From Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose, authors of Shrub, Bushwhacked is a hilarious, no-holds-barred look at George W. Bush and his administration, and an essential book for understanding the full, destructive impact of his presidency.
For years, bestselling political commentator Molly Ivins has been sounding the alarm about George W. Bush. In Shrub, her 2000 skewering of presidential candidate Bush, the inimitable Ivins, with co-author Lou Dubose, offered a devastating exposé of Dubya’s career and abysmal record as governor of Texas. Now, in their second book on our current White House occupant, Ivins and Dubose take the wire brush to the Bush presidency and show how he has applied the same flawed strategies he used in governing Texas to running the largest superpower in the world.
Bushwhacked brings to light the horrendous legacy of the Bush tax cut, his increasingly appalling environmental record, his administration’s involvement in the Enron scandal, and the real Bush foreign policy—botched nation building in Kabul and Baghdad, alienation of former allies—and, unfortunately, much more. Ivins and Dubose go beyond the too frequently soft media coverage of Bush to show us just how damaging his policies have been to ordinary Americans—“the Doug Jones Average,” rather than the Dow Jones Average. Bushwhacked is filled with sharp observation, humor, and compassion for the people often ignored by the federal government and the Washington press corps.
With the war on terrorism posing unprecedented challenges to our civil liberties, and with the Bush economic policy in shambles, it is high time for a close look at the state of our Union. Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose provide just that in Bushwhacked—an incisive, entertaining, and damning indictment of the Bush presidency.
We've been Bushwhacked
Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose on:
Dubya’s involvement in the failure of Harken Energy Corporation:
“There are countless subjects on which George W. Bush might have pleaded ignorance in 1990, but a failing oil business was not one of them.”
Dubya’s accomplishments as governor of Texas:
“As full-time residents of the state that gave you tort reform, H. Ross Perot, and penis-enlargement options on executive health plans, we’re obliged to warn you that if Dubya Bush really had exported ‘the Texas Miracle,’ the country would be in deep shit.”
Dubya’s environmental record:
“Bush has a chemical-dependency problem, but it’s not cocaine. It’s Monsanto, Dow, and Union Carbide. They wrote the checks that put him in the Texas governor’s mansion....Bush had two voluntary emissions-control programs here in Texas. One involved polluting industries. The other was directed at adolescent males, who were encouraged to ‘try abstinence.’ Only 3 of our 8,645 most obnoxiously polluting refineries actually volunteered to cut back on their toxic emissions. Numbers on teenage boys are not yet in.”
Why the Republican Party is the party of unregulated meat and poultry:
“The Republicans win elections in the ‘red states’ in the center of the country, where cattle and chickens are produced and slaughtered. Democrats win their elections in the ‘blue states’ on the coasts. Republicans use the USDA to pay off their contributors in the red states. The result of that crude electoral calculus is laissez-faire food-safety policy whenever a Republican is in the White House. (If you must eat while the Republicans control the White House, both houses of Congress, and the judiciary, you might want to consider becoming a vegetarian about now.)”
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She tried to warn us: With the publication of Shrub in early 2000, syndicated columnist Molly Ivins detailed George W. Bush’s privileged rise and disastrous reign as governor of Texas in the mid- to late ‘90s. In Bushwhacked, she looks at his first term as president. The picture she paints is unremittingly bleak—unless, of course, you’re a big campaign donor well served by Bush’s prescription for all economic ills (deregulation, tax cuts for those who need them least, and lax enforcement of worker and environmental safety standards). As the only president in U.S. history to slash taxes and go to war simultaneously, Bush wins consistently low marks from Ivins for pursuing "crony capitalism" to its inevitably depressing extremes. While many of the topics covered here have been covered extensively (Enron, the war in Iraq), Ivins does a good job of building on what’s already been written (proving Bush’s close ties to former Enron chief Ken Lay, and laying out the fundamentalist, apocalyptic view of Iraq and the Middle East that drives Bush’s foreign policy). Ivins is particularly good in taking arcane federal regulations and showing how the Bush administration’s lax oversight has hurt ordinary Americans, making their jobs, homes, water, and food less safe. Ivins is no distanced observer. She’s clearly incensed by Bush’s policies, but her reporting is so detailed and writing so witty that even those who come to the book undecided about Bush will likely be outraged by the time they finish it. -- --Keith MoererAbout the Author:
Molly Ivins’s column is syndicated to more than three hundred newspapers from Anchorage to Miami. A three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, she is the former co-editor of The Texas Observer and the former Rocky Mountain bureau chief for The New York Times. Her freelance work has appeared in Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, Harper’s Magazine, and other publications. She has a B.A. from Smith College and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University. Her first book, Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?, spent more than twelve months on the New York Times bestseller list.
Lou Dubose has worked as a journalist in Texas for twenty years. He has been editor of The Texas Observer and politics editor of The Austin Chronicle, and is the co-author of Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Brains Behind the Remarkable Political Triumph of George W. Bush. His freelance work has appeared in The Nation, Texas Monthly, The Washington Post, the Toronto Globe and Mail, the Liberty, Texas, Vindicator, and other publications. He lives with his wife, Jeanne Goka, in Austin.
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