Rule and Ruin

Rule and Ruin

The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party

Book - 2012
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As the 2012 elections approach, the Republican Party is rocketing rightward away from the center of public opinion. Republicans in Congress threaten to shut down the government and force a U.S. debt default. Tea Party activists mount primary challenges against Republican officeholders whoappear to exhibit too much pragmatism or independence. Moderation and compromise are dirty words in the Republican presidential debates. The GOP, it seems, has suddenly become a party of ideological purity. Except this development is not new at all. In Rule and Ruin, Geoffrey Kabaservice reveals that the moderate Republicans' downfall began not with the rise of the Tea Party but about the time of President Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address. Even in the 1960s, when left-wing radicalism and right-wingbacklash commanded headlines, Republican moderates and progressives formed a powerful movement, supporting pro-civil rights politicians like Nelson Rockefeller and William Scranton, battling big-government liberals and conservative extremists alike. But the Republican civil war ended with theoverthrow of the moderate ideas, heroes, and causes that had comprised the core of the GOP since its formation. In hindsight, it is today's conservatives who are "Republicans in Name Only."Writing with passionate sympathy for a bygone tradition of moderation, Kabaservice recaptures a time when fiscal restraint was matched with social engagement; when a cohort of leading Republicans opposed the Vietnam war; when George Romney - father of Mitt Romney - conducted a nationwide tour ofAmerican poverty, from Appalachia to Watts, calling on society to "listen to the voices from the ghetto." Rule and Ruin is an epic, deeply researched history that reorients our understanding of our political past and present.Today, moderates are marginalized in the GOP and progressives are all but nonexistent. In this insightful and elegantly argued book, Kabaservice contends that their decline has left Republicans less capable of governing responsibly, with dire consequences for all Americans.
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, c2012
ISBN: 9780199768400
Characteristics: xx, 482 p. ; 25 cm


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Dec 04, 2015

I personally do not believe books such as this add anything to scholarship, they simply make it murkier and murkier, and tries to obfuscate the fact that in hindsight, there was little difference between the two parties even back then!
Sure, the democratic party appears actually liberal and pro-citizenry during the times of FDR's administration and the all-too-brief administration of JFK, but those were the exceptions!
During Eisenhower's administration there were 170 covert operations, which sowed the seeds for much murder, torture, and incredibly unnecessary mayhem to follow - - purely anti-progressive. Much balderdash is made of the far more restrained taxation during Eisenhower - - but it was so close to the Great Depression, Eisenhower couldn't vary that much, it would be years before that would happen! No, many bad things happened during Eisenhower, and he gave much free rein to Nelson Rockefeller who changed things for the extreme worse!
In hindsight, the major differences between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater were only their presidential campaigns, and that Goldwater was more likeable than Johnson.
Not impressed with anything in this book, sorry to say.


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