How Dubya Became a Great President While Driving Liberals Insane
By John Podhoretz
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312324728, 288pp.)
Publication Date: February 2004
Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc
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In this rousing, persuasive, and hugely entertaining book, John Podhoretz says that George W. Bush has earned a place in the pantheon of great American chief executives---and shows in one amazing detail after another how Bush's success has driven some of his critics into a pathological frenzy.
Podhoretz is the first to acknowledge that the odds were stacked against Dubya, the inexperienced Texas governor who took up residence in the White House lacking an electoral majority, dogged by widely publicized verbal mishaps, and widely viewed by the American elite as a lightweight.
But to the delight of his friends and the teeth-gnashing frustration of liberals, George W. Bush has proven himself an immensely effective president. Throughout his three years in the White House, as Podhoretz explains, Dubya has outsmarted, out-maneuvered, out-articulated, and outshone adversaries and critics. Steeled by the tragedy of September 11, the new president took a nation more obsessed with reality television than with the reality of international terrorism and girded it for the long struggle that lay ahead. He has presided over two major military campaigns to stunning success, initiated tax cuts whose dimensions have awed critics and fans alike, and brought his party into the twenty-first century. He has been resourceful, disciplined, and independent-minded---so much so that he was able to reject his own father's governing style as president to find his own voice and his own place in history.
Bush hasn't hoarded his political capital, but has used it in bold and unexpected ways. Instead of bowing to conventional wisdom and carving out a centrist position, he has remained true to his ideological roots. Instead of deferring to established Beltway thinking, he has done what he thinks is best for America and the world. As Bush has grown more presidential, the criticisms of him have grown more intense---and, in Podhoretz's view, crazier and crazier. In a series of short chapters, Podhoretz takes a rhetorical scalpel to eight of the wildest caricatures of Bush and leaves them in hilarious shreds.
In a season of broadsides being fired from both sides of the aisle, here is a book that distinguishes itself by the force of its arguments and the ringing clarity of its thought. Impassioned, insightful, and convincing, Bush Country is an analysis of a presidency gone right and a celebration of a 0man who has already earned his place in history.
John Podhoretz is a columnist for the New York Post, where he has been both the editorial page editor and television critic. He is also a political commentator for the Fox News Channel, a media fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a consultant on NBC's The West Wing. A cofounder of the Weekly Standard, Podhoretz has worked at U.S. News & World Report, Time, and The Washington Times, and served as a speechwriter for President Reagan. His first book, Hell of a Ride, was a scathing portrait of the first Bush presidency. He lives with his wife, Ayala, in New York City.
"If you want to understand America, read Alexis de Tocqueville---then read John Podhoretz, who not only is one of the most perceptive journalists in today's America, but who's very funny, too. In Bush Country, Podhoretz brilliantly harpoons those pompous twits---the 'enlightened' ones, many of them journalists---'who consider themselves the most intelligent people in America.' They may, but no one else will after reading this thoughtful and provocative book."
---Bernard Goldberg, author of Bias and Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite
"Warning: If you like your politics mealymouthed---stay away! John Podhoretz has written a tough, shrewd, don't-give-an-inch defense of George W. Bush that should give the president's critics heartburn, or maybe a heart attack."
---David Frum, author of The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush
"If you want to understand America, read Alexis de Tocqueville...then read John Podhoretz, one of the most perceptive journalists in today's America."
-Bernard Goldberg, author of Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite
"Podhoretz has written a tough, shrewd, don't-give-an-inch defense of George W. Bush that should give the president's critics heartburn."
-David Frum, author of The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush