This book considers the policy of the George W. Bush administration towards issues such as abortion, sex education, obscenity and same-sex marriage. It suggests that, although accounts have often emphasised the ties between George W. Bush and the Christian right, the administration's strategy was, at least until early 2005, largely directed towards the courting of middle-ground opinion. The study offers a detailed and comprehensive survey of policy making; assesses the political significance of moral concerns; evaluates the role of the Christian Right; and throws new light on George W. Bush's years in office and the character of his thinking.
The election of Barack Obama was a milestone in US history with tremendous symbolic importance for the black community. But was this symbolism backed up by substance? Did ordinary black people really benefit under the first black president? This is the question that Andra Gillespie sets out to answer in Race and the Obama Administration. Using a variety of methodological techniques—from content analysis of executive orders to comparisons of key indicators, such as homeownership and employment rates under Clinton, Bush, and Obama— the book charts the progress of black causes and provides valuable perspective on the limitations of presidential power in addressing issues of racial inequality. Gillespie uses public opinion data to investigate the purported disconnect between Obama’s performance and his consistently high ratings among black voters, asking how far the symbolic power of the first black family in the White House was able to compensate for the compromises of political office. Scholarly but accessible, Race and the Obama Administration will be of interest to students and lecturers in US politics and race studies, as well as to general readers who want to better understand the situation of the black community in the US today and the prospects for its improvement.
This book explores the way in which the Anglo-American new world order (NWO) debate changed by 9/11, and the encouragement this has given to the 'neoconservatives' or 'neocons' within the George W. Bush Administration. It examines the policy-making process as it developed before the Versailles Conference of 1919. An extensive literature exists on the 'lessons of Versailles' and particularly on the 'failure' of the League of Nations (LON), one that started even before the signature of the Treaty of Versailles. The book then explores how the Conference and the LON attempted to frame the immediate problems of the post-war period. It shows how NWO architects' thinking developed in what might be called the area of 'global security' from the period of the First World War until the present. The clear evidence is that the American thinking on the NWO had a huge impact in Britain's processes in the same direction. President Theodore Roosevelt shared a deep suspicion of British motives for the post-war settlement in line with most Americans. He attributed blame for the inter-war crisis as much to British and French intransigence and balance of power politics at Versailles as to German aggression. The results of the Versailles settlement hung like a cloud over Allied relationships during the Second World War and gave a powerful impetus in American circles for an attitude of 'never again'. The variety of historical archival material presented provided the background to the current and historical American obsession with creating the world order.
American television was about to be revolutionised by the advent of video on demand in 2007, when Netflix, having delivered over one billion DVDs, introduced streaming. This book explores the role that fictional television has played in the world politics of the US in the twenty-first century. It focuses on the second golden age of television, which has coincided with the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald J. Trump. The book is structured in three parts. Part I considers what is at stake in rethinking the act of watching television as a political and academic enterprise. Part II considers fictional television shows dealing explicitly with the subject matter of formal politics. It explores discourses of realpolitik in House of Cards and Game of Thrones, arguing that the shows reinforce dominant assumptions that power and strategy inevitably trump ethical considerations. It also analyses constructions of counterterrorism in Homeland, The West Wing, and 24, exploring the ways in which dominant narratives have been contested and reinforced since the onset of the War on Terror. Part III considers television shows dealing only implicitly with political themes, exploring three shows that make profound interventions into the political underpinnings of American life: The Wire, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. Finally, the book explores the legacies of The Sopranos and Mad Men, as well as the theme of resistance in The Handmaid's Tale.
Beneath the violence of the U.S. war in Iraq was a subterranean conflict between President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, rooted in their different beliefs and leadership styles. Bush was prepared to pay a high cost in American lives, treasure, and prestige to win. Rumsfeld favored turning the war over to the Iraqis, and was comfortable with the risk that Iraq would disintegrate into chaos. Only after Bush removed Rumsfeld in late 2006 did he bring U.S. strategy into line with his goals, sending additional troops to Iraq and committing to continued U.S. involvement. Bush abandoned Rumsfeld’s withdrawal approach, predicated upon the beliefs that “it's the Iraqis’ country,” and “we have to take our hand off the bicycle seat.” In Leaders in Conflict, Stephen Benedict Dyson shows that Bush and Rumsfeld thought about international politics, and about leadership, in divergent ways. The president embraced binary thinking, was visceral in his commitment to the war, and had a strong belief that the U.S. both could and should shape events in Iraq. The secretary saw the world as complex, and was skeptical of the extent of U.S. influence over events and of the moral imperative to stay involved. The book is based upon more than two dozen interviews with administration insiders, and appeals to those interested in the U.S. foreign policy, the U.S. presidency, leadership and wartime decision making.
TBA_A02.qxd 08/02/2007 11:18 AM Page 1
Introduction: the Bush administration,
sex and the moral agenda
Despite the passions of those who admire him, few US presidents
seem to have attracted so much critical comment as GeorgeW. Bush.
The opprobrium has been particularly pronounced outside the US. In
Britain, the Daily Mirror asked in a headline published the day after Bush’s
November 2004 re-election victory: ‘How can 59,054,087 people be
The president’s ratings are signiﬁcantly better in the US, but his period
of ofﬁce has still provoked intense
became a partisan issue. In the November 2004 presidential contest, 77 per cent of those who felt that abortion should always
be illegal backed GeorgeW. Bush while 73 per cent of those who believed
that abortion should always be legal supported Senator John Kerry.3
While partisan polarization is evident among party identiﬁers, it is
even more pronounced at the parties’ national conventions and on Capitol
Hill. The Democrats’ presidential election platforms implicitly supported
abortion rights from 1972 and offered explicit backing to the Roe
ruling from 1980 onwards
Anglo-American ironies under Clinton, Blair, and Bush
Culture matters – it united Clinton and Blair, then Blair and Bush. They inherited and shared a political discourse, shared memories constructed on the ‘special relationship,’ a shared propensity to lead, a cultural affinity, and personal friendships. When British prime minister Tony Blair entered 10 Downing Street in 1997, his close relations with US presidents Bill Clinton and GeorgeW. Bush began another chapter in the affinity between US and UK leaders built on the famous relationship that Churchill coined as ‘special’ in Fulton, Missouri in
When GeorgeW. Bush fired Donald H.
Rumsfeld in November 2006, he ended a conflict. Not the Iraq war, which
would go on for several more years, but a war about the war, fought in
the shadows and engaged largely through inaction, the fudging of
differences, and misdirection rather than open hostilities. In Iraq, the
president was prepared to pay a high cost in American lives, treasure
to be appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services in GeorgeW. Bush’s administration – had already begun to respond to these sentiments.
There was, however, a contrast between initiatives such as these and developments in Washington DC. For many, the Bush administration appeared
distant and uninterested in domestic policy concerns. In contrast to the sense
of direction seemingly offered at state level and by the Reagan administration,
Bush ridiculed the ‘vision thing’.7 He also, as his conservative critics emphasised, backed measures that appeared