Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book: Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic

Jay Cost's new book came out on Tuesday and it looks to be a good read. In Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic, Cost explores the decline of the Democrat party from its noble beginning in 1828 to the present day. From the Amazon description:
With the creation of a partisan spoils system in the nineteenth century, both parties practiced the politics of patronage. But, starting with the New Deal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt used the power of big government to transform whole classes of society into clients of the Democratic party. Urban machines, southern segregationists, and organized labor all benefited from this approach. FDR's successors—Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter—followed suit, turning African Americans, environmentalists, feminists, government workers, teachers, and a number of other groups into loyal Democratic factions. As a result, the Democratic party has become a kind of national Tammany Hall whose real purpose is to colonize the federal government on behalf of its clients.

No longer able to govern for the vast majority of the country, the Democratic party simply taxes Middle America to pay off its clients while hiding its true nature behind a smoke screen of idealistic rhetoric. Thus, the Obama health care, stimulus, and auto bailout health care bill were created not to help all Americans but to secure contributions and votes. Average Americans need to see that whatever the Democratic party claims it is doing for the country, it is in fact governing simply for its base.
I first began reading Jay Cost just before the 2004 election and have followed his columns as they moved from a personal blog to RealClearPolitics and now as the author of Morning Jay at The Weekly Standard. He's a consistently thought provoking author who uses polling and demographic data as well as statistics to bolster his political analysis.

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