Frum’s message can be condensed into four words: “I told you so.” For two years, Frum, who worked as a speechwriter for U.S. President George W. Bush, has been warning against what he sees as a destructive Republican flight from reality, as ideological purity has trumped pragmatic engagement. Frum is particularly scathing about the party’s nomination of unelectable Senate candidates, arguing that grass-roots radicalism cost the gop control of the Senate in 2010 and increased its losses in 2012. Frum’s polemics will not win many hearts and minds in the Tea Party, but his goal is less to win over his critics than to sound the alarm to a GOP establishment that, in his view, too readily gave the Tea Party kids the keys to the family car. As the party begins a reappraisal, the clear and coherent arguments in this passionately argued book will help shape the debate. But the Tea Party remains formidable, and balancing the demands of party bases with the values of the American center is a perennial problem in U.S. politics, and one that has never been easily solved.
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