Sunday, March 04, 2018

Reagan's 'Party of Ideas' Down to Just One: Tax Cuts

Mike Lofgren: 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.


Since World War II, Republicans have styled themselves the party of national defense. Yet under President Trump, they have unsettled our alliances and professed a strange new respect for Vladimir Putin.

The Republicans were once the party of global free trade, a system with major flaws but one that requires reform, not ham-handed overthrow. Yet the president believes he can bully longtime allies and force them to accept bilateral trade deals on his terms.

An enduring caricature of the old-time Republican is the penny-pinching deficit hawk ... Under Mr. Trump, who has extolled leveraging other people's money while declaring that debt is good ... 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.

Republicans always counted themselves as strong supporters of law and order ... But the president's high-decibel smear campaign against the professionals of the F.B.I. destroys the party's pretense of being a friend of law enforcement ...

Today's Republican Party is incapable of honest and coherent governance, with "right" or "wrong" reduced to a question of whether it helps the party. Its agenda is little more than institutional vandalism and a thumb in the eye.


Lofgren's punchline ...

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.

The lack of office holding Republicans not forcefully speaking out against the moronic, but extreme, right-wing propaganda against Obama did as much damage to the country as other foundation-shifting events like 9/11, Iraq War, and the Great Recession.

#1 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2018-03-03 09:15 PM

Republicans don't recognize what they are, lemmings charging full speed to go off a cliff. Unfortunately, they will drag the rest of us down with them. Truly the dumbest political party of my lifetime is today's Republican Party. There are some members who recognize the pathology but they are too spineless to do anything about it.

#2 | Posted by danni at 2018-03-04 09:18 AM

The critiques former Republican Mike Lofgren spells out is why many of the past self-identified conservative and Republican DR posters hardly ever post in the threads (or the Nooner) anymore, if they even post at all ...

- George W. Bush was an obvious ignoramus who had liberal intellectuals like Gore Vidal truly offended.

- Barack Obama was outrageously slandered and obstructed from day 1 of his eight years in office.

- Donald Trump is an obvious lying ------- moron that even a blind man can see is unfit to be POTUS.

So where are all those DR posters who called Obama every name in the book? They're no where to be found. Why? It's because there's simply no defending Donald Trump or today's Republicans, and these same posters would be called out on their BS if they tried to even tacitly defend Trump or the GOP.

For all the faults of Obama, Hillary, and Democrats (in general), one has to be a liar to say out loud that America is better off with President Trump and Republicans controlling everything (including most state houses, by the way).

Here's an idea ... how about actually knowing something before vomiting right-wing talking points that some right-wing douche-bag said on Fox News or on some right-wing website -- learn something, and question everything.

#3 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2018-03-04 10:00 AM

i'm not claiming prescience or anything like that BUT, i did realize that reagan was a phony four-flusher when he replaced the Old Ranger

#4 | Posted by ABlock at 2018-03-04 04:40 PM

The Republicans lost all of their credibility in the primaries leading up to the 1980 election. George H.W. Bush accurately referred to Reaganomics as Voo Doo Economics, called Reagan out for the fraud that it was. Then Reagan got the nomination, Bush got the nomination for VP and gave up any attempt to speak sanity to Reagan again. 20 trillion dollars in debt later we are still fighting the same stupid argument, Trump and the Republicans just passed another go round of Voo Doo Economics, many Republicans know what it is but they are too cowardly to even speak their minds.

#5 | Posted by danni at 2018-03-04 05:14 PM

Kind of a dumb article. "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." Well, a Democrat from the 1860s would no longer recognize the Democratic party, either...or do people just like to forget how hard they fought to keep slavery alive. I'm all for recognizing party changes and they should both do it so they can have a "lessons learned" type of meeting periodically but, of course, that won't happen. Both sides are too busy thinking they are right and other side is wrong. Case in point comes from one of the comments above:

"Here's an idea ... how about actually knowing something before vomiting right-wing talking points that some right-wing douche-bag said on Fox News or on some right-wing website -- learn something, and question everything."

I don't think it has to do with knowing something (when referring to the standard level of political knowledge of the average citizen). The problem is exactly what you are doing, you spin everything with your bias and refuse to accept that half the country doesn't agree with you. Obama was slandered and obstructed? Off of that statement, I could say why don't you actually try to know something before vomiting left-wing talking points? Every President since I've been alive has been slandered to extreme levels and obstructed by the opposing party (it took only a few months for the Dems to be branded "the party of no" in W's first term). But instead of accepting that truth, you spin it to make the side you agree with look like the innocent victim and everyone else is a "douche-bag". Nothing will get better until people like you start accepting reality and not just name calling the side you don't agree with.

#6 | Posted by humtake at 2018-03-05 11:42 AM

@ #6, quit be a Nazi coddling snowflake, and people will stop calling you one. It's as simple as that!

#7 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2018-03-05 12:14 PM


You called President Obama a Muslim Kenyan without evidence.

We call Trump Nazi coddling snowflake for literally coddling Nazis after they killed someone and for his snowflake twitter account.

One side has facts. One side has people like you who will believe anything.

#8 | Posted by Sycophant at 2018-03-05 01:23 PM

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