Whoa, did somebody put sodium pentothal in the cocktail weenies at CPAC this year? Because a case of explosive truthiness seems to be breaking out all across the right wing blogosphere.
Yesterday we were talking about that right wing opinion-haver who just came right out and admitted what all his right wing compatriots were thinking but were too afraid to say out loud, which is that poor people should not be permitted to vote, and that the only true role of the poors in our modern oligarchy is to be ground up as fertilizer to keep the private putting greens of our Galtian Overlords as green and lustrous as possible (okay, he didn’t say that second part but I assume he’s saving it for part two).
Then today comes “Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult,” an astonishingly candid dissection of thinking, strategy, and tactics of that happy band of piratical sociopaths we refer to as the modern Republican party. And then come to see that it’s written by the consummate insider, Mike Lofgren, a Congressional staffer for Republicans for the last 28 years.
And what does Mr. Lofgren have to say about the current state of the Party of Lincoln?
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.
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.
And what of the repugnant views expressed above, that the poor should be kept from voting because they insist on voting for their own selfish interests? According to Lofgren, the disenfranchisement of poor voters is all part of the Republican plan:
Undermining Americans’ belief in their own institutions of self-government remains a prime GOP electoral strategy. But if this technique falls short of producing Karl Rove’s dream of 30 years of unchallengeable one-party rule (as all such techniques always fall short of achieving the angry and embittered true believer’s New Jerusalem), there are other even less savory techniques upon which to fall back. Ever since Republicans captured the majority in a number of state legislatures last November, they have systematically attempted to make it more difficult to vote: by onerous voter ID requirements (in Wisconsin, Republicans have legislated photo IDs while simultaneously shutting Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices in Democratic constituencies while at the same time lengthening the hours of operation of DMV offices in GOP constituencies); by narrowing registration periods; and by residency requirements that may disenfranchise university students.
This legislative assault is moving in a diametrically opposed direction to 200 years of American history, when the arrow of progress pointed toward more political participation by more citizens. 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.
Read the whole thing here. It really is the proverbial Must Read. And congrats to Mike Lofgren for telling the truth — he’s burned quite a few bridges with this piece.