reviewed by MC5, October 31, 1999
This is not a book of jokes or hard-hitting responses to conservatives. It's a journalistic account of the Republican Revolution 1994-1996 in which the Republican party won control of the u.$. Congress. The two authors are Washington Post reporters, the first of whom has a Pulitzer prize.
Rarely does MIM find a book so unremarkable. Hewing tightly to the conflict between Democrats and Republicans, the book is just not very interesting to MIM. When we speak of the "Republican Revolution" we speak in the terms of the u.$. bourgeois democrats. In MIM's view, this is barely a shift from one arm of the imperialist bourgeoisie to the other; it is certainly not a revolution in the true sense of transferring state power from one class to another.
Completely politically unaware readers may find this book useful for explaining how lobbying works. Various corporations give candidates money for eliminating government regulations regarding health and the environment. The Republicans since 1994 have made much money in this way, but the two authors admit that it was the Democrats making the most money that way before 1994.
The Democrats appeal to the proletarian-minded to support them by saying they are only compelling the corporations to give them money while not selling out the interests of the public. Yet, the obvious limit to such a tricky strategy is that at some point, corporations stop giving them money if the Democrats do not support them and if the Democrats have no money to spend, they lose their campaigns.
Prior to the Newt Gingrich-led victory of 1994, Republicans had not controlled the House of Representatives in 40 years.(p. 8) They came to power promising blatant Amerikkkan chauvinism on everything from English-only to attacking affirmative action to ending welfare. Once they arrived in power, they had to patch together a coalition of special interests that would be big enough to let Republicans obtain a majority just with Republican votes. By now the public is aware of this process and "special interests." Yet, because conditions are too comfortable economically, Amerikans do not rise up to change the system to socialism to keep the richest special interests from running the government.
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