Painting the Map Red: The Fight to Create a Permanent Republican Majority by Hugh Hewitt
In this hard-hitting, well-written, and practical book aimed at the strategic imperatives of the 2006 and 2008 elections, conservative radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt lays out a plan to revive Republican fortunes, win a filibuster-proof Senate majority, and deal a knock-out blow to the Democratic Party. Hewitt argues that the Republicans' only hope for avoiding electoral disaster this year is to run a bold, nationalized campaign—instead of retreating to the localized, race-by-race approach common for incumbent parties on the defensive. Contending that Democrats are more radical than ever, he proposes a relentless attack on them as the party waging war on the military, religion, a sound judiciary, traditional marriage, and civil discourse.
Good advice as far as it goes, but the plan focuses much less on what the governing party should be for, summed up as "win the war, confirm the judges, cut the taxes, control the spending." Hewitt's call to build the Republican campaign around George W. Bush's trustworthiness (and the Democrats' lack thereof) will have to overcome the Left's three-year-long drive to cast doubt on the president's truthfulness in Iraq. Hewitt probably overestimates the long-term trouble Democrats face. With tens of millions of Americans dependent on the welfare state and liberals still dominating the mainstream media and educational establishment, it seems unlikely that Democrats will go the way of the Whigs anytime soon, even if the GOP runs flawless campaigns from coast to coast.
—Andrew E. Busch
Claremont McKenna College
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This article appeared in the Fall 2006 issue of the Claremont Review of Books