aside) he nominated excellent conservative judges. On the debit side: So many mistakes! And such stubborn refusal to correct them when there was still time! So many lives needlessly sacrificed, so much money wasted, so many friends alienated, so many enemies strengthened. No American president since Harry Truman has been so unpopular so long as George W. Bush. Bush's Republicans suffered one fearful defeat in 2006 and seem poised to suffer another in 2008. A generation of young Americans has been lost to our party. What went wrong? Many will want to load the blame for all the disappointments of the Bush presidency on the president himself. He surely deserves much of the blame. Why did he appoint such consistently mediocre people to such important jobs? Where was he in the summer of 2003, as Iraq began to go wrong? Why did he keep saying one thing and then doing the opposite on issues from Middle Eastern democracy to the North Korean nuclear bomb? Why did he make so little effort to persuade the American public? Why defy the nation and the party and adopt immigration amnesty as a supreme priority? Why did he spend so lavishlywhile improving government so little? I warned in 2003 of George Bush's stubbornness, his hastiness, and his inattention to detail. I believed then that his sheer determination to prevail in the war on terror would elevate him above such limitations. In that belief I was mistaken. Bush's eagerness for bold action was again and again frustrated by his disinclination to acknowledge unwelcome realities. He persuaded himself that the regimes most responsible for the growth of radicalismSaudi Arabia and Pakistancould nonetheless be relied upon as allies. He publicly declared that he would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, without any strategy to make his word good. In his eagerness to avoid condemning all Muslims as terrorists, he deceived himself about the prevalence of extremism among Muslims worldwide. George W. Bush had the right instincts, but the wrong methods. He identified the right path, but stumbled when he tried to walk it. Yet we conservatives and Republicans must face some truths about ourselves as well. In important ways, Bush saw more clearly than we. He recognized that the conservatism of the 1980s and 1990s had exhausted itself. After the triumph of 1994, we lost the battle over the government shutdown in 1995. Running as a Reagan conservative, Bob Dole lost the presidential election of 1996. In the court of public opinion, we lost the impeachment fight. We lost the congressional elections of 1998the first time since 1822 that a nonpresidential party had failed to gain seats in the sixth year of a presidential term. Bush had won the biggest Republican victory of that otherwise frus
First Chapter
ONE
GEORGE W. BUSH:
What Went Wrong?

In January 2003, I published one of the very first memoirs of the Bush administration,The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush.

Over the years since, the Bush administration has been hammered by difficulties and disappointments. And I have often found myself fighting against the administration I once served: against the prescription drug plan, against the Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court, against amnesty for illegal aliens. During those fights, it was usually only a matter of time before I was sarcastically asked, “So–is George Bush still ‘the right man’?”

On the credit side: George Bush led the U.S. economy through its longest-ever expansion. He correctly identified the tyranny and misgovernment of the Middle East as the crucial cause of Islamic terrorism. He enhanced the security of the whole world by removing Saddam Hussein from control of the second most important Arab oil state. Bush showed courage on stem cells, and (Miers aside) he nominated excellent conservative judges.

On the debit side: So many mistakes! And such stubborn refusal to correct them when there was still time! So many lives needlessly sacrificed, so much money wasted, so many friends alienated, so many enemies strengthened. No American president since Harry Truman has been so unpopular so long as George W. Bush. Bush’s Republicans suffered one fearful defeat in 2006 and seem poised to suffer another in 2008. A generation of young Americans has been lost to our party.

What went wrong? Many will want to load the blame for all the disappointments of the Bush presidency on the president himself. He surely deserves much of the blame. Why did he appoint such consistently mediocre people to such important jobs? Where was he in the summer of 2003, as Iraq began to go wrong? Why did he keep saying one thing and then doing the opposite on issues from Middle Eastern democracy to the North Korean nuclear bomb? Why did he make so little effort to persuade the American public? Why defy the nation and the party and adopt immigration amnesty as a supreme priority? Why did he spend so lavishly–while improving government so little?

I warned in 2003 of George Bush’s stubbornness, his hastiness, and his inattention to detail. I believed then that his sheer determination to prevail in the war on terror would elevate him above such limitations. In that belief I was mistaken. Bush’s eagerness for bold action was again and again frustrated by his disinclination to acknowledge unwelcome realities. He persuaded himself that the regimes most responsible for the growth of radicalism–Saudi Arabia and Pakistan–could nonetheless be relied upon as allies. He publicly declared that he would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, without any strategy to make his word good. In his eagerness to avoid condemning all Muslims as terrorists, he deceived himself about the prevalence of extremism among Muslims worldwide. George W. Bush had the right instincts, but the wrong methods. He identified the right path, but stumbled when he tried to walk it.

Yet we conservatives and Republicans must face some truths about ourselves as well. In important ways, Bush saw more clearly than we. He recognized that the conservatism of the 1980s and 1990s had exhausted itself.

After the triumph of 1994, we lost the battle over the government shutdown in 1995. Running as a Reagan conservative, Bob Dole lost the presidential election of 1996. In the court of public opinion, we lost the impeachment fight. We lost the congressional elections of 1998–the first time since 1822 that a non—presidential party had failed to gain seats in the sixth year of a presidential term.

Bush had won the biggest Republican victory of that otherwise frustrating year. He was reelected governor of Texas in
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2007-11-12:
In his new book, Frum (The Right Man), former speechwriter to President Bush, offers a conservative blueprint for accommodating challenges central to the next half-century of American life. Drawing on his expert knowledge of domestic politics and foreign policy, Frum argues that Republicans need to evolve with the times in order to win American hearts, minds and elections. After staking out viably conservative positions on the country's most salient political battles such as health care, education, the economy, foreign policy, embryonic stem cell research, taxation and the like, Frum proposes a grand taxation strategy. In lieu of taxes that stifle investment and free enterprise, Frum's platform relies on consumption taxation. His approach aims to accommodate domestic spending obligations such as social security while remaining pro-growth. By aiming taxes at upper-class consumers, Frum takes a provocative, politically challenging stance. The book rebukes the president Frum once called the right man and sets a challenging new course of action for the GOP. (Dec. 31) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
PRAISE FOR DEAD RIGHT "The most refreshing ideological experience in a generation." William F. Buckley "Not just a great book but a classic." Peggy Noonan "The smartest book written from the inside about the American conservative movement." Frank Rich "The Road to Serfdom of our time." Newt Gingrich PRAISE FOR WHAT'S RIGHT "One of the leading political commentators of his generation." Wall Street Journal PRAISE FORHOW WE GOT HERE "[A]n audacious act of revisionism, written in a voice and style so original it deserves to be called revolutionary." John Podhoretz,National Review "More than any other book I know, it shows how we came to be the way we are." Michael Barone PRAISE FOR THE RIGHT MAN "An acute analysis . . . [A] look at Bush different from any we've ever seen. Remarkably candid." Los Angeles Times Book Review PRAISE FORAN END TO EVIL "A radical, even revolutionary, vision of the contemporary world and the role that the United States can and must play in reshaping it . . . a refreshing departure from the postmodernist view of the world." New York Post
PRAISE FOR "DEAD RIGHT" "The most refreshing ideological experience in a generation." - William F. Buckley "Not just a great book - but a classic." - Peggy Noonan "The smartest book written from the inside about the American conservative movement." - Frank Rich "The Road to Serfdom of our time." - Newt Gingrich PRAISE FOR "WHAT'S RIGHT" "One of the leading political commentators of his generation." -"Wall Street Journal" PRAISE FOR "HOW WE GOT HERE" "[A]n audacious act of revisionism, written in a voice and style so original it deserves to be called revolutionary." - John Podhoretz, "National Review" "More than any other book I know, it shows how we came to be the way we are." - Michael Barone PRAISE FOR "THE RIGHT MAN" "An acute analysis . . . [A] look at Bush different from any we've ever seen. Remarkably candid." - "Los Angeles Times Book Review" PRAISE FOR "AN END TO EVIL" "A radical, even revolutionary, vision of the contemporary world and the role that the United States can and must play in reshaping it . . . a refreshing departure from the postmodernist view of the world." - "New York Post"
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
PW Annex Reviews, October 2007
Publishers Weekly, November 2007
Wall Street Journal, January 2008
Globe & Mail, February 2008
New York Times Book Review, February 2008
New York Times Full Text Review, October 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
At a moment of crisis and pessimism for American conservatives, David Frum offers fresh ideasand fresh hope. Not in a generation has conservatism been in as much trouble as it is at the end of the Bush years. A majority of Americans say the country is "on the wrong track." Voters prefer Democrats over Republicans on almost every issue, including taxes. The married, the middle-class, the native-born are dwindling as a share of the population, while Democratic blocs are rising. A generation of young people has turned its back on the Republican party. Too many conservatives and Republicans have shut their eyes to negative trends. David Frum offers answers. Frum says that the ideas that won elections for conservatives in the 1980s have done their job. Republicans can no longer win elections on taxes, guns, and promises to restore traditional values. It's time now for a new approach, including: A conservative commitment to make private-sector health insurance available to every American Lower taxes on savings and investment financed by higher taxes on energy and pollution Federal policies to encourage larger families Major reductions in unskilled immigration A genuinely compassionate conservatism, including a conservative campaign for prison reform and government action against the public health disaster of obesity A new conservative environmentalism that promotes nuclear power in place of coal and oil Higher ethical standards inside the conservative movement and the Republican party A renewed commitment to expand and rebuild the armed forces of the United Statesto crush terrorismand get ready for the coming challenge from China Frum's previous bestselling books have earned accolades for their courage and creativity from liberals and conservatives alike. Today, with the conservative movement and the Republican Party facing their greatest danger since Watergate, Frum has again stepped forward with new ideas to take conservatismand Americainto a new century of greatness.
Long Description
At a moment of crisis and pessimism for American conservatives, David Frum offers fresh ideas--and fresh hope. Not in a generation has conservatism been in as much trouble as it is at the end of the Bush years. A majority of Americans say the country is "on the wrong track." Voters prefer Democrats over Republicans on almost every issue, including taxes. The married, the middle-class, the native-born are dwindling as a share of the population, while Democratic blocs are rising. A generation of young people has turned its back on the Republican party. Too many conservatives and Republicans have shut their eyes to negative trends. David Frum offers answers. Frum says that the ideas that won elections for conservatives in the 1980s have done their job. Republicans can no longer win elections on taxes, guns, and promises to restore traditional values. It's time now for a new approach, including: A conservative commitment to make private-sector health insurance available to every American Lower taxes on savings and investment financed by higher taxes on energy and pollution Federal policies to encourage larger families Major reductions in unskilled immigration A genuinely compassionate conservatism, including a conservative campaign for prison reform and government action against the public health disaster of obesity A new conservative environmentalism that promotes nuclear power in place of coal and oil Higher ethical standards inside the conservative movement and the Republican party A renewed commitment to expand and rebuild the armed forces of the United States--to crush terrorism--and get ready for the coming challenge from China Frum'sprevious bestselling books have earned accolades for their courage and creativity from liberals and conservatives alike. Today, with the conservative movement and the Republican Party facing their greatest danger since Watergate, Frum has again stepped forward with new ideas to take conservatism--and America--into a new century of greatness.
Table of Contents
George W. Bush: What Went Wrong?p. 1
Why We're Losingp. 9
How We Winp. 21
Goal One: A Better Deal for the Middle Classp. 31
Goal Two: Keep China Number Twop. 59
Goal Three: New Life for the Pro-Lifep. 93
Goal Four: Green Conservatismp. 117
Goal Five: Win the War on Terrorp. 137
Goal Six: Rediscover Conservative Idealsp. 167
Endnotesp. 181
Acknowledgmentsp. 201
Indexp. 205
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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