I don't recall seeing anything in the book that I hadn't seen before, but the way he puts it all together (in only 200 pages) gives it new life and meaning. The book is crammed with facts and figures and hard logic. I'm pretty familiar with most of those facts and most of the arguments he makes, and with very few exceptions I don't think he has exaggerated or twisted anything. This is not a rant against big government, this is a very tightly argued case (he is a lawyer with lots of Washington experience) against Big Government, especially as practiced by President Obama.
The book is all about how Conservatives (those who believe in the supremacy of individual liberty, private property, limited government and free markets) have lost the battle to Statists (those who believe in the supremacy of government). From the Constitution's vision of a strictly limited federal government we have now reached the point where Washington D.C. mandates how much water our toilets can use.
I share virtually all of his beliefs (with the main exception being his views on immigration, which I think are overly xenophobic), since they are basically those of the libertarian party as best embodied (in my view) by the good folks at the Cato Institute. Libertarians are really what Republicans should be, and becoming more libertarian is the only way the Republican Party is going to have a chance to get back in the game.
In that regard, it is notable that Levin never mentions abortion rights or gay marriage. He and I would probably agree that those two planks of the Republican platform have always stood out as contradictory to the basic principles of individual freedom and limited government. The Republicans need to strengthen their message of limited government, freedom, and free markets, and leave behind the religious-right baggage that has alienated those who consider themselves fiscal conservatives but social liberals. Republicans should realize that a limited government has no business telling people how to run their personal lives, just as Democrats should realize that giving government too much power will only end up enslaving us.
This is all deadly serious stuff.
HT: My son Ryan, who gave me the book.