A veteran GOP congressional staffer has called it quits on the Republican Party. Writing at Truth Out over the weekend, Mike Lofgren says the modern Republican Party has become “full of lunatics.” A 28-year veteran staffer, Lofgren served 16 years as a professional staff member of the House and Senate Budget Committees.
Lofgren cites two North Carolina Republicans, the 10th District’s Patrick McHenry and 5th District’s Virginia Foxx, in a list of GOP congresscritters who have made the jump from fringe to mainstream:
“To those millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling extension, it may have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics,” he writes. “To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.”
Lofgren, whose piece runs more than 6,000 words, saves some commentary for Democrats, as well, but the overall piece is decidedly bent toward criticism of the “Republican Party of 2011.” What party is this? Lofgren obliges, outlining what he sees as the modern-day GOP’s three key tenets (“The rest of their platform,” he says, “one may safely dismiss as window dressing”): (1) At all costs, play to the rich; (2) Invade and conquer; and (3) Placate radical and fundamentalist, right-wing religion.
Of all three tenets, Lofgren provides a concise example of their interconnectedness: “It is the apocalyptic frame of reference of fundamentalists, their belief in an imminent Armageddon, that psychologically conditions them to steer this country into conflict, not only on foreign fields (some evangelicals thought Saddam was the Antichrist and therefore a suitable target for cruise missiles), but also in the realm of domestic political controversy,” he writes. “It is hardly surprising that the most adamant proponent of the view that there was no debt ceiling problem was Michele Bachmann, the darling of the fundamentalist right. What does it matter, anyway, if the country defaults? – we shall presently abide in the bosom of the Lord.”
Lofgren’s piece is lengthy, but an easy read and an all-too-rare, honest and brave reflection on the ideologies and loyalties with which one formerly associated.
Read the Lofgren’s entire piece at http://www.truth-out.org/goodbye-all-reflections-gop-operative-who-left-cult/1314907779