Sunday, July 6, 2003

Off With Their Heads, by Dick Morris

Zingers for 'traitors and crooks'

By Linda Cagnetti
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Remember the unity Americans felt after 9/11? Remember how the attack galvanized us to go to war on terror? So what happened to that resolve?

Dick Morris, political analyst and public mood-reader-extraordinaire, has some answers. In Off With Their Heads, he blames deceit and distortion by a half-dozen people, forces and institutions he labels "traitors, crooks, & obstructionists in American politics, media and business" (the book's subtitle). This essay collection won't change history, but it's a provocative take on what and who are undermining our national resolve and unity in the war on terror. At the very least, it's a juicy summer-lite read for political junkies.

Morris is the political wizard who masterminded President Clinton's re-election in 1996 after a 1994 Republican onslaught. He has worked for both Democrat and Republican high-level politicians and now is a commentator/analyst for Fox News Channel.

Whether or not you agree with Morris' conclusions, his insider details offer information you don't see or hear elsewhere. He zings a collection of targets he claims "threaten to overwhelm and outmaneuver our resolve and effort to battle terrorism." He points an accusing finger at ways he says an anti-war and anti-Bush crowd has "lied to, misled, pickpocketed and endangered" the public.

Without mercy, Morris castigates the national media for "a huge credibility gap" on the war in Iraq. He devotes a scathing chapter to the slanting "sins" of The New York Times and admonishes all Americans to "sharpen our sixth sense of when we are being manipulated by the news media."

Morris doesn't question his targets' patriotism or right to dissent. They must be answered or exposed, he says, because "they're simply misguided and wrong."

It matters, says baby boomer Morris, because the battle against terror will define our generation. Resolve counts.

Books that might have changed the world
Off With Their Heads, by Dick Morris
Eleanor of Aquitaine, by Alison Weir
The Emperor of Ocean Park, by Stephen L. Carter
The Press Effect, by Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Paul Waldman
A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
Letters to a Young Conservative, by Dinesh D'Souza

Arbitrator's ruling: Assistant chiefs
Hong Kong: New law protested
Hot cars: Leaving kids unattended
Cooperation, not control, at the heart of marriage
Readers' Views