Too Dumb to Fail by Matt K. Lewis

book jacket with elephant sitting on a stool with pointed dummy hatToo Dumb to Fail: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections (and How it can Reclaim its Conservative Roots) (2016) is of course a play on the book and slogan, Too Big to Jail. Though he explains why he deliberately parodied that title, it didn’t really quite¬†make sense to me. I think he was more trading on the Jail slogan and twisted things to try to pretend it makes sense. Kind of like the entire conservative point of view! BTW, it is a fast read since it is so lacking in substance.

Fun to read though, actually, in part because it actually does as he says: he tries to be objective. Alas trying is not the same as doing, as Yoda has explained to us before. However. in fact, he actually makes some good points.

I thought his concern about the party running completely unqualified candidates was very accurate. His criticism of a number of aspects of the party are reasonable. But he still misrepresents reality as I know it. And he can’t resist unnecessary snipes, in particular referring to Jimmy Carter as a “peanut farmer” as if that was something disgraceful and shameful [in conservative minds] akin to an abortionist or homosexual.

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Why the Right Went Wrong by E. J. Dionne Jr.

book cover upside down elephant logo of republican partyWhy the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism – from Goldwater to the Tea Part and Beyond

Doggone it, someone put a reserve on this book at the library so I will not have as much time as I wanted to completely read in detail the 475 pages. But it so fascinating how interconnected the books I’ve been reading are and since this is recent history, I lived it, although somewhat unaware of the depth and complexity of the issues and people involved. I don’t know why there wasn’t more liberal activism at that time, but perhaps I just haven’t come across a book on that. The Claire Conner book made it clear that there was serious radical right wing Bircher activism going on.

I find it fascinating to discover connections between people that I was unaware of, like the fact that Hillary Clinton worked for the Goldwater campaign at one point early in her career despite the fact that he was a serious racist and opposed segregation to the point that President Johnson sent in the National Guard to force the desegregation of Alabama schools when Goldwater was governor.

And I had read that Joe Scarborough was actually a conservative despite the fact that he is currently hosting on MSNBC and it used to be the “liberal” station but of course, it barely is since Comcast acquired it. Not much in-depth investigative journalism going on there anymore. Must rely on John Oliver for that, thank goodness for his HBO show and YouTube videos. And now we have Samantha Bee‘s Full Frontal and she is doing a fantastic job.

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