Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Perilous Pachyderms

I've been meaning to mention this for a while, but have been remiss. My friend and erstwhile editorial board colleague Ryan Sager has his book in stores now. The Elephant In The Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians and the Battle To Control the Republican Party is a great read.

On the one hand, it serves as a great brief history lesson of the creation and evolution of the modern conservative movement, particularly of the critical William F. Buckley (intellectual)/Frank Meyer (pragmatic) National Review nexus that helped form the current Republican Party base.

It then explores the tensions that threaten the GOP's evangelical and libertarian alliance.

I was fortunate enough to read the book in draft form. Ryan's got a great writing style mixing historical fact, clear opinion and jabbing humor. Even though it is a book by a Republican about Republicans, Democrats would do well to read this as well. Ryan sees the interior West (from Montana straight down to Arizona as fertile ground for Democrats with a libertarian message. Indeed, this is a similar point that Markos Moulitas of The Daily Kos has made (and which Sen. Conrad Burns' current electoral difficulties may be demonstrating.

Anyway, give
The Elephant In The Room a try. You won't be sorry (no, I'm not gettting royalties -- though I appreciate Ryan's acknowledgement).

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