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Democrats raised an unprecedented level of funds in their attempt to elect John Kerry to the White House, and not just through contributing to directly to Kerry's campaign. Led by George Soros and his multimillion-dollar donations, money flowed to liberal groups like MoveOn that tried to push hard on President Bush's record. They failed, York argues, because rather than bringing new voters into the party, the activists perpetuated "closed loops" that preached solely to the choir. When such emotionally zealous activists made their way into Democratic inner circles, their scorn for anyone who held opposing points of view, York contends, may well have hurt efforts to reach out to swing voters. A detailed financial breakdown takes aim at the hype surrounding Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, demonstrating its failure to reach significant audiences outside the bluest parts of the blue states. York, the White House correspondent for the National Review, hits the Democrats particularly hard on allegations that they tried to skirt campaign finance laws by blurring-perhaps even crossing-the lines between the presidential campaign and issue advocacy groups prohibited from endorsing candidates. He largely refrains from taunting the liberals for their electoral failures, making his analysis of the flaws in the left-wing's self-insulated power structure valuable to readers on either side of the political fence.
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Although the Left was unable to unseat President Bush in the last election, it was hugely successful at building the foundation for stronger institutions and platforms in the future, according to York, White House correspondent for National Review. York details how the Left--angry and frustrated by Clinton's impeachment proceedings and the hotly contested 2000 election--mounted a campaign that tapped innovative ideas from movies and Web sites as fund-raising tools. With supporters from MoveOn.com, filmmaker Michael Moore, comedian Al Franken, and billionaire George Soros, the Left has bypassed political parties to reach voters and launch a counterattack against what they see as the evils of the Right. York offers a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of MoveOn; the rising use of "527" organizations, which have evaded campaign-reform laws; and a host of figures and events that promise growing strength for the Left as it prepares for future elections. Political junkies will love this fascinating look at how the Left is regrouping. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.