Breach of Trust Hardcover – Sep 11 2003
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About the Author
Senator Tom Coburn is a former business owner and practicing physician. He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994. A true citizen legislator, he honored his self-imposed term limits pledge and left Congress in 2001. The author of Breach of Trust, a congressional exposé, he returned to public service in 2004 after a successful campaign for the U.S. Senate.
John Hart was Dr. Coburn's press secretary from 1997 until 2000. In 1994, he became the youngest person ever to win an Amy Writing Award. He lives in Washington DC with his wife, Kimberly, and is now serving as the Communications Director for U.S. Representative Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina.
Physician and former Congressman Tom Coburn is a passionate man, with equally ardent views about Congress, the Constitution, and his faith. Characterized by some as a maverick, Coburn examines Washington from a perspective rarely heard. He believes, for example, that Congress should restrict its activities to the letter of the Constitution, and his self-limited three terms in Congress were based on his view that career legislators are bad for the country. Coburn's memoir is interesting, although many points he presents as novel are well known. BREACH OF TRUST is surprisingly entertaining, although Coburn's extreme views will certainly infuriate many readers. Richard Fredricks reads with a twangy voice that is generally effective. Unfortunately, at times he reads far too fast, requiring the listener to exert some effort just to keep pace. D.J.S. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Tom Cogburn's an MD who goes to congress as one in a group of spirited, idealistic conservatives, hatched and spoon-fed upon Reagan era ideas about the expenditure of taxpayer money. Think of the David Stockman budget cuts and government internal clashes and shutdowns in the 1980s. This book updates us, brings us to a close-up of the 90s budget struggles. Clinton's the president and the economy is buoyed up by a stock market boom cycle. The U.S. is experiencing the benefits of a bankrupt Soviet Union, the Democrats are crowing about something called a "peace dividend", and there is large-scale military downsizing. Meanwhile, Republican ideologues are hard at work downsizing the domestic services bureaucracy. A classic liberal vs. conservative fiscal battle is taking place. Cogburn's culminating event is the 1997 budget battle between President Bill Clinton and the Republicans led by Newt Gingrich and a vast team of bright-eyed spending conservatives united in the single purpose of saying no to spending increases. The spending conservatives are the children of the "Reagan Revolution" and they've all taken the primary oath of self-imposed term limits.
During one of the longest and most protracted government shutdowns, Republican veteran Bob Dole says enough is enough! Dole chastizes his idealistic Republican confreres for what appears to be a prima donna obstinacy.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The author's conclusions, based on his experience as a three-term Congressman, are consistent with both the recent polls that show that Americans damn both the Democrats and the Republicans as corrupt and ineffective at representing We the People, and with books such as Peter Peterson's "Running On Empty: How The Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It."
As a moderate Republican, I found this book representative precisely of the vision I signed up to in the 1970's--smaller government, less waste, more discretion to the states.
Two quotes really stand out:
xix: "Although the events o September 11, 2001 have focused the public attention on the threat of international terrorism, the greatest threat to the continuity of our form of government is our government itself."
79: "What makes this [Party Line] mentality dangerous is that when the team is held together by careerism and mindless partisanship, individual members are punished for thinking for themselves [or their Districts]. When members can't think for themselves their constituents are deprived of honest representation."
The book itemizes the positive aspects of the "Contract with America" that the Republican class of 1994 hoped to achieve, and blasts Newt Gingrich for failing to honor the contract and failing as a leader.
Robert Novak is to be complemented for his superb foreword and his support of this book.
All of my reading suggests that America is ready to demand that the bulk of their representatives follow the example of the Member from Vermont, and declare Independence from the two corrupt incumbent parties. America appears to be ready for a new political party that will restore government of, by, and for the people. This book is a good starting point, and makes the case for discarding both parties as being so corrupt and unrepresentative as to be beyond salvation. We are on our own.
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