(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—The last several months have been downright horrible for Barack Obama, and for any true American patriot it has been hard to watch. Whether you voted for Obama or not, anyone who cares about this country, our economy national security and healthcare wants to see the president succeed, even if he’s not of your party. However thus far he hasn’t succeeded, or at least to the degree that many in the public want him to, and in fact, his base, is increasingly saddened and disgusted by his perceived “weakness.” I strongly advise all of those who are paying rapt attention to the conflicts in Washington do a little light reading over the coming week, and check out the article “Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP operative who left the cult,” by Mike Lofgren. It just might change how you see President Obama.
Mike Lofgren retired earlier this year after being a Republican Congressional staffer for 28 years. Which means that he’s served under three Republican presidents and until the 1990’s a mostly Democratic Congress. He was working with the party during the first Gulf War, he was there for the re-count, basically this man is not a RINO he’s a tried and true Republican. And yet, after all that time in service the events of the last decade or so have driven him to not only leave his party but refer to it as a cult and write scathing exposes about the current state of the Republican party. If you can even call it that after reading his most recent work.
Lofgren’s piece gives a sincere glimpse into a world that political pundits occasionally talk about but seldom give the level of attention that is needed. The author says that the current Republican Party is like an apocalyptic death cult. That they view any Democratic president as illegitimate and especially Obama whose never ending crime of being Black is just more than most in the GOP can bear. However we’re all aware of that, we all know that the GOP has some loonies and some crackpots but what makes this analysis particularly disturbing is that Lofgren suggests that the GOP operatives know it too and don’t care. John Boehner, Eric Cantor and the like are perfectly willing to fuel a ridiculous conspiracy theory like “Birtherism” for years with coy non-committal responses like “I take the president at his word” as long as it stokes the White working class into a voting frenzy on their behalf. The end result is a party that literally, and let me be clear about this, a party that explicitly within their own ranks wanted to drag America and the entire world economy into default, putting millions out of work and ruining chances for economic recovery for years just to get rid of the current president. This is not political gamesmanship, this isn’t hardball, it is simply a nihilism towards government and a deep pathological hatred for the president of the United States. Throw in the overpowering influence of corporate funds and it’s a wonder that anything gets done in Washington anymore.
However here’s the rub. The President gets blamed for being weak, not standing up for himself and failing to articulate a message I believe in large part because the left does not truly understand just how delusional the opposition truly is. Mike Lofgren paints a scary picture where his former GOP operatives weren’t just hostage takers, but dead set on destroying American government while at the same time revering the constitution. For all of the criticism heaped upon Obama how exactly is the president supposed to actually combat that level of intensity? When your opposition has nothing to lose, they don’t care about getting re-elected, they consider the nation to be in decline already and they serve constituents that are equally obsessed how are you able to actually negotiate with them? You can’t and that’s why our nation is in the mess that it’s in according to him.
The Democrats and President Obama deserve blame for not being effective in some areas of government but amidst all the dinner table grousing on Obama’s weakness there should be some things taken into consideration. We no longer have two parties in Washington, we have one corporate backed party and another which is no longer a party but a cult of personality dedicated to destroying anyone or anything that does not fit their vision of America. It would be wise to consider those are our options heading into 2012.
(Dr. Jason Johnson is an associate professor at Hiram College in Ohio.)