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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

    http://www.truth-out.org/goodbye-all...ult/1314907779

    Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult
    Saturday 3 September 2011
    by: Mike Lofgren, Truthout | News Analysis

    (Photo: Carolyn Tiry / Flickr)

    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.

    In his "Manual of Parliamentary Practice," Thomas Jefferson wrote that it is less important that every rule and custom of a legislature be absolutely justifiable in a theoretical sense, than that they should be generally acknowledged and honored by all parties. These include unwritten rules, customs and courtesies that lubricate the legislative machinery and keep governance a relatively civilized procedure. The US Senate has more complex procedural rules than any other legislative body in the world; many of these rules are contradictory, and on any given day, the Senate parliamentarian may issue a ruling that contradicts earlier rulings on analogous cases.

    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.

  2. #2
    Baluchitherium
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    12.14.17 @ 10:41 PM
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    I love the way you consistently post incendiary shit about Republicans but fail to notice that those of us that are Republican hardly EVER post shit about your dumbass beliefs. Take a clue, genius
    "Alcoholism, is like, the only disease you can get yelled at for having" - Mitch
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Punch View Post
    I love the way you consistently post incendiary shit about Republicans but fail to notice that those of us that are Republican hardly EVER post shit about your dumbass beliefs. Take a clue, genius

  4. #4
    Little Dreamer SLCPUNK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Punch View Post
    I love the way you consistently post incendiary shit about Republicans but fail to notice that those of us that are Republican hardly EVER post shit about your dumbass beliefs. Take a clue, genius
    That's actually very true. Usually republicans talk about imaginary shit that we believe and attack those false premises.

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    The problem is exactly this: But Democrats do this! But Republicans do that! But Republicans think this! But Democrats think that.

    Both parties are actually a lot closer than most believe, what I have coined the Republicrat Party. These two wings hold a monopoly over us.

    Until we can get outside of the Republicrat stronghold, nothing will change.

    BOTH the Democrat and Republican Parties are bad for this country.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    Default

    Always loved Fred MacMurry
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  7. #7
    Hang 'Em High RRMB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Punch View Post
    I love the way you consistently post incendiary shit about Republicans but fail to notice that those of us that are Republican hardly EVER post shit about your dumbass beliefs. Take a clue, genius
    *GAMESHOW WRONG ANSWER BUZZ*

    Actually, even as much as I like him, voivod posts pro-conservative/republican stories quite often. But nobody calls him out on it. And the only time people get their undies-in-a-bunch, is when the stories hit too close to the truth.

    Not saying I agree with either side, but let's be fair.
    "Jesus, that fucker just crawled out of his hen house that was destroyed by the Alabama tornados. Fucking 280mph plus winds sucked the gleam off this bitch and passed it on to a bird in Rhoad Island." - Hurricane Halen 5/3/11 (about my birthday chicken from seenbad)

    "Pete is this big, loud muthafucker with a big ass heart, y'all!!!!---------" - Hurricane Halen 9/27/13

    "Princess Freckle-Tits hasn't had a good day." LLFHS 7/8/10 (on Lindsay Lohans' legal drama)


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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk Wruff_ajax's Avatar
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    Republicans and Democrats are both stupid.
    _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

  9. #9
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wruff_ajax View Post
    Republicans and Democrats are both stupid.
    I'll agree to that but when broken down, when you have something of value or something in short supply, you conserve it, no? You lean right Neal and you damned well know it.
    "Alcoholism, is like, the only disease you can get yelled at for having" - Mitch
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  10. #10
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRMB View Post
    *GAMESHOW WRONG ANSWER BUZZ*

    Actually, even as much as I like him, voivod posts pro-conservative/republican stories quite often. But nobody calls him out on it. And the only time people get their undies-in-a-bunch, is when the stories hit too close to the truth.

    Not saying I agree with either side, but let's be fair.
    Voivod's posts are more factual, this guys are just pure insults.
    "Alcoholism, is like, the only disease you can get yelled at for having" - Mitch
    Hedberg

  11. #11
    Hang 'Em High RRMB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Punch View Post
    Voivod's posts are more factual, this guys are just pure insults.
    They're more factual to YOU. They may not be more factual, or insulting, to HIM. It all depends on which side of the aisle you're on.

    This is why I have become completely apathetic politcally. We, and the politicians, but moreso, the talking heads on radio & TV, are the balme for this. They, and we, spend more time trying to prove each other wrong, insulting each other, etc., than they do trying to fix the problems.

    Everybody blames Obama for "campaigning all the time." Shit, ALL politicians are in constant campaign mode. When they go "to the people," they're campaigning. Any time they get interviewed on any talk show, news station, etc., they're campaigning.

    LM97 said it the best:

    Until we can get outside of the Republicrat stronghold, nothing will change.

    BOTH the Democrat and Republican Parties are bad for this country.
    "Jesus, that fucker just crawled out of his hen house that was destroyed by the Alabama tornados. Fucking 280mph plus winds sucked the gleam off this bitch and passed it on to a bird in Rhoad Island." - Hurricane Halen 5/3/11 (about my birthday chicken from seenbad)

    "Pete is this big, loud muthafucker with a big ass heart, y'all!!!!---------" - Hurricane Halen 9/27/13

    "Princess Freckle-Tits hasn't had a good day." LLFHS 7/8/10 (on Lindsay Lohans' legal drama)


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  12. #12
    Good Enough cabomiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRMB View Post
    *GAMESHOW WRONG ANSWER BUZZ*

    Actually, even as much as I like him, voivod posts pro-conservative/republican stories quite often. But nobody calls him out on it. .
    This
    Cabo x 20
    Van Halen x 11
    Sammy x 20+
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  13. #13
    Atomic Punk Wruff_ajax's Avatar
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    Default You make great pets

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Punch View Post
    I'll agree to that but when broken down, when you have something of value or something in short supply, you conserve it, no? You lean right Neal and you damned well know it.
    I may be the most conservative person on this board. That however does not necessitate that I identify with either of the two major political parties holding power in this country today.
    I think that it is sad that people believe that being conservative requires them to clap for that band of fuckwits in Washington. Your thinking is oppressed, and that is just how they want it. People arguing over Democrat and Republican blah blah blah, and people starting threads blatantly ripping on one side because they're so duped by the other.
    People need to wake up. Climb out of the cave you pets.

    Republicans and Democrats are both stupid.
    Last edited by Wruff_ajax; 01.30.12 at 07:30 PM.
    _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

  14. #14
    Unchained VF5150's Avatar
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    Regarding the left/right paradigm:


    Obviously most of our elected officials blue or red are sell outs. No wonder the approval rate for congress is 9%. At this point I will just vote for someone honest, party be damned. Too bad so many people believe Ron Paul cannot get the republican nomination.

    In rocknblues defense, he posted the NDAA thread. That went for what, 5 pages? I appreciate his posting that thread because I had not heard about the NDAA before that. We cannot trust the media for shit, they swept the overturn of the Bill of Rights under the rug as if it were nothing. In my opinion, NDAA was the biggest story of 2011.


    "out of the seven threads he's started here, four have been closed for being cluelessly ponderous as well as outright insipid"
    -chefcraig on me

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Punch View Post
    I love the way you consistently post incendiary shit about Republicans but fail to notice that those of us that are Republican hardly EVER post shit about your dumbass beliefs. Take a clue, genius
    Post what you feel like posting.... Dick.

    The last thing I care about is what you think of my beliefs. But it's ironic that you whine about insults when you're the one doing the insulting. Doesn't bother me. Nothing you said to me will bother me. But I get a kick out of it.

 

 

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