Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency

Patrick J. Buchanan, Author St. Martin's/Thomas Dunne $24.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-312-34115-2
In his indictment of the current Bush administration and its ""neoconservative"" policies, pundit and occasional presidential candidate Buchanan likens the American condition to that of Rome before the fall, citing ""ominous analogies"" such as ""the decline of religion and morality, corruption of the commercial class, and a debased and decadent culture."" According to Buchanan, the blame for this state of affairs rests squarely in the lap of ""neoconservatives,"" who are mere liberals in sheep's clothing. These neocons, the author contends, have wrestled control of the Republican party out of the hands of true conservatives such as himself, Barry Goldwater and, of course, Ronald Reagan--with disastrous results. Buchanan takes issue with Bush's policies on, among other things, immigration, terrorism, imperialism, the Middle East, free trade and the deficit. What may come as a surprise to readers is Buchanan's position on the war in Iraq, which he believes was an enormous error in judgment. ""By attacking and occupying an Arab nation that had no role in 9/11, no plans to attack us, and no weapons of mass destruction, we played into bin Laden's hand,"" Buchanan writes. But liberals won't stay on board with the book's message for long, especially when it comes to issues of culture and social policy. Buchanan is against affirmative action, abortion and gay rights, to name a few, and he believes immigration poses a serious threat to the American way of life. At times, Buchannan obscures his arguments with ill-chosen words that many will read as xenophobic, if not racist. In a discussion of illegal Mexican immigrants, for example, he calls California ""Mexifornia"" and adds, ""Ten years after NAFTA, Mexico's leading export to America is still--Mexicans. America is becoming Mexamerica."" Whether or not one agrees with these conclusions, Buchanan's book is provocative and will certainly ruffle feathers on both sides of the party line.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
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