A Love-Hate Thing

Bruce Bartlett, the former Reagan-Bush I administration official fired from his gig at the locally based National Center for Policy Analysis think tank, is getting much pub these days. (Bush-bashing is, after all, the new aqua.) After appearing on the Dallas Observer cover two weeks ago, he's been spotted on Fox News Channel and CNN, in Slate and The New York Times, even on National Public Radio's Fresh Air, where host Terry Gross gave Bartlett the entire show to plug his book Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy. (Bartlett also gets ample space to plug President Bush).

Today, Impostor got reviewed in The Washington Times, the Bush-friendly, Moon-controlled paper to which Bartlett contributes a regular column. He got the embrace that winds up with a knife in the back. Surely, Bartlett expected this one:

"The author makes some compelling points that will both please and anger those on all sides of the ideological divide. The book is, however, plagued by a consistent political naivete that is surprising coming from someone who has been in the trenches for as long as Mr. Bartlett has. It is easy to criticize an administration (of either party) when you don't have to answer to voters or 535 members of Congress, each with his or her own agenda...Those flaws, and the author's generally tedious writing style, notwithstanding, the book is worth paying attention to because of Mr. Bartlett's insightful analyses of a range of issues."

The entire review can be read here. --Robert Wilonsky

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