MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
You can stay it started on Truthout, and it did.
Mike Lofgren, a long-time top ranking Republican staff budget analyst on Capitol Hill, wrote a record-breaking article on Truthout, "Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult." The Truthout commentary was read by more than 1.3 million people – and it is still growing in viewers.
In fact, a subsequent interview with Leslie Thatcher on Truthout received nearly 7 thousand Facebook likes and counting. Clearly, Lofgren had captured the interest of those who wanted to hear the biting, trenchant analysis of a Republican insider who believes the party has crossed over into the outer limits. (It should be noted, that Lofgren holds little regard for the Democratic representation on the Hill either, believing that both parties are beholden to corporations – and that the Dems are not an effective opposition party.)
The Truthout story that caromed around the nation inspired Lofgren to write a book, “The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted” (which is available directly from Truthout by clicking here).
A little over a year ago, a 28-year veteran Republican congressional staffer, Mike Lofgren, decided to leave his job, but he didn’t go quietly. In a widely read parting essay published at Truthout.org, he asserted that the party he’d spent his career in had been taken over by crackpots and lunatics. The piece was sharp, eloquent and all the more damning for being produced not by a progressive activist, but by a longtime aide to Rep. John Kasich of Ohio, a conservative fiscal hawk.
The GOP, Lofgren argued in the aftermath of the debt-ceiling debacle, increasingly resembled “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.” The party’s cynical electoral strategy was to deadlock government and thus undermine the public’s faith in it and its presumed allies, the Democrats. Beholden to billionaires, the military-industrial complex and Armageddon-craving fundamentalists, the party of Abraham Lincoln had become a threat to the nation’s future.
The Post review goes on to call Lofgren's "The Party is Over" a "fast-moving, hard-hitting, dryly witty book-length account of the radicalization of his party, the failures of Democratic rivals and the appalling consequences for the country at large. Like the essay that inspired it, it is forceful, convincing and seductive enough to prompt one to follow along, even when the intellectual terrain begins to look familiar."
Lofgren decries a “corporate nirvana” that has come to rule Capitol Hill. He advocates publicly funded elections as one step to take in returning democracy to a venue of sanity.
To those who are cyncial about the possibility of reform, the Washington Post review concludes: "Americans in the 1860s and 1940s overcame far greater difficulties with far fewer resources, after all; surely we can do so again."
You can obtain Mike Lofgen's "The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted," shipped directly from Truthout, by clicking here.