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  1. #1
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Default Former Republican staffer's extremely scathing critique of the Republican party.

    This article has been slowly gradually generating talk (and yet more articles about the article) since it's release about a week ago.

    Basically, long time Republican employee left his job and now makes the Republicans sound like European totalitarians from the first half of the 20th century.

    Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

    Barbara Stanwyck: "We're both rotten!"

    Fred MacMurray: "Yeah - only you're a little more rotten." -"Double Indemnity" (1944)

    Those lines of dialogue from a classic film noir sum up the state of the two political parties in contemporary America. Both parties are rotten - how could they not be, given the complete infestation of the political system by corporate money on a scale that now requires a presidential candidate to raise upwards of a billion dollars to be competitive in the general election? Both parties are captives to corporate loot. The main reason the Democrats' health care bill will be a budget buster once it fully phases in is the Democrats' rank capitulation to corporate interests - no single-payer system, in order to mollify the insurers; and no negotiation of drug prices, a craven surrender to Big Pharma.

    But both parties are not rotten in quite the same way. The Democrats have their share of machine politicians, careerists, corporate bagmen, egomaniacs and kooks. Nothing, however, quite matches the modern GOP.

    To those millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling extension, it may have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics. To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.

    It was this cast of characters and the pernicious ideas they represent that impelled me to end a nearly 30-year career as a professional staff member on Capitol Hill. A couple of months ago, I retired; but 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.

    The debt ceiling extension is not the only example of this sort of political terrorism. Republicans were willing to lay off 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees, 70,000 private construction workers and let FAA safety inspectors work without pay, in fact, forcing them to pay for their own work-related travel - how prudent is that? - in order to strong arm some union-busting provisions into the FAA reauthorization.

    Everyone knows that in a hostage situation, the reckless and amoral actor has the negotiating upper hand over the cautious and responsible actor because the latter is actually concerned about the life of the hostage, while the former does not care. This fact, which ought to be obvious, has nevertheless caused confusion among the professional pundit class, which is mostly still stuck in the Bob Dole era in terms of its orientation. For instance, Ezra Klein wrote of his puzzlement over the fact that while House Republicans essentially won the debt ceiling fight, enough of them were sufficiently dissatisfied that they might still scuttle the deal. Of course they might - the attitude of many freshman Republicans to national default was "bring it on!"

    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.
    I agree with pretty much everything he said, including his criticism of the Democrats. In fact, rather than agree, it's more like I already thought of it. But, it was interesting to see someone else write so candidly about it, and particularly someone of that background.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  2. #2
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Ha! Great article.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, it will in more than one way fail to reach those it should.

  4. #4
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    *yawn*

  5. #5
    Senior Member Critical Hit's Avatar
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    Not much left to say on the matter I guess.
    +10% Crit Chance

  6. #6
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Unfortunately, it will in more than one way fail to reach those it should.
    Intellectual exercise, no fatalism, tell me what you think would have to be done for it to reach those it should?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  7. #7
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    That is one of the greatest articles that I have ever read in my life. Although now I'm more worried about Republicans and the future of the country/world than I have ever been, but knowledge is superior to ignorance, thus it is better to know this ghastly truth in full detail.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Intellectual exercise, no fatalism, tell me what you think would have to be done for it to reach those it should?
    The same thing he thinks Democrats need to learn: make it more digestible. I think it is too long, too snarky, too highbrow, in short: didactically unwise - if the aim is to reach the 'low-information voter' who must first be lured out of his prejudices to be able to reassess his day-to-day normality. I think it needs more maieutics.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Critical Hit's Avatar
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    http://delong.typepad.com/egregious_...he-spirit.html

    Another good essay in the same vein.
    +10% Crit Chance

  10. #10
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    Does it get any better after the part that you quoted?

    Cuz up until there it seemed like little more than a partisan hackery bore.

    The only reason it seems to have gotten any attention is cuz the guy was supposedly a "turncoat".

    From what I've been able to gather, he worked on Capitol Hill for 28 years, 16 as a Republican staffer.

    I'm not sure which 16 those were, but I would not be surprised if they were the first 16.

    His piece reads like anything you could read from a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat.

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