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GOP insider: Religion destroyed my party
Salon ^ | 8-5-2012 | Mike Lofgren

Posted on 08/06/2012 7:45:42 AM PDT by Sir Napsalot

A veteran Republican says the religious right has taken over, and turned his party into anti-intellectual nuts

Having observed politics up close and personal for most of my adult lifetime, I have come to the conclusion that the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism may have been the key ingredient in the transformation of the Republican Party. Politicized religion provides a substrate of beliefs that rationalizes—at least in the minds of its followers—all three of the GOP’s main tenets: wealth worship, war worship, and the permanent culture war.

Religious cranks ceased to be a minor public nuisance in this country beginning in the 1970s and grew into a major element of the Republican rank and file. Pat Robertson’s strong showing in the 1988 Iowa presidential caucus signaled the gradual merger of politics and religion in the party. Unfortunately, at the time I mostly underestimated the implications of what I was seeing. It did strike me as oddly humorous that a fundamentalist staff member in my congressional office was going to take time off to convert the heathen in Greece, a country that had been overwhelmingly Christian for almost two thousand years. I recall another point, in the early 1990s, when a different fundamentalist GOP staffer said that dinosaur fossils were a hoax. As a mere legislative mechanic toiling away in what I held to be a civil rather than ecclesiastical calling, I did not yet see that ideological impulses far different from mine were poised to capture the party of Lincoln.

.... All around us now is a prevailing anti-intellectualism and hostility to science. Politicized religion is the sheet anchor of the dreary forty-year-old culture wars.

(Excerpt) Read more at salon.com ...


TOPICS: Issues; Parties
KEYWORDS: gop; gope; irreligiousleft; ourbetters; religion; rinos; rulingclass
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To: Sir Napsalot
Washintonians fancy themselves as "doing what's best for the country", when in reality they are the Morlocks, and most of the country is happy to be the Eloi.

Bipartisanship has put us on the fast track to destruction.

51 posted on 08/06/2012 8:42:59 AM PDT by Night Hides Not (The Tea Party was the earthquake, and Chick Fil A the tsunami...100's of aftershocks to come.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

GOPe sour grapes...


52 posted on 08/06/2012 8:45:03 AM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion ("I'm comfortable with a Romney win." - Pres. Jimmy Carter)
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To: Brookhaven

I suppose this nitwit wants the Republican party to continue to be the Democrat-light party. I still get irritated when I think about the RNSC immediately annointing RINO Charlie Crist as the “Republican candidate” for the Florida US Senate seat in 2010 and giving his campaign $100,000, despite the fact that a far superior candidate, Marco Rubio, had entered the race. When Rubio beat Crist in the primary, Crist changed to Independent.

I see now where Crist is supporting Democrat Nelson, and is expected to switch from Independent to Democrat—where he really belonged all along.


53 posted on 08/06/2012 8:49:17 AM PDT by RightWingConspirator (Obamanation--the most corrupt regime since Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Guys, Mike Lofgren IS the insider who wrote this. No, I’d never heard of him before, either. Lifer congressional staffer, and apparently more notable for this than for anything he did while he was in. Wow. Working that long for a party you hold in such utter contempt really isn’t good for your soul, is it?


54 posted on 08/06/2012 8:51:14 AM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: Lancey Howard

The entire story is a lie, and the “fundamentalist staffer” quoted in the article never existed.


55 posted on 08/06/2012 8:51:37 AM PDT by darkangel82 (I don't have a superiority complex, I'm just better than you.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

They say all this as if the “Secular Humanism” of the left is not a religion itself.


56 posted on 08/06/2012 8:52:41 AM PDT by Apple Pan Dowdy (... as American as Apple Pie mmm mmm mmm)
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To: Venturer
IMO the lack of religion is destroying the country.

Exactly!

57 posted on 08/06/2012 8:53:05 AM PDT by mtg
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To: Cincinatus

He probably hangs out at Georgetown gay bars with his Democrat colleagues.


58 posted on 08/06/2012 8:53:41 AM PDT by RightWingConspirator (Obamanation--the most corrupt regime since Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Without all those anti-slavery activist Christian ministers back in the 1850’s, there would probably not have been a Republican Party to begin with...


59 posted on 08/06/2012 8:54:46 AM PDT by faithhopecharity
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To: Sir Napsalot

This is some really intense Leftist BS for sure. I wish it were true. But one look will tell you that the republican party is far from Christian these days. And it has been getting worse every year.


60 posted on 08/06/2012 8:57:18 AM PDT by Revel
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To: Sir Napsalot
Typical lifer Mandarin douchebag who retired with a pocket full of government grift and now wants to bitch about the GOP that fed his family:


Mike Lofgren

"Mike Lofgren retired in June 2011 after 28 years as a staff member in the U.S. Congress. From 2005 until his retirement, Lofgren was a professional staff member of the Senate Budget Committee. His primary focus was on national security budgets, but he also worked on such matters as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and the 2009 International Monetary Fund replenishment.  From 1995 through 2004, he was budget analyst for national security on the majority staff of the House Budget Committee. In 1994 he was a professional staff member of the House Armed Services Committee’s Readiness Subcommittee. He began his legislative branch career as military legislative assistant to Rep. John R. Kasich in 1983. He has a B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of Akron. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study European history at the Universities of Bern and Basel in Switzerland and completed the strategy and policy curriculum at the Naval War College.

Since retirement, Lofgren has written about politics, budgets, and national security issues. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Monthly, Truthout, and Counterpunch. His essay on Congressional Republicans published by Truthout received over a million views. He has appeared on numerous radio and TV news interviews."


61 posted on 08/06/2012 8:59:14 AM PDT by StAnDeliver (=)
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To: Sir Napsalot
Hey Mikey, here's a clue for you.

Chik-Fil-A on Wednesday. Compared to the Great Homosexual Kiss-In later in the week.

Which set of voters was larger?

I guess your car was the only one in the JC Penney parking lot when I drove by yesterday.

Pander to Perverts and Pay the Price

Cater to Christians and Count your Cash.

62 posted on 08/06/2012 9:01:37 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys=Can't drive, can't ski, can't fly, can't skipper a boat, but they know what's best for you.)
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Note that link to Truthout -- a hard Left nutroots site that currently leads with an 'op-ed' that insists the US should have been prosecuted for war crimes re: Hiroshima. That's who publishes his whiny Mandarin fantasies...

Notably early-on in Lofgren's overly long screed, he can't even get Michele Bachmann's name right; and of course Truthwithout doesn't have any editors...

63 posted on 08/06/2012 9:05:39 AM PDT by StAnDeliver (=)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Another one of the Left’s invisible friends.

Salon is assuming way more credibility than it’s actually earned. National Enquirer is more reliable.


64 posted on 08/06/2012 9:17:44 AM PDT by DPMD
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To: Dr. Sivana
I am not sure why someone’s belief about dinosaur footprints should make a difference in a discussion about deficit spending, the role of government or even cultural morality issues.

Absolutely correct, and I'm marking your words for use the next time some Freeper says that I can't be both an atheist and a conservative.

65 posted on 08/06/2012 9:25:19 AM PDT by Notary Sojac (Ut veniant omnes)
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To: goodnesswins

I will take anti intellectualism over anti morality any day of the week.....


66 posted on 08/06/2012 9:25:49 AM PDT by Breto (The Establishment party is killing our country)
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To: Cincinatus
"...Fulbright scholarship..."

He and Clinton have a lot in common.

67 posted on 08/06/2012 9:31:54 AM PDT by rlmorel ("The safest road to Hell is the gradual one." Screwtape (C.S. Lewis))
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To: Pollster1

Well said on all counts, Pollster1...


68 posted on 08/06/2012 9:35:20 AM PDT by rlmorel ("The safest road to Hell is the gradual one." Screwtape (C.S. Lewis))
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To: Sir Napsalot

Another no-name claim and assertion? And this is called journalism?! =.=


69 posted on 08/06/2012 9:42:51 AM PDT by cranked
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To: Sir Napsalot

Why no barf alert? (Or is that regarded as redundant on posts from Salon?)


70 posted on 08/06/2012 9:44:00 AM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Bump


71 posted on 08/06/2012 9:46:49 AM PDT by lowbridge (Joe Biden: "Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy.")
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To: Sir Napsalot

Poor guy misses the GOP of Nixon, Ford, Rockefeller, et al.

It was that Reagan feller and all those strange blue-collar types he brought in that ruined his party.


72 posted on 08/06/2012 9:51:29 AM PDT by Little Ray (AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

GOP insider? I think the nutjob is Harry Reid talking about his party. Salon decided to change Democrat to Republican. /s


73 posted on 08/06/2012 9:59:02 AM PDT by ExCTCitizen (Yes, Obama, I had help with my business. MY CUSTOMERS!!)
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To: cripplecreek
Look around FR and you'll see plenty of us religious FReepers as true lovers of science and discovery.

You are just so wrong, we here in our religious fervor are obviously ignorant of the scientific reasons for removing dams and putting up windmills. Global warming, fish habitat, unnatural concrete and man made materials in dams clearly polluting the pure watersheds of America, scientists all agree these things should be removed to return America to its formerly pristine state.

Thoughtless, mindless religious zealots such as yourself just can't understand the nuances of political science, unlike the genius who wrote this article to save us from the likes of you............

74 posted on 08/06/2012 10:09:01 AM PDT by Lakeshark (I don't care for Mitt; the alternative is unthinkable)
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To: Pollster1

Well thought out post, thanks.


75 posted on 08/06/2012 10:24:12 AM PDT by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Sir Napsalot
Oh, boy - an "insider" speaks! As is usual with writings of this sort, any factual scoops are mixed in with promotion of the author's friends and allies and denigation of his rivals. Consequently, this excerpt is of little value except for those who want to see what a Washington insider normally keeps to him- or herself. As canny cops know, one of the neater ways to get a confession out of a perp is to butter him up and let him run his mouth.

"Counselor, the defendant not only confessed his crime - he bragged about it."

For someone who claims to be averse to demagogy, this fellow's pretty quick with the cheap political rhetoric. His claim that the Religious Right is taking America back to the seventeenth century should merely be met in kind. Which group of people are taking America back to seventeeth-century mercantilsm (French style)? Which claque of folks are the true heirs of Jean de Colbert? Qui ont les Intendants?

As for his point about "cheap salvation," it shows that he's a hierarch. Lofgrean's citation of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, despite Rev. Bonhoffer's Lutheranism, is reminiscent of the Catholic Church's opposition to sola scriptura. The way he uses it reveals his inner belief that the people, on their own, just can't be trusted. They need a hierarchy to, uh, "steer" them in the right direction.

Obviously, Lofgreen considers himself to be part of an elite. What's interesting about his attitude is that there seems to be only two common bonds in this elite: landing the big government job and cultivating a suspicion of the people - specifically, the people who don't conform to D.C.'s aceptable range of orthodoxies. That's all it takes, it seems. Needless to say, he is no man of the people.

His paragraph on Ayn Rand is puerile. It's the same old stereotypes thrown together with new words. Rand's position regarding religion is what she called "intransigent atheism." In Rand-speak, this means defensive atheism: at most, passive-aggressive atheism. No Dawkins has ever come from the Randian world. Moreover, she specifically criticized Christianity only once, in her Playboy interview, which is not considered part of the core canon. That was the only time. She was so far from a Social Darwinist, she one wrote "I am not a student of the theory of evolution, so I am neither its supporter nor its opponent."

That paragraph about Ayn Rand says a lot about Lofgreen's mental processes. He's fond of generalizing from single datums, often the sign of a person who uses stereotypes. Naturally, he pulls out the old trope about Religious Right "hypocrisy." Note that, in the case of Herman Cain, he treats rumour as fact. That says a lot about how he and his ilk "think:" it's very revealing, and not about the Religious Right. As for the allegation from Joe Walsh's ex-wife, why hasn't she sued? If her allegations were fact, why hasn't she collected the money?Again, he treats claims as if they were proven facts.

Needless to say, his sterotype about "plutocrats" says more about his thinly-disguised Washington-insider venality than the character of someone who became rich in the free market. Perhaps, he rates a bye on this one because he's a mere bureaucrat generalizing from his own experience.

As I indicated before, his writings are more revealing of the D.C. mindset than any truth about the Religious Right - except for the fact that the Religious Right made his job harder. That's really all you need to know about his bias.

76 posted on 08/06/2012 11:07:58 AM PDT by danielmryan
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To: Notary Sojac
Absolutely correct, and I'm marking your words for use the next time some Freeper says that I can't be both an atheist and a conservative.

The existence and nature of God has more direct bearing on the basis of a moral or political system than the source of dinosaur footprints. The existence of a dinosaur footprint, in itself, means next to nothing. But the unalienable rights endowed by a Creator cannot be excised without changing the basis of the whole system.
77 posted on 08/06/2012 11:18:04 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("I love to hear you talk talk talk, but I hate what I hear you say."-Del Shannon)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Sure they helped “destroy” it by taking both Congress and the Senate in 1994. He would prefer the Rinos help “restore” it to its’ rightful place at the back of the political bus.


78 posted on 08/06/2012 11:29:07 AM PDT by techcor (I hope Obama succeeds, in being a one term president.)
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To: texteacher
Actually, my impression was the rise (beginning) of the Republican Party was from religious people against slavery. I think those who are more interested in corporate cronyism and social moderation took over after the civil war.

Absolutely. Principled opposition to slavery was nurtured in the Church. Without the active participation of Christians, slavery would still be commonplace around the world.

Indeed, the philosophy of moral relativism has no standing to oppose slavery. Indeed, it seeks to enslave us all.

79 posted on 08/06/2012 12:18:13 PM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

What are the RINOs complaining about? They got their pro-abort, pro-gay, big government guy whose Mormon beliefs offend a large portion of the evangelical Christian Right. In four years, they’ll probably be in better shape after Mitt weakens the conservative wing even more from the inside. I hope I’m wrong but I believe that Mitt Romney will be the biggest disaster that ever hit the conservative movement.


80 posted on 08/06/2012 12:59:57 PM PDT by CommerceComet (Obama vs. Romney - clear evidence that our nation has been judged by God and found wanting.)
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To: danielmryan

I don’t know if he considered himself one of those elites, but one has to wonder why he stuck as staff on GOP side for such a long time.

And why after leaving his long tenure, he’s opting for the Left’s current darling role.


81 posted on 08/06/2012 1:29:00 PM PDT by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Quickly seeking the source for this piece I also quickly deduced that it wouldn’t be worth my time to read it. Rarely does Salon have anything good to say about Cons or SoCons. Next.


82 posted on 08/06/2012 3:20:50 PM PDT by Ron H. (Ahh, how's that multi-culturism thing working out for you these days?!)
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To: Sir Napsalot
I don’t know if he considered himself one of those elites, but one has to wonder why he stuck as staff on GOP side for such a long time.

One might also wonder how John Boehner turned into what he is, if one gets my drift :)

And why after leaving his long tenure, he’s opting for the Left’s current darling role.

At the risk of sounding flip, because the Left has modeled themselves on the typical staffer?

83 posted on 08/06/2012 3:35:45 PM PDT by danielmryan
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