"Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult": Republican Defects After 28 Years Over Budget Brouhaha
Mike Lofgren is a retired GOP congressional staffer, having worked in both the House and Senate Budget Committees. You may remember his op-ed in the LA Times about the budget crisis mess: http://www.latimes.com/...
"The failure of our leaders to offer realistic budget proposals was a major reason I decided to retire after 28 years in Congress, most of them as a professional staff member on the Republican side of both the House and Senate Budget Committees. My party talks a good game, railing about the immorality of passing debt on to our children. But the same Congressional Budget Office that punctured Obama's budget also concluded that the major policies that swung the budget from a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion in 2001 to the present 10-year deficit of $6.2 trillion were Republican in origin."
Today Mr Lofgren has a rather long article on the www.truth-out.org website:
Why and how has the Republican Party become such a cult? On Daily Kos, I dare say we know all the bits and pieces, and report on them endlessly, argue about them constantly and bemoan their success. What are the Repubs doing to ensure their successes, and why aren't Dems more able to fight the horrendous, immoral, amoral take-over of the government, and take-over of the country by this so-called political party?
I read the whole article by Mr Lofgren and think that he took all the bits and pieces and put them together in one article. It's almost a textbook that should be printed, bound and handed out to every Democrat in America. There's very little in his article that you don't know....but, he puts it all together. In fact, I've seen a few other articles like this, but this seems to be the most comprehensive. I can't do the article justice by posting just a few paragraphs, you'll have to read the whole thing.....then send it along to someone who needs things pulled together. Oh hell with it, here's a few paragraphs:
"Far from being a rarity, virtually every bill, every nominee for Senate confirmation and every routine procedural motion is now subject to a Republican filibuster. Under the circumstances, it is no wonder that Washington is gridlocked: legislating has now become war minus the shooting, something one could have observed 80 years ago in the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. As Hannah Arendt observed, a disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself."
"John P. Judis sums up the modern GOP this way: 'Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995 and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American precedent for today's Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard, federal legislation they objected to and who later led the fight to secede from the union over slavery.'
"A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters' confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that "they are all crooks," and that "government is no good," further leading them to think, "a plague on both your houses" and "the parties are like two kids in a school yard." This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s - a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn ("Government is the problem," declared Ronald Reagan in 1980)."
Please go and read the whole article, it's absolutely one of the best.