A very alienated Republican professional tells all

Happy Labor Day.

Mike Lofgren has been working for 28 years as a congressional aide, on the Republican side, earning more than $100,000 a year every year since at least 2001. He worked as Repub staff on both the House and Senate Budget Committees. He is a serious insider who knows how things work and where the bodies are buried.

He recently retired  and has decided to say what he has learned about the two parties and it’s amazing. His confession, titled “Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult,” was published over the weekend by Truthout, which is a lefty aggregator of pieces that express a lefty perspective. And Lofgren has developed an attitude toward his own party that is nastier than most lefties would write. So, with warnings that it’s a long piece, I recommend reading the whole thing. But here are some exceprts:

“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. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant.”

***

“The only thing that can keep the Senate functioning is collegiality and good faith. During periods of political consensus, for instance, the World War II and early post-war eras, the Senate was a high functioning” institution: filibusters were rare and the body was legislatively productive. Now, one can no more picture the current Senate producing the original Medicare Act than the old Supreme Soviet having legislated the Bill of Rights.

Far from being a rarity, virtually every bill, every nominee for Senate confirmation and every routine procedural motion is now subject to a Republican filibuster. Under the circumstances, it is no wonder that Washington is gridlocked: legislating has now become war minus the shooting, something one could have observed 80 years ago in the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. As Hannah Arendt observed, a disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself.”

***

“A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters’ confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that ‘they are all crooks,’ and that ‘government is no good,’ further leading them to think, ‘a plague on both your houses’ and ‘the parties are like two kids in a school yard.’ This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s – a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn (‘Government is the problem,’ declared Ronald Reagan in 1980).

The media are also complicit in this phenomenon. 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.'””

***

“[Today’s conservatives] prefer to rail against those government programs that actually help people. And when a program is too popular to attack directly, like Medicare or Social Security, they prefer to undermine it by feigning an agonized concern about the deficit. That concern, as we shall see, is largely fictitious.”

***

“Republicans are among the most shrill in self-righteously lecturing other countries about the wonders of democracy; exporting democracy (albeit at the barrel of a gun) to the Middle East was a signature policy of the Bush administration. But domestically, they don’t want those people voting.

You can probably guess who those people are. Above all, anyone not likely to vote Republican. As Sarah Palin would imply, the people who are not Real Americans. Racial minorities. Immigrants. Muslims. Gays. Intellectuals. Basically, anyone who doesn’t look, think, or talk like the GOP base.”

***

“You know that Social Security and Medicare are in jeopardy when even Democrats refer to them as entitlements. ‘Entitlement’ has a negative sound in colloquial English: somebody who is ‘entitled’ selfishly claims something he doesn’t really deserve. Why not call them ‘earned benefits,’ which is what they are because we all contribute payroll taxes to fund them? That would never occur to the Democrats. Republicans don’t make that mistake; they are relentlessly on message: it is never the ‘estate tax,’ it is the ‘death tax.’ Heaven forbid that the Walton family should give up one penny of its $86-billion fortune. All of that lucre is necessary to ensure that unions be kept out of Wal-Mart, that women employees not be promoted and that politicians be kept on a short leash.”

***

“The GOP cares solely and exclusively about its rich contributors. The party has built a whole catechism on the protection and further enrichment of America’s plutocracy. Their caterwauling about deficit and debt is so much eyewash to con the public. Whatever else President Obama has accomplished (and many of his purported accomplishments are highly suspect), his $4-trillion deficit reduction package did perform the useful service of smoking out Republican hypocrisy. The GOP refused, because it could not abide so much as a one-tenth of one percent increase on the tax rates of the Walton family or the Koch brothers, much less a repeal of the carried interest rule that permits billionaire hedge fund managers to pay income tax at a lower effective rate than cops or nurses. Republicans finally settled on a deal that had far less deficit reduction – and even less spending reduction! – than Obama’s offer, because of their iron resolution to protect at all costs our society’s overclass.”

Comments (35)

  1. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 09/05/2011 - 12:09 pm.

    I read the whole piece and it is spot on. His quote from Hannah Arendt gives me pause: “As Hannah Arendt observed, a disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself.””

    If what he says is evident to him, how many others in the Republican party agree but follow the Republican party line notwithstanding?

    In the concluding months of the 2008 Presidential campaign, there was a lot of evidence of behavior and attitudes at many McCain rallies of what would characterize the “tea party” right in 2010. I had thought Obama’s election would have discredited this extremism but as we’ve seen since 2009, it went briefly underground only to resurface with the “town halls” in 2009. And now this extremist minority is dictating national policy, as if the 2008 election and its rejection of 8 years of extremist and incompetent Republican policies had never happened!

    I have to agree with Lofgren that yeah, both parties are rotten, and in the final analysis the Republican party is far more rotten than the Democratic Party.

  2. Submitted by steve anderson on 09/05/2011 - 12:35 pm.

    I would hope to see a balance in articles since both parties are guilty of these type of politics. I would be refreshing to see some real reporting with facts and less opinions/bias to give people a real sense of what is going on. This is the main reason I do not support what media we have in the twin cities and relay on multiple sources. Interestingly I find more real reporting from over seas media than our own.

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 09/05/2011 - 01:14 pm.

    I’m not really sure what the goal of this piece was (well, I can guess).

    But if we are focusing our attention on former political stalwarts jumping the ideological ship and turning embittered informer, how can we not include David Horowitz?

    http://www.horowitzfreedomcenter.org/about/david-horowitz/

    Acquainting yourself with Horowitz’s scholarship not only rewards those in search of political schadenfreude, it serves as a window to the more thoughtful reader interested in the bigger picture of American politics.

    That is, all political ideologies invariably become more extreme, and veer towards the totalitarian, given enough time in power.

    Since the New Deal, the left has, to varying degrees (although never approaching complete plurality), held the conch. That cycle has reached it’s zenith, and society is embracing a corrective worldview which in time will require its own correction.

    It is nothing more sinister than that, and certainly doesn’t warrant the hysterical liturgy that Horowitz provided in his day, or that Lofgren provides here.

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 09/05/2011 - 01:43 pm.

    Thanks for this, Eric.

    Mr. Lofgren kinda puts Dick Cheney, Michele Bachmann and Tony Sutton in perspective.

    Someone more forceful than I might make a case that the Republican agenda, to the degree that it purports to do what Mr. Lofgren says it is doing, is treasonous, since undermining public faith in our own government, at every level, and for a myriad of programs, could easily have the effect of providing “aid and comfort” to the enemies of the United States. That more forceful someone might also make a case that the Republican Party, as it’s currently constituted, is among those enemies of the United States.

    I’m not forceful enough to make those arguments, of course.

    A piece in the ‘Strib this morning involved the departure of Al Franken’s Chief of Staff, who said, among other things, that collegiality is an important part of Senate function. I’d guess it might be difficult to have a collegial relationship with someone who believes, or at least acts and speaks, as if you and your place in government are the Devil’s spawn. Even without the collegial spirit, that attitude might make the necessary compromises of democratic government difficult to forge. I’d guess further that this same line of thought must create a fairly powerful cognitive dissonance, at least among the few Republicans not in the obvious service of the People of Money.

    But I’m only guessing.

    I’m also guessing, having read Lofgren’s entire piece, that he is absolutely on target in his assessment of the Democratic Party as “ceding the field.” He is, in fact, being more generous than I would be. Democratic candidates at every level in every state of the country should take the Eisenhower quote Lofgren provides and beat Republicans (and Libertarians) over the head with it from now until Election Day, and for several election days thereafter.

    Someone far more electable than I should be pointing out during the primary season that Michele Bachmann running for the presidency is pretty much the same thing as having the neighborhood crazy lady running for the presidency.

    Democrats – or independents of democratic sensibilities but more backbone – should also make a point of mentioning the “…three principal tenets” Lofgren cites, andthen make sure every voter understands what Republican service to those ideals means to every citizen.

    I won’t be holding my breath waiting for these things to happen, however.

  5. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 09/05/2011 - 01:52 pm.

    BTW, vis-a-vis Lofgren’s last quote, allow me to provide some much needed insight for MinnPost readers that are mystified why middle, and lower classes of citizens stand against raising taxes for the wealthy.

    Many modestly successful people such as myself, and those even less successful, see value in restraining taxation not just for the personal retention of the fruits of our work, but because we believe that the restraint a lack of financial resources puts on government is a virtue unto itself.

    Right now, the left is engaged in an all out war against the wealthiest of us. But thoughtful conservatives of all financial strata are fully aware that even a complete confiscation of every penny the top 10%, or 20% for that matter, would not, even for a moment, satiate the leftist agenda to fuel ever bigger and more intrusive government.

    “Just say no” proved an insufficient rallying cry to end recreational drug abuse; but it seems to be working quite well when the drug is power.

    The fact that Lofgren has evidently forgotten that most solid underpinning to conservative thought makes one wonder if he ever understood it in the first place.

  6. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 09/05/2011 - 03:55 pm.

    Given that his rant is nothing but a collection of common democrat talking points, it’s obvious that after 28 years in his cushy government job, albeit for the other side, Mr. Lofgren can finally come out of the closet and admit that he’s a democrat. We’re shocked, shocked.

    In the future, if you want to pass yourself off as a former republican, Mike, it’s best to skip the dissing of Ronald Reagan, the pathetic wealth envy, the accusations of racism, and the quoting of Paul Krugman. They’re dead giveaways.

  7. Submitted by Bob Lundegaard on 09/05/2011 - 04:39 pm.

    Not much to disagree with, except this: How in hell can someone accept a six-figure salary for ten years working for people he despises? Has he no shame?

  8. Submitted by Clayton Haapala on 09/05/2011 - 05:16 pm.

    This is one of those articles you want to send to “that idiot “. Unfortunately, as Lofgren himself laments, what remains of his party are the kool-aid drinkers, and those cynically mixing the brew.

  9. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 09/05/2011 - 08:09 pm.

    Good to know that Mr. Swift and Mr. Tester are privy to the left’s agenda, since I am personally not aware of an all-out war against the wealthiest of us. Were that to be the case, surely tax rates on capital gains would be the same as they are on regular income, and income tax rates for the wealthiest 10% would not be the lowest since Eisenhower (there’s that name again) was president 60 years ago.

    Lower and middle-class citizens opposed to raising taxes for the wealthiest among us are, to phrase it as mildly as I possibly can, working actively against their own best interests, since the “lack of financial resources” Mr. Swift mentions, instead of promoting virtue (presumably that of thrift), instead makes it impossible for government to do the things we, the public, want it to do. I look forward to Mr. Swift elaborating on that agenda of the left that’s apparently not capable of being satiated.

    I speak, of course, of those things not involving the military, since military spending continues to go up and up, like health care costs, with nary a peep in protest from those on the right. At least equal in expansion to those two items are the intrusions of government, state and federal, into the most intimate areas of our lives, those intrusions proposed and heartily endorsed by legislators and other officials who claim to be “conservative.” One need only mention a proposed Constitutional Amendment to enshrine a particular, evangelically-endorsed form of marriage in that document, because, after all, the law already on the books might be changed. Heaven forbid that public opinion actually be allowed to influence public policy when doing so would violate the sensibilities of the right.

    It should also be noted that the apostate always is subjected to the most acrid vilification from those whose secrets have been revealed or pretensions exposed for the shallowness and malevolence they exhibit.

  10. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 09/05/2011 - 09:07 pm.

    To a large degree, the success of the right in keeping tax rates low has been because of the dissatisfaction of the American middle class with the inefficient system of progressive taxes and universal benefits, which repeatedly makes liberals seem economically incompetent. Only in those countries where there are flat taxes and progressive benefits has the scope of government services been able to expand to the level desired by American liberals.

  11. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 09/06/2011 - 09:25 am.

    Swift is EXACTLY the type of cult member the author despises. Rather than having a reasoned debate on how much spending we should have and whether, as proposed, we should ask the wealthy to pay 1%-2% more, he uses terms such as “all out war” and frames the debate as “the Left demanding 100% from the wealthy”. But thanks Tom, for providing us with Exhibit A for the author’s contention.

  12. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 09/06/2011 - 09:36 am.

    Please allow me a moment to savor the hubris of questioning someone’s ability to comprehend an agenda that is repeated at every opportunity, and feeling competent in lecturing them on what their own best interests are……

    “Lower and middle-class citizens opposed to raising taxes for the wealthiest among us are, to phrase it as mildly as I possibly can, working actively against their own best interests.”

    *Simultainiously*, mind you, championing the proposition that not only do “we, the public” agree in any substantial measure what things the government should be doing, but that the answer is in one’s pocket and available for use as a warrent!

    “the “lack of financial resources” … makes it impossible for government to do the things we, the public, want it to do.”

    Wow. Head rush…

  13. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 09/06/2011 - 09:37 am.

    Mr. Swift@5: “. . .allow me to provide some much needed insight for MinnPost readers that are mystified why middle, and lower classes of citizens stand against raising taxes for the wealthy.”

    The more you try to explain this “insight”, the less I understand. I get that you don’t like Lofgren’s unflattering portrayal of the Republican Party. Your comments suggest to me you either didn’t read the piece or cannot contradict him. You might not like what he has to say but that doesn’t make him wrong. Sometimes the truth hurts.

  14. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 09/06/2011 - 10:06 am.

    Jon, I was adressing the contention that “The GOP cares solely and exclusively about its rich contributors.”

    I don’t presume to speak for “The GOP”, but I can (just did as a matter of fact) provide an argument against Lofgren’s conclusion based upon the expressed views of several GOP members I’m aquainted with as well as my own motivations.

    That is to say, it’s not really important whether I “like” what Lofgren has to say, because I don’t think Lofgren has a valid argument that supports it.

    Hope that helps.

  15. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 09/06/2011 - 10:45 am.

    Again, it was Franken who said: “Republicans tell everyone that government doesn’t work… then when they get elected they prove it”. It’s nice to see a Republican admit what so many of us have been saying for decades.

    I’d have to point out however that congress isn’t the only branch of government Republicans try to control. I know it’s a dark place to go but I’ve always thought the failures of Bush presidency had to be more than just gross incompetence. From the financial bubble to Sept, 11 2001 the Bush administration never seemed interested in making the government work. Once could suspect that something a little more deliberate than neglect was going on.

  16. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 09/06/2011 - 11:06 am.

    Thanks, Mr. Swift, but I think you completely missed Lofgren’s point. You and your GOP friends may disagree with his point, namely that the GOP wealthy elite doesn’t care about you or your friends or what you and they think. But that’s his point. The GOP elite uses and manipulates you and your friends to advance their own agenda, which is to protect them, i.e. the wealthy elite, from taxes, regulation, etc. And he reinforces his point by showing how the Republican Congress made a deal with Obama that compromised the value at least they said they steadfastly represented, i.e. deficit or spending reduction. Something they don’t care about one whit. They did this how? By absolutely refusing to compromise on taxes on the wealthy.

    Unless you are one of the wealthy elite who bankroll the GOP, Mr. Swift, you can never speak for them. I have no idea what benefit you get out of supporting a party that pays for people who will disregard their own interests and well being but in a democracy at least, that is not an end game. It’s an end game only on a plutocracy or totalitarian state which pays for lackeys.

  17. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 09/06/2011 - 11:47 am.

    “I think you completely missed Lofgren’s point. You and your GOP friends may disagree with his point, namely that the GOP wealthy elite doesn’t care about you or your friends or what you and they think. But that’s his point.”

    Doesn’t someone have to “get” a point to disagree with it? Pretty sure that’s how it works.

    I, and my friends “get it” Jon, and we disagree with it. Having an effect that benefits others without harm to me in no way disinclines me, or my ideological allies from pursuing our own best interests, which despite what mindreaders such as yourself and Ray may believe, we do recognise.

  18. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 09/06/2011 - 01:18 pm.

    So, Mr. Swift, I take it you support repeal of Social Security and Medicare? If not, why not?

  19. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 09/06/2011 - 02:06 pm.

    If this is how Mike Lofgren really feels about Republicans, why did he stay on the Republican side of the aisle for 28 years? Was the salary better? Talk about a hypocrite!

  20. Submitted by Dale Hoogeveen on 09/06/2011 - 02:32 pm.

    Mr. Swift,

    I certainly “get it”.

    You had best read the whole article. I find nothing at all to disagree with in it.

    Furthermore your attitude and nearly every sentence in your posts on this topic are described quite accurately and predicted by one or more of the points in it.

  21. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 09/06/2011 - 04:41 pm.

    #18, ever notice when you ask these guys a direct question they never answer it? They spend almost all their time attacking the messenger, bringing up side issues and never directly responding with facts to the arguments presented in the articles. They aren’t here to pursuade anyone about their arguments, they are here to attack and belittle and weaken the foe anyway possible, as pointed out by commenter #20.

  22. Submitted by Joe Musich on 09/06/2011 - 05:21 pm.

    How did swift get to be the center of the discussion ? The bigger issue is the frightening hypocracy of the current GOP. As was said something bordering on treason.

  23. Submitted by Colin Dunn on 09/06/2011 - 05:22 pm.

    Hahahaha.. that’s a good one. The government waging “all out war” against wealthy Americans(should I say “successful Americans” instead? Because, apparently, wealthy people are successful people.. like, Denny Hecker!)

    Hahahahaaa … “all out war.” Good stuff.

  24. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 09/06/2011 - 06:16 pm.

    Bill, do you realize you’ve accused me of deflecting with side issues while supporting the relevance of a side issue deflection?

    None-the-less I’ll answer. 20 years ago in conversations about Soc Sec I suggested I’d be willing to give up every dime the gov had already taken from me if it would let me out of SS.

    20 years later I’d require some of my ransom back in return, but I’d still jump at the chance to opt out of both SS and MC.

  25. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 09/06/2011 - 07:09 pm.

    Bill–
    Unfortunately, it seems to work.
    See Bachmannn, Michele.

  26. Submitted by Tim Larson on 09/06/2011 - 09:58 pm.

    Mr. Kingstad,

    You stated:

    “The GOP elite uses and manipulates you and your friends to advance their own agenda, which is to protect them, i.e. the wealthy elite, from taxes, regulation, etc.”

    Do you believe that it is only the GOP are the “elite.” Are there no DEM or liberal “elites?”

    If why not, why not?

  27. Submitted by Tim Larson on 09/06/2011 - 10:05 pm.

    Eric,

    Here’s an idea for a future post.

    How does Obama square his comments at the Arizona memorial service about how we need to be more civil. With James Hoffa’s introduction of Obama at his Labor day speech?

    You have heard about that, I hope.

    Or will you be like the White House. No comment.

  28. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 09/06/2011 - 10:31 pm.

    It’s interesting that liberals believe that opposing the confiscation of another man’s wealth is considered “going against one’s own self-interests.” That notion speaks volumes of the Left’s respect of private property rights, among other things. When the state has need for the fruits of our labor, we must hand it over without argument, apparently.

    The reason why conservatives oppose taxing even wealthy people (in addition to ourselves) is because we’re capitalists. The purpose and effect of capitalism is to CREATE WEALTH. And when wealth is allowed to be created by providing desired products and services in the marketplace, the entire society benefits, through re-investment, job creation, and yes, even tax revenue to the state.

    Excessive taxation on wealth is an impediment to capitalism which hurts everyone in a capitalist society.

    Conservatives, even working-class conservatives, get this. Even Marx realized he had to allow the creation of some wealth before he could re-distribute it.

  29. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 09/06/2011 - 11:35 pm.

    Mr. Larson@26: Sure there are “DEM” elites and “liberal elites”. I think they support progressive taxation, more equal distribution of wealth, reform and regulation of financial institutions, environmental protection, single payer health care, pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and a lot of other issues like that. I’ve heard Warren Buffet talk about progressive taxation recently and he seems to agree with me and other progressives that the rich like him are taxed too little and taxes need to be raised. I suppose he fits your idea of a “liberal elite.” Buffett hasn’t been among these reactionary elites like the Kochs, Coors, the Bradleys and their ilk who use their wealth to corrupt and obstruct democracy.

    Frankly, to describe what any of the so-called elites have in terms of obscene amounts of money as “wealth” is itself a corruption of the term. No one can “earn” the amounts of money “owned” by the top 1% of “wealth-holders” at least in a legal or legitimate way. Only through manipulating laws and governments does such money become concentrated. As the old saying goes: “Why doth treason not prosper? Because if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

  30. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 09/07/2011 - 09:43 am.

    Dennis–

    Taxes are confiscation only if you receive no benefit from them. So, I assume that you don’t drive on the roads, drink the water, or breathe the air.

    Creating wealth is not the same as creating socially useful products. Wealth in the sense of money (capital) is simply a redistribution of available goods and services. And money (income) is what is taxed; not the creation of goods and services itself.

    Note:
    Germany’s slightly more socialized economy has done much better than ours since the Bush recession. There is no evidence that privatization actually stimulates the economy (see Thatcher, Margaret).
    John Quiggen’s Zombie Economics is a good source of information here.

  31. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 09/07/2011 - 10:01 am.

    If we want to discover what it is the those who are so easily manipulated by the wealthiest people of our nation would allow to happen if those they so admire were allowed to take complete power (as was the case with the first six years of Bushco),…

    all we need to do is pay attention to what they’re accusing those they oppose of doing or being willing to do.

    Such accusations and the, warped and inflexible “alternate reality” worldview which supports them arise from characteristics of their own personalities which they, finding them so unacceptable as to be unable to acknowledge them within themselves, project outward into the world and (falsely) attack in others.

    When such people gain power and find that their own pet solutions to the issues at hand blow up in their faces (which, arising from those folks’ internal psychological tricksters, they inevitably do), and they find themselves under extreme stress,…

    all their suppressed psychological traits come to the fore and they, inevitably, become, or support fascists and fascistic policies (in order to seek to “re-establish” the kind of law and order which would make to work the only approaches to problems which they will allow themselves to consider – which of course can’t ever happen, those solutions NEVER work – their inevitable solution to such failure being MORE and MORE and MORE “law and order”).

    Of course this sometimes happens on the fringes of the “left,” as well, but the fact that it is now mainstreamed and mainlined on the right is a testament both to the levels of psychological dysfunction that are routinely programmed into children who are raised in particular kinds of communities, families, and churches, and how rampant those dysfunctions are among “conservative” adults who are,…

    without thought or awareness, routinely treating their children in exactly the same ways, they, themselves, were treated and, thereby programming those children with exactly the same sad, destructive dysfunctions from which the parents suffer,…

    and unconsciously programming those children to do, as a matter of course, the same to their children, who will do the same to their children, who will do the same to their children, ad infinitum,…

    while identifying (and even being TAUGHT to identify) the dysfunctional child rearing methods used by such parents as the only “proper” and “loving” way to “civilize” the “natural barbarity” out of those children,…

    i.e. programming them to NEVER be able to do anything but agree with their parents and churches, and be completely compliant with authority figures (those who can’t or won’t generally being so damaged as to fall prey to antisocial, addictive and/or violent behaviors for the rest of their lives).

  32. Submitted by will lynott on 09/07/2011 - 06:48 pm.

    “The reason why conservatives oppose taxing even wealthy people (in addition to ourselves) is because we’re capitalists. The purpose and effect of capitalism is to CREATE WEALTH. And when wealth is allowed to be created by providing desired products and services in the marketplace, the entire society benefits, through re-investment, job creation, and yes, even tax revenue to the state.”

    Jeez, #28, that old trickle down crap again? I thought that one died a well deserved death years ago. At least, now that the rich are now even fabulously richer than they were in Saint Reagan’s day, and the poor are poorer and more numerous, one would think that even you could see that it HASN’T WORKED. But, ideology trumps all, I know. Even when you stare the evidence in the face.

    BTW, are you old enough to remember, as I am, that Stockman, by his own later admission, cooked the books to make Laffer’s crackpot theories come out right?

    Ideology trumps all. It ignores science, history, and the facts. You’re living proof.

  33. Submitted by Mark Erickson on 09/07/2011 - 11:09 pm.

    Mr. Black, long-time reader, first-time commenter.

    I used your information to prove your hed wrong: Mr. Lofgren is neither alienated nor Republican. http://bit.ly/nBx5cT

    I welcome any of the other commenters to do so on my post.

  34. Submitted by will lynott on 09/08/2011 - 05:52 pm.

    Aggh, #33, like a dope I went and followed your link, only to find no relevant facts, only fact-free speculation, snide innuendos, and a smug, unpersuasive, diatribe. Jeez, that’s two and a half minutes I’ll never get back again.

    Mr Lofgren worked for the Rs for almost 30 years. If he’s not a Republican, y’gotta know that would have been the veriest torture. Which is nonsense. I don’t believe for a minute that he started out as anything other than an idealistic partisan who found out over time that his heroes were mean spirited, greedy, devil-take-the hindmost Neanderthals. Your characterization of him makes no sense. His characterization of himself, as a disillusioned member of that vanishing breed, the reasonable Republican, is far more persuasive.

    You didn’t make your case, to say the least. Try not to break your arm patting yourself on the back.

  35. Submitted by Mark Erickson on 09/17/2011 - 11:37 am.

    Ahhhh, Will, I’m right! http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/2011/09/vindication.html

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