Monday, April 23, 2007

Book Review: No Retreat, No Surrender

I recently picked up a copy of No Retreat, No Surrender: One American’s Fight by Tom DeLay with Stephen Mansfield. It is a short book and a fairly quick read. When I initially saw it at the book store, I picked it up because it has a Forward by Rush Limbaugh and a Preface by Sean Hannity. I thought to myself, “There is a cover that will really upset some people.”

I was unfamiliar with Rep. DeLay prior to reading the book. I knew a little about him from the media reports. Most of what I new about Congress during the time DeLay served centered on Newt Gingrich. The book is part biography, part explanation of the inner workings of Congress, and part Political Manifesto.

Tom DeLay was born in 1947 in Texas. The DeLay family moved around a lot while he was growing up. Mr. DeLay grew up in Texas and Venezuela. He went to college and met his future wife there. After college, Mr. DeLay worked with a few extermination businesses before running for State Congress.

The lessons he would learn in State Congress helped him be more effective in the US Congress. Mr. DeLay served in the US Congress from 1984 to 2006. When the Republicans took control in 1994, he was elected Whip. He was nicknamed “The Hammer” due to his ability to get people to vote for bills. However, this was usually done in a spirit of cooperation. Rep. DeLlay points out in his book that he had learned from Texas politics the way to get votes was to work with people. Know the other Representatives, and you can learn what their important issues are. Find away to address those issues in your bill, and you can get their vote.

Mr. DeLay spends a decent portion of the book explaining his own political beliefs beginning with his Political Manifesto. I found this the most interesting part of the book. He explains Political Manifesto to mean, “…the body of ideas that I believe are clear and evident, and to which I have committed my life.” I won’t list all of his ideas, but a few were very interesting. He believes that US Senators should be elected by State Legislatures. He believes the Departments of Education and Commerce should be removed. These jobs are better performed at the State level, and he doesn’t believe the US Government has any business making those decisions.

The overall message I took from this book is that Mr. DeLay believes politics should be about people with different ideas coming together to get a job done. He believes very passionately in our country and our government, and wants the best people running the government. He believes our Federal government has gotten too large, and because many Republicans have helped increase the size of government (including President Bush) they have lost the faith of some of their constituents.

I would encourage anyone interested in politics or political ideas to read this book. It is a short read, and very enjoyable. I would encourage every member of the Republican Party to read this book. Some of the lessons it contains might get the Republicans back in power and bring the voters back to their side.


Ramaiah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
familyman said...

Ah yes, Tom DeLay -

I haven't read the book, but I do know who Tom DeLay is.

The guy who compared his indictment on money laundering charges to the persecution of the Jews during the Holocaust (And I know you disapprove when people do that.)
Delay said - "I am so outraged by this whole criminalization of politics. It’s not good enough to defeat somebody politically. It’s not even good enough to vilify somebody publicly. They have to carpet bomb you with lies and made up scandals and false charges and indicting you on laws that don’t exist. … It’s the same thing as I say in my book, that the Nazis used. When you use the big lie in order to gain and maintain power, it is immoral and it is outrageous…

It’s the same process. It’s the same criminalization of politics. it’s the same oppression of people. It’s the same destroy people in order to gain power. It may be six million Jews. it may be indicting somebody on laws that don’t exist. But, it’s the same philosophy and it’s the same world view."

The guy who was involved with Jack Abramoff's efforts to mantain the status-qou (sweat shops and sex slavery) in Saipan on the Marianas Islands.

The guy who ran the "K Street Project"

This is who the Republicans should be getting political advice from?

Andy D said...

I am not sure I follow Ramaiah’s quote…but ok.

Familyman, in a word…Yes. DeLay actually goes into some of the things you brought up in his book. He talks about Jack Abramoff and the K Street stuff. I didn’t know anything about how DeLay fit into those groups before I read the book. He brings out a lot of very interesting points. He talks about his dealings with Jack and he talks about how “K Street” is simply the location where many of the powerful lobbyists have offices. He points out lobbyists represent groups of voters. Any representative should listen to a lobbyist, but shouldn’t be beholden to a lobbyist. I don’t want to spoil everything for you (I know you are going to click on my Amazon link and buy a copy) but I will leave you with this tidbit of information:

When DeLay first arrived in DC, all of the “K Street” offices were run and staffed with Democrats.

familyman said...

I think ramaiah up there is spamming you with a link to his site.

Andy D said...

I thought that myself. I have taken care of his comment. Thanks for the second opinion family.