In 1939, George Orwell wrote, "We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."
What makes Lofgren unique is his vantage point. He was a once proud Republican who worked in
Lofgren's story is not one of newfound love for Democrats. To the contrary, he finds both parties culpable for souring the American Dream.
The difference is that Lofgren faults Democrats for their omission as much as their commission. He says, while Democrats don't match the "zanies who infest the
Democrats are no longer a viable opposition party countering the Republicans, who now work exclusively for the benefit of the rich, according to Lofgren. Their willingness to compete with Republicans for deep-pocket fundraising has transformed Democrats from FDR progressives to pip-squeak moderates who cleave to a "center" that keeps moving further to the right. Lofgren calls Democrats half a party.
As to the Republicans, Lofgren's book is a fog-horn warning, an open-mouthed scream that would even scare
In Lofgren's experience, the new
Lofgren blames the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism for the party's descent into right-wing radicalism, saying it provides a substrate of beliefs for the
He says the party's fierce anti-intellectualism, ethical corner cutting and war mongering, resulted in a range of disastrous policy judgments over the Bush years, including the use of torture, an unprovoked war of aggression in
Behind it all are the country's plutocrats to whom Republican politicos are fully beholden. Lofgren couldn't be clearer that there is only one overriding issue on the
For proof, Lofgren points to Republican-sponsored tax plans, like that offered up by
After Lofgren's battery of the sad political turns our nation has taken, the last chapter is titled: "A Way Out?" Note the question mark. As much as anything, Lofgren is putting his hopes in the rising generation of adults. Because those around now -- to restate the obvious -- have really botched it.
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