I started reading Kevin Phillips’ American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush this weekend. Naturally, the book is about four generations of Walkers and Bushes that have created an intricate web of connections which have led to political and economic power — which are virtually inseparable for them. The interesting thing about the book (and Phillips’ other studies, such as Wealth and Democracy) is that Phillips is a long-time Republican.
Phillips is a former Nixon staff member, and author of the classic Emerging Republican Majority, back in the late 1960’s. Phillips isn’t switching parties, but he is “appalled” at the direction that the Republican party has taken under the two Bush presidencies. In particular, the rampant “crony capitalism” combined with deep connections in military and defense contracting, energy and oil, combined with connections to foreign governments, creates a “dynastic” effect which was clearly thought to be inimical to democracy by the Founding Fathers.
I’ll post more as I get into the book, but even a few chapters in, it’s clear this is a must-read for folks concerned about the election this November.