The Great American Awakening: Two Years That Changed America, Washington, and Me
2011 nonfiction book by U.S. Senator Jim DeMint
Following his New York Times best seller, Saving Freedom, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint's The Great American Awakening chronicles two tumultuous years from the presidential election of 2008 through the mid-term elections of 2010. … see full wiki
When Jim DeMint of South Carolina was elected to the United States Senate in 2004 he hardly expected to become a household name. After all, DeMint had represented South Carolina's 4th Congressional District for three terms and most Americans had never heard of him to that point. But Jim DeMint was a committed conservative who was extremely unhappy with the direction the country was heading in. To him it didn't seem to matter whether it was Democrats or Republicans in charge. The federal government continued to grow at an alarming rate. While in the House of Representatives DeMint had opposed two of President George W. Bush's major first-term initiatives which were the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 and The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act in 2003. Furthermore, he was unhappy with the way President Bush was handling the war in Iraq and was steadfastly opposed to the whole notion of earmarks. He decided he would run for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and was determined to fight for fiscal sanity in Washington if elected. When Senator Jim DeMint took his oath of office in January 2005 he had no idea that one day soon he would become the spokesman for a cause and one of the leaders of a movement. "The Great American Awakening: Two Years That Changed America, Washington, and Me" chronicles the raucous first two years of the Obama administration when it became crystal clear to Jim DeMint and millions of average Americans that radical changes were needed to alter the way Washington was doing business.
If Jim DeMint was unhappy with the direction that George W. Bush had been taking this country he was positively outraged by the approach taken by President Barack Obama and the Democrats in early 2009. Mr. Obama was spending money like a drunken sailor, bypassing Congress with both a series of executive orders and the appointment of so-called "czars" who were not subject to Congressional oversight. This was not the "change" most Americans had been looking for. Jim DeMint assumed that the Republicans in the Senate would fight the President tooth and nail on many of these important issues. He would be sadly mistaken and discovered that far too many of his colleagues were much more inclined to "go along to get along" than to stand up for conservative principles. And so he decided to take matters into his own hands and formed the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), a political action committee that is "dedicated to electing strong conservatives to the United States Senate" in the spring of 2009. The first candidate endorsed by SCF was Pat Toomey who was challenging the incumbant Republican Senator Arlen Spector in Pennsylvania.
It was at about this time that a new grassroots conservative movement known as the Tea Party was beginning to emerge all across America. Members of the Tea Party were hardly the wild-eyed radicals they were being portrayed as in the mainstream media. Rather, they were the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker who owned and operated small businesses. They were also hard-working Americans who went to work each and every day, paid taxes and obeyed the law. These folks were genuinely frightened by the direction President Obama and the leaders in Congress were headed in. The Tea Party stood for fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets. They also want existing immigration laws enforced and strongly opposed Obamacare. Despite the public outcry the Obama administration pressed ahead with its radical agenda. During the summer of 2009 Tea Party members would make their displeasure known at town hall meetings in cities and towns from Maine to California and from Florida to Alaska. The Tea Party was not going away and SenatorJim DeMint counted himself among its most ardent supporters. He was asked to speak at several of their rallies and was all too happy to accept.
The rise of the Tea Party dovetailed quite nicely with Jim Demint's Senate Conservative's Fund. Enthusiasm for the cause was building and several more articulate and highly-qualified conservative candidates would come forward to compete for seats in the United States Senate. Jim DeMint would put principle ahead of party and lend a hand to all of them. He was viewed by leadership as something of a pariah and his determination to support true conservatives would place a strain on his relationship with several of his Republican colleagues. No matter. Jim DeMint firmly believed he was doing the right thing and the election results in 2010 would seem to bear that out. "The Great American Awakening: Two Years That Changed America, Washington, and Me" is a great way to look back at these two turbulent years in American politics. Jim DeMint offers interesting perspectives on what has gone down so far and what is likely to take place in 2012. It sure isn't boring. Highly recommended!
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