Monday, April 02, 2007

Invasion of the Party Snatchers: How the Holy-Rollers and the Neo-Cons Destroyed the GOP

When President George W. Bush learned that long-time family friend and political associate Victor Gold had penned a book entitled, "Invasion of the Party Snatchers: How the Holy-Rollers and the Neo-Cons Destroyed the GOP," a broadside attack on Bush and Vice President Cheney, Bush is said to have responded to Gold: "You always called them like you saw them." That included this description of Bush: "Think Dan Quayle in cowboy boots." Contrast that with this flattering portrait Gold wrote of Bush for his first inaugural program: "With Texas deep in his heart, America's 43rd president is an optimistic man of faith and family."

Gold, who co-wrote President George H.W. Bush's autobiography, has even worse things to say about Vice President Cheney. Of Cheney he says: "Men do not change, they unmask themselves." "Cheney has a deep streak of paranoia and megalomania," Gold tells the Washington Post -- "but he says he did not see it at first." "He was hiding who he really was," Gold says. "He was waiting for an opportunity."

Gold's beef with the younger Bush's administration can be summed up as follows: "Under Bush and Cheney, he argues, the GOP has moved away from principles of small government, prudent foreign policy and leaving people alone to live their private lives -- all views Gold associates with his hero, Goldwater." "[His book] makes plain Gold's contempt for the direction of his party and the guidance of its leaders." "For all the Rove-built facade of his being a 'strong' chief executive, George W. Bush has been, by comparison to even hapless Jimmy Carter, the weakest, most out of touch president in modern times," Gold writes. "Think Dan Quayle in cowboy boots." "The war was a big factor." "It seemed to Gold to run counter to the traditionally conservative notion of keeping clear of foreign entanglements." "He was infuriated by Bush-Cheney moves to augment executive power." "And he was disgusted by the Terri Schiavo episode, which to this old libertarian seemed emblematic of a modern GOP takeover by religious zealots."

Gold believes the younger Bush's hubris prevented him from relying on much-needed advice from his father. For this part, George H.W. Bush, while he doesn't like what Gold has written, says, "Vic Gold is a friend of mine and always will be." As for Dick and Lynn Cheney's reaction to his book, Gold doesn't care. "I don't owe them a damned thing," he tells the Post. It looks like Gold's book is going to be a must-read for disaffected Republicans like me.


Anonymous said...

I'm not gonna pay money for it--I'll check it out at the library.

Birch Bayh used to say about his supporters: "I don't care how late they get on the train, as long as they do it before it leaves the station."

This train left the station long ago, arrived at its destination, returned, left again, and is halfway back home for the second time. The war did Bush in, and he blindly followed his VP's egomaniacal views. They say God takes care of idiots and children.

Dick Cheney's way to electoral victory is bitter division among the electorate. Heavy emphasis on bitter.

Karl Rove was the perfect architect. The GOP blindly followed. Why else would most of the presidential candidates pander to the far right, even when it's clear they don't swallow all its views (Guliani, McCain, hell Romney even flipped).

History will not be kind.

Sam Hasler said...

I wrote on this yesterday. As a Democrat, I am almost happy that the pigeons are coming home to roost. However, the electoral politics of this country for the past 13 years have come close to endangering the nation, so I cannot rejoice. Winning meant everything and there has been no regard for who won and what ideas won. We have an obvious incompetent foisted on us and when criticized we get the response that we are liberals who hate our country, love terrorists, and are generally disloyal to the leader who is taking us to Canaan. I really wonder if most Republicans even now understand what is going on due to the hijacking of their party. The only thing saving the Republicans is that my party remains fairly well disorganized.

Anonymous said...

Destroy it they did, but it began long before W and Cheney. For many of us who counted on the Republican Party to defend the Constitution, check the growth of government power, exercise a strong but prudent foreign policy, and maintain an appropriate balance of order and liberty, this disastrous administation pounded the final nail in a coffin built by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and the various Eric Millers crawling about the body politic.

KYJurisDoctor said...

"It looks like Gold's book is going to be a must-read for disaffected Republicans like me."

You mean for REAL Conservatives like us! I can't wait to read it, too.

Visit: or

Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder how much meat Gold will actually offer.

For example, will he get into the use of religion to affect voters at a core level and generate support for matters that people would otherwise reject en masse?

If religion is the opiate of the masses, the GOP has been sedating it's base for decades. I wonder if Gold will touch on that and the tools of the trade that have duped the voters into supporting the GOP at the polls, only to leave them scratching their heads during the ensuing Constitutional onslaught. If he can tie that response back to the core level influence of religion - which keeps bringing the confused voters back to the polls - Gold might earn my dime.

Given the title of the book I would hope he would offer that level of honesty, at a minimum.

As for the neo-con takeover, I'd like to see something a little bit deeper than a "Cheney sucks and Bush is weak" response. That's been the excuse and cop-out that we've heard since day one of this administration. I'd rather see the author take it back to Chicago and to the direction of foreign policy from both parties that's been on the table since the 70's. If Gold conveniently omits the fact that the neo-cons had assembled a group and a plan in the late 90's that was ripe for the taking by the private interest policy makers who would profit the most from a successful foray into nation building, he'll be tragically missing the boat with regards to how the GOP inherited a group of expansionists who called for aggressive action both domestically and internationally.

And ultimately, I would expect to see an analysis of how that same group was placed in senior Pentagon, State Department, and White House positions (including the Vice Presidency) once Bush was placed in office.

If Gold plans to examine religion and the neo-cons, I expect him to serve up a sizeable chunk of meat. Let's see some honesty regarding the manipulation of religious convictions to generate support. And let's see some revelations into how the current brand of neo-con arrived at the White House and how the synthesis of foreign policy and corporate interests made their proposals appealing to the ruling class.

As a conservative, a Christian, and a believer in Constitutional law, to ignore these issues in a serious analysis only adds to the deviation from integrity that continues to muddy the waters for the GOP base. This nation needs the truth, not another insider's manuscript that fails to provide clarity.

I'd gladly part from my money for a clear and concise account. But if the book is just another dance around the mainstream conversation topics, I'll be sitting this one out.

Anonymous said...

It may be impossible, but it is time for a third big party. There really is an attack on mainstream America.

The only group that is close enough to a "party" are the Blue Dogs. They are closer to Goldwater than the GOP is now.

Like most people, I am sick of both parties. I think the Blue Dogs could do it, but I don't see it happening.

We have entered a new, meaner, place in American history, as the the zealots use us all to try and force the "endtimes".

The Democrats are stuck in the 1930's. They are not the answer.