By: Walter M. Brasch
Publisher: Spectrum Publishers
Publication Date: August 2008
Reviewed by: Will Gabbett
Review Date: November 2008
Humorously and incisively, Walter M. Brasch’s Sinking the Ship of State (2nd ed.) chronicles the eight painful years of George Bush’s presidency. Beginning in early 2000, the author brings us on the campaign trail to witness the democratic process in all its glory. A dose of Pepto-Bismol may serve the reader well as the seamy underbelly of presidential politics is exposed. From the lies and innuendos that won Bush the South Carolina primary—thus resurrecting a failing run for office (and in the process trashing the reputation of John McCain) —to the corporate sponsorship of the GOP and Democratic conventions, the details are disturbing.
The fun really begins after the election, when King George storms the Oval Office and begins to reinterpret the U.S. Constitution for a post 9/11 era. Using some tongue-in-cheek anecdotes, Brasch leads the reader on a journey of low expectations for an administration that uses the fear of al-Qaeda and terrorism rather than intelligence and common sense to govern. Along the way there are many casualties, including our educational system, FEMA, the U.S. worker, and habeas corpus. Nothing is safe from the Bush-Cheney juggernaut.
Brasch, however, saves his most biting criticisms for the Patriot Act and the curtailment of so many of our civil liberties. As is pointed out early in the book, the Act violates no fewer than six constitutional amendments, and Benjamin Franklin is no doubt turning over in his grave. No one escapes culpability here, neither the U.S. public paranoid and on the lookout for turbaned interlopers, nor the mainstream media that seems to have forgotten that the Fourth Estate is supposed to be a government watchdog for the huddled masses. In the end, the enablers are taken to task to the same degree as the miscreants and we all share some of the blame.
Quill says: A well written and entertaining look into the reign of George W. Bush…very scary!
For more information on Sinking the Ship of State, please visit the author's website at: WalterBrasch.com