With Jeb Bush sniffing around a bid for the Presidency in 2016 now is the perfect time to discuss a timeless classic. Kevin Phillips, who was dubbed in 1995 by one of my Political Science Professors at the University of Florida as “the smartest Republican around,” is widely viewed as the chief architect of the 1968 Nixon “Southern Strategy” which for 20 years remade the Presidential Electoral map. Beginning in that fall semester in 1995, I began vociferously reading anything written by Phillips, something I continue to do up to this day.
Phillips always an intellectual and somewhat erudite analyst of politics developed a deep distrust for the Bush family first as a Republican political operative and then as a non-partisan electoral and cultural analyst. By the end of George H.W. Bush’s term in office he was firmly established as a critic of the Administration’s economic policies and distrustful of the direction the GOP was headed. In multiple media roles, including for CBS News and US News & World Report he would lay out the intellectual case against Bush’s policies while objectively analyzing the flaws in the Clintonian way. In an era where polarizing politics and shout shows were beginning he was a welcome diversion from the partisan hackery that dominated the 1990s airwaves.
After taking a sabbatical from politics writing the excellent The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, Civil Warfare, And The Triumph Of Anglo-America which talked about the Anglo-American relationship and Lineage, Phillips penned American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush towards the end of George W. Bush’s first term.
In this book, Phillips lays out a devastating historical case against the Bush family. Four generations of deceit, indifference to people’s problems and shady business dealings. Phillips clearly lays out his opinion that the entire family operates with a sense of entitlement. Phillips also look closely at the oil industry, the Bush ties to that industry and correctly forecasted the isolationist/nativist drift of the GOP that now ten years after the publication of this work dominates a whole wing of the party. Phillips details at length the Bush ties to Enron and Halliburton among other Texas based corporations. The CIA and arms trade connections to Bush family are widely discussed as well.
Phillips takes the mainstream press to task in the book. He states that all of his information was publicly available yet the media for whatever reason choose to ignore much of the information.
Phillips followed up this book with The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, Civil Warfare, And The Triumph Of Anglo-America written soon after the Terry Schiavo debacle. We will review that book next week.