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The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule

von Thomas Frank

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431945,694 (3.96)19
Frank argues that conservatives have taken pains to enshrine the free market as the permanent creed of state, selling off the government, deregulating some industries, defunding others, but always turning public policy into a private-sector bidding war.
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1
  ejmw | Aug 4, 2021 |
The book is mostly condemning of the GOP conservative movement. It's not a book I recommend, unless anyone needs a reminder the politics is a dirty game. The author makes the point that kick-backs and bribes are natural consequences of conservative beliefs, given that conservatives favor smaller government, if government is seen as a corrupt institution, people won't favor growth in government. But while the author's examples may well be true, it's also true that a writer of an opposite political perspective could write a comparable book about liberal leaning crooks in government. Another point he raises is that simply "throwing the bums out" may not be enough for an election day policy, since the lobbies have grown to be so powerful that no matter who takes office. Unfortunately, we seem to be locked into a cycle in which the system appears to perpetuate itself.

( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
Thomas Frank's book describes how conservatives are deliberately working to wreck the US government in order to achieve their ideological aims. He describes techniques like defunding of programs they do not like and appointing the least competent people to run agencies that they hate. The book essentially ends with the financial crash of 2008 but the techniques described can also be seen in the Trump administration. ( )
1 abstimmen M_Clark | Oct 12, 2018 |
The audio CD of “The Wrecking Crew” is handled by Oliver Wyman, who after a few hours begins to sound eerily similar to Casey Kasem. I’ve read a couple of books labored over by Thomas Frank (“Commodify Your Dissent” and “One Market Under God”), and find that he is erudite, crisply efficient, and relentlessly adversarial with respect to the fetishization of markets as moral instruments. For those who are familiar with the machinations of self-styled “free market capitalists,” there isn’t a great deal in this book that will surprise; however, it does an excellent job of categorizing and delineating the nature and scope of modern Conservatism. It is a one-sided argument, which by no means lessens its merit – it is incumbent upon the opposition, after all, to mount a defense. While I agree with the central point of the book (i.e., that doctrinaire Conservatism seeks to dismantle government bureaucracy in league with the business lobby), Mr. Frank does a regrettably inadequate job of addressing inevitable counter-arguments. For example, non-Libertarian Conservatives are known for their support of some government bureaucracies (i.e., military, police, utilities, commerce, and infrastructure); a more robust explanation of why this “Constitutionalist” worldview is intellectually bankrupt seemed wanting.

On the whole, however, I found that the central premises of the book would be perfectly acceptable to many Conservatives… which is perhaps the most frightening aspect of the whole story. To the hardcore ‘Winger,’ Jack Abramoff was man who’s criminality was entirely separate from the good work he did as a foot soldier for the Republican Party. This isn’t a book about hating Conservative governance; it’s a book about understanding it. ( )
1 abstimmen Narboink | Oct 24, 2009 |
This guy is my favorite political writer! (Not that I read a a lot of them, but that's besides the point). He takes on the "Conservatives" no-holds barred. A thorough examination of what makes them tick and suggestions for ways to suppress this "demonic" ideology.You will probably find yourself sick to your stomach for most of the ride but the world will look somewhat different when you are arrive at the finish line, maybe not brighter but definitely clearer. An absolute must read. Of course, right-wingers need not apply. ( )
2 abstimmen msf59 | Apr 30, 2009 |
In his new book, “The Wrecking Crew,” Mr. Frank turns to the question of “How Conservatives Rule” once they’ve gotten into office. Less humorous and far more hectoring than “[What's the Matter with] Kansas,” this volume quickly devolves into a highly partisan, Manichaean-minded screed against conservatives and private-sector economics.
 
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Frank argues that conservatives have taken pains to enshrine the free market as the permanent creed of state, selling off the government, deregulating some industries, defunding others, but always turning public policy into a private-sector bidding war.

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