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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Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 4:15pm
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 - 11:45am
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 - 1:15pm
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 - 5:15pm
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 6, 2016 - 11:30am
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 9, 2016 - 12:30pm
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 - 9:45am
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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Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 1:15pm
The West’s Deadly Mideast Fantasies
Around the time of the 2003 Iraq invasion and the silliness of “ freedom fries ” (served in the cafeterias of the House office buildings at the behest of ostensibly adult members of Congress ), it was possible to believe that the nations of Europe were more sane about world events than panicked,...
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Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 1:30pm
Republicans Are Revolutionaries, Not Conservatives
There is much to commend in Thomas Schaller’s recent piece describing the built-in structural advantages that the Republican Party enjoys in the American electoral system. Some analysts believe this advantage derives from the systematic gerrymandering of legislative districts; others declare it a...
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Sunday, November 1, 2015 - 12:15pm
The ‘Anti-Knowledge’ of the Elites
In a previous piece , I described how the Republican Party and its ideological allies in the fundamentalist churches have confected a comprehensive media-entertainment complex to attract low-information Americans and turn them into partisans. The propaganda they are fed has become so disconnected...
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