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Where the Right Went Wrong:
Although the George W. Bush administration is famous for being "on message," delivering a consistent and polished political perspective no matter what, such consistency apparently does not extend to every member of the conservative universe. In Where the Right Went Wrong, veteran pundit and occasional presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan offers up scathing criticisms of Bush's policies, the arrogance and boorishness of which, he warns, could ultimately dramatically destabilize the United States' superpower status. The problem, in Buchanan's eyes, is the rejection of traditional Reagan-era conservatism by an administration under the sway of the so-called "neoconservatives," who favor a pre-emptive military strategy and big government and don't mind running up dangerously huge budget deficits to support it. The war in Iraq, fought without direct demonstrable threat, alienates America in the eyes of the rest of the world, says Buchanan, squandering the global goodwill earned after the 9/11 attacks and creating exponentially larger numbers of terrorists who will threaten the U.S. for generations to come. The zeal over free trade among elected officials, a feeling notably not shared by Buchanan, Ross Perot, and Ralph Nader, is costing America jobs, Buchanan theorizes, and leading to a de-industrialized service-sector-only economy, an end to American self-sufficiency in favor of a reliance on global corporations, and a looming economic crisis. Refreshingly, and unlike pundits of his day, Buchanan crafts his arguments by examining world history, offering detailed analogies to the Roman Empire, the Civil War, and pre-Soviet Russia among others. Conservatives alienated by the Bush administration will find an eloquent champion in Buchanan and even liberals, who may not have known there was a conservative argument against war in Iraq, stand to learn something from a right side of the aisle perspective so different from that found in the Bush White House. --John Moe [via]