Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Former Republican Explains

Former Republican: How the GOP Turned Into a Racket Ripping Off Vulnerable Americans
How a party degenerated into a scam.

As the GOP narrowed and hardened its dogma, the affluent, educated suburbs drifted away from the Church of Reagan, leaving the organization to an increasingly less educated, southern, rural, and downscale white voting base (needless to say, the executive wing of the party is decidedly not downscale in its personal finances; they know, just as surely as L. Ron Hubbard knew, that there is gold to be mined from the suckers). The slide among both voters and elected officials has been frighteningly steep since 2008. Compared to the current crop of congressional GOP freshmen and sophomores, even George W. Bush looks like Henry Cabot Lodge. The party of Abraham Lincoln (a genuine architect of popular enlightenment through his establishment of land grant colleges) has degenerated into Scientology for rednecks who think embryology, evolutionary biology, and geology are lies from the pit of hell.

The deeper causes of this lunacy lie beyond the GOP, for the party is a symptom of a peculiar American sociology as much as the Republican Party is a cause of many of the political ills we face. One suspects the real cause is ultimately a confluence of long-term historical trends. The 40-year-long deindustrialization of the country and the associated weakening of upward mobility for blue-collar Americans are significant factors. Along with deindustrialization came the catastrophic decline of industrial unions, which had once been a secular political outlet for constructive action and social assimilation for workers. The symbiosis of politics and religion in American life, a phenomenon almost unheard of in other advanced democracies these days, infused many politicians with a taste for self-righteousness and apocalyptic brinksmanship that are fatal to a system designed for separation of powers, compromise, and moderation. Finally, the Cold War lasted too long, and left a permanent garrison state; it also left a paranoid world view that demands enemies foreign and domestic. If the monolithic world Communist conspiracy is no longer with us, the Muslim caliphate will serve nicely in its stead. If there is no longer an internal Red menace boring from within, there is a secret Muslim poised to become CIA director.

Contrary to some observers, I do not believe the GOP is finished as a national party. It is too well entrenched in too many state legislatures due to gerrymandering. In turn, the state legislatures can gerrymander congressional districts thoroughly enough so that it is unlikely Republicans will lose control of the House at least until the census of 2020. Dixie and the Tornado Belt are prone to send candidates of the intellectual caliber and world view of James Inhofe to the Senate for the foreseeable future, thus assuring a veto over legislation via the filibuster. The voting base itself, endlessly stoked by talk radio and Fox News, thrives on its martyr-like self-image as a persecuted remnant of Real Americans; and all the would-be messiahs they adore are Republicans, not third party candidates. There is also just too much money to be made by hucksters, so it is doubtful that the GOP will go the way of the Whigs. And, who knows, another national catastrophe like 9/11 or an asset collapse could once again put them at the helm of the country to summon the demons lurking in the national id.
Mike Lofgren is a former GOP congressional staffer.

I'm delighted that after loyally serving the depraved interests of the Party of God for 28 years, and after safely retiring out of their reach 18 month ago, Mr. Lofgren has found his big-boy voice and is explaining to anyone who has been drunk in a cave for the last 40 years that the GOP is a scam being run demagogues and hucksters to bilk the ignorant, the bigoted and the insane.

I suspect that as the death spiral of the Party of God whirls ever downer ever faster, former Republicans and apostate Conservatives will continue to do a nice business trading in Totally!True!Lurid!Tales! from the Conservative heart of darkness.

I also suspect that if you are a Liberal who had the bad manners to be right about the Right from the start, you will continue to be completely ignored and/or shunned and/or hippie-punched every time another lazy "journalist" needs to renew their Beltway Centrist cred,


P J said...

I hate to sound smug, but we pinko libruls already knew about these enlightened revelations in the past thirty-plus years that Lofgren just discovered.

Trickle down market-based evangelicalism leaves permanent carbamide stains on your head. Wonder if Lofgren has checked his noggin lately.

monoceros4 said...

"Carbamide"? Now there's an old-fashioned term.

Unsalted Sinner said...

Warning about the extremists in the GOP too soon is a sin equivalent to "premature anti-fascism" in the McCarthy era. If you criticized Bush before 2006, you obviously can't be one of the Serious People.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Of course, when a former Grifter outs his fellow Con Mens game he's treated as the worst kind of traitor, but fat lot of good it does to those who have seen the Republicans steal their savings and transfer it the Plutocracy.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I like this quote from Mike L.:

The primary purpose of the GOP these days is to provide tax breaks and other financial advantages (such as not regulating pollution and other socially costly externalities) to their wealthy donor base. All the rest of their platform, all the culture wars stuff, is simply rube bait.

And before we get too smug, let's remember that the GOP was DEAD DEAD DEAD in January of 2009.

But President Goldman Sachs Drone Strike and his crack team of cynical neoliberals brought them back to life.

They needed somebody to triangulate with.

Peter John said...

I am not sure the GOP is dead or dying but they did lose to a negro with a Muslim name twice.

Bisham said...

Well he pretty much covered conservatism 101 and you have to admit it was a nice primer on the cynicism of the GOP's current path/strategy for maintaining power when their actual policies appeal to only a very small percentage of the population: Trickle down + rube bait.

And the question on my mind this AM regards the "candidates of the intellectual caliber and world view of James Inhofe"--how do they fit into the social network in Washington, how are they dealt with by the true intellectuals and statesmen. Is there an aura of condescension, patronization, derision? Or are the let to believe they are among their peers.

Pinkamena Panic said...

"Weird how people who have nothing to peddle but nihilism and despair never get tired."

(free tip: there's someone here that I keep posting this in response to. Care to take a guess who it is?)

Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

Weird how people who have nothing to peddle but canine loyalty to Dear Leader Oreobama and the Dinocratic Party never get tired.