Saturday, October 01, 2011

Republican Staffer? Sure.

As I visit the lefty blogs on my blogroll every now and then, I am often distracted from posting here, so involved as I might get with whatever topic is at hand, and having little time at the start. But once in a while such a visit provides a topic for me upon which to opine. Such is the case with today’s topic. I checked out “A Conscious Outpost” and found Ron all a twitter over an essay entitled “Goodbye To All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left The Cult” by some guy named, Mike Lofgren, a so-called congressional budget staffer for the GOP. I haven’t been able to find anything that spells out what his duties were exactly, and that could mean that he got coffee and donuts for those doing the real work, handed out towels in the bathroom or did some serious filing. Who knows? Perhaps someone can find that out. All I found on Google was a plethora of lib sites equally impressed with his essay as was Ron.

But as I read the piece, very little of what he wrote, sounded like a conservative wrote it. That’s not to say that a conservative couldn’t be fed up with the Republican Party. Indeed, most are. But the gripes sound so very…lib-like. So could this “Republican staffer” have actually been a liberal, or a supporter of Democrat policy?

Like a lib, I saw a lot of accusations, but very little in the way of documentation and evidence. Certainly no arguments as to why what he saw as problems were actually problems, or even real events.

But let’s look at a few, if I can hold it to that.

”Both parties are captives to corporate loot.”

This is a common charge, and a favorite of Ron’s. But like Ron, he really gives no solid examples of a party or politician really being controlled by any corporate entity or lobbyist. This is not to say that such examples can’t be found, as there have been stories of such catering to donor interests. It’s just that he doesn’t provide any.

But of course, the GOP is the worse of the two, which he then fails to truly demonstrate outside of charges that are almost cliché.

”But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.”

It would be nice if he would give an example of lunacy by any of them. Frankly, each of the GOP candidates have said one thing or another that I’d prefer to see clarified. But “lunacy”? Such rhetoric demands explanation.

”…but I could see as early as last November that the Republican Party would use the debt limit vote, an otherwise routine legislative procedure that has been used 87 times since the end of World War II, in order to concoct an entirely artificial fiscal crisis.”

Excuse me, but as I saw events unfold, it was the an artificial crisis being put forth to justify raising of the debt limit. Remember? Social security payments, soldiers pay, and other such things could not be guaranteed should that fateful date arrive without raising the limit in order to meet our obligations. The opposition party, the Republicans, insisted that no such crisis was at hand, that we could meet our obligations for at least several months and beyond with cuts to spending. The “crisis” was manufactured by the left.

”Then, they would use that fiscal crisis to get what they wanted, by literally holding the US and global economies as hostages.”

Funny how when the prez ain’t getting’ his way, it’s the right who are holding anyone hostage. What of their inflexibility?

”Far from being a rarity, virtually every bill, every nominee for Senate confirmation and every routine procedural motion is now subject to a Republican filibuster.”

Far from being a rarity, virtually every bill, every nominee for Senate confirmation, and just about everything else the left is pushing is worthy of a forceful blockade. This whining about what may be no more than elected representatives looking out for the best interests of their constituents and the country leads to a common lefty gripe that shows up in Lofgren’s footnotes.

”But already in 2009, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, declared that his greatest legislative priority was - jobs for Americans? Rescuing the financial system? Solving the housing collapse? - no, none of those things. His top priority was to ensure that Obama should be a one-term president. Evidently Senator McConnell hates Obama more than he loves his country.”

I can’t speak for McConnell, but by insuring Obama is not re-elected, one can improve one’s chances of solving all those issues. The fear, and a legitimate fear at that, is that by a second Obama term, those problems will surely worsen. Obama is seen as the biggest impediment to improving that national situation. So, focusing on removing the biggest impediment is indeed the adult option.

Get a load of this:

” A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress's generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.”

This is hardly representative of honest reporting. Such anecdotal evidence adds little to the credibility of the author and screams for names in order to prove the allegation. As it stands, it is patent crap. He calls it a cynical tactic, but not as cynical as suggesting it happened at all, or that the tactic is actually one that is actually employed. It has all the tone of your basic conspiracy theory. A few lines later he says this:

” These voters' confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that "they are all crooks," and that "government is no good," further leading them to think, "a plague on both your houses" and "the parties are like two kids in a school yard."”

…apparently forgetting that he said this:

”Both parties are captives to corporate loot.”
Pot, meet kettle.

This is getting lengthy and I’ve barely scratched the surface. I’ll have to hit this in at least one more post. But read the piece and you’ll see what I mean about Lofgren’s likely true political leanings.

11 comments:

Jim said...

"a so-called congressional budget staffer for the GOP."

Not "so-called". A 30-year congressional staffer.

"This is not to say that such examples can’t be found, as there have been stories of such catering to donor interests. It’s just that he doesn’t provide any."

If it's obvious that money is powerful on both sides why is there a need to cite specific examples in an essay? Does he need to provide examples of congressmen breathing?

"Frankly, each of the GOP candidates have said one thing or another that I’d prefer to see clarified. But “lunacy”? Such rhetoric demands explanation."

Other than Michele Bachmann, none of these people are candidates. As for Bachmann, how about Hezbollah missiles in Cuba?

"it was the an artificial crisis being put forth to justify raising of the debt limit."

Nope. The debt needed to be raised because the government had to pay for previously incurred debt and didn't have the cash to do so. The only "crisis" was that TP Republicans were refusing to raise the money to pay these debts.

"we could meet our obligations for at least several months and beyond with cuts to spending."

If the government is borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar it spends, how could it possibly cut spending by 40% any time soon so that the debt limit needn't be raised?

"not as cynical as suggesting it happened at all"

That someone said this to him? Why?

Marshall Art said...

"Not "so-called". A 30-year congressional staffer."

Expressed as "so-called" due to no distinct explanation toward defining his duties as a staffer.

"If it's obvious that money is powerful on both sides why is there a need to cite specific examples in an essay? Does he need to provide examples of congressmen breathing?"

No. He needs to provide a reason why one should believe that any politician of either party is serving the interests of any donor over the interests of his constituency. Everyone, individually or as some kind of group, has a right to support candidates they feel will act in a manner satisfactory to those providing support. That doesn't mean the candidate is "bought and paid for". If an elected official acts in a manner consistent with his campaign pledges, there is no problem that can be termed in such a way. If one makes a claim that both parties or either party or any one or number of politicians is a "captive to corporate loot", some evidence of this would go a long way toward making the statement more than just some loser blowing smoke. It's all the rage to say politicians are all crooked. I'd like to see something more substantive for a change.

"Other than Michele Bachmann, none of these people are candidates. As for Bachmann, how about Hezbollah missiles in Cuba?"

I know nothing of this. Provide a decent link (read, not a lib source) that explains this and what you think it means.

"The debt needed to be raised because the government had to pay for previously incurred debt and didn't have the cash to do so."

Yeah, I get that's what Barry and the Dems were saying. Many said it was nowhere near that bad. The reason raising the debt limit was opposed is because raising the limit invites more overspending. It is a practice that TP Republicans rightly wish to discontinue.

"If the government is borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar it spends, how could it possibly cut spending by 40% any time soon so that the debt limit needn't be raised?"

You're still assuming the crisis of non-payment was real. Despite having gone so far as to borrow so much, revenues were said by many to be sufficient to pay debt for the time being. Though we might be borrowing 40 cents of every dollar spent, that doesn't mean we need to cut spending 40% to prevent having to raise the debt limit. You're just assuming this.

""not as cynical as suggesting it happened at all"

That someone said this to him? Why?"


Because without naming names, it's only Lofgren saying it is so, stoking the very distrust in government he attributes to this mythical staff director. Without naming names, it's bullshit. Other than the fact that he's crapping on Republicans, after claiming to be a GOP staffer, why should anything he says be believed without something more than "this guy told me..."? Like Ron, you buy this stuff because he says he's a GOP staffer crapping on his own party.

But then, when I think of our discussion at Mark's regarding McGinness, it's clear that you are willing to believe anything said by anybody if said against a right-winger and equally clear that such people have the right make wild claims without any supporting evidence to go along with it. Real nice.

Jim said...

You got me. He's obviously a Democratic plant who has been serving coffee to Republican congressmen for 30 years.

"I know nothing of this. Provide a decent link (read, not a lib source) that explains this and what you think it means."

Will NewsMax do?

Marshall Art said...

I never said he was a plant, Jim. But does one need to be a card carrying Republican to be a staffer? If one DOES maintain membership in the party, does that guarantee that he actually IS conservative? or has any brains? Dan T says he used to be conservative, but his ideas of what conservatism is does not resemble conservatism. He thought he was conservative. For all I know, Lofren only thought he was conservative but after dealing with Republicans he couldn't understand right-wing ideas. I don't know. All I'm saying is that his complaints sound like a typical lib and his lack of evidence is typical lib argumentation.

As for your link, OK. How does that indicate "lunacy" in any way? She's citing a report and does so by saying "reports show" or words to that effect. Is there some reason to suspect an Italian source can't be trusted, and that to put any stock in one means lunacy? Do you truly think it's beyond the pale to suggest that Cuba might align itself with radical Islamists? Hitler did. Why wouldn't the Cubans? You'll have to try again.

Mark said...

I found this at a site called Richocet.com

"Currently various outlets on the left are going nuts over a rant penned by a retiring GOP staffer. Essentially filled with great stuff such as:

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.

It's quite a screed, going through it I had difficulty seeing how this person had ever fit into the Republican party at all as he seems to hold no conservative positions whatsoever and appears to believe every calumny against the GOP ever uttered.

I'm wondering whether it is appropriate to see this as a positive perhaps the Tea Party is finally driving the RINOs out."

I think people will work for anyone if the money and opportunity is there. I doubt Mr. Lofgren ever was a Republican.

Notice how he never says he was a Republican, but a Republican staffer.

Marshall Art said...

Exactly my point, Mark. And the dude in the link hits it as well. I intend to opine further on his drool soon, as he hits a lot of commonly held positions, that is, commonly held by the left.

Dan Trabue said...

"He spent 28 years as a Congressional staffer, mainly on budget matters, mainly in the defense-and-security realm, and mainly for Republican legislators."

source

Dan Trabue said...

As I've pointed out before, I was a Reagan-supporting, card-carrying conservative before I was driven away from that position by conservatives.

The conservative values I supported then, I largely support now.

1. I was opposed to huge, wasteful gov't expenditures in wrong and unnecessary areas. Foremost on this front is opposition to such a monstrously large military budget. There is nothing conservative about the military adventurism and "world-police" approach to our military budget.

2. I was opposed to propping up/subsidizing wealthy industries. That is just anti-capitalism and contrary to the free market, the way we give subsidies to HUGE industrial businesses (agricultural giants, oil and coal company giants, etc).

This is contrary to conservative values.

3. Destruction of our air land and water. Conservatives used to be (or should have been) all about, well, conserving - including our resources. This is contrary to conservative values.

I could go on and get more specific, but it was the backwards and non-conservative approach to some of these areas that drove me away from "conservative Republicans." And the problem has gotten worse rather than better. Thomas Jefferson could not have been elected in 1988 and Ronald Reagan could not be elected today.

Marshall Art said...

Yeah, Dan. I heard that already. But all I've been able to get is what came before your excerpt:

"...among people who have covered or worked in the national-security field, he is a familiar and highly esteemed figure."

Who are the people therein referenced who holds Lofgren is such esteem? And what did he DO as a staffer? Take notes? There is total ambiguity in the details of who he is and what he did that anyone would hold him in any esteem at all. Can't anyone get ONE name that will say on record what a stand-up guy he is? We have to settle for "people"? I mean if anyone said something like, "Dick Cheney relied on him for advice from which Cheney always profited." or something like that, then I'd have some sense of Lofgren's importance and stature. A staffer? Whoop-di-doo.

Jim said...

Methinks thou dost protest too much.

"then I'd have some sense of Lofgren's importance and stature."

It's not important. He's someone who has worked in Washington for years and has something interesting to say.

Nobody cares if you think he's credible or not. I find it interesting that you are falling all over yourself trying to get proof that hearsay is true.

Marshall Art said...

"Methinks thou dost protest too much."

Oh, really. Hardly. This guy puts out a little rant and every lib drools over it as if it is proof of their fantasies about the opposition. But the reality is that he is speaking as if reading from the lib playbook. My post presents this as the case based on what he doesn't say. What he does say is empty without something to back it up.

"He's someone who has worked in Washington for years and has something interesting to say."

Only interesting to libs desperate for validation of their fantasies about the opposition.

"Nobody cares if you think he's credible or not. I find it interesting that you are falling all over yourself trying to get proof that hearsay is true."

Big deal, Jim. Few people care what ANY blogger says. Fewer care what visitors like you think. Again. So what? And where do you get this "falling all over yourself" crap? Because I comment on his unsupported statements? Sure. If it makes you feel better, little Jimmy.