New book ‘The Battle’ focuses on the 70-30 nation 

Anger is growing with BP.

No, not British Petroleum. The company may be confronted with a nightmare disaster and an overwhelming engineering problem, but only the fringe of left and right will argue that this BP either intended the disaster or is indifferent to its control.

It’s the other BP that’s heating up public opinion — the Beltway People. And if you would like to know in detail why this BP has the collective temperature of voters rising, listen to my radio show today for a two-hour interview with Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, about his new book, “The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future.”

The program airs inside the Beltway from 3 to 6 p.m. on Washington’s WWRC (1260 AM), and the Brooks interview will be on beginning at 4 p.m. for those who like their talk radio from the computer or iPhone.

Brooks’ book is a relatively short, very sharply argued explanation of how the 30 percent in this 70-30 nation of ours has come to control the federal government and many of the largest state governments, and in the process driven us to the point of a national fiscal stroke.

The 30 percent are the statists, the chattering class and their colleagues in academic and government employ, plus the government dependent and a very large slice of the youth vote. Brooks details who they are and how they intend to grow their grip on the country.

The 70 percent are the rest of us, a mass that’s coalescing into a potent political force that will be revealed fully on Nov. 2.

Brooks makes a compelling moral case for rolling back the vast creep of the 30 percent, whose regulatory and tax policies have spread like the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico, inexorably and continually for a very long time, creating enormous damage across the country — but damage that can and must be repaired.

That repair is under way in New Jersey, where the least likely candidate for Mr. Charisma, Gov. Chris Christie, has emerged as a star of YouTube and talk radio for simply speaking truth to the power of public employee unions and their shills in the media who push the unions’ cliched narrative. Voters know the score, and they are cheering Christie’s passionate embrace of “Enough!”

I will be broadcasting a special six-hour show Tuesday, my network and I betting that interest in California’s decision on the Republican nomination for governor will be sufficiently sharp in states far removed from the Pacific to justify pre-empting regular programing until midnight.

The election special will also be heard inside the Beltway on WWRC, but, as Brooks and I will discuss tonight, there’s no guarantee that the Beltway’s 30 percent are interested in, much less have figured out, that the voters have fingered them as the biggest problem in the land.

The president who never stops talking has certainly shown no indication that he understands how the political ground under his feet has shifted in just 18 months.

The cheers for Christie and the votes for Whitman are shouts from both coasts that the 70 percent has had enough. And just in time. Brooks’ “The Battle” is a print preview of November’s coming attraction. Read it.

Examiner columnist Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at

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Hugh Hewitt


Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at

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