Book Review by Scoobie Davis of Scoobie Davis Online
I had the chance to read Fox News Democrat and self-loathing lesbian Tammy Bruce's new book, The New American Revolution: Using the Power of the Individual to Save Our Nation from Extremists (hereafter TNAR). This is a rather easy review because there is no need to assess the intellectual virtues of the book: none exist. In terms of coherence, TNAR is about one rung above The Savage Nation (which means that TNAR is two rungs above word salad). This is not to say that TNAR is a worthless book; quite the contrary: the book is an excellence primer on the mendacity, dysfunctionality, and nihilism of the contemporary American right.
In many ways, TNAR, reminded me of Ann Coulter's Slander: Liberal Lies about the American Right. In Slander, Coulter premise was that the decline in American political discourse was "all liberalÂs fault." Ironically, the book itself was a testament to the right's pervasive culture of defamation. I and other bloggers analyzed the book and found that Coulter engaged in intentional defamatory misrepresentations (leading to a stinging rebuke by the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review as well as by mainstream journalists--e.g., here).
Like Slander, TNAR is an example of a literary self-contradiction. The premise of the book is Bruce's belief in a "revolution" by conservative "heroes" against leftist "extremists." If that makes no sense to you, your head is on straight because the premise has no internal validity. The book becomes even more incoherent when Bruce fleshes out these concepts.
The "Extremists" According to Bruce
In discussing extremists, Bruce doesn't mind conflating nutcases with mainstream Democrats. Early in the book when discussing extremists, Bruce unceremoniously lumps together DNC chair Howard Dean with 9/11 apologist Ward Churchill and attorney Lynne Stewart who was convicted of aiding and abetting terrorists. Wow, that's coherent.
Bruce accuses alleged extremists of engaging in "bizarre conspiracy theories." For instance, Bruce accused Representative Maurice Hinchey of offering "one of the most paranoid conspiracy theories this side of Area 51" because Hinchey suggested that Rove might have had a hand in planting the forged National Guard memos in the 60 Minutes story during the 2004 presidential campaign.
Oh, really? Let's take a look at Rove. This is a guy who got University of Alabama law students to start a statewide whisper campaign that a political opponent, who had a reputation for protecting children, of being a child molester. But in Bruce's bizarro world, this sociopath is incapable of being a part of the forged documents scandal. Go fucking figure. (Quick aside: I confronted Bill O'Reilly about this smear by Rove).
Bruce's smear of Hinchey didn't surprise me. She did the same thing when I confronted her about her colleagues Christopher Ruddy and Roger Ailes (more on them later in this review). When I pointed out the roles by both men in the paranoid Vince Foster conspiracy/smear, she accused me of "black heliocopter" thinking.
In TNAR, Bruce misuses a lot clinical and social science terms (e.g., groupthink). She accuses political opponents of projection. TNAR itself is a case study in projection. A case in point: Bruce lists what she calls "heroes"--many of whom possess the characteristics she accuses "extremists" of possessing.
One of these heroes is Roger Ailes of Fox News. Before taking the helm of the Fox News Channel, Ailes produced Rush Limbaugh's TV show. Limbaugh's TV show, like his radio show, had as a staple, the bizarro conspiracy theory put forth by Bruce's friend Christopher Ruddy that former Clinton White House counsel Vince Foster was murdered by the Clintons. It was wretched how Ailes and Limbaugh engaged in this hateful paranoia (Is it any wonder that Limbaugh needed near-lethal doses of hillbilly heroin to get through the day?). Ailes also helped to spread this vicious rumor. To date, Ailes has not apologized to the Clintons or Foster's family. Bruce calls Ailes "a hero." I call him a hatemonger and a disgrace to journalism. I'm reporting; you decide.
This willingness to go after people's families is a hallmark of contemporary American wingnuts--Bruce's heroes. John Dean, who served in the Nixon White House, said that Nixon's gang generally kept the families out of it; however, going after families is no longer a taboo with people like Rove, Limbaugh, and Ailes. In a perverse, demented way, it's rational thinking on their part. Make things so hard on the opponent's family life (e.g., accuse the opponent of having sex with kids or traumatize the grieving family of an aide who committed suicide) and your target hopefully will leave political life.
Another of Bruce's heroes is self-admitted traitor David Horowitz (for anyone who thinks Horowitz's treason is old news, here's the scoop: Horowitz is still subject to criminal prosecution for his crimes). Horowitz is a personal case with me because when I simply pointed out that Horowitz logically called for his own execution because his act of treason was morally worse than that of John Walker Lindh (Horowitz had called for Lindh's execution), Traitor Horowitz responded by accusing me of living "to betray my country" and wrote that I was friends with the the communists who committed genocide in Indochina. This man is completely unhinged. (Quick aside: considering the Plame case, it made perfect sense that George W. Bush invited Traitor Horowitz to the White House as well as his ranch/stage prop to advise him).
Bruce also touts the Washington Times, a pseudo-newspaper owned by America-despising megalomaniacal cult leader and enslaver Sun Myung Moon, which publishes vile anti-American propaganda as well as outright libels. (Quick note: I confronted Bruce for touting the lies of Moon lackey Carlton Sherwood that defamed John Kerry).
I could go on but I think you get the point. This is a godawful book. Find some honest work, Tammy.
UPDATE: Click here for more on The New American Revolution.
Welcome to those who saw Tammy Bruce on C-SPAN 2's Book TV.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________