Mike Lofgren

Mike Lofgren is a former congressional staff member who served on both the House and Senate budget committees. His book about Congress, The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted, appeared in paperback on August 27, 2013.

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017
The Trump Era: No One Can Stay Above the Fray
"Shape without form, shade without color, paralyzed force, gesture without motion." — T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men (1925) It has been six years since I last saw Capitol Hill and the Republican Party in the rearview mirror. Ever since, I have been relentlessly critical of the GOP because, as nearly as...
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Wednesday, May 03, 2017
‘I, for One, Welcome Our New Insect Overlords!’ How the Chattering Class Bully-Worships Trump
In his review of Bertrand Russell’s Power: A New Social Analysis , George Orwell wrote the following: “Bully-worship, under various disguises, has become a universal religion… ” Orwell may have exaggerated, but there is some truth in what he said. These days, in Washington as in Hollywood, the...
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Saturday, March 04, 2017
The Deep State 2.0
The prospect of four years of Donald J. Trump’s nonstop rants about imaginary conspiracies against his daughter, wholesale slander against the judicial branch and attacks on the press as enemies of the people has caused some Americans to slip into a comforting form of denial. He will be a blip in...
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Maybe This Is How Democracy Ends
The election of Donald Trump has triggered as much wonderment abroad as it has in the United States. David Runciman , a professor of politics at the University of Cambridge, has written in the London Review of Books a provocative reflection on the nature of democracy in the age of Trump: “ Is this...
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Congress Sinks to New Depths
We might have thought the Congress of the United States hit rock bottom in 2011, when it nearly drove the country into a sovereign debt default. It was averted in time, but Standard and Poor’s still downgraded America’s debt rating . Or was rock bottom the government shutdown of 2013 ? Or was the...
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Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Elites vs. Too Much Democracy: Andrew Sullivan’s Afraid of Popular Self-Government
British expatriate writer Andrew Sullivan recently returned to the public eye with a piece that has aroused considerable comment, some of it reasonably on point , and some bloviatingly incoherent . What is all the fuss about? Sullivan, in critiquing the Donald Trump phenomenon and the political...
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Thursday, May 12, 2016
Donald Trump’s Unsurprising Surprise
A lot of pundits have egg on their faces. Nate Cohn recently issued a mea culpa in the New York Times confessing his underestimation of Donald Trump. The Washington Post ’s Dana Milbank has even had to make good on his bet that he would literally eat his words if the real estate mogul were...
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Wednesday, April 06, 2016
When Donald Trump Makes Sense
Despite the fact that modern technological civilization is supposed to be founded on empiricism and rationality, most of our attitudes spring from emotions, indoctrination, or appeals to authority. George Bernard Shaw wrote in his preface to Saint Joan that modern man was more superstitious than...
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Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Oligarchville: How Washington’s New Rich Live
In 1927, H.L. Mencken rode by train through the Pennsylvania coal country. The houses he saw along the way were so hideous, at least in his eyes, that he was moved to pen his famous essay, “The Libido for the Ugly.” Mencken was writing about towns inhabited by coal miners and railroad brakemen, but...
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Monday, January 18, 2016
An Oligarchy Has Broken Our Democracy. It Must Be Dislodged.
Each new election year promises change. We will choose a new president and new representatives in Congress; fresh faces will make their appearances in Washington DC, while old ones disappear. But what about the people who stay in power, one election after another, less exposed to the public eye?...
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