The Impostors: How Republicans Quit Governing and Seized American Politics

Steve Benen. Morrow, $28.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-302648-3
Benen, a political commentator and producer of The Rachel Maddow Show, debuts with a sober-minded attack on the modern GOP for being a “post-policy party” more interested in winning elections than effective governance. Beginning with Barack Obama’s 2008 election and running through Donald Trump’s 2019 impeachment, Benen offers an “issue-by-issue indictment” of Republican positions on climate change, economic policy, and immigration, among other hot-button topics. He cites a Politico report that Trump used “retweet tallies” as evidence in support of withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria, castigates Republican lawmakers for proposing a 2009 economic stimulus plan based on “opening up coastal areas for oil drilling,” and accuses former House speaker John Boehner of “waging a deliberate sabotage campaign against American foreign policy” by partnering with Israel’s prime minister to oppose the Iran nuclear deal. Though Democrats aren’t “always right,” according to Benen, they at least take a “consistently substantive” approach to policy making. Without constructive input from the other side, he contends, the American political system doesn’t work properly. Benen writes fluidly and incisively, and backs his claims with support from liberal and center-right policy wonks, but fails to fully address the roots of the GOP’s electoral successes, and his call for the party’s reform is half-hearted at best. This exasperated polemic packs a mild punch. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/23/2020
Release date: 06/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-302650-6
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