The Swamp: Washington's Murky Pool of Corruption and Cronyism -- and How Trump Can Drain It by Eric Bolling
In THE SWAMP: WASHINGTON'S MURKY POOL OF CORRUPTION AND CRONYISM, Eric Bolling presents some simple, common sense proposals to end special interest politics in Washington.
Both political parties get a beating by the author, but perhaps Liberals get a bigger beating. Naturally, the main scandals of recent years are each given a few pages. President Clinton gets his own chapter, 12, "Contract with American, Contact with an Intern." I didn't find anything really new or surprising there.
The GOP takes it licks as well, especially in Chapter 10, "From Great Society to -GATE Society." The author pulls no punches in exposing the deceit of Nixon, as well as the disgrace of Vice President Spiro Agnew.
The governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford gets several pages documenting his bizarre outing to see his mistress in Argentina. Eric notes that the scandal didn't keep him from being elected to congress:
"One of the most embarrassingly bungled extramarital affairs in history was not a disqualification ... from rejoining the ecosystem of the Swamp."
I thought the most insightful point the author makes is this: The morass in Washington didn't happen quickly, and it didn't happen due to just one party: "Remember that the Swamp is not just something created by the left. Fight the whole "establishment" because it’s just as dangerous as the liberal opposition."
I thought the final part of the book, "Conclusion," had the meatiest points. Eric explains how the Founding Fathers foresaw something like a Swamp. They wrote the Constitution in such a way as to reign-in the "Swamp Creatures." They envisioned limited government because "They saw how many different ways government could go wrong."
Again, not really a new or startling point, but still a good point, I think.
The retelling of all the tawdry affairs was mildly interesting; however, there were also some scandals new to me. Perhaps the wildest story was of the "Biggest BS artist" during the Eisenhower years. Eric tells the bizarre story of GOP congressman Douglas Stringfellow of Utah. He pretended to be paraplegic, and exaggerated tales of being a secret agent and of being tortured in a prison. He even made it on "This is Your Life." His Democratic colleagues ultimately dug up the real facts, leaving him disgraced. (Plus, probably no more TV appearances.)
So all in all, I found THE SWAMP to be an interesting record of the corruption of both parties. Most of the accounts were familiar to me, as I suspect they will be to most readers. The author's recommendation for the regular folk to rise up and demand change is a nice idea, but methinks a wee bit optimistic. Eric also recommends term limits and restrictions on lobbyists.