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The Big Answer


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The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted

a book by Mike Lofgren

(our site's book review)

The G.O.P. Went Nuts, Becoming an Apocalyptic Cult of Armageddon-Craving Fundamentalist Wackos

Republicans went crazy, Democrats became useless, and the Middle Class got shafted (or is it Trumped?)
Republicans went crazy, Democrats became useless, and the Middle Class got shafted (or is it Trumped?)

Lofgren, a longtime aide to Rep. John Kasich of Ohio, a conservative fiscal hawk, quit in disgust when the G.O.P. went nuts, becoming “an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe” in which “a disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself.” Beholden to billionaires, the military-industrial complex and Armageddon-craving fundamentalist wackos, Republicans had become a threat to our country's future, while Democrats sat around like zombies, blinking like deer in headlights, asking "what happened?"

Republicans had become a threat to our country's future, while Democrats sat around like zombies, blinking like deer in headlights, asking 'what happened?' What indeed!
Republicans had become a threat to our country's future, while Democrats sat around like zombies, blinking like deer in headlights, asking 'what happened?' What indeed!

After Newt the G.O.P. Went Berserk and the Democrats Were Enablers

He tells us that in the early eighties it was still possible to do the work of democracy to a limited degree, with the two parties coming to reasonable biparisan agreements to deal with the issues at hand. But since Newt Gingrich decided that scorched-earth tactics would further the radical fundamentalist causes he represented better than following democratic guidelines for how to run a government, everything got ugly, bitter, uncompromising, and extremely unproductive. The next Speaker of the House, Tom DeLay, kept up the ugliness. After Sept. 11, 2001, “things got much worse” as Karl Rove and other party operatives sought to paint Democrats as un-American appeasers opposed to heartland morality (which equated to radicalized religion in the minds of these perpetrators of political poppycock). “By the 2010 midterm elections,” Lofgren declares, “the party had collectively lost its mind.” "I think they went crazy when they started identifying Obama as the Antichrist," says Lofgren, although we think they may have been on the right track in that respect. About 13 percent (about 40,000,000 citizens) of those polled believe that President Obama is the Biblical Antichrist, who will usher in the end times according to Christian eschatology. (Source:Conspiracy Poll Shows How Many Americans Think Obama Is The Antichrist, Dusten Carlson)

The G.O.P. is now 'Scientology for rednecks' who think that embryology, evolutionary biology and geology are 'lies from the pit of hell'
The G.O.P. is now 'Scientology for rednecks' who think that embryology, evolutionary biology and geology are 'lies from the pit of hell'

Lofgren's assessment of Democrats as enablers for Republicans' dementia is on point. Over the last 20 or 30 years the Democratic Party has morphed into a collection of Republicrats and the Republican Party has morphed into a collection of lunatics. Government by a combination of Republicrats and lunatics is, by its very nature, dysfunctional. Lofgren believes that the party of Abraham Lincoln has degenerated into Scientology for rednecks who think that embryology, evolutionary biology and geology are “lies from the pit of hell.” There is now a powerful, well-financed counter-cultural movement that has substantial influence within the G.O.P.. It would rollback the Enlightenment if it could.

Lofgren is telling us that 'both parties are rotten, but Republicans take the prize for sailing off the rails and taking all manner of common sense and duty to the republic with them'
Lofgren is telling us that 'both parties are rotten, but Republicans take the prize for sailing off the rails and taking all manner of common sense and duty to the republic with them'

The G.O.P. Elite Work to Replace Welfare for the Poor with Welfare for the Rich

The whole sordid mess of corruption, stupidity and political buffoonery is laid out by Mike Lofgren as someone who spent many years in D.C. observing it all up close and personally as a congressional staffer. Neither the Democrats nor the G.O.P. is a populist party. But the G.O.P. is the party of the wealthy, privileged elite working to protect and enhance their wealth & privilege and replace welfare for the poor with welfare for the rich and social Darwinism for the rest of us—and yet they trick the poor and ignorant to vote for them! "The mixture of politics and religion," he says, "debases both, and has turned the G.O.P. into an apocalyptic sect." Lofgren is telling us that "both parties are rotten, but Republicans take the prize for sailing off the rails and taking all manner of common sense and duty to the republic with them," according to Kelley Beaucar Vlahos. (Source: Mike Lofgren’s Lament)

The economic parts of the Republican policies would screw these millions of ignorant heartland sheep royally, but the sheep just kept getting sheared, obsessing about abortion
The economic parts of the Republican policies would screw these millions of ignorant heartland sheep royally, but the sheep just kept getting sheared, obsessing about abortion

The G.O.P. was and is pushing policies that are enriching the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. And to put the frosting on the cake, the party found a way to exploit the ignorant masses so cynically that it actually got them to vote against their own interests by creating diversions and distractions in the form of hot button issues like abortion, school prayer, creationism in schools, and birth control. The economic parts of the Republican policies would screw these millions of ignorant heartland sheep royally, but the PR experts and speechwriters of the G.O.P. got the sheep frantically obsessed with the social issues so they were numb to their own impalement when it came.

Letting neocons run the decisions in Washington is like letting a fox guard a henhouse
Letting neocons run the decisions in Washington is like letting a fox guard a henhouse

An elegant sleight-of-hand of the most cynical and revolting kind, these charlatans pretended to care about social issues while behind the scenes the actual event occuring was robbery on a massive scale, and the rich happily walked off with the loot they'd tricked the sheep out of. It wasn't pretty. But it was effective, and they used fundamentalist preachers as unwitting accomplices. Eventually, the pickpocketed poor and middle class were led to concentrate not on their economic plight but on the Rapture and the hereafter. Reagan, who cut taxes for the rich, was a master at leading sheep to the shearing. The sheep were told the tax breaks for the rich would trickle down benefits to the non-rich. And thirty some years later, we're STILL waiting for these benefits!

Reagan, who cut taxes for the rich, was a master at leading sheep to the shearing
Reagan, who cut taxes for the rich, was a master at leading sheep to the shearing

Congress Was Tricked into Supporting Two Unwanted Wars and Stomping on the Constitution

Democrats were also helping the oligarchs with their "get richer quick" schemes, wasting the nation’s treasure on divisive foreign wars and stomping on the Constitution by accepting, under Obama, the expansion of Bush-era executive powers to monitor, torture, detain or even assassinate people without charge. The effect of both parties selling out to the corporatocracy was that banks, military contractors, and drug and energy companies had secured the subsidies, tax structure and foreign policies they desired so they resisted change at all cost, and the gridlock was cemented gleefully into place. The thesis of this book, then, is how the Republicans and Democrats worked together to sell out the middle class.

Neither party seems to care about the Constitution, our rights, our huge debt, or the young we're getting killed and maimed in wars, so long as the elites keep paying them off
Neither party seems to care about the Constitution, our rights, our huge debt, or the young we're getting killed and maimed in wars, so long as the elites keep paying them off

Lofgren's Solutions to Our National Decline Contain No Way to Accomplish Them

Mr. Lofgren concludes this excellent book with a set of recommendations for reform. His solution to all this corruption and rights loss and wasted money and resources is interesting. Simply “get all private money out of our public elections” by moving to a publicly funded campaign system. The Congress that might result—“beholden to the public at large rather than to big contributors”—would naturally confront the real issues facing the country: “changing the tax code, cleaning up Wall Street, and winding down the wars that are impoverishing us financially and morally.” This, however, is NOT a solution. It's a wish list. One might as well write a letter to Santa Claus asking for these miracles.

One might as well write a letter to Santa Claus asking for the war stopping, tax fixing, and Wall Street clean-up
One might as well write a letter to Santa Claus asking for the war stopping, tax fixing, and Wall Street clean-up

Lofgren's book is very insightful when it comes to discussing the problems and issues, but he has no real idea how to implement the changes in his wish list. The G.O.P.'s wily strategists are bankrupting the country, so the solution is to have them quit doing that. He might as well be the doctor we go to and say doctor doctor—it hurts when we go like THIS and Dr. Lofgren says I have your cure: stop going like THIS!

The warmongering neocon elites' policies of unafordable empire building have led to actions that threaten to break the army and bankrupt the treasury
The warmongering neocon elites' policies of unafordable empire building have led to actions that threaten to break the army and bankrupt the treasury; we citizens object, but no one listens—welcome to the rise of the Corporate Security State

Another Lofgren Book: The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government

Another Lofgren book is The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government is a helpful guide to our slide into plutocracy. And oligarchy. And corporatocracy. Have you ever wondered why Obama’s policies look so much like Bush’s? It is because actual power lies in the Deep State, Washington’s shadowy power elite, which is in the pockets of corporate interests and dependent on the moguls of Silicon Valley, whose data-collecting systems enable our government to spy on our every move. Since NSA spying gets more technologically advanced by the day, perhaps in the near future . . .

Fly #353242252 reporting: Citizen #312,756,972 doesn't seem to be hiding a thing—my conclusion is that she's clean; but just to be sure I think I'll hang around a bit longer!
Fly #353242252 reporting: Citizen #312,756,972 doesn't seem to be hiding a thing—my conclusion is that she's clean; but just to be sure I think I'll hang around a bit longer!

Our Current Politicians Make Us Pine for Decent Caring Folks Like FDR

The author looks at the way the following use their power for their own ends and not to serve the people: Bush, Cheney, Abramoff, Gingrich, Bachmann, the Koch Brothers and Democrats like Obama, Rubin and Geithner. One tries in vain to remember when the phrase "public servant" did not arose cynical snickers and eye-rolling from listeners. We'd have to reminisce all the way back to the 30s and 40s when FDR was in charge and actually acted like he understood that phrase completely. However, not many of us are that old!

Pursuing global military hegemony will simply send us down the dusty and corpse-strewn road of the British Empire or the Soviet Union—or even the fall of Rome
Pursuing global military hegemony will simply send us down the dusty and corpse-strewn road of the British Empire or the Soviet Union—or even the fall of Rome


U.S. is building an empire which they hope will outshine the 500-year reign of the British Empire—however, countries today do NOT want to be colonies
U.S. is building an empire which they hope will outshine the 500-year reign of the British Empire—however, countries today do NOT want to be colonies

Squandering Our Resources by Pursuing Global Military Hegemony Will Take Us Under

Lofgren says "Including debt service, our misadventure in Iraq cost us $1 trillion, and what did we get from it? Zip, nada, zilch. . . . Squandering our resources by pursuing the illusion of global military hegemony will simply send us down the dusty and corpse-strewn road of the Spanish Empire of Philip II, the British Empire, and the Soviet Union. . . . Our real work is at home: peace, reform, and reconstruction." See Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance and The Neoconserative Threat to World Order: America's Perilous War for Hegemony.

Including debt service, our misadventure in Iraq cost us $1 trillion, and what did we get from it? Zip, nada, zilch
Including debt service, our misadventure in Iraq cost us $1 trillion, and what did we get from it? Zip, nada, zilch

The Bush presidency was at bottom a corrupt and criminal operation in collusion with private interests to hijack the U.S. treasury. But what does it tell one about Congress, which acted more often as a cheerleader than a constitutional check? And what does it tell us about the Obama administration, whose Justice Department not only failed to hold the culprits accountable, but has continued and expanded some of Bush's most objectionable policies? Like the title says, the Republicans are crazy and the Democrats are less than useless, and the middle class got shafted and had/has to pay for all these crazy neocon wet dreams of endless power and wealth—not for our nation's people, mind you, but for the oligarchs of our shadow government.

The middle class had/has to pay for all these crazy neocon wet dreams of endless power and wealth—not for our nation's people, mind you, but for the oligarchs of our shadow government
The middle class had/has to pay for all these crazy neocon wet dreams of endless power and wealth—not for our nation's people, mind you, but for the oligarchs of our shadow government


If only the crazy neocon warmongers were like this so we could lock them away
If only the crazy neocon warmongers were like this so we could lock them away


But no, as bad luck would have it, they are exactly like this (the fox guarding the henhouse) and you already know the hens' fate, don't you?
But no, as bad luck would have it, they are exactly like this (the fox guarding the henhouse) and you already know the hens' fate, don't you?

The Republican Party Is an Apocalyptic Sect That Indulges Creationists and Right-Wing Extremists

Lofgren "wrote about how the party took advantage of a profoundly ignorant electorate, an easily conned and distracted media, and a cowed Democratic Party to press the ideological struggle in spite of the deep unpopularity of many of its positions." (Source: The Truth About American Politics, George Packer, The New Yorker)

Lofgren is telling us that the G.O.P. should cease to be a pseudo-church and once again become a broad-based organization like the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower. He rightly bewails how the mixture of politics and religion debases both pursuits, turning the Republican Party into an apocalyptic sect that indulges birthers, candidates who talk about remedies for the Second Amendment, and those, such as Rep. Todd Akin, who have not caught up with the concept of equal rights for women. Incidentally, the only correct "remedy" for the Second Amendment is for the right-wing extremists to keep their greasy mitts off it. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." In 2016, any self-respecting citizen without an alarm system and guns for self defense is a fool whistling in the dark.

In 2016, any self-respecting citizen without an alarm system and guns for self defense is a fool whistling in the dark
In 2016, any self-respecting citizen without an alarm system and guns for self defense is a fool whistling in the dark


Our Vietnam and Iraq wars were much more about imperialism than democratization, but most of us drank the Kool-Aid
Our Vietnam and Iraq wars were much more about imperialism than democratization, but most of us drank the Kool-Aid

Lofgren noticed that the way candidates attempt to cajole votes from the public is to promise to cut taxes more than his/her rivals and spend more on "security" than others, with security being a code word for telling the public wars and other military incursions are to keep them safe when actually they are just power-mad neocon crazies pursuing wet dreams of world domination and empire building. Security and democratization are the cover for all this defense spending on military adventuring. For all the good it does (which the author says is none and we agree), the armed forces might as well be tilting at windmills. But war is the new U.S. religion, complete with Bush thinking he is on a Crusade (his word) and right-wing extremist fundamentalist crazies trying to push the U.S into the Bible's end times and Armageddon so the Savior can haul them to heaven in the Rapture while the AntiChrist takes over on Earth. Like us, Lofgren wants no part of military, economic, or foreign affairs being guided by such dark paranoid fantasies of anti-science radicals. See The New Know-Nothings: The Political Foes of the Scientific Study of Human Nature.

For all the good it does when power-mad neocon crazies are pursuing wet dreams of world domination and empire building, the armed forces might as well be tilting at windmills
For all the good it does when power-mad neocon crazies are pursuing wet dreams of world domination and empire building, the armed forces might as well be tilting at windmills


War is the new U.S. religion, Bush thought he was on a Crusade, and fundamentalist crazies try to push the U.S into Armageddon
War is the new U.S. religion, Bush thought he was on a Crusade, and fundamentalist crazies try to push the U.S into Armageddon


During the Rapture, we'll have angels taking people to heaven
During the Rapture, we'll have angels taking people to heaven