Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Arianna Gets Her Game On: Arianna Huffington Talks about Her Blistering New Book, Fanatics & Fools, Regime Change in Washington, and Advancing Gay Rights in America

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Arianna Gets Her Game On: Arianna Huffington Talks about Her Blistering New Book, Fanatics & Fools, Regime Change in Washington, and Advancing Gay Rights in America

Article excerpt

I've known many sides of Arianna Huffington over the years, socially and professionally. I've seen her serious and driven, witty and oozing charm, both silky and rough. I took a sabbatical from journalism when she asked me to help her launch the Shadow Conventions in 2000. I've watched her grow more liberal and activist. Speaking to her privately after she had just launched the national press tour for her newest book, Fanatics & Fools: The Game Plan far Winning Back America (Miramax, $23.95), I saw yet another shift: The clever banter was being pushed aside for a genuine concern and urgency about the Bush White House and its effect on America. The naturally playful and witty woman was more deadly serious than I'd ever seen her.

Your new book is the most incendiary you've written yet. You blatantly call the Bush administration "fanatics."

Yes, and my analysis of the fanatics is being borne out every day by revelations of the facts. And I think my analysis is not something ... it's not a term I use loosely. It's a term I use medically, as a condition; the symptoms are there.

The current crop of political books is like a siege on the White House--angry, rebellious, almost like manifestos, a return to a '60s sensibility of Abbie Hoffman and Steal This Book.

It's true. There's an incredible energy out there. I've seen it traveling around the country, colleges and elsewhere. And it's not just confined to the young--it's across all generations. There's an intensity, an imperative about getting George Bush out of office. Even personally, I did not feel it in 2000 when I organized Shadow Conventions to reform both parties. This time I've endorsed John Kerry. When your house is on fire, it's not the time to remodel. It's time to get Bush back to Crawford, Tex.

What's the difference between this book and the last?

The energy of anger is not enough. An attack on Bush is not going to get us to the finish line. My last book was outrage. We have to move to the next stage. That was my lesson in being candidate for governor, being in the trenches and seeing that the public was hungry for a vision. I see idealism as the sleeper issue of 2004. The value of my book is the vision of where you go from here.

You, Michael Moore, and Al Franken all slam Bush with humor. Is your philosophy different from Moore's and Franken's?

I can't say. But I can say that our connective tissue is the passionate agreement that Bush must go.

You devote 200 pages to slamming Republicans and only 40 pages to slamming Democrats, whom you call "fools," Obviously, you're persona non grata among Republicans, but are there those who privately agree with you?

There are Republicans who both publicly and privately agree with me. When one of them confided, "I'm a disenchanted Republican," I suggested he start Republicans for Kerry. Behind the scenes, for different reasons, some are very concerned: the libertarians, others who care about the environment, others about the deficit. Then there are the gay Republicans. Whether their disenchantment is still going to lead to voting for Bush is not clear.

I am assuming you don't expect an invitation to the White House anytime soon.

It's very clear that I've not been a friend of the Bushes for a long time--long before [George W.] was elected, I officially left the Republican Party in 1996.

What's your relationship with Arnold Schwarzenegger now?

I see him occasionally in a car pool. We are pleasant to each other. He is doing a great job raising his children and doing a terrible job as governor. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.