The Plangent Tone of the Subdominant Chord, or, With a Name Like Edsall, It's Gotta Be Good


If you're interested in a sneak peak at an advanced uncorrected, unpaginated copy of Thomas B. Edsall's upcoming book Building Red America: The new conservative coalition and the drive for permanent power, here's a random page sampling:

Page 1:

More than in the past, the Republican Party has become a coalition of the dominant, while the Democratic Party has become, in large part, an alliance of the sub-dominant and their allies.

Page 10:

For Democrats, an aggressive attempt to exploit Republican vulnerabilities is necessary (lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Ohio Representative Bob Ney, California Representative Duke Cunningham, etc.), but by itself, can produce only short-term gains.

Page 11:

As of 2006, the Republican Party is in charge of all three branches of the federal government: it controls 28 out of 50 governorships and 20 state legislatures, to the Democrats' 19 (10 are split, and Nebraska is unicameral).

Page 22:

While Republicans have used modern technology to discover the 'anger points' that mobilize individual voters, the party has developed an encompassing rhetoric to signal sympathy to those constituencies that it is most interested in getting to the polls.

Page 44:

I worked 32 years for the Arrow Shirt Company. They got bought out and downsized, then I went to work for Proctor and Gamble… The Democratic Party is too much special interests. Give away everything. The gays hold a demonstration, they are right there with them. Any feminists, they are right there with them. I just think the Republican Party is more accountable, more responsible.

Page 88:

Rasmussen contends that there have been major changes in the composition of the nation's workforce, and "these changes mean that the workforce today is a lot closer to George W. Bush's goal of an 'ownership society' than it is to Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal."

Page 176:

They have recruited to the Republican cause mainstream voters who feel culturally besieged by what they view as a coarsening of the popular culture, on a continuum from video games, to visible tattoos, to body piercing, to rap music, to 'transgressive' television—"daytime talk, the lowest form of Trash TV…the democratization of perversion," as well as cable shows such as Desperate Housewives, Weeds, Six Feet Under, Queer as Folks, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

Page 352:

The Democratic and Republican Parties have also split on racial issues—a pattern reflected in congressional voting on busing, affirmative action, civil rights remedies, and the encforcement of the Voting Rights Act—in addition to their split on the central issues of women's rights and the sexual liberation movements: abortion, access to advanced contraceptive technologies (Plan B), and even sex education in the schools.

The next page in the sequence should be 704, and the book doesn't go up that far, so here's the very last page of the copy I have (oddly listed as page 22):

A young person who earns an average of $35,000 a year over his or her career would have nearly a quarter million dollars saved in his or her own account upon retirement. That savings would provide a nest egg to supplement that worker's traditional Social Security check, or to pass on to his or her children.

In my experience there's only one book that has never failed the random page test, and that's Cross of Iron by Willi Heinrich.