Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives
05 Sep 2012
This book is more like a collection of stories about members of Congress than it is a coherent narrative that tells a specific story. It certainly tells stories about the same time period (112th United States Congress), and naturally the same events but it doesn’t tell the same story or even one story. It’s mostly, I think, what the author was able to find out about these congresspeople that he covered during that period of time. Some of these congresspeople are Democrats and some are Republicans but mostly the focus is on the Tea Party congresspeople (mostly, congressmen). The most fascinating character has to be Allen West. The author treats him that way, and he is that way. The book seem to revolve around Kevin McCarthy but Allen West seems the most colorful character. He’s a man of his conventions, has a view of the world and no length of discussion or strength of argument will change that. He seems sincere but mostly a moron who refuses to accept reality to be able to change it. The book is mostly a first draft of history. It’s a lot of individual stories that you would find in a newspaper article collected in a book. It draws a picture of these congresspeople and what they’re like, beyond their press statements and policy positions. I’ve listened to an audio version of the book and the narration is good. It’s difficult to follow at time because there are too many characters to follow. The book is a good warm up for the 2012 election.