Many people are buzzing about an article at truthout.org by one Mike Lofgren, a longtime Republican staff aide on Capitol Hill who just couldn’t take the crazy anymore, left his job, and produced this buzzy (and quite well-written) lamentation about his party’s tactics and goals. If you haven’t read it, you must. There was nothing in there that surprised me. I’ve been saying all these things for a long time (as have many others). What continues to dumbfound me is why Lofgren’s assertions are even controversial, because as long as they remain so, “neutral” observers who deny this reality bear some responsibility for the sad shape our politics is in.
I should say before we get to the gravamen of Lofgren’s case that there is something in pieces like this that is a little bit too convenient for my side: a Republican with three decades of service to his party writes a scabrous attack on them, and it’s eloquent to boot! It makes me proceed with a little caution. On the other hand, James Fallows wrote over the weekend that while Lofgren was unknown to most of us, “among people who have covered or worked in the national-security field, he is a familiar and highly esteemed figure.” Jim being one of the very top journalists in the country, that’s a pretty valuable testimonial that eases the mind somewhat.
If you’ve not read it, do so. Summaries cannot do it justice. It might be one to email to Republican friends or family who may still be unsure of whether to stay or to go.
More recognition for Lofgren in Washington Monthly, by The Atlantic’s James Fallows, in the blog of Jon Bernstein of the Washington Post, in Truthdig, and (belatedly) from Andrew Sullivan. Disapproval from Mike Teal in Quora, as well as here and here. Lofgren has appeared on Hardball (via Daily Kos). And here’s a short interview-based report in National Journal by Laura Seligman.