How I Learned to Survive (and Thrive) in the Contact Sport of Congress
Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312366445, 288pp.
Publication Date: June 24, 2008
There’s a reason The Nation, America’s leading progressive magazine, named Robert Wexler the country’s “Most Valuable Congressman.” It's the same reason right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh refers to him as “disgusting.” It's because for the last twelve years Wexler has been Congress’s most outspoken liberal -- taking on George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Alberto Gonzales, General David Petraeus, and, when necessary, even his own party.
In Fire-Breathing Liberal, Wexler brings readers onto the floor of the House and puts them at the center of some of the last decade’s biggest controversies. He passionately describes how he defended Bill Clinton from impeachment and how he stood up against the Bush brothers when the “butterfly” ballots in his Florida district wrongly decided the 2000 presidential election. He also offers an honest and brutal assessment of the Iraq war and explains why he has become a leader in the movement to impeach Vice President Cheney. And, with warmth and wit, Wexler shares some of the funniest stories from the corridors of Congress, including how he became The Colbert Report’s most talked-about guest.
This is a remarkably candid first-person account of recent political history that shows government as it has rarely been seen -- by a Democrat in the middle of the storms.
“Over the course of twelve years, Robert Wexler has fought for his constituents and his ideals, refusing to let the status quo in Washington dictate what is best for this country. His book is a testament to that fight.”--Senator Barack Obama “[A] remarkably open and honest book for a politician to have put into the light of day. If you want to know how Washington works, read this book.”--AfterDowningStreet.org
“[Wexler’s] tales-from-the-trenches biography juggles his appealing mix of idealism and realism, explanation and anecdote, in just the right amount. . . . This really is a blast of a book to read; getting the behind-the-scenes lowdown on maneuvering legislation through committees, hitting the campaign trail vicariously with a gifted and passionate pol . . . these are experiences political junkies should lap up in big doses.”