Why we did it A travelogue from the Republican road to Hell

Tim Miller, 1981-

Book - 2022

"An account of a former Republican political activist's horror as the party he loves becomes the party of Trump"--

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2nd Floor 324.2734/Miller Checked In
2nd Floor 324.2734/Miller Checked In
2nd Floor 324.2734/Miller Checked In
2nd Floor 324.2734/Miller Checked In
2nd Floor 324.2734/Miller Checked In
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2022]
First edition
Item Description
Includes index.
Physical Description
xxii, 259 pages ; 24 cm
Main Author
Tim Miller, 1981- (author)
  • Introduction
  • The comforting lie
  • Compartmentalizer-in-chief
  • The game
  • Gay traitor degrading the discourse
  • Centering the comment section
  • Red meat for the crocodiles
  • The breakup
  • Inertia
  • The enablers
  • The little mix
  • The nerd-revenging team player
  • The strivers
  • The cartel-crashing, team-laying, tribalist trolls
  • The junior messiah and the OG demagogue
  • The demonizer and the never Trumper
  • The big lie.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

"America never would have gotten into this mess if it weren't for me and my friends," writes former Republican operative Miller in this anguished yet entertaining exposé of the party's enthrallment to Donald Trump. Reflecting on his early experiences as a PR consultant and spokesman for John McCain's 2007 Republican primary campaign, Miller admits that in an era when success "was so often removed from political beliefs," he "ma allowances" for Republican opposition to gay marriage, despite being a closeted gay man himself at the time. (He's proud, however, of his role in calling attention to the story that Mitt Romney more than once drove 12 hours with the family dog strapped to the roof of the car.) Comparing the "brainteasers I was playing with my closeted self" to the mental gymnastics of mainstream Republicans who hopped on the Trump bandwagon, Miller also documents the "informal working relationship" he developed with Breitbart cofounder Steve Bannon, despite their "deeply conflicting values and big-picture objectives," and examines the forces--including House Speaker Paul Ryan's departure--that pushed congresswoman Elise Stefanik to "take the red pill and open her mind to the great MAGA future." Witty prose, colorful anecdotes, and copious insider details make this a worthwhile dissection of how Republican "Never Trumpers" got pushed aside. (June)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

Former Republican political operative Miller, now an MSNBC contributor and Bulwark writer, offers an insider's account of the extremism that has come to define the Republican Party. He places the blame squarely on former friends and colleagues (many interviewed here), whom, he argues, knew exactly what they were doing--inciting a mob for their own gain.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

A former GOP operative explores possible reasons why so many of his peers fell for Trumpism. "Why in the fuck did the vast, vast, vast majority of seemingly normal, decent people whom I worked with go along with the most abnormal, indecent of men? And why hadn't I seen it coming?" So wonders Miller, a communications whiz who locates the demise of the reasonable Republican Party of old in several key events of the last two decades. One was John McCain's acceding to cynicism in adding Sarah Palin to the ticket--but more, when he pandered to the tea party mob with demands to end immigration from Mexico with his "complete the danged fence" rhetoric, "a nakedly halfhearted version of the Build. The. Wall. chant that was to come." Numerous other stomach-churning turning points figure in the triumph of Trumpism, aided and abetted by an array of actors: the "LOL Nothing Matters Republicans" who "had decided that if someone like Trump could win, then everything that everyone does in politics is meaningless"; the "Tribalist Trolls" who demanded that nationalist ideas take center stage; and the "Inert Team Players" who couldn't imagine doing anything apart from being loyal Republicans, so much so that "the idea of being anything besides that is inconceivable." There were also countless self-serving, self-dealing players who attached themselves to Trump in the hope of taking a share of the big grift. While delivering a carefully argued account of how things went awry, Miller is unsparing in his descriptions of latter-day GOP figures such as Elise Stefanik, who "made a conscious choice to go all-in with her own personal Voldemort because she came to recognize that her popularity, fundraising, and ability to rise within the party would benefit"; and Corey Lewandowski, "a shriveled skin-flute-looking man with no appreciable skills outside of recognizing the popularity of unrestrained Trumpism." At once sobering and entertaining, a eulogy for a GOP run amok. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.