Argues that President Bush fears change and has been manipulated by the Republican right wing, and that his desire to be reelected has led to the nation's economic decline
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A damned-with-faint-praise report on George Bush from Time magazine's White House correspondents. In their ambivalent audit, Duffy and Goodgame accentuate the presumptively negative aspects of the Chief Executive's first term, focusing on his putative disinterest in domestic affairs. Their plausible, if conventional, thesis is that the incumbent is an essentially reactive steward who sought high office not to remake the country but merely to serve it. While giving Bush full marks for his success in building the military coalition that drove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, the authors insist that he's essentially a Tory whose deeply conservative worldview keeps him, for fear of making ``the wrong mistake,'' from responding boldly to such dramatic events as the Soviet bloc's breakup and mainland China's savage repression of its dissidents. According to Duffy and Goodgame, the President's risk-averse mind-set and abhorrence of instability virtually preclude substantive economic initiatives on the home front. They point out, for example, that he pays lip service to fiscal virtue without troubling to impose budgetary discipline, and that he advocates ``points of light'' in preference to a legislative agenda designed to achieve substantive change. Characterizing Bush as pro-business, not pro-market, the authors conclude that his purposefully low-key approach has indeed reduced the public's expectations of what government can and should do, thereby giving him an excellent chance of winning reelection. Paradoxically, perhaps, Duffy and Goodgame rather like their subject, expressing admiration for, among other qualities, his instinctive decency and ``gritty ruthlessness.'' As one unfortunate consequence, what evidently was meant to be a hard-hitting expos‚ comes off as a halfhearted hatchet job. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
In an indictment of the Bush presidency, two White House correspondents for Time portray a do-nothing president who has set no real national priorities. Bush's self-defined custodial role, they charge, has been to perform a holding action for his core constituency, America's ruling class. Duffy and Goodgame accuse Bush of an unprincipled approach to civil rights and fault his irresolution on education, the environment and the war on drugs. While applauding his stubborn resolve in the Persian Gulf crisis, they blast his frenetic "Rolodex diplomacy" and his tolerance for human rights abuses and autocracy, as shown by his secret conciliatory missions to Beijing after the Tiananmen Square massacre. Bush's agenda of upholding the status quo no longer appeals to voters who fear America's long decline, Duffy and Goodgame assert; in this bombshell of a book they explain why the policies that got Bush elected may be his undoing. They predict that a second Bush term would be "more of the same, only less." First serial to Time; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Simon & Schuster, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0671737201
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110671737201