Sunday, September 4, 2011

They're Not The Same

This is a rare Sunday "Must Read."

Former 30-year Republican Capitol Hill staffer Mike Lofgren, has written a rather extensive piece explaining the machinations of the GOP, leading to his decision to retire after witnessing the current crop of crazies that has enveloped the Republican Party. It's a truly insightful piece that needs to be read, shared and pulled out when confronted by your idiot relative at the next family dinner when they take center stage to proclaim that "both parties are the same." Here are some tasty morsels:
...The Democrats have their share of machine politicians, careerists, corporate bagmen, egomaniacs and kooks. Nothing, however, quite matches the modern GOP. 
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... 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.
...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.
...The media are also complicit in [the phenomenon of distrust of the government.] Ever since the bifurcation of electronic media into a more or less respectable "hard news" segment and a rabidly ideological talk radio and cable TV political propaganda arm, the "respectable" media have been terrified of any criticism for perceived bias. Hence, they hew to the practice of false evenhandedness. Paul Krugman has skewered this tactic as being the "centrist cop-out." "I joked long ago," he says, "that if one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read 'Views Differ on Shape of Planet.'" 
Inside-the-Beltway wise guy Chris Cillizza merely proves Krugman right in his Washington Post analysis of "winners and losers" in the debt ceiling impasse. He wrote that the institution of Congress was a big loser in the fracas, which is, of course, correct, but then he opined: "Lawmakers - bless their hearts - seem entirely unaware of just how bad they looked during this fight and will almost certainly spend the next few weeks (or months) congratulating themselves on their tremendous magnanimity." Note how the pundit's ironic deprecation falls like the rain on the just and unjust alike, on those who precipitated the needless crisis and those who despaired of it. He seems oblivious that one side - or a sizable faction of one side - has deliberately attempted to damage the reputation of Congress to achieve its political objectives.
If you think Paul Ryan and his Ayn Rand-worshipping colleagues aren't after your Social Security and Medicare, I am here to disabuse you of your naiveté. They will move heaven and earth to force through tax cuts that will so starve the government of revenue that they will be "forced" to make "hard choices" - and that doesn't mean repealing those very same tax cuts, it means cutting the benefits for which you worked.
The "both sides are the same" meme is what got us in trouble in 2000. Does anyone want to wager that a President Al Gore would have invaded a country that had nothing to do with a terrorist attack on our soil? Or that had there  been a keener eye at the helm we would have had a better chance at possible prevention of the attack in the first place?

Let's not make that same mistake again.

Go read, "Goodbye To All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left The Cult." ...NOW.

1 comment:

NowhereMan said...

One of the best articles I've ever read.Be sure you read the whole article.