Two new political messages show how the sausage of democracy is made

‘Why We Did It: A Journey from Republic Road to Hell’
By Tim Miller
c.2022, Harper
$26.99/259 pages

‘Any Given Tuesday: A Political Love Story’
By Lis Smith
c.2022, Harper
$22.39/304 pages

The lilies of the field, the Bible tells us, “do not work, and do not spin.” If only they had met Tim Miller and Lis Smith!

Miller and Smith, two high-profile spinmeisters, have written memoirs. Fasten your seat belts. These are no ordinary political stories.

When you read it, you’ll be laughing out loud for a minute. Then pick up your go-to comfort food or libation while (of course) worrying about the fate of our democracy.

“After love, the most sacred thing you can give is your work,” James Carville told staffers and volunteers in the final days of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign last year. 1992 in real life Aaron Sorkin time in the 1993 documentary “The War Room.”

Miller and Smith saw “The War Room” as children. Miller would become a Republican strategist who left the party over Trump. Smith will become a Democratic political leader. But “The War Room” instilled in both of them a love of public service and the political game.

Miller, who lives in Oakland, California, with her husband Tyler and their daughter Toulouse, is a former Republican political activist. He was the communications director for Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign and a spokesman for the Republican National Committee during Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Miller left the GOP to become leader of the “Never Trump” movement. After leaving Trump, Miller worked briefly as a consultant for Scott Pruitt, the director of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Trump administration. Currently, Miller is an MSNBC analyst, a contributing writer with “The Bulwark” and the host of “Not My Party” on Snapchat.

The Republican Party has a history — from Ronald Reagan’s abysmal record on AIDS to Donald Trump’s transphobic policies — of being anti-queer. You may be wondering how Miller, as a gay man, could have the guts to work for the GOP.

In “Why we did it,” Miller puts himself and some of the people who “could” Trump under the microscope.

“America would never be in this mess if it weren’t for me and my friends,” Miller wrote, “We are the ‘regular’ Republicans.”

When Trump arrived, they didn’t think much of him. They don’t, “go to the tears of immigrant children,” Miller writes. Nor would they be “caught dead in one of those bright red baseball caps,” he said.

“Why is it,” Miller asked, “that so many, most of the normal, good people I’ve worked with end up with bad guys?”

The first part of the memoir is Miller’s account of how he “separated” being gay while working for the homophobic GOP.

Take when he worked for John McCain’s presidential campaign. Despite being gay, Miller told McCain to back off after McCain said “divorce should be allowed if there’s a way to do it.”

In the second half of the book, Miller explores why people like Elise Stefanik choose to “take on the red” and work for “the next big MAGA.”

“Why We Do It” is dishy, ​​dark, and soulful.

Smith, a top Democratic strategist and veteran of 20 campaigns, has worked for everyone from Claire McCaskill to Barack Obama. He was a key communications consultant for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign.

Thankfully, “Any Given Tuesday” is not a political novel. It’s smart, it’s funny, and it’s loud. Smith is James Carville in high heels.

“One Tuesday” about Smith’s life in politics interspersed with stories from his personal life.

Because of sexism, her love life was scrutinized. Smith became a tabloid reporter when she fell in love with New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, after learning of Smith’s relationship with Spitzer, fired him from his job with his administration. (Although he worked for de Blasio’s campaign.)

You wonder if Smith is a man. But Smith has many digs at de Blasio. After his firing, de Blasio tried to win Spitzer’s political approval. “We both tried to sleep with Eliot,” he wrote of de Blasio’s failure to win Spitzer’s support, “but only one of us succeeded.” (Smith and Spitzer are no longer related.)

Unlike Miller, Smith doesn’t have to twist himself into a split pretzel to do his job. Like Miller, he jumped into the “game” of ads. Although Smith disagrees with everything he does for faith, he joins the centrist Democrats.

Among the most interesting chapters of “Any Given Tuesday” are those about his work on Buttigieg’s campaign. Whether you like it or not, even if you don’t agree with his politics, you get a lot of attention from Buttigieg’s campaign.

Smith’s story on the road with “Buttibus” and preparing Buttigieg for the candidates’ debates is interesting and informative. It’s moving when Smith, a snarky hack, believes Buttigieg is “the one” — the candidate who will serve this country right.

In “Any Given Tuesday,” Smith shows how the sausage of democracy is made. In “Why We Do It,” Miller makes die-hard atheists pray that democracy will last.

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