HAD ENOUGH?: A Handbook for Fighting Back
James Carville, with Jeff Nussbaum. . Simon & Schuster, $21 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-7432-5575-2
After being pounded by Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, the left has finally found its voice—in fact, a rising chorus of voices, led off earlier in the season by bestsellers Joe Conason, Al Franken and Molly Ivins. Now another slew of anti-right, anti-Republican and anti-Bush volleys are about to appear.
For liberals who think Al Franken and Michael Moore show too much restraint, the Ragin' Cajun launches another no-holds-barred assault on the conservative powers-that-be. Carville's shtick remains intact, so the political commentary is saturated with jokes about being married to a Republican, stories about his family down in Louisiana and recipes for barbecue shrimp and bread pudding. But if you thought he was mad before, wait until Carville tears into George W. Bush and his administration. Not content with merely attacking Bush's Iraqi war strategy, Carville denigrates the entire war on terrorism, reminding readers that Senate Democrats proposed tougher homeland security proposals that the president consistently rejected. He also suggests that not only could Gore have handled 9/11 better, it probably wouldn't even have happened. And he's just getting started at that point, gearing up for tough criticism of tax cuts, school vouchers, tort reform and other GOP policies. But finger-pointing isn't enough; Carville provides a "nice little progressive playbook" of counterstrategies to rebuild economically and socially the way he says only Democrats can. It's hard to tell sometimes whether he's putting on his pitbull act: the "fuel or freedom" tax on SUV owners is probably satirical, but a full ban on contributions to incumbent congresspeople is so radical it's got to be serious. As Howard Dean recently proved, Democratic candidates still turn to Carville for talking points, so don't be surprised to see some of these proposals raised on the campaign trail next year.
Reviewed on: 11/03/2003
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-7432-6177-7
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-4516-1358-2