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Download Fire-Breathing Liberal: How I Learned to Survive (and Thrive) in the Contact Sport of Congress epub

by Robert Wexler

There’s a reason The Nation, America’s leading progressive magazine, named Robert Wexler the country’s “Most Valuable Congressman.” It's the same reason right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh refers to him as “disgusting.” It's because for the last twelve years Wexler has been Congress’s most outspoken liberal -- taking on George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Alberto Gonzales, General David Petraeus, and, when necessary, even his own party.

In Fire-Breathing Liberal, Wexler brings readers onto the floor of the House and puts them at the center of some of the last decade’s biggest controversies. He passionately describes how he defended Bill Clinton from impeachment and how he stood up against the Bush brothers when the “butterfly” ballots in his Florida district wrongly decided the 2000 presidential election. He also offers an honest and brutal assessment of the Iraq war and explains why he has become a leader in the movement to impeach Vice President Cheney. And, with warmth and wit, Wexler shares some of the funniest stories from the corridors of Congress, including how he became The Colbert Report’s most talked-about guest.

This is a remarkably candid first-person account of recent political history that shows government as it has rarely been seen -- by a Democrat in the middle of the storms.

Download Fire-Breathing Liberal: How I Learned to Survive (and Thrive) in the Contact Sport of Congress epub
ISBN: 0312366442
ISBN13: 978-0312366445
Category: Politics
Subcategory: Politics & Government
Author: Robert Wexler
Language: English
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (June 24, 2008)
Pages: 288 pages
ePUB size: 1256 kb
FB2 size: 1775 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 548
Other Formats: rtf txt mbr lrf

By the time I reached Wexler's account of the 2000 election (the 'butterfly-and-chad' troubles occurred right in Wexler's South Florida district) and to the Supreme Court's subsequent installation of George W. Bush as President (a crime carried out by political appointees of W's father, who cautioned -- if you can believe this! -- that their ruling should not be used as a precedent!), I was literally feverish with rage. This section brought back to me all the dismay and gut-wrenching anger we citizens suffered through while we stood by and watched a coup take place -- on our cowardly watch! How we can look ourselves in our mirrors eight years later...? It's enough to make one sick!

Up until that point (the section on the 2000 election thievery comes near the end), this book was an entertaining and, for me, educational look at the workings of Congress, and how a rookie representative might experience DC. By the end of the book I felt renewed admiration for Wexler -- if Congress was filled by people as outspoken as he is, I might even proudly call myself a Democrat.

My one complaint about the book is that Wexler goes easy on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; he repeatedly goes after Bush and Cheney for violating the Constitution and their sworn oaths to defend it, but Wexler never points out that Nancy Pelosi also took such an oath and violated it by taking impeachment "off the table." I am dying to have someone ask Pelosi in public, "Under exactly what authority did you do that?" -- but Wexler lets her off the hook here. Still, now that my fever is subsiding, I am very glad to have read this book. And I'd love to see Wexler become Obama's vice-presidential pick.
Thank goodness for Robert Wexler! He is a brave, fearless leader who gives a voice in Congress for those of us who have been left behind for so long.
It is refreshing to read about things from the view of a representative who is truly representing the people in America.
This book should be required reading in our schools today!!
Robert Wexler's book should be required reading for all civics students and political science majors. He reveals the inner workings of legislation in an easy read that will educate all.
Great book. Informative and a fun read. Expect to get mad but get up and do something about it!
Congressman Wexler has alerted all who read his book as to the shenanigans that go on in congress and how to participate and survive in this hot mess.
Congressman Wexler writes fast and in fine strokes, giving one an intimate view of politics on the Hill. His Florida re-hashing of the "re-count" was even more shocking than I had observed, probably because I watched CNN too much and needed to switch channels more. (The author was very disenchanted with CNN at that time.)

On his attitude toward Bill Clinton, I felt he was somewhat Puritan, whereas he talked to the President frequently and gave him vast support. A MAJOR U.S. newspaper had reported that only three presidents (Lincoln, Truman and Carter) most probably did not deviate sexually while in the White House. I say, give Clinton a break! Afterall, Gandi and Jefferson were on the list. But I'll give Wexler credit for being a brave and outspoken fighter against the impeachment.

Incidentally, the author says he's a Liberal, not a "Progressive" like some are using now to "soften" the blow. Don't they know that Liberal is a word from Regency England that started in the early 1800s and included mostly the very wealthy? I'm proud of him for being a Liberal.

If one reads this book, one will probably want to go back to college and study poly sci, after reading Wexler's explanation of Washington politics in laymen's terms. A totally fascinating read!
I have only become aware of Robert Wexler in the last 3 or 4 years, but I can't help but like the guy. He's one of the few unapologetic liberals in the House today, and he's one of the few who has signed on to Dennis Kucinich's articles of impeachment against both President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

The book is largely an autobiography, with Wexler describing his political career from the Florida state legislature to the U.S. House of Representatives. He is outspoken in his views, and his passion is evident in the text. Much of the material he presents is well documented in the annals of U.S. politics, including the Clinton impeachment, the 2000 presidential election, and the embarrassing Terri Schiavo grandstanding, but it's interesting to see one legislator's perspective on each of these events. Additionally, Wexler gives his take on the differences between how Republicans lead Congress, and how Democrats do it. Fairly or unfairly, the representative's take is that is that the GOP is focused on winning at all costs, changing the rules to solidify their own position while excluding Democrats whenever possible, and strong-arming their own members to always vote the party line even if it means alienating their own constituents. In contrast, he says Democrats rule with a greater emphasis on fairness and flexibility, often, unfortunately, to their own detriment.

The book is a bit of a lightweight read, without a great deal of Democratic theory or political philosophy. In that regard, it is somewhat topical, and it won't likely influence anyone's political leanings. But Wexler's tone is breezy and conversational, and he injects a surprising amount of humor in each chapter, making for a highly entertaining book.