The Centrist Solution: How We Made Government Work and Can Make It Work Again

Joseph Lieberman. Diversion, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-63576-904-3
Lieberman (With Justice for All), a former U.S. senator and Democratic vice-presidential candidate, calls for “the restoration of bipartisanship and centrism to Washington” in this simplistic and self-congratulatory account. Contending that “America’s freedom, security, and prosperity depend on a healthy political center... that avoids chaotic and self-destructive extremes,” Lieberman makes his case with historical sketches, theological lessons, and episodes from his political career. Confusingly, he cites the creation of the Electoral College during the 1787 Constitutional Convention as an example of the kind of “centrist compromise” essential to American democracy, then, in a sidebar to his discussion of the 2000 presidential election, calls for its repeal (“It is undemocratic and unfair”). Elsewhere, he defends his steadfast support of the Iraq War and his rejection of a public health insurance option; touts his legislative achievements, including the 1990 Clean Air Act and the repeal of the U.S. military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy; and praises Bill Clinton’s efforts to find common ground with House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Though Lieberman sharply criticizes Donald Trump’s “reckless behavior” in contesting the 2020 election, he’s more concerned with responding to criticisms from progressives than documenting the causes of today’s partisan discord and providing specific solutions. This banal treatise feels out of touch. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/23/2021
Release date: 10/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-63576-905-0
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