Excerpt: 'Right Is Wrong'

The following excerpt of "Right Is Wrong" was provided to ABC News by the publisher, Knopf, a division of Random House. The book will be published April 29, 2008.

The Radical Takeover

The most sweeping takeover of the new millennium didn't take place among the telecoms or the big oil companies, or in Silicon Valley. It took place in Washington, but we can see and hear and feel its effects nationwide on our televisions, radios, and computer screens. And America is much the worse because of it. I'm talking about the takeover of the Republican Party by its own lunatic fringe, and the Right's hijacking of America.

Ronald Reagan's GOP has been replaced by the dark, moldering, putrefied party of Bush, Cheney, Rove, Limbaugh, and Coulter. Morning in America has given way to Midnight in America.

Yes, the Republican Party has always had its far-right cowboys, its Jesse Helmses and Spiro Agnews. Yet they were removed from the party's more sober core.

But these days, judging by the opinions and actions of the Republicans in office and the party's candidates for president, it has become impossible to tell where this core stops and the fanatical fringe begins. Just look at what the party is endorsing.

We have a Republican Party that continues to back the White House's delusions about Iraq at the expense of our military, our treasure, our safety, and our standing in the world.

We have a mainstream on the Right that supports torture, that confirmed an attorney general nominee who is officially agnostic on torture, and that rallies behind a president who refuses to define what the very word "torture" means.

We have a mainstream that supports -- even applauds -- the behavior of thuggish Blackwater mercenaries, that supports the gutting of our civil liberties, that opposes universal health care, and that has views on immigration that wouldn't have been heard outside a John Birch Society meeting ten years ago.

It can no longer be denied: the right-wing lunatics are running the Republican asylum and their madness has infected the entire country and poisoned the world beyond.

And just look who the GOP settled on as its 2008 standard bearer: the most hawkish candidate in the running, who has said he wants the United States to stay in Iraq somewhere between one hundred years and ten thousand years -- John McCain.

Despite an avalanche of evidence showing that McCain the Maverick has long ago been replaced by McCain the Pandering Pawn of the Party's Right Wing, the press refuses to believe its own eyes. Right Is Wrong will show how the "Straight Talk Express" and its conductor have completely and cravenly gone off the tracks -- and how the media steadfastly refuse to notice.

Even those bastions of the so-called liberal media, The New Yorker and The New York Times, have continued to portray McCain as a moderate who, in the words New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza, has "the rare opportunity to reinvent what it means to be a Republican."

Let's see, over the last few years McCain has bowed to the party's lunatic fringe on tax cuts, immigration, the intolerance of religious bigots, and torture . . . so you might wonder how is he reinventing what it means to be a Republican?

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