Here’s a fresh perspective on the nest of vipers officially known as the Republican Party. The writer, Mike Lofgren, a former Republican Congressional staffer, argues that Republicans really are trying to bring down the federal government, and might succeed because of Democratic weakness, “tens of millions of low-information voters,” and the “complicit” mainstream media:
I could see as early as last November that the Republican Party would use the debt limit vote, an otherwise routine legislative procedure that has been used 87 times since the end of World War II, in order to concoct an entirely artificial fiscal crisis. Then, they would use that fiscal crisis to get what they wanted, by literally holding the US and global economies as hostages…
… 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…
Lofgren mocks the “false evenhandedness” of reporters with first-hand knowledge of the Republicans’ cynical agenda. He rips current Dems for speaking the language of Republicans. (Too bad he didn’t write more on how Dems undermine their own credibility by appearing to compromise on Social Security and other key programs.)
He provides a context for the gullibility of Tea Party types — “the deindustrialization and financialization of America since about 1970 has spawned an increasingly downscale white middle class” — and for their distrust of Democratic politicians, “who were among the biggest promoters of disastrous trade deals in the 1990s that outsourced jobs abroad.”
Most importantly, he spells out and sheds light on a truism that “low-information” voters remain blind to:
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.
Footnote: Lofgren got my instant attention by summing up the sorry state of our two-party system with dialogue from Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity — very funny, and right on the money.