American Theocracy : The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, by former top GOP strategist Kevin Phillips, is #2 on the NY Times bestseller list. That's a hopeful sign.
The reviews on the left have been mixed, but most people are simply relieved to hear from an old school Republican who isn't a Bush apologist. I haven't read the book yet, but I love the dedication: "This book is dedicated to the millions of Republicans, present and lapsed, who have opposed the Bush dynasty and the disenlightenment in the 2000 and 2004 elections."
I've heard and read several interviews with Phillips, but have yet to hear anyone ask him if he's still a registered Republican.
Here are excerpts from a piece he wrote in Sunday's Washington Post:
Now that the GOP has been transformed by the rise of the South, the trauma of terrorism and George W. Bush's conviction that God wanted him to be president, a deeper conclusion can be drawn: The Republican Party has become the first religious party in U.S. history.If you're in the Bay Area, Phillips will be speaking tonight at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley.
We have had small-scale theocracies in North America before -- in Puritan New England and later in Mormon Utah. Today, a leading power such as the United States approaches theocracy when it meets the conditions currently on display: an elected leader who believes himself to speak for the Almighty, a ruling political party that represents religious true believers, the certainty of many Republican voters that government should be guided by religion and, on top of it all, a White House that adopts agendas seemingly animated by biblical worldviews.
Over a quarter-century of Bush presidencies and vice presidencies, the Republican Party has slowly become the vehicle of all three interests -- a fusion of petroleum-defined national security; a crusading, simplistic Christianity; and a reckless credit-feeding financial complex. The three are increasingly allied in commitment to Republican politics. On the most important front, I am beginning to think that the Southern-dominated, biblically driven Washington GOP represents a rogue coalition, like the Southern, proslavery politics that controlled Washington until Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860.