Readings: Reflections of an Ex-GOP Cultist

There’s a wonderful 1932 now-forgotten film—except in film classes—called "The Phantom President," which comes to mind every four years during primaries when things look bleak on either side. It’s about party leaders stuck with Theodore Blair, a “good” candidate—he would make a good president—but who has no charism, no charm, no pizzaz. Blair’s staff take in a vaudeville show and before their eyes is Doc Peter Varney, who sings, and dances, including that marvelous step where he walks up the side wall, does a flip, and lands on his feet, and looks exactly like their candidate. The original George M. Cohan, not James Cagney, in his next-to last screen appearance plays both parts. You know the rest. The vaudevillian campaigns while the “real” candidate stays home and works.

Sunday’s New York Times page one carried a story about Democrats fretting aloud about President Obama's reelection chances. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbanks column described the Congressional audience at Obama’s jobs speech as lethargic, disrespectful. When Obama called for summer jobs for disadvantaged youth, only six Democrats stood to cheer.

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Obama may be taking a beating; but, for Democrats, one sun ray bursting through the clouds might be an article on the Web site Truthout by Mike Lofgren, a 30-year Republican Congressional staffer who has quit in disgust with both parties, particularly his own.

Both parties, says Lofgren, are rotten, both “captives to corporate loot,” but they are not rotten in the same way. Those who watched the debt ceiling extension debate, he says, may have been shocked to find the Republican party so full of lunatics. True, we’ve always had crackpot outliers like Rep. Robert K. Dornan, but today they, like Michele Bachman, have become the “vital center.” They used the debt limit vote, a routine legislative procedure which has been used 87 times since the end of World War II, “in order to concoct an entirely artificial fiscal crisis.” Then to use that fiscal crisis “to get what they wanted, by literally holding the US and global economies as hostages.”

The Republican party has become more like an apocalyptic cult, Lofgren says. Virtually every bill, nominee for Senate confirmation, and routine procedure is subject to a Republican filibuster, legislating has become like war, but without the shooting. A few years ago a fellow-Republican staff director explained the strategy to Lofgren: Obstruct the Congress from doing its job, to so lower its prestige that they could get the pubic to hate the very institution of government. That’s all government. So the party against government would win. As Ronald Reagan said, “Government is the problem.”

Republicans have also systematically made it more difficult to vote. In Wisconsin they required a photo ID, then shut down offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles in Democratic neighborhoods. And among the GOP base there is constant harping about people who are “other”—blacks, immigrants, Muslims, gays, intellectuals—making sure there’s a handy scapegoat to hate and fear.

The Republican party, Lofgren concludes, has three principal tenets. 1. Care solely and exclusively or the rich contributors. 2. They worship at the altar of Mars. This decade’s unbridled militarism, plus the Democrats’ cowardly refusal to reverse it, have made us less secure and less free. 3. Give me that old time religion. Lofgren suggests that religious fundamentalism has provided a glue for the three principles. For them wealth is a sign of God’s favor, and their God is pro-war.

Says one writer commenting on Lofgren on James Fallows' blog: “Some people don’t realize how fragile democracy really is.”

Raymond A. Schroth, S.J.

 

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Jeffrey Connors
6 years 2 months ago
Jeff,
 
"I did work within the Democratic Party to try to soften their view on abortion, to no avail.  When they shamed Robert Casey from speaking at their convention, it was enough for me."
 
In 1992, when you were what, all of 22 years old or so?  Casey's Pro-life son crushed Rick Santorum in a senate race in 2006, and spoke at the 2008 convention, so that's moot.  Besides all that, that's not what you said initially, up above.  You said:
  
"I was raised in the Democratic Party, and was registered as Democrat until some 5 years ago when I saw the ravages that Democratic policies had on my family's small business."
   
Five years ago??  On account of your family's small business?  Sorry, but that speaks volumes. You were raised in a Democratic family.  Why? 
  
Despite my reservations I was voting for Republican candidates over 25 years ago because of the the Pro-life issue, but I'm not being led by the nose on that any more.....  While I was getting suckered into that, the Chicago School economists and the Ayn Rand disciple at the Federal Reserve gutted and sold out this country while they financialized this economy and shifted unprecedented power to Wall Street.
 
You can argue all you want about the private sector vs the public sector in education as matter of religious dogma over which is more appropriate and more effective, and face it, for laissez faire types, it IS a matter of dogma, untrammeled capitalism is their true religion but the fact of the matter is, in terms of tackling poverty and the social pathologies that comes with it, nothing can take the place of a middle class job that pays a living wage.  
   
The biggest problem this country faces is the mass disappearance of middle class jobs as a result of technological automation and of the competitive pressures of globalization. The exodus of these jobs coupled with the effects of deregulation which created a superclass of corporate executives and financial professionals has created the largest gap in income equality we’ve seen since 1929.  No republic can survive this kind of widening of income inequality without experiencing great social upheaval. Despite this, the mantra you hear at FOX News these days from libertarian apologists is how unfair it is that “40% of Americans pay no federal income taxes and that the wealthy shouldn’t be expected to keep shouldering more of the burden.” I don’t know if that statistic is exactly correct or not, but if that many people are experiencing downward mobility to the extent that they are now eligible for earned income tax credits, it should be a cause for alarm for all of us about where we are heading, not a battle cry of resentment on the part of the wealthy.
  
Sadly, in their support of free trade policies, the Democrats have showed themselves to be almost as corporatized as the Republicans, but it has been the last 30 years of Reaganism that has been the engine that led to the dismantling of the country.
6 years 2 months ago
I think this donor list says it all:  http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?order=A

Big business, big labor and big governement work together to pick winners and losers.  Anyone who thinks the Democrats somehow are the social justice party is smoking weed that Ron Paul wants to make legal.
Jeffrey Connors
6 years 2 months ago
This one from Open Secrets is better.

http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/blio.php?cycle=2008

The broadest classification of political donors separates them into business, labor, or ideological interests. Whatever slice you look at, business interests dominate, with an overall advantage over organized labor of about 15-to-1.
Even among PACs - the favored means of delivering funds by labor unions - business has a more than 3-to-1 fundraising advantage. In soft money, the ratio is nearly 17-to-1.
It's true that big business has been hedging their bets by buying favors with both parties lately, but looking at the way corporations have outspent "big labor," all the conservative crying over how the Citizens United decision benefits unions as much as corporations and the Business Roundtable is laughable.
 
Speaking of laughing, how many were hooting "YEAH" along with the GOP debate audience last night when Blitzer asked if the hypothetical guy in the coma without insurance should just be allowed to die in the ER?
6 years 2 months ago
I could not agree more that Big Business controls government.  But when AT&T needs some sort of legislation to help their interest, you can guarantee that they give a call to their labor unions to help them out and you can guarantee that these laws are not in the best interest of the people!
Jeffrey Connors
6 years 2 months ago
"I could not agree more that Big Business controls government."
   
Thank you.  Now, is that called Socialism?
   
Or is it called Plutocracy?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutocracy

6 years 2 months ago
You can call it what you want but I would argue that the solution is not the Democrats who want bigger government.  And the solution is not the mainline Republican party who also in general want bigger govenment.  Thus the appeal of the ''Tea Party'' or Ron Paul.
ed gleason
6 years 2 months ago
 “40% of Americans pay no federal income taxes' That's a twist on an old 30s joke by Will Rogers 'There is no income tax in Russia ... because there is no income' The GOP have turned an old cowboy joke into a talking point.
I await with snarky enthusiasm the usual Conservative posters here to contort themselves into supporting Perry when  Romney fades in So Carolina.  I coined a new name . Pretzel Republicans. I think  Will R. would have like that.
Stephen Morris
6 years 2 months ago
"I want to add that I find it ironic that there is so much supposed disgust towards the Republican party for its actions, as compared to the other party that has as its official platform, the enactment of legislation allowing for the destruction of human life at its most vulnerable."

How many more years will the Republican party ride us in circles over that issue, with no intention of any real progress? Another 30 years? I bought their nonsense for too many years.
Years of more war.
Years of increased death penalties.
Years of filling prisons with people who truly deserved nothing more than a treatment program.
Years of denying care or impoverishing the sick to make others wealthy.
Years of hating the poor.
Years of turning our backs against (mostly Catholic) immigrants who crossed a desert seeking to pull themselves out of poverty and provide a better life for their families.
Years of worshiping guns & money.

As bad as the Democrats are on abortion (and many other issues), the Republicans are even worse on everything else. 
6 years 2 months ago
Another day, another GOP hit piece. 

And they wonder why so many conservative readers comment on these posts.

Hey America, just a completely random thought, but if you tried - I mean really tried - to find a Catholic Republican to profile, write a post, make a reflection, anything really, to give a view of so many of us who are committed Republicans because of our faith commitment.  It'd sure be refreshing.  Just a completely random, totally ridiculous thought.
6 years 2 months ago
"The Republican party has become more like an apocalyptic cult, Lofgren says. Virtually every bill, nominee for Senate confirmation, and routine procedure is subject to a Republican filibuster, legislating has become like war, but without the shooting. A few years ago a fellow-Republican staff director explained the strategy to Lofgren: Obstruct the Congress from doing its job, to so lower its prestige that they could get the pubic to hate    the very institution of government. That’s all government. So the party against government would win. As Ronald Reagan said, “Government is the problem.”"

I want to add that I find it ironic that there is so much supposed disgust towards the Republican party for its actions, as compared to the other party that has as its official platform, the enactment of legislation allowing for the destruction of human life at its most vulnerable.  Curious indeed, but then again I suppose I'm just being a single-issuer "cultist" blinded by my hatred of "government."  Yep, that's it.
John Barbieri
6 years 2 months ago
OK, Father Schroth, you don't think much of the Republicans.
Now, just how are the Democrats better?
As for myself, I think of the Republicrat Party which represents the interests of the members of Congress to themselves.
Too bad the rest of us don't have a party that represents us. 
6 years 2 months ago
From the Washington Post:  ''But Democrats can still cling to one thing: They remain the kings of collecting money from big donors.''

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/17/AR2010031704112.html


That seems to repudiate #1 of Mr. Lofgren's main claims.  The other two are specious also.  I could list a long list of videos that showed support for Iraq by Democrats and then there is of course our current peace time president.  The evangelicals are mainly with the Republicans because of abortion.  That seems to be their main adherent to the party.  Catholics who claim to be Catholics but do not go to Mass are more likely to be Democrats while those that go to Mass are more likely to be Republicans.  The main attraction of the Tea Party to the Republicans is for financial restraint, something the Democrats have no inclination to advance except when they can use it against Republicans.


Mr. Lofgren's whole approach is one of incoherence which I understand should appeal to Democrats who are a mixture of contradictory objectives.  Just look at their support of unions when such support screws the poor every time.  Maybe the blacks and Latinos will wise up and when they do that will be the end of the Democratic Party and then maybe a third party could take hold.
6 years 2 months ago
"Neither political party should be sacralized, but if you really took Catholic teaching seriously, if you really let your politics  be shaped by your faith instead of the other way around, you'd be advocating and fighting for the acceptance and inclusion of a Pro-Life position within the Democratic Party.  That's what the Jesuits at America do.  That's what I do.  That's what Catholics of clear conscience should do.  You say you were once a Democrat.  That's what you should have done."

This is a judgment that you are free to make, just as I am free to make an alternative judgment.  I did work within the Democratic Party to try to soften their view on abortion, to no avail.  When they shamed Robert Casey from speaking at their convention, it was enough for me.  But again, as you say, we are free in our consciences to make these judgments.

But we are not free to attack the faith commitments of those with whom we disagree.  And that is exactly what you are doing.  You say if I truly understood and appreciated by faith, I would be a Democrat.  I say my faith commitment is alot more important than my political commitments, but I believe that education reform (to take but one example) that gives choices to poor minorities stuck in failing government schools is a political commitment that squarely fits within my faith commitment.  I believe that reforming welfare policies that have created ghettos of social dysfunction and giving hope of a better life to people is a poiltical commitment that fits squarely within my faith commitment.  You mention Katrina; you should come down to NOLA sometime and see the progress that has been made in getting poor people of color OUT of the failing housing projects and failing public schools and empowering them to live in neighborhoods with productive economies and schools that truly educate - oh and all those were opposed at every single turn by the Democratic political leaders (like Ray Nagin) and the so-called social justice advocates who chained themselves to fences to keep poor people in crime-ridden ghettos.  But that's they way I see these issues in light of my faith commitment; you may choose to question and criticize that, but I'm afraid it says more about you that it does about me.
Jeffrey Connors
6 years 2 months ago
Lofgren's article is superb.  It is 100% spot-on, right on-the-money.
  
As for America Magazine and any presumed bias they may hold, in their willingness to be bird-dogged by the Acton Institute types on every single solitary post they make related to social policy, they have shown themselves to be more than generous in allowing Republicans to air their views here in their lamely misguided attempts to synthesize Catholic social teaching with laissez faire capitalism and libertarianism.
 
In the constant gang-pressing and hounding from the right on these kinds of posts, I've never seen a clearer example of people letting their faith be informed and shaped by their personal secular politics rather than having their politics shaped and informed by their faith.
 
Even though the vast majority of Catholic parishes aren't with them, the vast majority of Catholic blogdom is.  Rather than looking for Republican refreshment from the 5% of Catholiic blogs that are still left which don't care to offer it, why not take your refeshment from the vast majority of them that do?

If you can't do that, try refuting Lofgren point-by-point.
6 years 2 months ago
One problem, Mike Lofgren is lying through his teeth.  Now why would someone do  that?  I might understand that Mr. Lofgren might not like the current group of Democrats who were sent to Washington to cut the budget and deficit and who are more conservative than past congresses but why does he distort so much.


The debt ceiling crisis was engineered by Obama, Reid and Pelosi.  After the last election and the massive losses they tried to pass a lot of legislation in the lame duck time period and in fact a lot was done.  They had ample time and the votes to increase the debt ceiling which they knew would be needed by around April.  They decided not to because they knew they could create a media event with the new Republicans.  They were trying to recreate the government shutdown scenario of 1995-96 which turned out well for them.  And that folks is what happened and the Republicans as advertised pushed for budget reductions.  Mr. Lofgren must know this so why did he indicate otherwise.


He also distorted what took place in the early budgets of 2001-2008 and the implications of the Bush tax cuts on revenues.  He is just repeating the false Democratic Party talking points so why would he do that when he must know they are false.  My guess is has an ulterior motive other than a longing for a third party to really run the country intelligently.  We will see what happens with Mr. Lofgren.


If anyone from America or its readers wants to defend anything specific Mr.  Lofgren has made then maybe there should be a dialogue.  I can point to several misrepresentations by him.
6 years 2 months ago
"In the constant gang-pressing and hounding from the right on these kinds of posts, I've never seen a clearer example of people letting their faith be informed and shaped by their personal secular politics rather than having their politics shaped and informed by their faith."

I take this as a personal attack on another commenter whom you do not know personally.  I find it as offensive as if I suggested that Catholic Democrats who support pro-choice candidates allow their political views to trump human life. 

6 years 2 months ago
Since I've been challenged to refute the allegations instead of complain about the continued unfair presentation of conservative ideas and POVs on this blog, I'll give it a whirl:

1.  "The Republican party has become more like an apocalyptic cult, Lofgren says."

- I'm not exactly sure what an "apocalyptic cult" is, or how it differs from a "cult."  Of course Christians of all stripes have been accused of being thing from time to time, so perhaps we shouldn't be that upset.  As for the assertion that the GOP is a "cult," I find that laughable.  I was raised in the Democratic Party, and was registered as Democrat until some 5 years ago when I saw the ravages that Democratic policies had on my family's small business.  But I guess it was really just the brainwashing I was receiving (totally unbeknownst to me) from...well I'm not exactly sure where.

2. "Virtually every bill, nominee for Senate confirmation, and routine procedure is subject to a Republican filibuster, legislating has become like war, but without the shooting."

- I suppose Teddy Kennedy's hit job on Robert Bork, followed by Joe Biden's attack on Clarence Thomas, followed by his attack on Miguel Estrade, and then Samuel Alito for being a racist, not to mention the Democratic votes against raising the debt ceiling when a Republican held the White House counts as "war withouth the shooting."

3.  "A few years ago a fellow-Republican staff director explained the strategy to Lofgren: Obstruct the Congress from doing its job, to so lower its prestige that they could get the pubic to hate    the very institution of government. That’s all government. So the party against government would win. As Ronald Reagan said, “Government is the problem.”"

-I'll leave aside that this statement is what we lawyers call hearsay, that is inadmissible as evidence because it can't be refuted and is overly prejudicial.  Nonetheless, I'm pretty sure standing in line at the DMV or mailing something at the Post Office is much more effective than some 2-bit Congressman whom most don't have a clue about at ginning up anger at government.  But I sure wish the Congress had been as "obstructionist" as it is accused of being when it was spending hand over fist in programs it can't afford (during the BUSH administration no less).  Then there's that small bit about Frannie, Freddie and the housing crisis.  Or the current state of public (I.e. government) schools.  But that's probably the cultish-brainwashing talking.

4.  "Republicans have also systematically made it more difficult to vote. In Wisconsin they required a photo ID, then shut down offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles in Democratic neighborhoods. And among the GOP base there is constant harping about people who are “other”—blacks, immigrants, Muslims, gays, intellectuals—making sure there’s a handy scapegoat to hate and fear."

- Ah yes, the Pièce de résistance, we Republicans are nothing (well in addition to be brainwashed "cultists") but a bunch of racist, homophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-intellectual - and let's throw in for good measure - rabid death penalty enthusiasts - freaks who its ashame have a right to exist in this country.  As if voter fraud were a complete pretext for instituting the old Jim Crow regime to keep out these inferiors from expressing their views!  And of course never mind that it sure helps turn out to tell minorities that the Republicans are out to get them: to reform their public schools, to reform the broken housing system that has herded them into cesspools of violence, drug use and serial single parenthood, and to dare to believe that minorities can compete with the rest of the country on an equal footing if given a fair chance.  How racist.

How'd I do?  I think I've responded to all the "arguments."
Tom Maher
6 years 2 months ago
Yes indeed. Sunday New York Times page one article titled "Democrats Fret Aloud Over Obasma's Chances" has a lot to say about U.S. politics heading toward the 2012 election. 

The article It begins "Democrats are expressing growing for alarm about Presedent Obama's re-election prospects ..."  

Essentially the Democrats are beginning to see what the Republican already fully understand:  the President job approval has fallen to around 55% disapproval over the last month.  Rasmussen and every othere major poll shpows the president with a solid majority disapproving of the Presidents job performance.

The writting is o the wall.  This President is in very big politcial trouble such that he could impact negatively all Democrats in the 2012 election. 
Jeffrey Connors
6 years 2 months ago
Jeff Landry replied to me:
  
"I take this as a personal attack on another commenter whom you do not know personally.  I find it as offensive as if I suggested that Catholic Democrats who support pro-choice candidates allow their political views to trump human life."
   
In regard to the first statement, you've posted here hundreds of times, so your views and presuppositions have been made quite clear by now to everyone else who reads these posts.
  
Are you Jeff Landry the congressman from Louisiana?  If so, you're better known than you think.
  
Yes, I'm publicly calling into question whether or not you (and some others here) take your Catholicism as seriously as your politics in shaping your worldview.  Neither political party should be sacralized, but if you really took Catholic teaching seriously, if you really let your politics  be shaped by your faith instead of the other way around, you'd be advocating and fighting for the acceptance and inclusion of a Pro-Life position within the Democratic Party.  That's what the Jesuits at America do.  That's what I do.  That's what Catholics of clear conscience should do.  You say you were once a Democrat.  That's what you should have done.
    
How foolish it was for the Pro-Life movement to put all of their eggs in one basket, and to leave the Democratic party to secularists and pushers of indentity politics.   The Democratic Party was once full of Pro-Lifers and was once truly representative of the interests of ordinary working people.  It can be again, without as huge an amount of effort as one might think. 
  
I've never been a Republican, but I voted for the Republican candidate in every presidential election from 1984 through 2004 because of the Pro-Life issue, even though almost every other Republican position was repugnant to my Catholic sensibilitiies.  I eventually came to realize that the Republicans had no intention of ever overturning Roe v. Wade.  Somehow, justices like O'Connor. Kennedy, and Souter kept finding their way onto the Supreme Court.  In the meantime, the GOP has belonged to the people it has always truly belonged to, the libertarian country-club set who spend their Sunday mornings on the golf course secretly laughing at their foot soldiers in the religious right who get the corporate-interest candidates elected for them.  
  
With the deception leading up to the Iraq War (a huge geo-political blunder), the use of torture, and the reponse to Katrina, which proved that to the Republicans, some people just don't seem to matter as much as others - that was it between me and the GOP.  I'm convinced that McCain/Palin would have had us in a war with Iran in no short order, which would have been another utter fiasco and very dangerous to all of us.  There is such a thing as a hierarchy of responsibilities, and my first responsibility is the safety and well-being of my own family.  In sum toto, my conscience allowed me to vote for the Democrat.
  
As for your second statement,
  
"I find it as offensive as if I suggested that Catholic Democrats who support pro-choice candidates allow their political views to trump human life."
  
...maybe not by you, but this gets done to Catholic Democrats all the time.  In fact, you did hint at it by saying:
  
"I want to add that I find it ironic that there is so much supposed disgust towards the Republican party for its actions, as compared to the other party that has as its official platform, the enactment of legislation allowing for the destruction of human life at its most vulnerable."
  
As for your refutation of Lofgren, not too impressive... You cherry-picked a few quotes where you could come up with some "they did it too" ripostes, despite the fact that Lofgren said himself that the corporate-lobbied Democrats are also guilty in some measure of the same things, and you ignored the three principal points of his article.    1. They care solely and exclusively for the rich contributors. 2. They worship at the altar of Mars.  3. Give me that old time religion.
6 years 2 months ago
''As for your refutation of Lofgren, not too impressive''

What did Lofgren say that was not just personal opinion and one with a lot of vitriol?  His long diatribe was not one of reason but one of personal vendetta.  Was the prose in his post one of cool reason or of a nutty blogger that could be found on the Daily Kos or the Democrat underground.? It was not the well written article of one who was in government service for years but more of what one would get from a scolded and vengeful teenager.

 In other places where he has written he was full of nonsense about the facts on budgets and taxes.  He has an agenda and he has found an audience and style to suit the audience.  Apparently Father Schroth bit and swallowed the bait.  If someone from the Democrats had used a similar style and defected he would be cast as some sort of demented loner and disparaged by his obvious juvenile approach to getting even.
C Walter Mattingly
6 years 2 months ago
Perhaps our editors are tiring of promoting the agenda of President Obama and have decided to ''Moveon'' and begin promoting the agenda of George Soros. For those readers who are wary of rich billionaire criminals who use their dollars to scam the little investor with insider trading schemes and profiteer by taking down the currencies of nations and are disappointed that Murdock doesn't fit that criteria, look no further, you've found your criminal billionaire. George Soros, alias The Man Who Broke the Bank of England, the multibillioniare convicted felon (insider trading) who made his first billion by helping to undermine the currency of Great Britain, through his front man, Bill Moyers, gave the seed money and continues to support not only Truthout (Truthleftout would be more accurate) but also Moveon.org and other such demagogic rags for his agenda. This article is so weak and full of holes as to be risable, which is why it is in Truthout rather than a credible liberal news source such as the NYTimes or the CSMonitor, which, having standards, wouldn't touch it. To say that Republicans want voters to be clearly identified is somehow bogus in light of the fact that Acorn, funded and assisted by then candidate Obama, committed fraudulent voter registration in 6 states, with such fraud in Indiana likely running in the thousands, and that Democrats, recognizing that such fraudulent votes so exercised are likely to be for democratic candidates, don't want to hinder that process, is somehow infringement on voters' rights, is simply laughable. (Just go to Factcheck under Acorn and voter fraud should you question the above.) The rub here is that Republicans have made it more difficult to register and vote fraudulently, to the disadvantage of their opponents. The quote, ''Some people don't realize how fragile democracy is,'' is quite appropriate when addressing proper ID to prevent voter fraud. A paid Acorn representive stating that the person is who he says he is simply won't cut it.
Likewise the hollow and erroneus conclusion that republicans only care about the rich. We have seen in previous posts the work which the genuine liberal Nicholas presented, Bleeding Heart Tightwads, NYTimes, 12/2008, which empirically demonstrates that conservatives give 60% more of their money and other assistance to the needy than liberals. That is the weakness of Ron Paul's answer in the debate that charities can provide for those without health care: his experience is with charitable conservatives, not liberal tightwads, who don't carry their weight.  
Lofgren is probably right on his third point: conservatives tend to be more religious than liberals. Perhaps our editors consider this to be a fundamental conservative failing.
 

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