The Party Is Over

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Former Republican Congressional staffer Mike Lofgren talks about why he left Washington after 28 years on Capitol Hill. His book The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted is based on an  article Lofgren wrote when he resigned after the debt ceiling crisis, and is a humorous but impassioned exposé of what he thinks is wrong with Washington.


Mike Lofgren

Comments [19]


Stop just repeating the agenda your hear on WNYC and read the federalist papers. Were they concerned with restraining government or "comprimising to get things done" decide for yourself on that.

Aug. 09 2012 01:26 PM
Ed from northern new jersey

Both parties have become polarized and have made no room for moderate voices.The idea behind this form of government is for both parties to compromise so things get accomplished. Both parties are more interested in partisan politics than getting things accomplished. Members of Congress and the Senate should be held accountable for there failure to do there jobs by the voters. No political party is better or worse than the other, they are both guilty of putting the party over country.

Aug. 09 2012 12:53 PM
The Truth from Becky

The Republican Party "of old" is OVER!Ha!

Aug. 09 2012 12:51 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Oh, please--a statesman?. Speaker Boehner *did* make a deal w/Pres. Obama on raising the debt ceiling, but when the Tea Party Republicans in the House rejected it, he threw out the deal & blamed Pres. Obama, whose position had not changed from what Spkr. Boehner had previously agreed to.

Aug. 09 2012 12:42 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Liberals who can't get people to submit to their left-wing radical views call their opponents "anti-intellectuals." This is as true today as it was in the 1920s when to be a Marxist was considered to be progressive and good and wonderful, and anyone opposed was a reactionary, stupid fascist redneck.

Aug. 09 2012 12:37 PM
John A from Up Molasses Hill

"I think the republicans are trying to uncork the genie of politicized religion."
Boy that went by fast. A very important important topic that deserves a whole show.*
(* Or 1.2 segments, prerecorded, then played back w/fast filter. Thank-You)

Aug. 09 2012 12:37 PM
Robert from NYC

No Jonathan this guy is right, he hits the nail on the head about keeping "the people" ignorant and the media plays a huge part in that. The media, present folk included, tend to have plaque built up around their brain tissue and live in the not so distant past away from current reality. Name 4000 anti-intellectuals and that won't be hard either.

Aug. 09 2012 12:36 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

We had a great victory in Iraq that the pacifist-liberals have turned into a dismal defeat. Iraq today does not produce WMDs, and is trying to become a democracy. Getting rid of Saddam was a good thing. Too bad we didn't do something stronger with Iran in time. It's like defeating Hitler without defeating Japan too.

Aug. 09 2012 12:35 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Your guest brings up the influence of religion in US culture and policies, but ignores the ideologies and theologies of some of our foes. As far back as 1785, Thomas Jefferson was trying to understand why Muslim pirates of North Africa were taking US ships hostage and enslaving their crews. When he met representatives of some of those pirate states, and enquired why the US, a country that is secular and not founded on the Christian religion would be targeted when all they wanted was to trade and do plain business!? He was politely informed that is was the religious DUTY of Muslims to make the non-Muslim states to submit to Islam, or pay. Once Jefferson, who was committed to peace and secular democracy, realized that no compromise could be found, he militated for the buildup of the navy and went to war with the Barbary pirate states in 1801. So we have had to react to the militant and uncompromising ideologies and theologies of others who demand we submit or pay.

"Millions for defense, but not a penny for Tribute!"

Aug. 09 2012 12:31 PM
due to only two reasons

"...due to only two reasons..."

oh, if only that were true, but thanks for making things up.

Aug. 09 2012 12:29 PM
Eli Friedmann from astoria

i have to say the title of the guest's book is sadly right on. bummer.
not that the democrats had an easy way out of this grid lock situation considering the environment....but they certainly seem enthusiastic to roll over and play dead before they are even asked to.

Aug. 09 2012 12:28 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat (liberal leaning), and I agree with what Mr. Lofgren has been saying about the way Congress has been running recently. I've been telling my friends for years that the Republicans went crazy when Obama was elected and vowed to do everything in their power to prevent him from accomplishing anything. It annoys me no end. Sour grapes is just bringing governance here to a screeching halt.

If you've got a legitimate reason for voting against a bill, fine. Congress is elected by people and government is supposed to be "of the people, by the people and for the people," but opposing a bill just to make the president look incompetent is outrageous. We elected him, as well as our representatives, because we want to accomplish something and this obstructionist ploy of the republicans is counter-productive.

In addition, the republicans are then following their actions by claiming that the president has hopelessly failed at everything, without reminding the public that it is THEIR (congress') fault. If they'd let Obama pass his bills and they didn't work, that would be legitimate. Being obstructionist and then blaming the failure on the president is horrible, bullying, misrepresentative and counter-productive.

We are now stagnant and playing the blame game. How long can this go on before we implode?

Aug. 09 2012 12:28 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

dan, The guest was a Republican congressional staffer. He is NOT a shill for Obama or the left. As he correctly pointed out, the tenor, approach, and entire attitude for too many republicans has become too strident, too narrow minded and just too damned hostile.

Bob Dole, Howard Baker, and the recently defeated Senator Lugar, as well as the retired Senator Simpson -- all Republicans would ALL agree with what this gentleman is saying.

He has pointed out his problems with aspects of the Health Care Reform Bill, all of which have legitimacy, but he has also rightly pointed out that there are many aspects of the bill that are highly desirable.

Most importantly, he has shed the light on both parties to go along with policies when they are in power and then to condemn the same policies when they are the party on the outs.

And I am a lifelong independent, so I have no political axe to grind.

Aug. 09 2012 12:27 PM
Tom Pinch

Dan, I couple of months ago wnyc was doing the same thing for weeks about OWS and the crazy left, so calm down.

Aug. 09 2012 12:26 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Why does Mr. Lofgren think Democrats have been so unable to counter out-&-out lies like the accusations about "death panels"? I keep thinking "Why don't they say [some easy-to-think-of response]?" when I hear yet another out-there statement.

Aug. 09 2012 12:25 PM
David Zarko from Scranton, PA

Great commentary Mr. Lofgren. So nice to hear a reasonable viewpoint, especially a Republican voice, that is based on reality and knowledge. Do you have any comments on Congress's attacks on the USPS? That seems so extreme to me I can't even conceive of what they are up to.

Aug. 09 2012 12:21 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The decline of the "middle class" in the US and Europe (the West) is due to only two reasons: (a) the rise of Asia, and (b) our own profligacy.

But the Republican Party has always believe in the principle that "The government that governs BEST is the government that governs LEAST."

They have always believed that government has a minimal role to play in economic life, and that it should stick to national defense, security of property rights, etc. This is hardly news nor earthshaking knowledge.

Aug. 09 2012 12:20 PM

It's getting to the point that I might have to stop listening to this station until after the election. The shilling for Obama is too much and I don't eve mind if obama wins but these conversations are vacuous when you're just calling out and psychoanalyizing the teaparty over and over.
This commenter misunderstands Madison. Madison wanted gridlock. Using the word heretofore doesn't make you knowledgable.

Aug. 09 2012 12:17 PM
Mike from Madiso

Given that both parties are more interested in their side winning than anything that might be could be considered progress on _any_ issue,
why do you think there has not been an uprising of independent, non-partisan candidates for the House, Senate or state office?

Aug. 09 2012 12:13 PM

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