Former GOP Capitol Hill staffer Mike Lofgren has written the must-read article of the weekend. In it, he explains why he finally had to end his Capitol Hill career as he watched, as he puts it, "the crackpot outliers of two decades ago" become "the vital center of the Republican Party today".
In this piece, Lofgren also does not spare the media nor Democrats (offering a thoughtful critique that fans of George Lakoff will immediately recognize).
But the thrust of the piece is about how the Republican Party in Congress has moved so far to the right that we must take notice.
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.
Lofgren explains where this may be headed. It's not just Obama's presidency, the economy, or jobs, or Social Security and Medicare that are on the line: the only thing that matters is that Republicans win. At all costs. The ends justify any means. Even if it leads to the nation being damaged for the long-term. As Lofgren writes:
During the week that this piece was written, the debt ceiling fiasco reached its conclusion. The economy was already weak, but the GOP's disgraceful game of chicken roiled the markets even further. Foreigners could hardly believe it: Americans' own crazy political actions were destabilizing the safe-haven status of the dollar. Accordingly, during that same week, over one trillion dollars worth of assets evaporated on financial markets. Russia and China have stepped up their advocating that the dollar be replaced as the global reserve currency – a move as consequential and disastrous for US interests as any that can be imagined.
If Republicans have perfected a new form of politics that is successful electorally at the same time that it unleashes major policy disasters, it means twilight both for the democratic process and America's status as the world's leading power.
And that prospect should get all of our attention. This is a must-read piece. The question now is: what do we do to make sure this isn't our nation's future?