Stand Up Fight Back by P-SimonSchuster


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									Stand Up Fight Back
Author: E.J. Dionne
Table of Contents

ContentsIntroductionDivided Against Ourselves: A Letter to Some Friends1. Put on a Compassionate
FaceHow an Idea Got Bush Elected and Got Him into Trouble2. "He's Ours. He's All We've Got"How 9/11
United Us -- and Divided Us Again3. What's Wrong with the Democrats?4. Talking the Other Guy's
TalkWhy Democrats Are Afraid of Their Own Principles5. We're All in This TogetherHow the Right Won
with the Media, the Think Tanks, and the Loudmouths6. A Fair FightWhy Democrats and Liberals Should
Stop Being AfraidNotesAcknowledgmentsIndex

One of our most visible, trenchant, and witty political commentators, the author of the bestselling Why
Americans Hate Politics, offers a tough critique of President George W. Bush and the Democratic
opposition on the eve of a landmark presidential election -- and points to a way out of cynicism and
defeatism.With passion, clarity, and humor, E. J. Dionne describes today's political atmosphere as the
bitterest he can remember. Never have Democrats been as frustrated by their inability to move the
debate. The party of Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Clinton, Dionne says, is lost in pointless feuds, outdated
strategies, and old arguments. Democrats have lost track of what they stand for so they don't know what
they're fighting for and besides, they've forgotten how to fight back.In describing how Democrats,
moderates, and liberals have failed to match Republicans and conservatives in commitment,
resourcefulness, and clarity, Dionne invents what is likely to become a popular parlor game among the
politically committed. In "The Wrong Stuff," he lists ten futile arguments -- big versus small government,
for example -- that Democrats keep having with themselves. "The Right Stuff" focuses on ten arguments
they should start making about taxes, business, and the role of government.Dionne zeroes in on how a
floundering Bush administration used September 11 to politicize national security issues for partisan
advantage. Enraged but intimidated by ruthless opponents, the Democratic party failed to find its voice on
security issues and was soundly beaten in 2002.Drawing on some lessons from the 2004 primary
campaigns, Dionne argues that anger and frustration have in fact awakened progressives to the need for
innovation in organizing, in approaching an increasingly conservative media, and in formulating politically
useful and plainly stated ideas. Learning from the conservative movement's successes, liberals have
begun the work of reconstruction.The politics of revenge, Dionne argues persuasively, can give way to
something better: a progressive patriotism built on hope and optimism about America's role in the world
and its capacity to renew social justice at home.

Chapter 1. Put on a Compassionate FaceHow an Idea Got Bush Elected and Got Him into
TroublePresident Bush -- you'll enjoy this -- he says he needs a month off to unwind. Unwind? When the
hell does this guy wind? Come on!David Letterman, August 20, 2001Everything depends on whether he is
seen as taking charge when there's something to take charge of. But there is a view of Bush that he's a
total lightweight. This makes it an easy shot, so it was a risk for him.Richard E. Neustadt, author of
Presidential Power, quoted in The Washington Post, August 29, 2001, on that long Bush vacationThe day
before planes piloted by terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the
Pennsylvania countryside, George W. Bush was, if not a failed president, then a floundering leader who
had lost the initiative and faced a miserable autumn. David Frum was serving at the time as a White
House speechwriter. Frum admitted in The Right Man, a book as friendly to Bush as its title suggests,
that he was planning to leave the White House before the events of 9/11 happened because he did not
want to watch as the Bush presidency "unraveled."Bush was in trouble courtesy of a problem that will
always plague his presidency: having persuaded many Americans during his campaign that he was
moderate in spirit, he governed from the right. His deep, instinctive conservatism and his impatience with
moderate Republicans led to the great debacle of his first months in office, the defection of Senator Jim
Jeffords of Vermont from the Republican Party. On May 24 -- just four months after Bush took office --
Jeffords flipped control of the Senate to the Democrats. It was the most important political moment of the
Bush presidency before 9/11.The Jeffords switch was, in retrospect, a logical response to how Bush
chose to manage his presidency. After the disputed election of 2000, Bush faced the choice of governing
as a moderate and healing the wounds left by the Florida debacle, or governing as an uncompromising
conservative and bulling his way to a series of ideological victories. He chose the aggressive strategy. It
worked reasonably well until Jeffords decided he had had enough. Jeffords's defection was a rebuke not
only to Bush's strategy but also to a conservative movement that assumed for many years that it could
trash, ridicule, intimidate, and denounce Republican moderates -- and still count on their votes at crucial
moments.The strategy had succeeded for at least a decade, and it ultimately succeeded on Bush's big
tax cut when most moderates (including Jeffords) fell into line. Because the moderate Republicans rarely
rebelled when it mattered, conservatives could overlook the inconvenient fact that without the progressives
from the Northeast and Middle West, the Republican majority in Congress would disappear.The funny
thing is that Jeffords did exactly what conservatives, for years, had told him he should do. Over and over,
they denounced him as a crypto-Democrat who had no business wearing the Republican label. Even as
Jeffords was preparing to leave, conservative leaders and their supporters were saying, "good riddance."
"Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont is not a moderate," declared National Review in an editorial e-mailed
around the land. "He is a liberal." The magazine that guards conservative orthodoxy said the party switch
"makes it clear that the Republicans are the...
Author Bio
E.J. Dionne
E. J. Dionne, Jr., is a bestselling author, a syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in The
Washington Post and nearly a hundred other newspapers, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution,
and a professor at Georgetown University. His Why Americans Hate Politics won a Los Angeles Times
Book Prize and was a nominee for the National Book Award. He is a regular commentator on National
Public Radio and on other radio and television programs. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife,
Mary Boyle, and their three children.<br/>

Given the zeitgeist down at the old corral, E. J. Dionne has written one of the timeliest political tracts
since Tom Paine came out with Common Sense. The main thing about E. J. is that he always keeps his
head when all about him are losing theirs -- except for that slight slip into exasperation on page 196. With
E. J. you really get smart analysis, well-informed thinking, and wonderfully commonsensical insight. You
do not get a lot of pointless rage, rhetoric, and indignation. It's all in the title, Stand Up Fight Back -- and
don't just flail away -- fight back smart.

E. J. finally got mad, and thank God! The author of the seminal Why Americans Hate Politics, which gave
Clinton his blueprint for winning the White House in 1992, tells Democrats how to do it again.

E. J. Dionne's Why Americans Hate Politics revolutionized the campaign of 1992 and helped Bill Clinton
crack the code to reach the forgotten middle class. We believe Stand Up Fight Back will do the same for
Democrats in 2004. It may be the most important new book of this political season.

Stand Up Fight Back is the book Democrats have been waiting for and Republicans were hoping no one
would write. E. J. Dionne, Jr., lays out the rules of engagement for the critical election of 2004.

Occasionally, a book appears that helps set a more constructive national political agenda. Stand Up
Fight Back is a superb critique of our current politics and a wise statement of what will serve the
country's future well-being.

The man who told us 'Why Americans Hate Politics' is back with a pointed diagnosis for what ails liberals
and Democrats, plus a prescription for how we can bridge the gaps between red-state and blue-state

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