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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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 Library Journal Reviews

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. Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

"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) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

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

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Featuring astonishingly raw and candid interviews with former colleagues and friends who jumped on the Trump Train, a former Republican political operative delivers the most honest insider assessment of the mindset of those who contributed to Trump’s rise to date. 100,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERFormer Republican political operative Tim Miller answers the question no one else has fully grappled with: Why did normal people go along with the worst of Trumpism? As one of the strategists behind the famous 2012 RNC “autopsy,” Miller conducts his own forensic study on the pungent carcass of the party he used to love, cutting into all the hubris, ambition, idiocy, desperation, and self-deception for everyone to see. In a bracingly honest reflection on both his own past work for the Republican Party and the contortions of his former peers in the GOP establishment, Miller draws a straight line between the actions of the 2000s GOP to the Republican political class's Trumpian takeover, including the horrors of January 6th.From ruminations on the mental jujitsu that allowed him as a gay man to justify becoming a hitman for homophobes, to astonishingly raw interviews with former colleagues who jumped on the Trump Train, Miller diagrams the flattering and delusional stories GOP operatives tell themselves so they can sleep at night. With a humorous touch he reveals Reince Priebus' neediness, Sean Spicer's desperation, Elise Stefanik and Chris Christie’s raw ambition, and his close friends’ submission to a MAGA psychosis.Why We Did It is a vital, darkly satirical warning that all the narcissistic justifications that got us to this place still thrive within the Republican party, which means they will continue to make the same mistakes and political calculations that got us here, with disastrous consequences for the nation.