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Old 01-10-2004, 12:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Short Book Review: Had Enough? by James Carville

I was pleasantly surprised when I got the new Carville book for Christmas. To disclose, I like him a lot, and I usually appreicate his humorous and insightful take on politics. The book is kinda thin, but it gets right to the point.

Primarily, it's a laundry list of various issues, and how they ought to be approached by Democrats. He runs the gamut from Medicare to international relations, and covers each one systematically. He first identifies the problem, summarizes the Bush solution and why it doesn't work, and then offers an alternative.

The process itself showcases perhaps the single most important point he tries to make with the book: in order for people on the political left to be effective, they need to offer viable policy alternatives. As he says, it's easy to oppose, but difficult to propose. Most of his solutions are good ones on their face. Naturally, he's biased. However, most of the solutions he offers aren't widely discussed or divisise (he has an unusual public financing proposal for elections that nobody is talking about). They aren't solutions that only one party could get behind, or that one side has a particular stake in.

A conservative reader would probably cry foul as Carville dissects some of the positions the White House has taken on issues, but as with books in this field, it's not written for conservatives. So, what are you in for if you read it? You get a broad but shallow discussion of current issues facing the nation. The kinds of issues that a national candidate might want to address. I found it to be an interesting read, and a valuable one, as too few discussions these days really address policy in a meaningful way, and even Carville's broad but shallow approach is welcome.

==============

Has anyone else here read it? If so, what did you think about it?
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Short Book Review: Had Enough? by James Carville

Quote:
Originally posted by Scipio
in order for people on the political left to be effective, they need to offer viable policy alternatives.
I haven't read it yet, but I don't think "policy alternatives" is going to be a winner, especially when Bush, with his power of incumbency, can so easily take an issue and make it his own (medicare, illegal aliens, etc). I think the democrats are going to win by appealling to what democrats are all about: that government is a force for good, and that with helping hand we can all succeed together.
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It is a little strange for me to keep reading people saying that the Democrats are the "political left"!!
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Old 01-10-2004, 08:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I never said the Democratic party was constituted by the left! FWIW, I'm more to the center than many members of my party (southern democrat and all). I'm well aware of the ideological spectrum that the party is.

As for "policy alternatives," the point is not for a candidate to get up there and say "we have policy alternatives!" The point is that we establish a stake in the debate by putting policies out there. We can't always debate "vouchers: good or bad" when we should be debating "the Bush education proposal vs. some other policy." It's an old argument, but the idea that the party ought to stand for something other than Not Bush is sound. Mabye voters, and particularly swing voters, would respond well to a candidate that offers new ideas instead of criticism.

Not that it's the only approach. I merely report what Carville writes about.

I definitely agree with you that we need to counter the anti-government rhetoric of the RNC. People need to realize that the government can do things right, and that it does many things better than the private sector or the free market. Carville points out that private HMOs spend vastly greater amounts on administration than Medicare does. When it comes to doing the job, Medicare is way way better at effeciently putting health care dollars where they need to go.
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scipio
I never said the Democratic party was constituted by the left!
I believe what Strange Famous is refering to is that in Europe, conservatives are called the "Left" while liberals are called the "right".

(any euro TFP'ers feel free to correct me if I'm wrong...)
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Old 01-11-2004, 02:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Not in Sweden anyway. In Sweden the right wing are conservatives

This is how it goes:

kd, m, fp,c, mp, s, v
(right----center----left)

(v) - Left Party
(s) - Social Democrat Party
(mp) - Green Party
(c) - Center Party
(fp) - Liberal Party
(m) - Moderate Party
(kd) - Christian Democrat Party

The Christian Democrat Party are a conservative right wing-party.
The Moderate Party are a liberal-conservative right wing party.
The Liberal Party are just.. liberals, but still a bit right wing.
The Center Party is kind of in the middle.
The Green Party is also in the middle.
The Social Democrats Party are left, but not far left.
The Left Party (formerly known as the Communist Party ) are left wing, of course.

Here's a good link that explains elections in Sweden: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Sweden

Currently the Social Democrats is ruling, with the aid of the Green Party and the Left Party. (that's 52.7% of the votes)
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Old 01-11-2004, 02:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
follower of the child's crusade?
 
Liberal's and Conservatives are both on the political right to me, and both to the right of the majority of voters I believe.
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Old 01-11-2004, 02:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mehoni
Not in Sweden anyway. In Sweden the right wing are conservatives

This is how it goes:

kd, m, fp,c, mp, s, v
(right----center----left)

(v) - Left Party
(s) - Social Democrat Party
(mp) - Green Party
(c) - Center Party
(fp) - Liberal Party
(m) - Moderate Party
(kd) - Christian Democrat Party

The Christian Democrat Party are a conservative right wing-party.
The Moderate Party are a liberal-conservative right wing party.
The Liberal Party are just.. liberals, but still a bit right wing.
The Center Party is kind of in the middle.
The Green Party is also in the middle.
The Social Democrats Party are left, but not far left.
The Left Party (formerly known as the Communist Party ) are left wing, of course.

Here's a good link that explains elections in Sweden: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Sweden

Currently the Social Democrats is ruling, with the aid of the Green Party and the Left Party. (that's 52.7% of the votes)



I hope there isn't a test later...
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Old 01-11-2004, 03:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell


I hope there isn't a test later...
What can I say? I like information.
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mehoni
The Liberal Party are just.. liberals, but still a bit right wing.
Hehe, I get what you mean, but that statement still makes me chuckle.
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mystmarimatt
Hehe, I get what you mean, but that statement still makes me chuckle.
I don't know what to say otherwise.. they have a blue logo and they would form a coalition government with the other right wing parties if they had a chance..
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