How "Gotcha" Politics Is Destroying America

By Lanny Davis
(Palgrave Macmillan, Hardcover, 9781403974952, 304pp.)

Publication Date: September 2006

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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For more than four decades, polarized politics in America has been driven by a vicious scandal machine comprised of partisan politicians, extremists on the left and right, and a sensationalist media energized by bringing public officials down. In this sorely needed book Lanny Davis, who has been in the belly of the beast as Special Counsel to the Clinton White House, explains--starting with historical scandals like Alexander Hamilton's extramarital affairs and moving on to the unsurpassable Watergate and beyond--how we reached this sorry state. Davis tells us how this poisonous atmosphere is damaging not just politics but American society as a whole. Davis also offers hope by revealing how a coalition of centrist politicians focusing on core policies that appeal to the frustrated electorate marooned in the middle can pull us back from the brink.

About the Author

Lanny Davis served as Special Counsel to President Bill Clinton from 1996-98. In 2005, President Bush appointed Mr. Davis to serve on the five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Davis has appeard on The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity & Colmes, MSNBC, CNN, and his writings have appeared in The New York Times. He is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and author of Truth to Tell (1999).

Praise For Scandal

"In this polarized nation of 280 million souls, Lanny Davis is one of a select few who maintains a personal affection for both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. If you read this book you'll know why this is true--and why we're all diminished because it's so rare. Lanny's exposé of 'gotcha' politics is not just a lament about the lack of civility in American public discourse. It's a compelling call for a truce in our 'war room' style of perpetual campaigning."
--Carl M. Cannon, White House Correspondent, National Journal"Lanny Davis has shown he understands the dangers from the left and right of the politics of personal destruction."--Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT)
"This book could not come at a more appropriate time in American political life. Whether it's a debate on the war, judges, taxes, or almost anything else, the ability of Americans to engage each other with respect and dignity is being lost. Lanny Davis has been on the front lines of some of the sharpest political debates in our nation's history. We should listen and learn from his experience and observations."--Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)"Davis is that rare insider who is capable of being fair to all sides.  He is willing to cast blame on his own party, his own candidates and even his own self, along with those on the other side who deserve blame. This perceptive look into the Washington world of equal opportunity scandal mongering must be read by Democrats and Republicans alike--and by all fair minded people who want to end the politics of mutually assured destruction."--Professor Alan M. Dershowitz, Harvard Law School"To many conservatives, Lanny Davis is a cherished anomaly: a thoughtful liberal, a decent guy, and a fair-minded Democratic operative who loves his country even more than he loves his party. This challenging book offers a road map for helping America climb out of the current mosh pit of ugly, partisan mud wrestling and to substitute constructive competition for today's mutually assured destruction."-- Michael Medved, nationally syndicated conservative talk show host and author of Right Turns 
"My friend Lanny Davis and I disagree on nearly everything political, but he is an opponent conservatives respect because he argues with sincerity, passion, and great intellect."
--Richard A. Viguerie, author of the forthcoming book, Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause 
"For those who applauded the demise of the Independent Counsel Statute, Lanny Davis's book is a fitting funereal tribute. It is required reading for anyone who even dares to think such a law would be wise public policy in the future."
--Joseph E. diGenova, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and former Independent Counsel"Lanny's book shows us how the public debate moved from a question of right and wrong to a question of good and bad.  It is a call to arms for Americans who want a true debate of ideas for moving our country forward."
--Governor Bill Richardson, New Mexico "I am confident that Lanny Davis speaks for most Americans when he decries the coarsening of our political discourse and the dysfunction it has created in Washington. Hopefully, his work will serve as a wake-up call and prompt a better, more productive kind of national political leadership." 
--Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN)  "Lanny Davis's important new book documents the growing number of Americans who want to take the country back from the ideological purists and haters on the left and right. Davis sees a new center majority of fiscal conservatism, social liberalism and cultural moderation and toleration--an ideological mix that happens to be where most Americans are and want their leaders to be. This book should be required reading for every presidential candidate from both parties in 2008."
--Al From, Founder & CEO, Democratic Leadership Council

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