Jeb, Roger & secular liberalism
Published: Saturday, March 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
A Bush who hasn't sought the presidency — yet — tackles immigration, a biographer examines a media mogul and a scholar criticizes secular liberalism in these new or upcoming titles.
“Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution” by Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick (Threshold Editions) — The former two-term Florida governor, married to a Mexico native for 38 years, offers what the publisher calls “a practical, nonpartisan approach” to immigration reform. Writing with the Goldwater Institute's vice president for litigation, he proposes a new, demand-driven system that accommodates states' needs for autonomy, costs less, reduces physical risks, strengthens U.S.-Mexico efforts against drug cartels and teaches fundamental American principles. Inevitably bringing 2016 GOP presidential prospects to mind, the book already has prompted a kerfuffle — over a passage that seems to contradict Bush's stated support for a citizenship path for illegal aliens. On “Face the Nation” a week ago, he denied changing course, saying he wants illegals to line up behind legal immigrants — and raising the book's profile. Time will tell whether the book does the same for his White House chances.
“Roger Ailes: Off Camera” by Zev Chafets (Sentinel, available Tuesday) — Just excerpted in Vanity Fair, this biography about the Fox News chief will be followed by another. Unlike that one, by New York Magazine media reporter Gabriel Sherman (Random House, available May 21), this one benefits from cooperation by its subject. The publisher says Chafets presents Ailes as “neither villain nor hero but a man full of contradictions and surprises.” The book covers Ailes' roots in a small Ohio town, his work as a political consultant who helped Nixon, Reagan and George H.W. Bush win the White House, his time heading CNBC and his rise to the pinnacle of cable-TV news at Fox. Interesting on its own, this book will be even more intriguing when it can be compared with Sherman's.
“Worshipping the State: How Liberalism Became Our State Religion” by Benjamin Wiker (Regnery, available March 25) — The author, a Discovery Institute and St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology senior fellow with a doctorate in theological ethics, contends secular liberals began trying to “de-Christianize” Western civilization and establish an “official state religion” of unbelief in America long before President Obama took office, according to the publisher. Wiker says they use neutrality, pluralism and tolerance as pretexts, deliberately misinterpret the First Amendment and church-state separation, and want dependence on and worship of government to supplant religious faith. He traces their philosophical roots to Machiavelli and Locke and says their aim is something the Founders never intended the First Amendment to do: “drive religion out of the public square.”
SORRY, YOU WON'T BE READING THESE
Presidential biographies are so numerous that it can be hard to keep track of them all — a task made more enjoyable, if no easier, when somebody has a little fun with the genre, as Jamie Weinstein did this past week.
Co-author with Will Rahn of the satirical e-book “The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer,” which publisher Broadside says answers the question, “What if every farfetched conspiracy theory about Barack Obama turned out to be true?”, he posted the following — including the note at the end — on The Daily Caller website ( dailycaller.com ):
REVEALED: Nine explosive presidential biographies to be released in 2013
The Daily Caller reveals for the first time 9 explosive presidential biographies set for publication in 2013:
9.) The Presidency of William Henry Harrison: 30 Days that Shaped America and Changed the World
8.) Camelot Before Camelot: What John F. Kennedy Learned From King Arthur
7.) The Man, The Myth, The Muttonchops: The Life and Presidency of Chester A. Arthur
6.) Mornings In Bathtubs: The Stout Presidency of William Howard Taft
5.) Cherry Tree Chop: George Washington and the Rise of the Radical Anti-Environmental Right
4.) James K. Polk's War on Hispanics
3.) James Town: Cove Gap, the Birthplace of James Buchanan
2.) When Ears Don't Hear: Woodrow Wilson, the Paris Peace Conference and the Rise of Pol Pot
1.) Hoover: A President, Not Just a Vacuum Cleaner
Editors Note: This is not real. Hopefully you've realized that by now.
Alan Wallace is a Trib Total Media editorial page writer (412-320-7983 or awallace@ tribweb.com).
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