I have embedded a few gifs in this review because I thought a visual aid might help add to my feelings about this particular book.
I just ‘finished’ Barons of the Beltway by Michelle Fields. Normally I avoid books about politics since I have a distaste for politics in general. My father loved to have ‘spirited discussions’ about politics despite being on the opposite side of the spectrum from my mother. My mom hated it and so did I. The whole thing hasn’t grown on me since but this particular title stood out to me, especially in our current circumstances.
It’s about how out of touch congress is with normal Americans and how many tax dollars are being wasted. Given the history of our Cheeto in Chief, I was very curious. I knew Fields was a former journalist for Breitbart but I figured if she was a journalist she’d try to maintain something resembling neutrality. Nope. So much nope.
Barons started off well and the first third felt very balanced. However the entirety of ‘Life After Service’ and the following chapter was Fields reaming democrats. I know Fields was biased but Basement Cat on a toaster, the Republicans aren’t angels either. You’re telling me for two whole chapters Republicans have done nothing to complain about? The Bush twins never wasted tax payer dollars? Most Republican members of congress aren’t entitled asshats? Come on.
I stopped taking it seriously at that point. After spending around 50 pages talking about the evils of the Clintons and King Obama (yes, she actually calls him that), she finally laid into Jeb Bush. Not his father, brother, or nieces whose antics wasted plenty of dollars, just Jeb.
The evils of Jeb Bush were not enough to redeem the book for me. I just started skimming on any Democrat she complained about. Oh, Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton are evil money whores again? Skip to the next section. Which is really a shame because Fields is making an incredibly important argument.
So many members of Congress are wealthy and out of touch with what their constituents need and how they live. They are not members of the royal court but people in public service only out for self service. The ultimate proof in people not being held accountable is being acted out live before us as President Trump makes a glorious mockery of democracy.
I gave up before I got to the ‘what can we do’ section because I didn’t trust Fields’s answers. How do I know it wasn’t just more conservative propaganda instead of something actually constructive? We need to figure out something to do to make our government accountable and it needs to come from a place both sides can trust.