“We have to fight back.” —Al Franken
The Left is angry—angry at President George W. Bush, the war in Iraq, the “right-wing media,” and more. And as National Review investigative writer Byron York reveals in his stunning, meticulously reported book, The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, that liberal activists have harnessed that anger to build the biggest, richest, and best organized political movement in American history.
Indeed, the Left’s failure to oust President Bush in 2004 has obscured the fact that this new movement has transformed American politics. York documents the staggering scope of liberals’ efforts—the record sums of money spent, the “shell game” financial maneuvers, the close coordination between “nonpartisan” groups and the Democratic Party, the revolutionary approaches to fund-raising and reaching out to voters, the pioneering use of movies and websites as campaign tools, and more.
The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy provides a startling behind-the-scenes look at this powerful liberal movement. York brings the reader into secret powwows at Soros’s Hamptons estate, into the Chinese restaurant where MoveOn is born, to a gala event where Al Franken rants about the evils of the right wing, to fund-raisers where liberals openly mock the election laws they’re ignoring, to the movie premiere where Michael Moore is feted by top-ranking Democrats, into the Washington restaurant where Democratic operatives hatch their plan, and to many other spots along the way.
One thing above all becomes clear: Despite their failure to win in 2004, liberals will only keep improving the well-oiled political machine they built.
From Publishers Weekly
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 in his book The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, 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 in his book, The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, 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
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“[In The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy] Byron York shines a brilliant light into the very heart of liberal darkness. An essential guide to how the Far Left tried to take power in 2004—and how it hopes to succeed in 2008.” —David Frum, bestselling author of The Right Man
“Byron York is one of the best reporters in America today. His calm, intelligent questions to the Al Frankens and John Podestas of this world puncture leftist pretensions like a pin in a balloon. The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy punctures even such Hindenburgs as Michael Moore and George Soros. York takes his place with Tom Wolfe as a chronicler of the Left’s folly.” —Mona Charen, bestselling author of Useful Idiots and Do-Gooders
“With this book, Byron York becomes the foremost chronicler, and most informed critic, of the anti-Bush Left. It’s an indispensable guide to a ferocious, and sometimes frightening, new force in our politics.” —Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, bestselling author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years
“Byron York, a reporter’s reporter, has given us the definitive account of the workings of the liberal-left activist groups in the 2004 election and how, despite their insularity, their sanctimony, and their failures, they transformed American politics.” —John Corry, former New York Times media critic
“For years Byron York has reported on the clashes between Right and Left, red and blue states, regular people and the elites—always in an illuminating, entertaining, and compelling manner. Now he methodically and masterfully exposes the inner workings of the left-wing cabal that has taken over the Democratic Party. Three politically incorrect cheers for York!” —Laura Ingraham, radio talk show host, bestselling author of Shut Up and Sing
About the Author
Byron York is the White House correspondent for National Review. He also writes a regular column for The Hill, a newspaper about Congress, and has written for the Atlantic Monthly, Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, and New York Post, among other publications. A frequent guest on television and radio, he has appeared on such programs as Meet the Press, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, The O’Reilly Factor, Tim Russert, Special Report with Brit Hume, and Hardball and has contributed occasional commentaries to National Public Radio. He lives in Washington, D.C.