The GOP in the Desert Reply

This looks to be an interesting book.

In the past I have attempted to outline fairly meticulously calculated strategies concerning how to go about forming a constituency or coalition for the pan-anarchist, pan-secessionist, and pan-decentralist ideas we promote at ATS. However, given the growing fractiousness of US politics and society, and the growing failure and ineptitude of establishment institutions, I’m increasingly being drawn to the view that the idea should be to simply “get the word out,” meaning we should simply try to publicize these ideas far and wide to the greatest degree possible, without worrying about any specific demographic and constituency-based considerations. Instead, the audience will come from wherever as the word spreads.

The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party’s Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House, McKay Coppins, Little Brown, 383 pages

Reviewed by Lloyd Green

The American Conservative

Hachette Book Group

With just weeks to go until the Iowa Caucuses, McKay Coppins’ The Wilderness is a welcome Baedeker to the personas that populate the 2016 Republican contest. Written months before the primary season, the author looks at top-tier GOP contenders Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio, the disappearing Jeb Bush and Rand Paul, flameout Bobby Jindal, and Paul Ryan, a man better suited to be Speaker of the House than President. The book reminds the reader that the candidates are avatars of the GOP’s warring factions, while delving into who these presidential aspirants actually are.

Although The Wilderness is easy on policy, Coppins catches his subjects and their inner circles saying the darndest things. The author’s portraits are light-handed, but withering. Florida’s Rubio comes across as boy with man-sized ambitions, and a tropism for other peoples’ money. Coppins rehashes the senator’s credit card problems, but also nails Marco pinching himself over his own good fortune. In the book’s telling, Rubio exclaimed to a friend, “It’s amazing … I can call up a lobbyist at four in the morning, and he’ll meet me anywhere with a bag of forty thousand dollars in cash.” Talk about candor.

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