Mike Lofgren, a recently retired congressional staffer, writes about the evolution of the Republican party to that of chaos-causing, self-contradictory, power-hungry corporate sellouts.
It would have been hard to find an uneducated farmer during the depression of the 1890s who did not have a very accurate idea about exactly which economic interests were shafting him. An unemployed worker in a breadline in 1932 would have felt little gratitude to the Rockefellers or the Mellons. But that is not the case in the present economic crisis. After a riot of unbridled greed such as the world has not seen since the conquistadors' looting expeditions and after an unprecedented broad and rapid transfer of wealth upward by Wall Street and its corporate satellites, where is the popular anger directed, at least as depicted in the media? At "Washington spending" - which has increased primarily to provide unemployment compensation, food stamps and Medicaid to those economically damaged by the previous decade's corporate saturnalia. Or the popular rage is harmlessly diverted against pseudo-issues: death panels, birtherism, gay marriage, abortion, and so on, none of which stands to dent the corporate bottom line in the slightest.
All of this was there to see at Cathy McMorris Rodgers' town hall meeting last Wednesday evening where we heard the cheers for the complaints about outlawed incandescent light bulbs, threats to Second Amendment rights, renegade regulatory agencies, the high tax rate in America, and runaway federal spending at the hands of the Democrats.
The dangers of unquestioned belief present a huge threat to our deteriorating democracy. The problem is, nobody believes it.