Mike Lofgren turned his sensational political essay from a year ago into a full-fledged book, which I am now eagerly reading…and I would imagine that unlike most self-described progressives, I’m far more interested in what he has to say about the rotten state of the Democratic party than I am the Republican party he left in disgust. Here’s a taste:
The Democratic Party coasted far too long on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s legacy. It became complacent and began to feel entitled to its near hegemonic position in politics, culture and the media. When the New Right increasingly began to displace it in all three of those arenas, some liberals merely turned into ineffectual whiners and crybabies or ivory tower escapists. The bulk of Democratic politcians and operatives, however, moved in a different direction. After three straight losses in presidential elections between 1980 and 1988, they abandoned the practices of their old beliefs while continuing to espouse them in theory. These new Democrats will say anything to win an election–an objective that, in their minds, generally requires them to emulate Republicans, particularly with respect to moneygrubbing on the fund-raising circuit. Many of them only last a term or two, because if people want a Republican they will vote for the real thing. What has evolved in America over the last three decades is a one-and-a-half-party system, as Democrats opportunistically cleave to the “center,” which, in the relativistic universe of American politics, keeps moving further to the right.
And that’s just from the introduction…this is required reading, folks.