Just over a year ago, I opened a thread about Mike Lofgren, a veteran Republican staffer on Capitol Hill, who left the party and did an expose on its inner madness.
Lofgren went on to write a successful book The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted: Amazon.co.uk: Mike Lofgren: Books but at the time he was dismissed by party supporters as a disgruntled employee, the usual stuff thrown at a whistleblower.
But now Bruce Bartlett, a veteran of the Reagan Administration who was a key adviser in the "supply side" economic programs of that era, has written an account that re-inforces the picture shown by Lofgren.
Bartlett's account, very worryingly, shows a party paralysed by groupthink, a party where heterodoxy is ruthlessly punished, that is slavishly in hock to its rich donors, unwilling to face reality and where players compete to be more orthodox and more extreme than the other.
Bartlett is no mean player himself - he worked for Ron Paul when Paul was the only Tea Party type in Congress, and he held a variety of key positions. So his account has to be taken seriously.
Bartlett, after supporting Bush in 2000, became totally disillusioned at Bush's budget-busting antics and his driving up of the deficit. After writing a critical article, he found himself blacked off Fox News (for whom he used to appear as a pundit) and the TV station would not even mention his name.
You can read this for yourself. But the worrying thing is that the main opposition party in the USA seems to be going almost intellectually Stalinist in the way it handles dissent. The recent election showed the party trapped in a bubble of unreality over the chances of its candidate and alienated from new and important constituencies like Hispanics, youths and gays.
Revenge of the Reality-Based Community | The American Conservative
Can the GOP work its way back to the days of Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan when it was winning landslide victories? I am no Republican supporter but I think it is important that it does.
PS Bartlett is the author of Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy(2006),