A popular columnist for The Weekly Standard, conservative journalist Jay Cost now offers a lively, candid, diligently researched revisionist history of the Democratic Party. In Spoiled Rotten, Cost reveals that the national political organization, first formed by Andrew Jackson in 1824, that has always prided itself as the party of the poor, the working class, the little guy is anything but that—rather, it’s a corrupt tool of special interest groups that feed off of the federal government. A remarkable book that belongs on every politically aware American’s bookshelf next to Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism and The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes, Spoiled Rotten exposes the Democratic Party as a modern-day national Tammany Hall and indisputably demonstrates why it can no longer be trusted with the power of government.
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About the Author
Jay Cost writes the twice-weekly "Morning Jay" column for the Weekly Standard and was previously a writer for RealClearPolitic and a popular political blogger. Cost received a BA in government from the University of Virginia and an MA in political science from the University of Chicago. He lives in Pennsylvania.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you enjoy American history and politics, then this book is a must read. Good Stuff!!
The premise of this book is rather simple. In any democratic political system political parties that aspire for the control of the body politic will invariably attract various clients and interest groups with very limited and specific agendas. However, if a politician or a party is aspiring for a broader level of support necessary for a victory in election, that party or politician will need to make a broader appeal based on the sense of general good of the country. This constant tension between special interests and common good is nothing new, and it’s not limited to any particular party or a politician. Jay Cost takes a closer look at the Democratic Party over the course of roughly the last century and a half, and tries to illustrate how various Democratic leaders have dealt with this tension. The account is very detailed, based on thorough historical research. This books gives one a much more realistic view of the American political history, especially as it pertains to the Democratic Party. Nonetheless, this is not a scathing and cynical account of either the Democratic Party or the American politics in general. Cost aims to give a very neutral and balanced view of politics as it really is. The book’s true agenda becomes evident at the very end, in the chapters and sections dealing with Barack Obama. Cost paints a very grim picture of the 44th president, not in relation to Republicans or conservatives (who barely feature in this book to begin with), but in comparison to other Democratic presidents. Cost makes a very convincing case that Obama, unlike Clinton and Carter for instance, had no desire to stand up to the Party clients, and had completely built both his political career and his presidency around the unabashed and unrestrained support for all of his Party’s special interests. Obama is truly a transformative political figure, but not in the way that he or his apologists would like you to believe.