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Books by and about 2012 presidential nominees
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
A Life of Trial and Redemption
about V.P. Joe Biden (2010)
No Apology
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2010)
Young Guns
by Rep. Paul Ryan et al (2010)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Promises to Keep
by Vice Pres. Joe Biden (2007)
The Audacity of Hope
by Pres. Barack Obama (2006)
Turnaround
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2004)
Dreams from My Father
by Pres. Barack Obama (1996)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore


(Click for Amazon book review)

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

Al Gore has finally found his voice against Bush. For seven years, since losing to George W. Bush in a Supreme Court decision after Gore won the popular vote, Gore kept his mouth shut on direct criticism of Bush. That has ended.

Gore directly attacks Bush and Cheney for many very large woes suffered by America today, claiming...

   
  • Bush lied to the American public about Iraq;
  • Cheney incorporated plans to invade Iraq into the Energy Task Force, which is why it had to be kept so secretive;
  • Bush ignores important US law like FOIA, habeus corpus, and torture;
  • Bush upsets the Constitutional balance of power with excessive signing statements;
  • Bush distorts Christian doctrine by dividing world into good vs. evil;
  • Bush ignores real-world facts in pursuit of his ideological agenda, resulting in isolation of America from the rest of the world, a massive budget deficit, and shredding of civil rights.
There are no holds barred here -- except maybe Gore could review the 2000 election results, and chooses not to. But the real question for OnTheIssues readers is this: Does this book indicate that Al Gore is running for the presidency?

The answer is: No. There's a role in political races called "attack dog" -- that's the person who, as publicly as possible, trashes the opponent. The candidate is NEVER the attack dog, because attack dogs are viewed as frothing-at-the-mouth extremists. The political rule of negative campaigning is that the subject of the negative attack does suffer (that's Bush & Cheney here); but the attacker ALSO suffers (that's Gore here); and the real beneficiaries are the other candidates who do not participate in the attack.

In other words, this book indicates that Gore is NOT running, but is actively helping the Democratic nominee (whomever that will be). The effectiveness of this strategy is premised on the Republican nominee being closely associated with the Bush-Cheney administration. Naturally, the Republican candidates see the problems with that, and are all distancing themselves from Bush, with varying degrees of success. It remains unclear how effective attacking Bush will be, depending on the Republican nominee.

-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, May 2007

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This review is written for OnTheIssues' excerpts of people in the book other than Al Gore. There are two striking things in this book with regards to other people: Gore's vitriol for George W. Bush; and Gore's dismissal of Bill Clinton. Both of these striking things are best illustrated by reading the book's index.

Bill Clinton is not actually mentioned by name in Gore's index. Instead, numerous Clinton references are indexed under "Clinton-Gore Administration." The astute reader notes that George H. W. Bush gets two entries under his own name (not as "Bush-Dole Administration"); Ronald Reagan gets four entries alongside "Reagan Administration" (but not as "Reagan-Bush Administration"); and even four entries for Richard Nixon (but not the "Nixon-Ford Administration"). Ok, we all know that Gore resented Clinton. But the guy WAS president!

George W. Bush's index is even more illustrative of Gore's mood while penning this book. Some of the attacks are policy-based, and to be expected from a presidential opponent -- take a look:

   
    Bush, George W.
  • bin Laden, focus away from
  • civil liberties abuses
  • fearmongering techniques
  • lawmaking, abuses of
  • Nixon, comparisons to
  • US loss of moral authority under
But now check these out -- definitely well into the realm of personal attack:
   
    Bush, George W.
  • as moral coward
  • reality manipulated by
  • reason, lack of
In case you missed that last one (which is, after all, the title of the book), it's cross-indexed under "Reason: Bush's lack of", with seven entries!

In summary, Bush-bashers will LOVE this book. So will Cheney-bashers. So will Rumsfeld-bashers. And so will people who value a government that avoids secrecy; that respects international law; and that listens to scientific expertise. A good read for all!

-- Alan K. Jansen, Jan. 2009

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Corporations
    Al Gore: Bush supporters oppose regulations but like big contracts.
Energy & Oil
    Dick Cheney: 2000: Energy Task Force studied Iraqi oilfield maps.
    George W. Bush: OpEd: Melded energy policy with Iraq policy.
Foreign Policy
    Al Gore: Bush’s division into good vs. evil is Christian heresy.
    Al Gore: New security agenda based on addressing global problems.
Government Reform
    Bill Clinton: His 140 signing statements focused on judicial resolution.
    George W. Bush: More signing statements than all other presidents combined.
    Al Gore: Money dominates campaigns because of cost of TV ads.
    Al Gore: Bush pursues policies in advance of the facts.
    Al Gore: Bush chronically abuses “signing statements”.
    Al Gore: Full & robust public financing of all federal elections.
Homeland Security
    Donald Rumsfeld: 9/11: First response was to look for Iraq link.
    George W. Bush: Signing statement: We will decide what is torture.
    John McCain: McCain Amendment: Torture ban passed by veto-proof majority.
    Al Gore: Our government condones torture for first time in history.
    Al Gore: Mass eavesdropping threatens integrity of Bill of Rights.
Technology
    Al Gore: TV converts well-informed citizenry to well-amused audience.
    Al Gore: Defend Internet freedom as ferociously as freedom of press.
War & Peace
    Eric Shinseki: 2003: Undercut for disagreeing with White House on Iraq.
    George W. Bush: 9/11: Persisted in seeking Iraq link to terrorist attacks.
    Al Gore: Bush engaged in mass deception of the US public about Iraq.


The above quotations are from The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore.

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