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Terri McCormick reviews

In the modern, polarized atmosphere between the political parties, books that describe political dirty tricks and their consequences are routine. What is extremely unusual about this one is that the author was a Republican in the Wisconsin state legislature and her fellow Republicans executed the tricks that were played on her. McCormick chronicles a sad and disgraceful situation where the Republican front row political elements (and some Democrats) played a cynical game where the order of importance was:

1) Self
2) Party
3) Constituents, as long as this did not conflict with (1) and (2).

This book has almost everything you do not want to read about in a political book. There is collusion between the political figures and selected industries to thwart badly needed attempts to protect the environment, manipulations of programs designed to provide jobs so that they enrich certain elements and create few new jobs and the actions of the teacher's union to prevent educational reform. National figures in the Republican Party also intervene in the Republican primary process in an attempt to prevent the maverick McCormick from winning the nomination to a seat in the House of Representatives.

In summary, if you follow politics and are watching how figures such as Florida Governor Charlie Crist are being drummed out of the Republican Party in favor of units more amenable to following the party line, then there is little here that will surprise you. So much of what has made America great is being lost as both political parties are now concentrating on maintenance of the status quo and their own positions of power. McCormick is a rational, moderate Republican, the kind that the party now has little room for. Her story is one all aspiring political reformers should read.
— Charles Ashbacher

As I begin this review, I must admit to being one of those people who love reading and studying the history of politics and various governments, but have absolutely no interest in current politics what-so-ever. I am probably one of the most apolitical animals you will every encounter. When I first received this work for review, my soul let out a little bit of a groan and I buckled grimly down and began my reading with more of an attitude of facing a distasteful chore than enjoying a good read. I must say I was wrong; I thoroughly enjoyed this work by a person, Terri McCormick, who is a rather remarkable person.

By the author's own admission, the title of this work is a bit misleading right from the get-go. When the reader starts with the first page he or she should be prepared to exchange the word Republican with that of Democrat at any given point in the book. While Mrs. McCormick is indeed a Republican, she is certainly not a Republican apologist. As you read her words you must throw out any preconceived notion or stereotype of the extreme Right Wing-nut. It helps if you catch on very quickly that she is more of a centrist populist than anything else. This was a blessing from a personal point of view as I have little patience with either the extreme right or left and have strong feelings that our nation would be quite better off without either.

Anyway, this book recalls the author's career in Wisconsin politics both at the State and Federal level. Her main focus seems to be on encouraging more people to get involved with the workings of their government; to become more aware of what is going on and to take what ever action they are capable of taking. To be frank, there is some very grim reading between the covers of this book. Again, I was sort of comforted by these tales as they more or less reinforced many of the assumptions I have already made. We all love to have our beliefs endorsed and reaffirmed from time to time and I found myself well rewarded here.

As one reviewer has pointed out, Terri McCormick has at least three objectives in this book. She has told her personal story, she has given us a first hand glimpse into the world of politics and she is making a very fine effort to encourage people to get involved and run for office themselves; to make meaningful changes, if you will. From a personal point of view I was more interested in her personal story and in her "insider" tidbits than anything else. My perception and belief that Machiavellian politics are alive and well in our country were and are well founded as attested to by this author. One need only blink their eyes a bit; adjust their place in time just a tad, and we could well be getting a first hand view of the Byzantine Court of several centuries ago and indeed, even drift to Italy and join the merry House of Borgia at times. It is all quite disgusting and sadly discouraging I fear.

A goodly part of this book outlines campaign and leadership strategies. I certainly am not qualified to comment on the author's ideas and suggestions here, but will admit that many to most of them made a lot of sense to my mind. This is a very practical, realistic and transparent lady here and she more or less says it the way it is. Each reader must make their own mind up about that aspect of the work though.

I liked this book. It was well written and sends out a very powerful message. I am afraid the message was lost on me though as I would probably feel more comfortable in joining High Sea Pirates than get involved with the political situation as it stands now...I simply would not have the stomach for it. Not to say that I do not admire people like Mrs. McCormick that are willing to do goodness we need more like her, it is just that I certainly could not be counted among them.
— Don Blankenship

What Sex is a Republican is a well written book. I enjoyed reading about Terri McCormick's successful pieces of legislation involving veterans property tax and environmental issues with Fox River in Wisconsin. She makes me care about issues in a state I do not live in. She implores voters to elect people who have integrity, and she encourages people to run for office if they have the passion and desire to do so. There is a lot of corruption from people who sit in the front row in politics, but McCormick is hopeful that the political climate can change if citizens get involved. She provides information that I have never read in a political book before. She gives the reader the elements of a successful policy plan. The information is interesting to me, even though I am not interested in a political career at the moment.

I liked looking at the photos at the end of the book. There is a photo of Terri with Adrian Cronauer. He is the subject of the Good Morning Vietnam, a movie that I love. I wish this book had foot notes at the bottom of the page. This is the only criticism I have about the book. This book has end notes instead. Foot notes would make the book easier to read and follow. By the time I got to the end of the book, I forgot the relationship between the source and the end note. I had to go back and read certain parts over again. I really enjoyed reading this book though.
— Robert G Yokoyama

Terri McCormick gives us a detailed inside look at the workings of politics at the state and national level. Unfortunately, the picture is not pretty. Politics is a rough and at times very dirty business. It is not governed by ideals and what is best for the constituents. All too often our legislation is determined by special interest groups who control or have an undue influence on our legislators.

While I think everyone has some idea about the inner workings of the political machines, this book goes pretty deep to expose the way things really work.

The approach of the book is to track Terri McCormick journey as a Wisconsin State Legislator and her run for national office.

In my opinion, the book loses some of its punch because she tries to cover too much ground. I believe there are three themes in the book. The first is her personal journey. While this is interesting and gives a detail look at the workings of the Wisconsin State Legislature, there is a little too much detail that is not of significant interest to those living outside the area.

The second theme of the book is the problems plaguing both political parties. The career politicians are more focused on their own standing and have lost touch with the citizens who elected them.

There is a third theme, how to run a political campaign. While there is some valuable information in that section, the information will be of little interest to most readers.

Terri is very sincere in trying to alarm the public about the current sorry state of our political system. However I believe her message would have been much more successful if she had narrowed her focus and omitted a lot of the material that was specific to her and her experience in the Wisconsin Legislature.

I found the title intriguing, but as she is quick to point out, there is no connection between the title and the content of the book. The major political parties are both plagued by leaders who are more concerned with their own agenda than that of the people.

Terri McCormick throughout the book advocates a strong press as a check on the politicians. While in theory this is correct, I believe that too much of the press has their own agenda and reports the news from their own bias.

The main message of this book is that "We the People" must take a much more active interest in and control over the political process. We must make the elected people accountable.

Unfortunately there seems to be too much voter apathy for people to really do the work necessary to become knowledgeable on the issues and hold the politicians accountable. There is also the entitlement problem. We have become very focused on "What's In It For Me." Too many people are willing to tolerate bad legislation so long as they are getting what they want.

A good message but not nearly focused enough in the presentation.
— John Chancellor

Terri McCormick from Appleton, Wisconsin looks at the world just a bit differently than most politicians do. Terri does not define the political battle currently being waged in this country as merely "Republicans vs Democrats" or "liberals vs. conservatives". Rather, Terri sees the battle for the heart and soul of America as a clash between "elitists' and "populists". I think she is on to something. In the gospel according to Terri, if we are ever going to experience genuine change in the way our nation conducts its affairs it is going to have to emanate from both the voters themselves and from a new breed of political leaders who get into politics for all the right reasons. Leading by example, Terri McCormick has given us the handbook for the type of change that so many Americans seem to be longing for these days. In "What Sex Is A Republican?: Stories from the Front Lines in American Politics and How You Can Change the Way Things Are" Terri McCormick provides her readers with a glimpse into the rather sordid world of state and national politics. Drawing from her experiences in both the private sector and as a Wisconsin State Representative Terri outlines what is wrong with the current system and offers up well-thought out alternatives as well. This is a very thought-provoking book indeed!

Like a whole lot of us out here Terri McCormick was fed up with the elitist politicians who seem to dominate the political scene today. You know the type. They simply don't give a damn about what their constituents think and are cocksure that they possess all of the answers. These people rule by intimidation and often operate in the dark of night. Important decisions are made in back rooms and there is a distinct "pecking order". These so-called "leaders" sit in the front row in state legislatures and in the U.S. Congress and stifle legitimate opposition and concerns. They disdain open debate and those who espouse new ideas. Terri McCormick on the other hand would like to think of herself as the ultimate "populist" politician. Terri simply has no tolerance for back room deals, political backstabbing and power grabs by favored and entrenched politicians. Rather, Terri got involved in the political process because she honestly believed that she had ideas and lots of energy to offer her constituents. Terri would experience a great deal of success in her 6 years in the Wisconsin legislature and was responsible for a number of innovative pieces of legislation. Yet she was never a favorite of the Republican party leadership and at times found herself fighting tooth and nail with the leaders of her own party. When Terri chose to run for Congress in 2006 the Washington political establishment led by the Republican National Committee and the Republican National Congressional Committee decided to inject themselves into a local Congressional race and backed her opponent in the primary. Evidently the powers that be determined that Terri was not the "go along to get along" kind of candidate they were looking for. I certainly believe Terri's version of these events as the very same scenario played itself out in the my home state of Rhode Island in the Republican U.S. Senate primary that took place that very same year. The results were the same in both cases. The candidate backed by the party establishment in the primary lost to the Democrat in the general election.

I took away a couple of things from "What Sex Is A Republican?". First and foremost, I found Terry McCormick to be a very impressive individual. She worked very hard at her craft and seemed to understand precisely what the problems were and much more importantly how to fix them. In addition, she explains to her readers in clear and concise language how a bill becomes law in the State of Wisconsin. I found this to be very useful as so many people simply have no clue at how complex and frustrating this process can be. Finally, Terry McCormick pulls no punches when describing the level of sacrifice required to be an honest servant of the people. There simply are not enough hours in the day. Nonetheless, Terri encourages good people to get involved and run for political office. It seems to me that "What Sex Is A Republican?: Stories from the Front Lines in American Politics and How You Can Change the Way Things Are" would be a great primer for someone contemplating a run for political office. Now more than ever we need good people like Terry McCormick to step forward and serve. Highly recommended!
— Paul Tognetti

Terri McCormick purports to make a case for courage by a lawmaker who feels she is qualified to do so. She is a former legislator and congressional candidate who is an advocate for reform. She looks at politics in a way so that she can request that local, state and federal governments will find what has been lost in Republican government. She claims that it is up to us, as people, to take the responsibility of government.

We get a look at McCormick's political career but it is not much more than that. She gives a degree to the people of America to get involved by restoring the Republican party before it is lost forever. (Would that really be such a loss?). She claims that Washington today is being controlled by the maintenance of power regardless of cost. She explains what must be done and how we can do it. She blames elitism for the reason that we have lost faith in elected officials and she attempts to show that the politics of government are not about a political party and obedience but about who is running the show. She is a conservative and a populist and I am not really sure why she wrote this book. I really see nothing new in it. She simply says what we think and I doubt that many people will change their ways just because Terri McCormick says to do so.
— Retired Reader (New Mexico)

This book is a mixed bag of the personal recollections of a former politician and continuing activist held together by the theme of populism and grass roots activism. It also attempts to provide some guidance in the related arts of running for political office and building a reform movement. This sort of political memoir is fairly common, but this book is unique in this genre in that it actually contains significant and original ideas on politics and governance.

McCormick from all appearances is an idealist who maintains that fast disappearing conviction that the first loyalty of any elective official ought to be to constituents not to party. She is a republican and a conservative, but more in the manner of Thomas Jefferson than Karl Rove. Her political philosophy closer to the center than that of libertarian republican Ron Paul, but she clearly would be comfortable with many of his ideas. Like Paul she believes that the U.S. Constitution is the definitive blueprint to governance in the U.S. rather than a "living document" containing broad and often ambiguous advice. She is a conservative thinker, but not an ideologue.
She is a critic of the duopoly (Republican/Democratic) hold on power in the state and national legislatures, the tyranny of party over principal, and the focus of both parties on maintaining power in the hands of the select and keeping the status quo. McCormick's stories of are depressing indeed.
It is encouraging however that McCormick, at least in this book, is a strong advocate for integrity on the part of politicians, the media, and most importantly the electorate. She appears a strong advocate for real fiscal responsibility, educational reform, and an engaged electorate. These are positions only the duopoly could argue with.
— Amy Collins MacGregor

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