Last Saturday, longtime Republican House and Senate staffer Mike Lofgren published an extraordinary piece at Truthout.org. Below, it offers an insightful and intimately informed explanation for the behavior of Republicans (and Democrats) on Capitol Hill, in presidential politics and generally.
While watching presidential campaign "debates" more than a year before any election may be the pastime of only true believers or chronic political junkies, tonight's Republican showcase at the Reagan Library offers an opportunity to test the explanation of contemporary American politics that Lofgren's exceptional piece offers. Read his essay below; then watch the candidates tonight. I expect Lofgren's essay will provoke a profound understanding of what the candidates say and why they say it. (The same would be true of a Democratic showcase; while Lofgren writes mostly of Republicans, his explanation for Democratic behaviors is also astute.)
Even if you care not to watch the Republicans tonight, I urge you to read this remarkable analysis.
(Some have commented to me that the Lofgren piece appears to be a kiss and tell piece, much like those from retired generals and former Pentagon officials who bemoan incompetence and waste but did nothing about either in office. However, those who have worked with Mike during his career know that his outspokenness -- and his brilliant analyses -- did not start the day after he retired.)
The Lofgren piece follows; it is worth noting that at the Truth.org link (below), it has attracted over 1,200 written comments:
Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult
by: Mike Lofgren, Truthout, 3 September 2011