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I very much liked the Social Security tax proposal; it speaks directly to those for whom the burden is most oppressive. The identity theft and privacy ideas are also intriguing. All in all, a good book with provocative ideas and a thoughtful roadmap for Democratic candidates.
This book is worth a look from anyone interested in the future of the Democratic Party.
BookWire Reviewer Loves The Book!
Written in time for the 2006 Congressional midterm elections, Paine’s book asks Democrats to “offer something concrete to the voters.” The author compares these elections to the 1994 midterms, when Newt Gingrich led a Republican Revolution and painted Democrats as the “party without ideas.” To break free of this image, Paine suggests that Democrats keep their strategies simple but effective and “tap the vast creative potential of the advertising industry.” “Selling a candidate is as easy as selling soap or cereal,” he writes. “This may sound crass, but it’s true.”
Paine also says that the “American political scene is ripe for a resurrection of an old idea: Populism.” Democrats need to offer well-targeted policies to working Americans in all states to regain favor. “Pick ten good issues and stick with them,” Paine urges. He then offers 15 such issues, organizing each of them methodically into a summary, a list of pros and cons, and an effective soundbite that Democrats could use.
These specific issues include cutting social security taxes for 94 percent of workers, outlawing torture unequivocally, proposing a Patients’ Bill of Rights Act, restoring ethics to Congress, bringing back the concept of civil defense, and making all charity tax-deductible. Paine is realistic about every one of these issues, and where there are disadvantages, he lists them without mincing words.
“How Democrats Can Take Back Congress” is a well-researched, clearly written book; Paine’s bibliography at the end shows his extensive reading on various issues to write this book. It is also a strident call to action for Democrats, much in the way that the original Paine’s pamphlet “Common Sense” was a call to action during the American Revolution.
From the Santa Cruz Sentinel
In “How Democrats Can Take Back Congress” (Pamphleteering Press, paper, $12.95), he sets out a plan to regain control of Congress in the 2006 election with 15 issues he believes will solidify the party—issues like making college tuition fully deductible, outlawing torture, writing a patients’ bill of rights act and a constitutional amendment on the line item veto.
What the Democrats Need!
Jason Chafin, a political junkie
5/16/06 — posted on www.barnesandnoble.com
Picked up a copy of this book and didn’t put it down until I reached the last page. There are a ton of great ideas in this little book ideas that all Democrats can rally around, whether you’re a conservative in Kansas or a liberal on the coast. This book speaks to and illuminates core values of the Democratic party and provides an excellent ‘road map’ for getting the message out.
Back to Basics
F. Fowles “ffowles” (Maryland, USA)
5/8/06 — posted on www.amazon.com
Brevity in the age of instant communication and instant distraction is sometimes a good thing. This small book makes some critical points that seem like common sense. But, for whatever reason, have not been well articulated recently by the Democratic leadership or rank and file. Instead of unwieldy plans with complex solutions, perhaps it is time to get back to sponsorship of fundamental concepts and let the details get worked out in the doing. Today, we seem to spend huge amounts of time on the minutiae and lose the concepts to the lobbyists.
This is certainly not a panacea for the problems of the Democratic Party in the US. But it does cause one to ponder the possibilities of proposing a positive agenda versus reacting to the Republicans.
Great guide for pundits and candidates alike
Terry Schmitt (West Hartford, CT)
4/7/06 — posted on www.amazon.com
This isn’t a long book, and that is but one of its many virtues. Long books are not necessarily more substantive books, and this one is both helpful and substantive. It’s split into two parts: the first laying out why the upcoming elections pose a particular opportunity for Democratic candidates. That material is nice, but it recapitulates much that others have written. The real strength of this book is in part two, in which the author goes through more than a dozen specific issues in a neat, capsulated way, that gives candidates issues, statistics, both the advantages and possible disadvantages of each position, and then even a nice soundbite. Many of the ideas are good ones, and the whole setup is a perfect primer for anyone interested in helping end the Republican stranglehold on Congress. If you are tired of being ashamed of a leadership apoligizing for torture, squandering the nation’s future, and starting wars for false reasons, then this is a great place to get ready to change things.
Wake Up Democratic Party Leaders!
Optimist Here (Santa Cruz, CA USA)
3/20/06 — posted on www.amazon.com
Good medium, sound ideas and analyses abound. Excellent sense of humor lightens a heavy subject for easy reading and comprehension. An email or letters to our leaders pointing to this excellent resource material from every reader would have to put get Democrats back on top. We can put our emphasis first on food, clothing, housing, education, jobs and health care for everyone; respect and tolerance for all. (This is of course beyond the scope of the book, but with the proper working tools in place everything is probable.)