Thursday, February 15, 2018

The GOP is a clear and present danger to the republic

You might remember Mike Lofgren’s essay, Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult. Basically he argued that the Republican Party with whom he once worked had become unrecognizable - at least to true conservatives and the rest of us. Now he his back with an update and a dire warning about what has become of the GOP and why it represents a clear and present danger to our republic. He writes in a NY Times op-ed that Reagan’s ‘Party of Ideas’ Is Down to Just One: Tax Cuts. (h/t AZBlueMeanie)

What has become of the Republican Party, which I once served on Capitol Hill and which I now consider a dangerous extremist movement on a par with the ruling Fidesz party in neo-fascist Hungary? Where did its principles go? What became of Ronald Reagan’s “party of ideas”?

One by one, those ideas were tossed aside for expediency and power — except the tax cut. A time traveler from the Reagan era would no longer recognize the Republican Party, but most Republican politicians feel no embarrassment supporting policies they once condemned.

Take, for example, the deficit.

Under Mr. Trump, who has extolled leveraging other people’s money while declaring that debt is good, the party is no longer even half pregnant. His tax act, passed exclusively with Republican votes in both the House and the Senate, increases the national debt by over a trillion dollars and awards 62 percent of its monetary benefits to the richest 1 percent of Americans.

Paul Ryan, the House speaker, sees the tax act as a bonanza for the working stiff: He tweeted that a public school secretary would see a whopping $1.50 a week extra in her paycheck. It’s touching that the secretary can now afford an extra McDonald’s coffee every week, but the deficit, thanks partly to the tax cut, is projected after years of decline to explode to a trillion dollars annually.

Check out Lofgren’s essay for the many other ways that the Republicans have become anti-Republican. He concludes:

Ultimately, the party’s spiritual sickness isn’t about Mr. Trump. Eight years ago, did Republican officeholders shut down the nonsense that Mr. Obama was a secret Muslim? For that matter, a quarter-century ago, did they quash the idiotic charge that the Clintons murdered Vince Foster?

Donald Trump merely aggravated what has long been building up in the party of Lincoln. In 2011, when House Republicans threatened to drive the government into default to extort political concessions, I left the party. Seven years later, it has become so extreme that I fear it is endangering the stability of the republic.

AZBlueMeanie adds this:

The GOP is a danger to the Republic … let that sink in. Then pledge to resist the GOP and to commit yourself to working to defeat this threat to our country.

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