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The prairie populist strikes again


Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush: More Political Subversion from Jim Hightower
By Jim Hightower
Viking, 234 pp., $21.95
Michael Moore is making millions mocking the Bush administration, and Jon Stewart's wry take on the same topic is bringing gusts of hilarity into homes across the nation every weeknight on The Daily Show. But Jim Hightower may in fact be the best wisecracker on the American Left.

The former Texas secretary of agriculture and recent star of the Rolling Thunder Democracy Tour, Hightower is a modern-day Will Rogers, of sorts. He has the unique talent of being able to find both a political lesson and a humorous maxim in just about any piece of national news. What's more, he's enough of a wonk to keep the discussion focused, in practical terms, on just which policies help put power in the hands of the people.

So Hightower is uniquely suited for skewering the White House's elitist cadre. In his latest book, Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush, he uses a satirical framework to offer up "six perfectly good reasons to elect George W. Bush." Curious to see how far global warming can go? Eager for a diet of genetically modified foods? Seeking a national security state that rifles though your personal life? If so, then Bush is your man, Hightower argues.

And he covers it all with hearty doses of fact, common sense, and most importantly, humor. Hightower's clearly having fun, and he makes a good case that beating Bush would be a blast.

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