The New York Times bestselling exposé of what passes for business as usual in Washington today
There was a time, not so very long ago, when perfectly rational people ran the Republican Party. So how did the party of Lincoln become the party of lunatics? That is what this book aims to answer. Fear not, the Dems come in for their share of tough talk— they are zombies, a party of the living dead.
Mike Lofgren came to Washington in the early eighties—those halcyon, post–Nixonian glory days—for what he imagined would be a short stint on Capitol Hill. He has witnessed quite a few low points in his twenty-eight years on the Hill—but none quite so pitiful as the antics of the current crop of legislators whom we appear to have elected.
Based on the explosive article Lofgren wrote when he resigned in disgust after the debt ceiling crisis, The Party Is Over is a funny and impassioned exposé of everything that is wrong with Washington. Obama and his tired cohorts are no angels but they have nothing on the Republicans, whose wily strategists are bankrupting the country one craven vote at a time. Be prepared for some fireworks.
Lofgren expands his much-read article, Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult (originally published on the site Truthout) into a book-length scrupulously bipartisan diagnosis of the sick state of American politics and governance. The former congressional staffer saves the greater part of his bile for his former party, which he sees as having become inflexibly ideological and devoted to its richest contributors interests. Lofgren makes sure, however, to blast President Obama and his fellow Democrats for the same bad habits, primarily belligerence, disregard for privacy, and compliance with lobbyists. The general points are familiar, but Lofgren offers ideas drawn from a career in government dating back to the early 1980s. Nostalgic memories of now-striking examples of bipartisan cooperation join damning moments, like a Republican policymaker s admission that the party aimed to obstruct the Senate for political gain. Lofgren offsets occasional cheap shots, such as against Gucci-shod lobbyists, by devoting close attention to budget issues rarely accorded so much detail in garden-variety op-ed warfare. Sustaining his original thesis well beyond Internet-browsing attention spans, Lofgren has crafted an angry but clear-sighted argument that may not sit well at family reunions or dinner parties, but deserves attention.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is a very important book. The author's depth of knowledge and benevolent moral core give life to his narrative. Mike Lofgren loves the USA! Receive his words with the warmth that we greet a hero.
Not going to change any minds, but a decent rant if you agree
The author was a Republican staffer in Washington, and occasionally you get hints of that, but most of the opinions in the book seem indistinguishable from those of your favorite antiestablishment left-liberal.
Thus this is not a book you can hand to your Tea Partier relative and hope that they learn something; they'll close it early in Chapter One and never open it again.
But if you are frustrated with the state of the union and believe that Republicans are worse than the Democrats (in theory if not in practice), you'll probably enjoy the book. It's a bit on the ranty side — it sometimes misses opportunities to slow down, go into detail, and educate in its rush to its next acerbic jab — but it's a decent read nonetheless.
The Party is Over
I just finished The Party staffer for Republicans on Senate and House budget committees. His book is the most thoughtful critique I have read about our current sad political state. He puts into words, and provides a coherent explanation for, the nagging uneasiness I have felt for many years about both Democrats and Republicans. It is a breath of fresh air to hear from a sane person why the inmates are running the asylum. I recommend it highly.