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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » It's My Party, Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America » User review

Not very deep

  • Aug 10, 2005
Rating:
-1
I like Mrs. Whitman, respect her politics, and admire her decision to stake a ground as a moderate. I think her inside account is interesting, and refreshingly not bitter. Yet, she leaves far too many holes.

First, there are substantive holes in her accounts. Why if Clear Skies is such a good proposal that environmentalists should like does the administration not get a respected senator, such as Chaffee, to sponsor it? What does she mean when Rove said she would be an important cabinent member? Why does she want to weaken or get rid of New Source Review policies, but then say she would not want to weaken the cases regarding NSR in the courts? I found some of the discussion of the issues superficial.

Second, she is too soft on the GOP. She says the GOP can regain black support and many in the GOP are moderate. Yet, too often we still hear of people in the Republican leadership (from Trent Lott on) who seem pretty racist. Indeed, the modern GOP is based on intolerant appeals to white homophobia and racism. Likewise, she notes that some GOP congressmen support environmental initiatives. But even they are a tiny minority. On all the issues, she does a good job of presenting moderate policies, but cannot convince the reader that the GOP is truly the vehicle of moderates. With plenty of moderate Democrats, from Lieberman to Clinton to Nelson, why bother whith an increasingly radicalized GOP?

Even if one assumes that the GOP is the better party for moderates, Whitman tells us nothing of how to make the party more moderate. True she started a PAC, but does anybody really believe moderates are going to have much voice in the Republican primaries? Sadly, I doubt it.

Overall, it's intersting to hear her first-hand account. However, for a true insider view from someone unafraid to speak his mind, see "Price of Loyalty" about Paul O'Neill's White House experience.

Llooking back on this after 2 more years of Bush, I would have to give the book only 3 stars. Whitman's prediction of a moderate Republicanism still seems very far away, and the primaries are still dominated by zealots. Looks like she's losing the battle]

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About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi ()
Ranked #78
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
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Wiki

"The people of this county deserve better from their politics and their politicians than they've been getting in recent years," writes Christine Todd Whitman inIt's My Party Too. While hardly high praise for George W. Bush from a former member of his Cabinet (she served as director of the Environmental Protection Agency from January 2001 to May 2003), the real targets of her ire are some of her fellow Republicans who have forced the GOP to make a hard-right turn in recent years. Whitman argues that this shift poses a serious threat to the long-term health and competitiveness of the Republicans, a party in which moderates like Whitman, Colin Powell, Rudolph Giuliani, John McCain, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and George Pataki are paraded in public when necessary, but openly opposed behind the scenes. Whitman refers to those on the far right as "social fundamentalists" whose "mission is to advance their narrow ideological agenda" by using the government to impose their views on everyone else. Though she admits that evangelicals may have helped to win the 2004 election, they have claimed much more credit than they deserve for Bush's success, and she warns that catering to this narrow group will have consequences.

To achieve long-term success, she writes, the Republicans must move their focus back to the core issues that unite the true base of the party: less government, stronger national security, lower taxes combined with spending ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 1594200408
ISBN-13: 978-1594200403
Author: Christine Todd Whitman
Genre: Politics
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
Date Published: 2005
First to Review

"Not very deep"
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