It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant. [my emphasis]Thus writes Mike Lofgren who, according to his LinkedIn.com profile, was a Budget analyst for the Senate. In this "shocking" Truthout essay, Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult, Mr. Lofgren presents a serious and reasoned analysis of the state of the modern Republican mafia (my word), yet still manages to pull of the literary equivalent of the exploding head. I place "shocking" in scare quotes because there is not much he reveals about the motives of the GOP that are not clear to any reasonably intelligent observer of American politics. What is fascinating is that, coming from a DC insider, the lurid details of the sheer mendacity and hypocracy that he outlines approach the stylings of "shrill" outliers like the late, great Joe Bageant and Len Hart or, ahem, me (not to unintentionally conflate skill or content.) It's a pleasurable, albeit depressing, read, so go over there and do it.
He does a fair amount of skewing of the Democratic pols as well, although surprisingly little of what the traditional Dem party planks represent, surprising, to me. Perhaps he did not wish to water down his GOP critique, but I found it telling that, as a Republican, he avoided the opportunity for these slights. He generally limits his criticism to the meager and like-hypocritical nature of the modern reactionary Democrat (he references John Lukas in noting that "the left fears, the right hates.") As he notes that one of the tactics of the Republican orthodoxy is to exacerbate the exasperation the American public has with Washington in general - thus well serving the careers of "small gubmint" politicians with low-information (or "misinformation," as he says) voters - his criticism could be construed as a furtherance of those goals. However, he notes:
But both parties are not rotten in quite the same way. The Democrats have their share of machine politicians, careerists, corporate bagmen, egomaniacs and kooks. Nothing, however, quite matches the modern GOP.And he goes into delightful detail in backing up this assertion.
As it is an obsession of mine to focus upon the enablers of these clowns - that would be us - I am most interested in what he mentions as "the mental compartmentalization that occurs in most low-information voters." But that is a whole nother post, and will be forthcoming. Hopefully, next.