NO MARGIN FOR ERROR: America in the Eighties by

NO MARGIN FOR ERROR: America in the Eighties

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In a combination homily and campaign speech, Tennessee Senator and one-time Republican presidential candidate Howard Baker sets forth America's problems and ""what must be done"" to solve them. He covers a multitude of issues, foreign and domestic, beginning with Carter's isolation from Congress (the President, he says, needs an office in the Capitol) and the federal government's excessive interference in daily life. To combat inflation, we are given the Baker Principle: ""When you ride a roller coaster that's out of control you want to get off."" Our economy, of course, is the roller coaster; and Baker advises a constitutionally-mandated balanced budget as one way to apply the brakes. He takes a hard line on foreign policy, comparing our Vietnam withdrawal to Munich and calling Iran ""the ultimate symbol of the decline of American power"" since then. Correspondingly, he portrays the Soviets as dedicated to world revolution (""even the pretense of dÉtente is past""), but claims high motives for American actions abroad. Baker says little about Watergate (in one private chat, Nixon alluded to Mitchell's ""problems"") and offers few personal anecdotes except for a glimpse of father-in-law Everett Dirksen and LBJ as drinking buddies, and the news that Baker turned down the Supreme Court seat which went to William Rehnquist. ""I'm ready to wage my life's meaning,"" Baker concludes, ""that America will stay in the vanguard of human progress linked to human decency."" A conservative primer liberally laced with mom's apple pie.

Pub Date: June 25th, 1980
Publisher: Times Books