[ read online Pdf ] When the Tea Party Came to Town Author Robert Draper –

In When The Tea Party Came To Town, Robert Draper Delivers The Definitive Account Of What May Turn Out To Be The Worst Congressional Term In United States History As He Did In Writing About President George W Bush In Dead Certain, Draper Burrows Deep Inside His Subject, Gaining Cooperation From The Major Players, And Provides An Insider S Book Like No One Else Can A Colorful, Unsparingly Detailed, But Evenhanded Narrative Of How The House Of Representatives Became A House Of Ill Repute Because Of The Bitterly Divided Political Atmosphere In Which We Live, This Literary Window On The Backstage Machinations Of The House Of Representatives Is Both Captivating And Timely Revealing The House In Full, From The Process Of How Laws Are Made And In This Case, Not Made To The Most Eye Popping Cast Of Lawmakers Washington Has Ever Seen Book Cover Notes Reading a book about events that you lived and directly worked through is a new experience for me We have all had ties to some book that we have read, whether it was about a national cause or a field of study that we enjoy But as I read Robert Draper s Do Not Ask What Good We Do a story of the Freshmen House Republicans first year in Washington I could not help but think back to the last year of my life with fondness and frustration.The book follows a number of interesting figures in the 112th Congress including Rep Allen West R FL Jeff Duncan R SC and the rest of the South Carolina freshman members John Dingell D MI Kevin McCarthy R CA Mr Draper tell s the story s of some of the freshmen classes noticeable members and contrasts their lack of institutional knowledge with that of their most seniors colleagues, namely Rep John Dingell, the Dean of the House of Representatives The differences between these two groups is too numerous to fully list but include at the most common level the role of earmarks in the policy making process and at the apex their very world views.The entire story is made possible by the Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy A member of the so called Young Guns, Mr McCarthy is charged with delivering votes on some of the House s most contentious bills with a surprising lack of resources compared to previous generations all while being one of the least experienced Whips in the history of the House His knowledge and strong relationships with members of the freshmen class give Mr Draper ample resources to round out this book.Some of the important back stories told within the book include Nancy Pelosi s reign as speakerJohn Boehner s leadership stylePresident Obama s relationship with the HouseRepublican Leadership battlesGovernment Shutdown and Debt Ceiling fightsHigh PointsMr Draper focuses on the big issues that frame the 1st session of the 112th Congress and lets go of many of the details that cloud the larger picture His anecdotes, through the telling of individual Member stories, provide insight into the world views of one of the most influential freshmen classes in the history of the House.Low PointsAs a Capitol Hill staffer for a member mentioned on page 129 with friends in offices that were mentioned, I can safely say that some of Mr Draper s characterizations of the freshmen were shortsighted and in hindsight inaccurate While I must add, none of this appears to be malicious, but rather the result of limited exposure.OverallIf you are a political junkie enough that you prefer the term politico this book might be old hat for you Keeping up with Politico and a combination of after action reports published by the Washington Post can get you much of the same information at this point But if you casually follow politics and want to understand about how the House of Representatives really works, this is a fantastic read At only 352 pages and 18.50 dollars, Do Not Ask What Good We Do is a worth your time. An inside view of the first year or so of the 112th House of Representatives, i.e the 2010 Tea Party House Written in admirably unbiased style, the book follows a handful of GOP House freshmen through the travails of 2010 and 2011, the euphoria of the landslide midterms, the Anthony Wiener scandal, through the debt ceiling debate and up to the 2011 State of the Union Those freshmen include Allan West, the ex marine Tea Party rep from Florida famous for saying crazy shit, most recently that many of the democrats in the house are Communists and Jeff Duncan, the only House rep with a perfect 100 score for the Heritage Foundation in 2010.All of these characters, despite views which to me seem em, unintuitive, come off sympathetically All are in their own way idealistic about changing the machine and passionate about representing their constituents And all in their own way face clashes not just with the opposing party that s to be expected after all but with their own leadership.If the book does one thing right, it shows the near impossibility of governing, even in the best of circumstances, over a giant body of 400 different egos and agendas. DO NOT ASK WHAT WE DO The evening of January 20, 2009, 15 white males and their spouses met at an expensive restaurant in Washington DC Seven of the men were Congressmen Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan, Pete Sessions, Jeb Hensarling, Pete Hoekstra, and Dan Lungren five were Senators Jim DeMint, Jn Kyle, Tom Coburn, John Ensign, and Bob Corker journalist Fred Barnes, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and communications specialist Frank Luntz, who had organized the meeting, completed the group The men were in shock by the election of Barack Obama who had been inaugarated earlier that day and they were trying to figure out how to get the White House back into Republican hands They decided to stick together, highlight any problem faced by a Democrat official, and challenge the Democrats on every issue Their decision would have an amazing effect on The United States during the next four years In DO NOT ASK WHAT WE DO, Robert Draper follows the 112 U.S House of Representatives during it s first year The year began with the induction of 98 new Representatives and ended with the failure of Congress to enact a budget and the US Credit rating being downgraded from AAA to AA The book examines the styles of numerous players and how they affected Congress and, by extension, America Kevin McCarthy, the House Whip, observed that many of the new Congressmen were risk takers He identified Two types of leaders One was a thermometer who could accurately discern the temperature in the room The other type of leader was a thermostat, who could actual change the environment Obama was a thermostat He saw himself as an entrepreneur, a creator of wealth and jobs Among attempts made for both parties to work together were getting to know you dinners between freshman and senior members At the end of 2010, Nancy Pelosi thought they should raise the debt ceiling in the lame duck congress President Obama disagreed and thought the Republicans would and should be equal partners in the discussion and would tread the matter in a reasonable fashion Part of President Obama s plan was eliminating tax cuts for wealthy The Republicans wouldn t pass it even though a majority of Republican voters approved That should not have been a surprise In 2007 and 2008 20% of Republicans voted against their own budget because it didn t meet their terms Chris Van Hollen stated I think the Republicans are going to pay a very heavy price for automatic defense cuts because of the extreme lengths they were prepared to go The American people saw that they wee literally willing to jeopardize te credit worthiness of the US in order to try and force upon the country their budget plans The Democrats decided they couldn t please the Republicans no matter what they did Their votes were needed to pass many Republican sponsored bills but there was support for the Democrat s bills in return Among the pressures on the Republican Congressman was that the majority of fund raising profits were given to Conservative favorites Imagine what would happen to an organization when a large group of high ranking middle managers are brought in and have their own agenda Many have made promises about what they will accomplish without considering how much power their co workers will give them They refuse to compromise and maintain an adversarial position within the entire group, concentrating on the wishes of their small constituency despite differing views and needs of the entire population that they represent As one would expect, things would not go their way, things that should be accomplished fail, and everyone becomes angry and frustrated That is the sad story of the 112th Congress. Informative book about the 2010 2012 U.S House of Representatives read at the risk of getting angry What made 2010 different was a rising tide of economic distress, coupled with the growing belief that the Democrats were only making things worse Unlike many of the other Blue Dogs, Giffords had voted for the complete unholy trinity stimulus, cap and trade, and health care The latter vote set off an ugly conflagration of attacks the very least of which were snarky ads featuring a Pelosi double instructing a Giffords stand in who would bleat, Whatever you say, mama Nancy More ominously, an anonymous assailant blew out the windows on her district office Sarah Palin s PAC website showed a map of congressional districts with crosshairs covering twenty of them, representing Democrats who had voted for health care Arizona s 8th district was one of them Giffords went on MSNBC to warn Palin that there s consequences to that action 36 I remember hearing about this after Giffords was shot It made me so upset Knowing about the situation just makes it worse Obama had made a strategic mistake, McCarthy thought, picking a fight with Paul Ryan on the budget I think Ryan s in his head, he would say Think about it Ryan s a young guy Ryan s risen fast Ryan s got a great family Ryan s got a lot of comparisons to the rise of where the president is It s not so smart to raise him up by picking him as an enemy 143 Ryan is featured quite a bit in thie book It was interesting to read about him now that he s Romney s VP pick And she Pelosi had resisted the temptation to say I told you so to Obama who, back in December, had disagreed with the Speaker s belief that they should raise the debt ceiling during that lame duck session The president s belief had been that the Republicans would and should be equal partners in the debt ceiling discussion implying, she thought, that he believed the Republicans would treat the matter in a reasonable fashion 259 This totally makes sense to me Whenever Republicans tell me how radical they think Obama is, I just have to laugh inside because I really believe he was trying to be centrist and work with the Republicans as much as he could In short, whatever pressures to govern the freshmen faced were drowned out by pressures from the right On top of that, their reelection fortunes depended on money from conservative donors Blake Farenthold had raised a meager 102,000 during the third quarter of 2011 Farenthold couldn t stand asking people for money and was troubled by a system that dictated raising and spending a million dollars every two years so as to keep one s seat 271 A million dollars every Congressional campaign Infuriating We need campaign finance reform yesterday The Florida freshmen West wasn t quite sure what vision was being articulated on November 1, when the Republican leadership brought to the floor House Concurrent Resolution 13, which reaffirmed In God We Trust as the official motto of the United States There are few things Congress could do that would be important than passing this resolution, cosponsor Lamar Smith intoned 272 273 Seriously The guy seriously believes this was one of the bets things Congress could have been doing Aargh The title of this excellent book by Robert Draper is based on a quote from a Congressman who was so frustrated with the days of fraction that he was not seeking re election after his fifth term in the 5th Congress of 1796 Yikes Draper does a masterful job of understanding and projecting the push and pulls of the new 112th Congress brought in 2010 by the Tea Party wave We travel with many of the new congressmen on their journey of discovery, while also looking over the shoulders of the old guard who are trying to control the result Draper s point is much larger than same old, same old that the Fisher Ames quote might indicate Rather he explores, particularly through the eyes of the freshmen congressmen, the Alice and Wonderland world of appearance and deception that is today s politics As the Ames quote makes abundantly clear, getting something accomplished in Congress is a cruel slog What is different here, perhaps, is a meeting that Draper opens with On Obama s Inauguration night, while the Democrats are celebrating at the Inaugural Balls, a small group of Republican leaders vow to do everything to thwart any of the efforts of the new president, whether that is consistent or inconsistent with their own ideology On a very real level, the 2012 freshman are the result AND the victims of that evening.I ll admit that you probably have to be a political junkie to really enjoy this stuff, but I would also assert that until we fully understand the Escher inspired never ending, circular staircase of Congressional action, we have very little chance of landing on successful outcomes, either there or as a country. An insider s look at the last four years of Congressional inaction It focuses on the Tea Party freshmen House members than anyone else Their refusal to compromise frustrates Boehner, as Cantor plots to take Boehner s place Obama comes off as weak and naive, thinking he can compromise with the Republicans He offers them deal after deal, irritating his own Democrats If the Progressives have a hero it has to be Nancy Pelosi, who is the strongest advocate for the Democratic base Yes, she caves in too when the party demands it, but at least she tries to stand up for preserving Medicare and Social Security In the end, like sausages, you don t want to know how bills get passed It ll just give you indigestion As long as the Republicans insist on bills like Resolution 13 which reaffirmed In God we Trust as the official motto of the US, stating there are few things Congress could do that would be important than passing this resolution , the people who need work or help with their mortgages are out of luck and the approval rating of Congress will stay below 10%. Wow No matter how dysfunctional you think this Congress is, you will think it so after reading this book My thoughts upon completing it are to wonder how far our country will fall before Democrats and Republicans find a way to govern together Do Not Ask What Good We Do is not biased in favor of either party, and, if anything, made me see those members whom I previously found odious as human and, surprisingly, likable Draper has written a fantastic book, great for gaining a better understanding of how Congress works, but also for understanding the current partisan deadlocks that have ground the U.S government to a virtual halt. I first heard about this book after an interview with the author on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart I was intrigued by Stewart s comment about politicians being real people and decided that I should read the book I must admit, it was really good Given, it was good in a, now I am frightened about the state of our country way, but it was still good The book mostly follows the Republican Tea Party freshman that were voted into office during the 2010 midterm elections.I enjoyed it because it offered some insight about a select few individuals that helped me to understand why they do and vote the way that they do Granted, what they do isn t effective nor efficient as illustrated by the book , but it offers insight nonetheless The book has a liberal slant at times, but for the most part it stays pretty middle of the road and keeps the reader interested This book had the potential of being very dry, but the author and his way of telling the stories keeps the reader engaged from start to finish.For of my books and reviews, visit The vignettes that Draper paint in his incredible book do so much to explain just how and why any body of elected officials can exist with approval ratings as low as 8% John Dingell is quoted as saying I think pedophiles would do better This book does not have an axe to grind yet offers the reader information that only a true insider could have gleaned.