Saturday, December 03, 2005

Bruce Bombs With Reviewers

Mark Hyman highly recommends The New American Revolution by Tammy Bruce.

Would you be surprised to learn that no one else does?

Actually, that’s not true. A search of book reviews on Bruce’s new tome came up with plenty of gushing words from rightwingers (e.g. Freepers, Newsmaxers, and WorldNetDailyers). There were also a couple of highly critical reviews by progressives and liberals.

However, I only came up with two reviews from those who looked at the book from an objective political standpoint, evaluating the book on its own merits (or lack thereof) independent of political interest: Publisher’s Weekly and The Library Journal. Their response was, well, subdued, to say the very least. (I’ve provided the text of the reviews below).

Since I haven’t read the book myself, I’ll let those who have give you their evaluation. But before turning things over to them, I have a question for any of the more conservative readers among you. In his commentary, Hyman quotes the following passage, noting that it’s among his favorites in Bruce’s book:

“The underlying message of the generally deluded Leftist establishment, Clintons
and all, is that your specialness, your particular values, your principles, your
drive, your ambition, and even your hope for the future are wrong."

My question is simply this: do any of you actually believe this? Sure, it’s taking a swipe at liberals, which you might agree in principle is always a good thing, but do you believe in the specific content of the statement, or just the underlying sentiment? That is, do you believe that those on the left of the political spectrum think that personal “specialness” is wrong? (I always thought conservatives were irked that liberals kowtowed too much to individual “specialness”; was I mistaken?)

Do you really think Hillary Clinton’s goal is to stamp out drive and ambition?

Do you think liberals actually think your “hope for the future” is wrong?

This just seems like such cartoonish nonsense that I can’t help but feel that, were I a conservative, I would be insulted by such pablum. I could understand if this sort of stuff was written and read simply as a way of getting worked up, but I have the sneaking suspicion that folks like Bruce and Hyman hope that their audience will actually believe this, and that they might even believe it themselves.

Even on my most cynical days, I don’t think conservatives are handlebar-moustache-wearing melodramatic villains out to take away my hope in the future. Sure, I think most of Hyman’s ideas (and those of much of the conservative establishment) are mistaken, ill-conceived, short-sighted, counterproductive, and often immoral (and in the case of Hyman, also poorly articulated), but I don’t question that conservatives come to these ideas from a sincerely held worldview that suggests these policies are both practically and ethically preferable to those of the left.

For example, as morally reprehensible as the launching of a preemptive war of choice is to me, I don’t feel that those who champion it are all Snidely Whiplashes out to tie the fair damsel America to the railroad tracks. Yet, in Bruce’s quotation, Hyman’s commentaries, and a lot of what I hear on the right, this seems to be exactly how they conceive of liberals. And then, as he speaks of liberals in this way, Hyman actually calls the Left “angry.” I don’t get it.

So is this just “mere rhetoric” meant to get conservative hearts pumping, or do you really believe this stuff? I’m just wondering.

Now, on to the less-than-stellar reviews for the Bruce book:

From Publisher’s Weekly, as posted on

"Mostly a stage upon which to beat her stridently individualist chest and congratulate herself for melding seemingly contradictory political ideologies, this book opens with Bruce, a pro-death penalty, gun-owning, pro-choice lesbian feminist and former NOW chapter president who lives in San Francisco and is a Fox News contributor, hailing the 2000 election as "a message from the nation" that we were ready for someone "who was, at his core, decent." Bruce lashes out against liberals, whom she says carry around so much hatred toward the country that it has begun to infect the globe, and explains her unique politics by reasoning "party loyalty takes a backseat to the safety of your family and this nation," and "there's nothing more radically individual these days than a liberal who doesn't conform." Given the current bevy of accusations swirling over the Bush administration and its handling of intelligence, Bruce's extended attack on the "deep depravity of the American Left" seems like a victim of bad timing. Readers willing to wade through Bruce's frustratingly frequent invocations of "hate," "savage" and "evil" will hear the call to readers to think for themselves instead of relying on the party line, be it on the left or right. Unfortunately, her thesis is buried beneath mountains of dismissible rhetoric."

From Library Journal, as posted on
Barnes &

"Michael Moore, John Kerry, Jesse Jackson, and Elton John, as well as organizations like the ACLU, NOW, and the UN, count among the members of radio and print commentator Bruce's (The Death of Right and Wrong: Exploring the Left's Assault on Our Culture and Values) "The Hate America First Club." Her vitriolic screed argues that those liberals who support multiculturalism are an assault on the "new American radicals" who believe in family values and have strong faith. Apparently, all liberals who have not seen the way as shown by Bruce have neither values nor faith. She maintains that the "New American Revolution" began on 9/11 and was reaffirmed by Bush's 2004 reelection. Liberals and a significant number of conservatives would question this contention in the wake of the unfulfilled claims about the Iraq war and the slow response to Hurricane Katrina's devastation. Bruce's allegations are not demonstrated convincingly; public libraries can pass on this one. "

Yes, I think I will too.

And those are The Counterpoints.


At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Sickofspin said...

Ted opined:

"Liberals and a significant number of conservatives would question this contention in the wake of the unfulfilled claims about the Iraq war and the slow response to Hurricane Katrina's devastation."

Unfulfilled claims? Slow response? You've mentioned tripe from media generated propaganda, not reality. PLEASE elaborate.

Did you know WMD's have been found in Iraq?
1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium

1,500 gallons of chemical weapons agents

Chemical warheads containing cyclosarin (a nerve agent five times more deadly than sarin gas)

Over 1,000 radioactive materials in powdered form meant for dispersal over populated areas

LIBERAL DISINFORMATION: "The Bush Administration was slow to send help to New Orleans... and FEMA failed to rush in to rescue stranded citizens."

Baloney! Reports HUMAN EVENTS. Informed Americans fully realize that Louisiana Governor Blanco at first refused help from President Bush and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin did not issue an evacuation notice until it was too late. Both are Democrats. FEMA, which has no police, firemen, planes, trucks or boats, cannot rescue people and is a secondary responder.

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Ted Remington said...

Dude, the stuff you quote is from the book reviews, not me. If you're going to comment about entries, please read them. If you have issues with what the reviewers said, go on to their websites and post there.

At 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


To paraphrase W, Sick,
you're doing a heckova job!

But until you come clean on your smear of Remington (that he injected his personal politics into his professional work), you have no moral right to continue to rant.

Blogs work when participants listen and respond to each other. There's little evidence you do either.

This is at least the sixth time you've ignored blogger requests to to back up your own accusation.

Either come up with the facts or be labeled as another smear artist.

At 10:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I hope that you have a chance to get out, catch a movie, maybe enjoy a drink or two.

Dealing with some of these foaming, incoherent, posts has got to give you headaches!

Take a break. Ya gotta need it.

At 11:26 PM, Blogger Ted Remington said...

Thanks--yes, I'm about to curl up with some cider and a good book. A little intellectual detox program for yours truly.

BTW, SOS might want to read this, in regard to his claim that plenty of WMDs have been found:

The bottom line: even the administration itself has said there isn't anything there. Of course, maybe Scott McClellan is part of those spinning out "tripe from media generated propaganda."


At 12:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ted,

Did you catch Hyman's latest stab at your alma mater, the University of Iowa? On the December 3rd "Propaganda Bag" Hyman said:

"Jenna from the University of Iowa reported that she believes she's been singled out because she's Christian and that "professors don't hesitate to ridicule religious beliefs or values.""

Think this is for real? Sounds a little fishy.

Ah, the great thing about Hyman's Mailbag: Of the Hyman, By the Hyman, For the Hyman.

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice blog.

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike B. said ....
The Counterpoint is a great blog site, even if he is no longer allowed to post comments on it. He says that your cause is a noble one, and to keep fighting the good fight, and don't be afraid to use the "F" word and call these people what they are. He said he made regular posts to the blog before there was any traffic on it and invites you to go back and read them, but now, with many more people contributing posts, he believes that his work here is done. He said he will continue to read the blog and try to post (if they will let him) from time to time, but the task of waking the sheeple is now yours.
Ted, Mike says keep up the good work of exposing the lies and never, ever stop bustin' Hyman.


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