Like a newly discovered treasure map offering a path to buried riches, Foxes in the Henhouse is a hard-hitting political blueprint for how the Democrats can win again in the South and rural America. The authors document the Republicans' rise in the South and Midwest, expose the hypocrisy that marked their ascent, and offer a take-no-prisoners plan to kick them out.
The authors know of what they speak. "Rural strategists" Steve Jarding and Dave "Mudcat" Saunders are famous for securing Democratic victories in places they shouldn't have -- most notably in Mark Warner's successful run for governor of Virginia, a campaign that wasn't afraid to use bluegrass concerts and NASCAR to get the message out.
When George W. Bush swept the South clean in 2004, it was the final insult to Jarding and Saunders, two self-proclaimed "bubbas" on a mission to convince their fellow southerners and rural Americans that the GOP's claim of representing "values," patriotism, the sportsmen, and fiscal conservatism is a disastrous farce. In addition to exposing the lies behind the gradual Republican invasion of the hinterland that began in the 1960s, they offer some surprisingly simple strategies for Democrats to capture each of these issues. Among other things, Jarding and Saunders urge Democrats to
Quit turning their noses up at the culture of rural America and talk to people where they live
Learn how to count when going after votes
Show some passion and retaliate when Republicans assassinate their characters
Packed with meticulous and shocking research findings; blunt, laugh-out-loud language; and merciless assaults on George W. Bush, Tom DeLay, Bill O'Reilly, and plenty of other right-wing charlatans, Foxes in the Henhouse is a must-read and will be one of the most talked-about books of the year and for election cycles to come.
Those who stayed up late to watch with worry or woke in dismay after the November 2004 presidential elections will welcome this answer to "How in the Hell did this happen?" as the first chapter, aptly titled, promises to explain. In this humorous discussion of what went wrong and how to change it, Harvard professor Jarding and Virginia politico Saunders present a method to secure a Democratic victory by gaining the lead in the South and the Midwest. The book encourages Democrats to open their minds to the rural culture of "Bubbas," or blue collar, religious folks who despise government intrusion, have been voting Republican and would respond to political "NASCAR marketing." Jarding and Saunders keep it lively, interspersing low-blow jabs at Republicans with statistics, political history and strategies for Democrats to connect with Bubbas over contentious issues like gun control, environmental protection, gay marriage and abortion.