In This Review

Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington
Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington
By Rick Perry
Little, Brown and Company, 2010, 240 pp.

 

 “Oh . . . that mine adversary had written a book,” cries Job. Rick Perry, the Texas governor and Republican presidential hopeful, has done exactly that, and his current Republican and potential Democratic opponents are mining it for ammunition. They will find some: Perry returns repeatedly to third-rail issues, such as Social Security and Medicare, and charged terms, such as “Ponzi scheme” and “unconstitutional,” litter the text. As a statement of political philosophy, the book could not be clearer -- or more welcome to supporters of the Tea Party movement. Perry believes that the neglect of the Tenth Amendment (which he interprets as barring Congress from action except on the limited subjects enumerated in the Constitution) has allowed Washington to get out of control. A Perry administration would be the first U.S. presidency since the nineteenth century to focus on reducing federal power and returning major responsibilities to the states. In foreign policy, Perry’s prescriptions are more muscular; he is a Jacksonian, rather than a Jeffersonian like Ron Paul. For a politician’s book, Fed Up! is unusually candid. Time will tell whether that helps or hurts Perry, as the long campaign grinds on.