The Former GOP Operative Who Says The Party Has Become A Cult (And the Democrats Have Become Ineffectual)

08/14/12 Robert Lorei
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Good morning welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up we’ll meet a former Congressional staffer who worked for Republicans on Capitol Hill. He resigned last year in frustration over the direction the Republican party was taking our country. We’ll speak with him in a moment. But first two listener comments about yesterday’s program. Yesterday our guest was Chris Hedges the Pulitzer Prize wining former war correspondent. We were talking about his new book on so called sacrifice zones in the US. But also on the program we discussed health care and the selection of Paul Ryan. Here’s what two listeners had to say. Tape Mike Lofgren spent 28 years as a congressional staffer working in Washington for Republicans. He also spent 16 years as a senior analyst on the House and Senate Budget Committees. Last year he resigned and wrote a blistering critique for Truthout of both political parties- but especially the Republicans. That critique has been expanded into a new book called THE PARTY IS OVER: HOW THE REPUBLICANS WENT CRAZY, DEMOCRATS BECAME USELESS AND THE MIDDLE CLASS GOT SHAFTED (Viking). In it he writes that both major parties have become captive to corporate money—but in terms of being controlled by what he describes as machine politicians, corporate bagmen and egomaniacs- the Democrats cannot compare to the modern GOP. He says that the “crackpot outliers” of two decades ago have become the vital center of today’s Republican Party. He joins us live.

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Comments

Monday's listener call-ins

Hi Rob: The call from the furniture entrepreneur was most interesting. He made a point about charity being sufficient that I thought should have been refuted vigorously, as this is one of the right's more commonly repeated myths. He said that charity should be all that is needed to help the poor and needy, with he and his ilk being suitably magnanimous to handle all society's distress. Unfortunately this is bunk. Charitable institutions such as hospitals and schools for the poor started during Victorian times, as a response to the appalling squalor and degradation of Britain's poor. It was quickly apparent that it was not enough, and soon the government stepped in, leading ultimately to the NHS. May I recommend this excellent book, which chronicles the early efforts at charity... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Victorian-Underworld-Pelican-Kellow-Chesney/dp/0140215824 Love your show.