Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Book Review: Obama Nation

The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality

By Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D. published by Threshold Additions, 364 pages

As I write this, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for the presidency of the United States, Senator Barack Obama, is just slightly ahead in the polls. This is a problem for Obama and his supporters. With current polls showing that the Democratic Party will dominate both the House and the Senate elections, the Republican presidential candidate should be easily beaten. Yet, these polls hint that Obama may be heading into trouble in winning an election in November. So, why is the charismatic, young, energetic communicator not doing better?

Unlike U.S. Senator John McCain, an authentic war hero, with his decades of experience in the United States Senate, the 46-year-old Obama comes to us — the general public and those who follow American politics — as a relative to complete unknown. In fact, as Jerome Corsi notes in this book, Obama Nation, he is so new to the United States national-level politics that he has essentially passed through to without a through vetting of his past. This is the intensive process where a candidate’s life is thoroughly researched by skilled and ruthless investigators who dig out facts that may prove politically damaging in the middle of a campaign. As many campaign operatives will tell you, it is better to know the bad behaviour of your candidate and be prepared before your opponent uses it against you.

Essentially, this book, Obama Nation is a 364-page critical and negative opposition research tome that digs into Obama’s past in a highly critical and suspicious way. This is so dangerous because Obama’s campaign to date has been highly centered on his personality and his image. With actual experience being largely absent, it has made sense for the Obama campaign to focus on his great oratory and the image of transcendental politics that he offers to the American people.

Corsi looks at the “experiences” that Obama is not proud of, and that sometimes stand at great odds to his current image as a man who is above politics.

In particular, it goes into detail about the following issues: Obama’s deep relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright of the Black Liberation Theology Trinity United Church in Chicago, his links with the slum-landlord empire of Chicago political fixer Tony Rezko, who helped Obama purchase his home, and his extensive connections with Islam as well as his close personal association with William Ayers, a domestic terrorist with the Weathermen Underground Movement.

Obama has built what Corsi describes as a cult of personality meaning that because he has portrayed himself as a candidate that transcends race and ideological boundaries, he is the solution for all of America’s problems. Corsi’s argument in this book is that while this may be interesting and may have been a successful tactic against a sleeping Hilary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, the fact is we are still some 90 days to go before the American Presidential election. And during that time, the focus on personality will lessen and the focus on issues will return. Obama’s stand on issues will come under closer and closer scrutiny. He has very little actual public record. His personality and his past choices will therefore be examined more and more, and on reflection, Obama will be diminished.

In short, Obama Nation is best classified as muckraking, but I am bringing it to your attention because it is very interesting muckraking. With some 45 pages of footnotes, Corsi has written a book which is highly readable, very well researched and I would say one of the most dangerous investigations in a political sense into Obama’s past — precisely because it has the quality and the content which means it cannot be easily dismissed. While it may be torqued, Corsi’s work is rigorously footnoted and rigorously documented.

In fact, Obama’s campaign has been working to prevent “swift-boating”, the process by which the previous Democratic candidate John Kerry, had his credibility undermined by a group of called the “Swift Boat Veterans”

Part of Obama’s content and speeches during the month of July have especially tried to inoculate his supporters against the expected “swift boating” of him by the Republican negative machine. Corsi’s argument and documentation in this book basically argues that this process will not succeed precisely because Obama has not the depth on the issues that will prevent a negative turn in the perception of him. Corsi is arguing in his book that Obama’s past is, in essence, too radical and too left-wing for the American public to finally accept.

Even worse for Obama’s Campaign is that Corsi’s book reached #1 on the New York Times Non-Fiction list on August 18. Clearly, many Americans are reading this book. So worried is the Obama campaign about Corsi’s book that they have published a 40-page rebuttal and debunking of Corsi’s work, under the title “Unfit for Publication”. (http://www.scribd.com/doc/4773726/Unfit-for-publication).

This rebuttal was in fact better covered than the release of the book itself. I have looked at the rebuttal as well and would strongly recommend anyone who reads the book look to also read the rebuttal. It is however, a campaign document, and a highly torqued one at that – in addition it is attributed to the campaign, and not an individual.

I have not seen a book like this in the Canadian political context, not something that is so thorough, yet at the same time is clearly a purely partisan document on such a narrow subject.

All and all, an excellent read; although for those who support Barack Obama, it will doubtless be something that is as aggravating as it is recommended.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Book Review: Confessions of a Political Hitman

Confessions of a Political Hitman: My Secret Life of Scandal, Corruption, Hypocrisy and Dirty Attacks that Decide Who Gets Elected (And Who Doesn't)
(Sourcebooks, 309 pages) Author: Stephen Marks

Digging up political dirt on your opponent is as old as politics itself. Dirt sticks. People remember cutting attacks and it affects their voting decision - or, whether they vote at all. When solid information is unearthed that makes an opponent look bad, it becomes a very powerful tool that can be released at key times in a political campaign - precisely when it will have the most impact in switching votes.

Modern political campaigns have a polite term for the muckraking that is involved in digging up the goods on political opponents. It is called 'Opposition Research', also known by its short form, 'oppo'. Funny enough, the actual information that is produced is also called 'oppo'. Good 'oppo' is truly invaluable in winning a tough campaign. And a great 'oppo' - the person, who produces the dirt, is a rare and valuable asset.

Stephen Marks, the author of Confessions of a Political Hitman, as well as a ceaseless self-promoter, claims to be one of the finest 'oppo' men ever. Criss-crossing the United States over a 12 year career that began in 1994 and continued until 2006, he recounts in this autobiographical memoir the countless political campaigns he worked for on the Republican side: from state campaigns to national presidential campaigns.

In spite of the flashy title, the actual work involved in opposition research is actually very unglamorous. First, the candidate rarely wants to even acknowledge that they actually have hired a professional muckraker. So Marks worked in isolation, completely alone, and generally in contact only with the campaign manager. It was standard practice to avoid contact with anyone in the campaign, so that his existence would not be fodder for gossip and so that any interesting facts he found would not leak out.

His work would often be done long before the campaign began, increasing his isolation. This grunt work is basic research that is known to detectives and private investigators everywhere. It begins with a thorough check of physical court records in the target candidate's hometown, particularly for divorce records, bankruptcies and lawsuits that shed light on the target. Following that, Lexis-Nexis is used and all publicly available records are pored over. The hours are long and the worksite is the basement record rooms of small county courthouses across the United States.

Surprisingly, Marks is very sparse on advice about research techniques. He seems bored even to describe them in useful detail. Instead, he relies on spinning the facts he actually does find and especially looking for hypocrisy between the candidate's current positions and actions in the past. His favourite cases were former defense lawyers running for office, because he could inevitably discover through court records evidence of their defending the most egregious offenders of social mores, which would completely contradict the candidate's official policy on law and order.

What makes this a great read is that Marks is also an unhinged exhibitionist. He is self-centered and amoral, yet he characterizes himself as a "political innocent." Yeah, right. His profession is to uncover, document, comment upon and even exaggerate, the failings of others. By definition that is not the work of an innocent. His self-delusion, however, is to the reader's benefit. While being self-centered and self-indulgent may be serious character flaws, they make for great and sometimes salacious autobiographical details.

He condemns many of the candidates he investigates for the slightest trace of hypocrisy, particularly their sexual indiscretions. Yet, throughout the book he details, proudly, his predatory and deceptive sexual exploits in his character as "oppo-man". His hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness is stunning.

He ends the book having changed from a right-wing idealist into a centrist cynic. He now claims to be a reformed man, who has quit his itinerant lifestyle and has settled down to more savoury work. His "oppo-man" character has been left in the past.

This book does not merit a top recommendation because it lacks enough practical advice about how to do opposition research. Whether credible or not, there are few better train-wrecks of a book that so shamelessly delve into the actual nitty-gritty of trashing an opponent. It is an unusual take about a subject that has been rarely covered with such authority.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Book Review: Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning

by Jonah Golberg

Traditional conventional wisdom suggests that the political spectrum, far from being a straight line between left and right, is more of a circle. At the top of the circle, sit the liberal democracies. At bit on the left of the top of the circle sit European social democracies, such as Sweden. A bit on the right, sit the more conservative democracies like the United States. And at the bottom of the circle sit totalitarian states: to the left, the Stalinist U.S.S.R and Maoist China, and to the right, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Jonah Goldberg, however, finds this model problematic.

In his book Liberal Fascism Goldberg rejects this circular model on the basis that the political spectrum is only logical when considered as a straight line from left to right. Classic fascist states, he argues, clearly belong on the left side of the spectrum.

Upon reading this thesis I instinctively found it disturbing as if it seemed to go against the natural order of things. Of course the Nazi's and the Italian Fascists were on the far right. Are they not our society's very definition of the far right?

Yet why, asks Goldberg, if the Nazis were so far right on the political spectrum, did they brand themselves as socialists? Indeed, the very word Nazi comes from a shortening of the party's official name, die Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, - German for the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Similarly, why did Mussolini, whose parents read Das Kapital to him as a child, consider himself a 'socialist' right up until the moment of his execution at which his acolyte shouted, "Long live Mussolini, long live socialism!"

Goldberg argues, with considerable backing, that fascism began very much as a left-wing movement, with the added embrace of nationalism. In fact, Goldberg suggests that the first categorizing of fascists as right-wing only occurred after Stalin put out the directive that all opponents of the his rule of the Soviet Union, including Trotsky, were to be labeled as such in a bid for control of Germany.

Fascism, says Goldberg, was born of a "fascist moment" in Western civilization, when a coalition of intellectuals under various labels - progressive, communist, socialist - believed the era of liberal democracy was drawing to a close. Leaving little doubt with him that fascism was a project of the left.

Consider Cuba, prods Goldberg. Who can legitimately contest the fascist tendencies of its supposed leftist totalitarianism with its nearly lifelong military dictator Fidel Castro; its religion of fidelity to the state; the beatification of its martyr Che Guevara; and the brand of patriotism promoting "socialism or death"?

As to why he wrote the book, Goldberg, admits in part to a simple emotional impulse. As a conservative, he is tired of those on the left refusing to debate him on awkward facts, instead calling him a fascist, thus undeserving of consideration. The word fascist is more than just a modern synonym for evil; it puts a complete stop to all discussion. With its associations to the Nazi-ordered Holocaust, to be called a fascist is to be told your views are so repugnant they are not worthy of debate. (Ironically, the use of the label 'fascist' in modern debate is in itself becoming a fascist tactic to ending discussion.)

This book is of great importance, particularly as a healthy, open political debate is long overdue. With this book Goldberg has perhaps launched the political discussion that could rock our society's current thinking to its core.

With its clear writing, solid research and truly thought-provoking arguments, this book should be a must-read addition to every self-respecting political junkie's library.

Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, this book very much merits a look and a read it is one of the most startling polemics I have read.

A Must Read.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Book Review: David Frum's Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again

Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again is the newest book by well-known Canadian author and Washington D.C. political activist and commentator David Frum. The timing of this book's release, in the heat of the presidential primaries, is very clearly intentional.

As the race to replace the current Republican President of the United States pushes ahead, Frum provides a deftly written analysis of what lies at the heart of the current American Conservative malaise.

Frum is part of both the Canadian and American political scenes, as a regular contributor to the National Post in Canada and many U.S. publications, and a skillful blogger at the National Review Online. But his stint as the president's speech writer early in the current Administration did the most to raise his profile, particularly south of the border. His tenure as a Special Assistant in the Bush White House is probably best remembered for the phrase, Axis of Evil, used to describe Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Since leaving his White House post Frum has written from the conservative perspective for a lengthy list of high profile publications, and is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

David Frum’s previous work includes The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush, his insider account of the Bush White House, and his audacious look at the 1970s entitled How We Got Here: The 70's: The Decade That Brought You Modern Life (For Better or Worse). In his more recent work, An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror, Frum and his collaborator Richard Perle authored a bold and contentious conservative approach to defeating terrorism and insuring domestic security for the United States.

With Comeback, Frum seems resigned to a Republican loss in the 2008 presidential campaign. Instead of waiting until after the defeat, he argues, it is now, during the campaign, that American Conservatives should openly debate their ideals and engage the voters. In particular, he thinks Republicans must become players on environmental and health care issues instead of allowing the arguments to be framed by Democrats as problems that can only be solved by government intervention and direction. Frum is also not afraid to criticize his own movement for abusing the public trust during its years of power in Washington.

As much as this book is about refocusing Conservative ideology, it also reads as a game plan for electoral victory. At times Frum sees fault with the Republicans' inability to connect with voters; at other times he suggests they have to state their message a little differently so that voters will actually understand how Republicans are trying to help. With this book, David Frum is sure to solidify his reputation as a savvy conservative strategist.

This short 213-page easy-to-read book distils down to six key goals what must be done for the conservative movement to succeed once again in Middle America. These goals range from the basics, such as a better deal for the middle class and winning the war on terror – which have been the bread and butter of the current administration – to “new” conservative issues such as the environment. He sees the green movement as something that must be brought into the conservative fold. With its emphasis on stewardship and planning for the future, he views it as a natural part of Republicanism, not to mention a key plank in future electoral success.

On the down side, the book in some places seems heavily edited, leaving sections without character. Compared to former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich’s book on much the same topic, Frum chooses to be smart over practical. While Gingrich’s Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America delivers a clear and workable electoral platform, Frum would rather wow you with his wit.

Yet, although Canadians who are not engaged by American political discourse will find little in this book that seems relevant to them, I recommend it for people who have a strong interest in American politics, particularly Republican party politics.

These days it's interesting to see how much Frum has matured as an author and as an analyst, such as in his calm and comfortable recent CBC-TV interview on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos. His thoughts and his writings have become much stronger and this book is a well-paced and easy to read primer, from a thoughtful Conservative perspective, on ways that the Republican Party can retool itself for future elections.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Book Review: Alan Greenspan's Age of Turbulence

Bank on Greenspan for a good read

The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World by Alan Greenspan

Before reading it, I didn’t much like the looks of this book. First of all, it is 531 pages huge. Second, it is written by a banker. Even worse, it really truly is about banking. High level bank governance over the world’s largest economy, mind you, but banking nonetheless.

In spite of these undeniable negatives, I cracked it open and I was thankful I did. It undeniably merits the buzz it has generated.

Alan Greenspan is the former Chairman of the United States’ Federal Reserve Board; the independent body that governs the money supply of the United States and indirectly the value of the American dollar, the world’s reserve currency. He held that crucial position from 1987, when he was appointed by President Reagan, until last year, when he retired. In that position, he oversaw the American financial system as it completed one of the longest and most successful economic expansions in recent memory.

So successful was his service as Chairman and so significant was his gravitas, that there grew an entire mini-industry of Greenspan-watching. This was carried to the extreme where CNBC regularly broadcast live feed of Greenspan and his briefcase as he arrived at meetings of the Federal Reserve Board. The premise was that a full briefcase meant a rate hike. Greenspan responds in this book that it usually meant he packed his lunch.

It is difficult for those of us who have come of age in our era of balanced budgets and low interest rates to understand that the current situation is the exception, not the rule. Much of the financial history of the 20th Century is the story of how central bankers and governments struggled with inflation and deficits since abandoning the gold standard in the 1930s. For Greenspan, however, this struggle was the story of his career. Indeed, Greenspan spends significant portions of the book decrying the “populism” and Keynesianism that led to stagflation in the 1970s and 20 percent interest rates in the early 1980s.

While the memoir of Greenspan’s time as Chairman constitute the meat of the book, it is also the best known and the least remarkable part of the book. Since Greenspan has been Chairman for most of my adult life, his early life story as a young economist, libertarian activist and acolyte of Ayn Rand was perhaps the most surprising to me. Rand actually nicknamed the young Greenspan “The Undertaker” for his dour demeanor during their weekly gatherings of like-minded intellectuals in New York City of the 1950s.

While Greenspan made a career of astute economic analysis, he was also a political activist with Conservatives in the Republican Party and served under President Richard Nixon. He was an important member of the Gerald Ford administration, where he served as the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. It was his Republican credentials and his time in the Ford Administration that earned him the confidence of the Reagan administration which appointed him to the powerful and fully independent position of Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

The most compelling and surprising part of the book, however, is in the final chapters where Greenspan, freed from the constraints and restrictions of having the markets hinge on his every word as Chairman of the Fed, prognosticates about current economic trends he sees developing in the American and world economy. Greenspan made his early career developing economic forecasts, and his skill clearly shows in this section. Of particular interest are the sections where he identifies one of the constraints on future growth as the inadequate education system in the United States and its skilled labour shortage. Clearly there is a lot here that applies directly to Canada as well.

Highly Recommended.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Book Review: The War Room by Warren Kinsella

If you are like me and think that, in spite of his irritating flaws, Warren Kinsella is one of the most engaging writers about practical politics in Canada today, you are probably already rushing out to buy a copy of The War Room, the latest installment in Kinsella’s “Kicking Ass” themed books for Canadian political junkies.

The term “War Room” was coined by a team of U.S. strategists; specifically James Carville, who worked on Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign in the early 1990s. It describes a political command centre where a candidate’s strategists and media consultants work to counter attacks by opponents and gather research to manage their offensive in 'real time' fashion.

In this latest book, Kinsella revisits the territory of his 2001 book, Kicking Ass in Canadian Politics. And what great territory it is – an over-the-top, direct, take-no-prisoners approach to winning in politics. It should be a hit. As Kinsella notes at the start of this book, the big problem Kicking Ass ran into was that it was released on September 11, 2001. The events of that day eclipsed what would otherwise have been a much more high-profile and successful release. Despite that, Kicking Ass lived up to its name in the opinion of Canadian political junkies. Now, with his new book, Kinsella is still kicking, reaching out to a much broader audience, not just political junkies but also people in NGOs and business.

But it's not for the Emily Posts among us. The War Room is vulgar, nasty, sometimes petty, always direct, most often quite astute and never for the faint of heart. In other words, it's classic Kinsella. Whether it's the original Kicking Ass, or Fury's Hour, his 2005 look at the punk rock phenomenon, or this new broader-based kick, Kinsella's style is to pretty much put his head down and run right, straight at the thing. To me, that is a recipe for a great read and I recommend this, especially for political professionals. There is even an element of gleeful exhibitionism in how willing Kinsella is to share details which he knows so well. So much the better for the reader.

At this stage in his career, Kinsella has been in the thick of a number of key political fights, most recently as a key strategist in Dalton McGuinty's successful bid for re-election. Consequently, his personal experience is worth writing about and worth reading. For political practitioners, Chapter Three: Get your message out for free! is certainly worth the read. In it, he walks us through not just the basics, but advanced techniques in how to effectively put out your message through earned media coverage. Sure, you can find this sort of content in higher profile, glitzier American writers. But Kinsella writes in a Canadian context, from a Canadian perspective, and with a style that resonates with the Canadian mind set.

The book flows from Kinsella's own extensive experience at implementing political strategy in the heat of combat. At one point he describes an event during the Ontario provincial election campaign of 2003, when it took his War Room team roughly 45 minutes to conceive, write and finalize a relevant press release and get it into the hands of reporters. (Apparently, the War Room was running behind that day, because they were well past their targeted 30 minute target. Still – 45 minutes flat!)

If The War Room suffers at all, it's from trying to be too many different things at the same time. It strives to be a practical how-to manual as well as a personal memoir, and that can get a book bogged down – as this one did in its chapter on the Gomery inquiry, an event for which Kinsella did not set up a War Room and therefore an event for which I could find no relevance in this book, except perhaps for the purpose of evening scores with his fight with Prime Minister Paul Martin people and Commissioner Gomery himself.

There was another disappointment, too. Kinsella writes one of the most successful blogs in Canadian politics, and because of his prominence as a blogger, I expected great things from his chapter on modern Internet techniques. They didn't quite materialize. Kinsella does talk about the new media, the Internet, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, podcasting, citizen media; all these Internet-based techniques. But for someone who has used blogging so successfully and with such fire, he is surprisingly without insight or introspection on the subject.

At the end of the day, Kinsella comes across somehow like that younger brother who is simultaneously irritating, brilliant and disturbingly articulate. His unwillingness to let past grudges go seems out of place for someone who has been so successful. But it's there, and anybody who has ever disagreed with Kinsella is bound to get a good shellacking somewhere in the book.

Still, I can’t name another Canadian political practitioner of these times who has shared so much good advice in print and in such an entertaining way. And I can't help but think that this country's political asses haven't felt the last of his boot.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Flanagan's Harper's Team a must Read

It is hard to believe that five years ago Stephen Harper and Tom Flanagan were a couple of mildly successful right wing policy wonks and Canadian Conservatives were fragmented and listless. The new century saw the decline of the Canada’s right wing voice and was heralded by key Liberal provincial victories; the Conservative journey to irrelevance seemed to have no end.

Today the Canadian political landscape today is vastly different. Harper has been transformed into the respected, though hardly loved, Tim Horton’s-drinking Prime Minister of Canada. Tom Flanagan, who can justly be characterized as Harper’s right brain, was one of the prime architects of the Conservative Party retooling and Harper’s climb to the top of the parliamentary heap. Under Harper’s leadership the once vapid Conservatives are a party that continues to grow in popularity to the point where they are currently on the verge of successfully replacing the federal Liberals as the leading federalist party in Quebec!

Tom Flanagan’s new book, Harper’s Team: Behind the Scenes in the Conservative Rise to Power is a valuable and unique look at the ascension of the Stephen Harper led Conservatives from a seemingly ineffective opposition to Canada’s current government. A book like this from someone with the credibility and analytical ability of Tom Flanagan is rare, and the insights he has into our current Prime Minister and his brain trust, are unavailable from any other source.

By any standard, this is a great story. Tom Flanagan was an integral part of every important move Harper ever made. He spotted the young Harper, who was a student of his at the University of Calgary, recognized the man's potential, and has long been one of the key players in Harper’s inner circle. He has been a key advisor to Harper for the past five years. So Flanagan is uniquely positioned to provide insight into the Harper team and how it accomplished the political transformation that has played across the country.

At its heart, this book is a nuts-and-bolts, practical look at political growth and electoral success the like of which has not been seen since John Lashinger’s Leaders and Lesser Mortals, published in 1992. And unlike the equally enjoyable Right Side Up by Paul Wells, Harper’s Team has the added cache of being written by one of the key figures in Harper’s decision-making team. Indeed, the friendship between the stoic and brainy Harper and equally brainy Flanagan is part of the unique appeal of this book.

For the political practitioner, this book is full of descriptions of campaign techniques as currently practiced by the Conservative Party. It's a useful update, especially considering the transformation of political practices that has occurred since the arrival of the Internet.

Flanagan, as he details in this book, has avoided the public spotlight since coming to serve with Harper in Ottawa. He learned quickly that a lead staff person to the Leader of the Opposition does not voice an opinion, no matter how interesting, which differs from that of the leader. That's why Flanagan, a published academic particularly well respected on the subject of Louis Riel and other native topics, has essentially been silenced until now.

As a Canadian Métis, I have a strong appreciation for the quality and thoughtfulness of Flanagan’s previous academic work on native issues. I have read his book on Riel, and found it a substantial and important contribution to the scholarship on the subject. Yet Flanagan has served as a kind of über-nerd bogeyman for those who have wanted to criticize Stephen Harper, usually for his critical views on Riel and native issues. Usually this is political posturing, and sadly, it is often done by those who have never read his work.

Regardless of your political philosophy, it is hard to reconcile the harsh criticisms that have been levied against Flanagan with the tone and content of this newest book. It is clearly written, thoughtfully argued, easily accessible and deliberate and measured in tone. Moreover, the writing and publishing of this material is very much in the public interest.

The best part comes the towards the end as Flanagan discusses the creation and execution of the Conservative ad campaigns and Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaigns in the failed 2004 campaign and successful 2006 campaign. Always the teacher, Flanagan concludes with “The Ten Commandments of Conservative Campaigning.” This section contains items on unity, moderation, inclusion, and self-discipline.

A remarkable book and very worth your time.

Highly Recommended.