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The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted
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The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  966 ratings  ·  169 reviews
The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by Viking
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Start your review of The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted
Hana
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hana by: Eric_W
I'm bumping this one up on a re-read from three stars to four. After the strange and even wondrous political summer of 2015, I've realized that this book, penned in 2012 by a disillusioned and disgusted Washington Republican insider, is both prescient and important.

I've had a number of recent conversations with friends who are completely bewildered by Bernie Sanders' and Donald Trump's candidacies. Having read Mike Lofgren's book I really do understand the populist appeal of both candidates. As
...more
Patrick Eddington
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
Because I've worked on Capitol Hill for nearly a decade and was a lobbyist for nearly as long before that, Lofgren's account resonated with me from start to finish. Much of what he had to say about his party (the Republicans) was not news to me, but he's a good story teller with a talent for the turn of phrase. A sampling:
How did Republicans manage to seize control of the way Americans speak about public life? Democrats do not understand the power of language. Their initiatives are posed in
...more
Sally
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
More than anything "The Party Is Over" is a very well structured, thorough, well articulated and well informed rant; by a disgruntled ex, who has left recently enough for it to be very relevant today.

Like any information from a disgruntled ex, it's accurate, caustic, scathing and pointed; and I consider it a perfect counterpoint to Deer Hunting With Jesus, a similar book about the problems with the Democrats from a couple of terms of office ago.

I was a little surprised that there wasn't a
...more
Heather in FL
So this is just scary. And sad that our political system has gotten to the point where we are now. We don't have elected officials. We have people bought and paid for by American corporations. Or big wigs. Who are usually associated with those corporations. OR super religious people whose beliefs don't seem to have evolved with the rest of the nation, who have huge audiences of their own, who want to keep the status quo. And the people lifted up by these influential organizations are willing to ...more
Judie
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If I could write the review THE PARTY IS OVER : How the Republican Went CRAZY, Democrats Became USELESS, and the Middle Class Got SHAFTED deserves, it would take an article the size of a magazine article.
Mike Lofgren worked for US Representative John Kasich, first on the House Armed Services Committee and then the House Budget Committee. In 2012, he finished his 28-years on the Hill working for Senator Judd Gregg, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. Both of his bosses were Republican. He
...more
Dean Lisle
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Most concise and precise discussion of our broken political system I have read. Cuts unequivocally to the quick, and on top of that, written by a Republican insider! Exceptional indeed. An absolute "must read" for anyone who imagines himself or herself to be an informed voter.
Carol
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
Some of us are old enough to remember when "intelligent conservative Republican" wasn't an oxymoron. Here's a book written by that almost extinct species. A wonderful tour d'horizon about how we got where we are. While Lofgren mainly focuses on Republicans - since he'd worked on the Hill for Republicans, including 16 years as a senior analyst on the House and Senate budget committees - the Democrats don't escape unscathed. He excoriates the Obama administration for "looking forward" and refusing ...more
Clif
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Mike Lofgren was deep inside the machinery of Capitol Hill for decades working for Republicans and ending up on the staff of the Senate Budget Committee before he retired in 2011 in disgust.

The Party is Over is perfectly titled. The book describes in detail how the Republicans have become captive to extremist obstructionism while the Democrats have lost all sense of purpose, both parties falling captive to money.

The chapter titles tell all: "Worshiping at the Alter of Mars" (mindless
...more
Aaron Michaux
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Want to know the personal thoughts of a Washington Insider? Lofgren was a senior GOP policy analyst privy to sensitive negotiations and classified information, having almost 30 years experience with budget and defense portfolios. In wells structured and short book, he wittily and passionately describes the somewhat shocking institutional incompetence and corruption on the hill.

The most interesting aspects of the book deal with the GOPs descent into intractable anti-intellectual partisanship, and
...more
Eric_W
A quote from his blog that got me interested: "And there was worse to come. Whether it was Rep. Joe Wilson boorishly yelling “you lie!”– unprecedented behavior during a joint meeting of Congress assembled to hear a presidential address – or the obscene carnival of Birtherism, Obama-the-secret-Muslim, death panels, and all the rest of it, the party took on a nasty, bullying, crazy edge. From my perch on the budget committee I watched with a mixture of fascination and foreboding as my party was ...more
Tensy
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book, written by a Congressional Republican staffer, and published before the 2012 election, basically details how our system of government has derailed in the past decade. His observations can be stated in one sentence from his book: "I believe that the toxic dynamic that led to all of these ills is one, the same, and inseparable from the belligerent and avaricious mind-set that deregulated the markets, pushed the tax cuts, encouraged subprime borrowing, and botched the handling of ...more
Naomi
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
I must really say that I thought the writing in this book came off more as a bitchfest by someone who has is disgruntled by something bad that happened to him in Washington. I was looking for something much more concise in its' presentation and thought it came off as pretty whiny. This is a topic that really has to be discussed, but, in my humble opinion, this author didn't make it work.
Erin
Aug 04, 2012 added it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
I'm not sure what to give this one for a rating. It was a good enough book, but as I suspected, reading it made me feel very, very depressed. Did you know that according to one poll, the number of people who feel that Congress is doing a good job is lower than the number of people who would like to see America go Communist? That about sums it up right there.
Bridgit Morgan
Mar 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Fascinating read, and so relevant for today's political climate. As a Public Relations major, I really enjoyed that aspect of how political rhetoric can be molded by public opinion.
Dale Grauman
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's a tirade, but it's a tirade worth reading. Lofgren, a former aid to John Kasich who became a congressional budget analyst, is mad as hell at our increasingly disfunctional federal government. Democrats are feckless careerists. Republicans are cranks (and also careerists). American voters have their heads in the sand (in part because Republicans have built into American culture a sprawling ignorance machine, and because Republicans have intentionally undermined public trust in the ...more
Daniel Parker
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Why haven't I heard more on this book? Hands down the best book on politics and government I have read in the past few months. Mr. Lofgren is a former long time congressional staff member, a Republican, and he pulls no punches to lay into both parties. He backs it with data and trends. Several other books I've read have some of the same themes but Mr. Lofgren goes deeper and explains how things got the way they have. He is an old conservative Republican. The kind that was truly conservative in ...more
Robb Bridson
More entertaining than informative, but that's kind of what I was expecting. I'd read articles and interviews, and enjoyed Lofgren's blunt, witty, and angry style. The audiobook reader, at first funny but eventually tedious, added quite a bit of crotchety old man to the delivery.

The basic point of the book is exactly the title. Lofgren is an ex-insider with great contempt toward the insane GOP he worked for, the weak and hypocritical Democrats who fail to act as a counterforce, and the entire
...more
Rosebud
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Americans
Recommended to Rosebud by: Tom Blessing
I knew about a lot of the topics in this book, but was amazed that this is a Republican who worked on Capitol Hill for thirty years would come to the same conclusions I have about how our politicians operate. It is a shame that our government has been hijacked by big money and weak representatives who are supposed to be working to our good. Shame on us average Americans for continuing to vote them back into office and failing to demand change.

The details of the military industrial complex that
...more
Skip
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Lofgren is a Republican staffer who started in the 80s and gradually grew disillusioned with the direction the party moved, eventually retiring and writing this book. He's very up front about this, and uses lots of anecdotes from his time on Capitol Hill in the writing. The majority of the book rips into just about every aspect of the current Republican party, with frequent asides pointing out how the Democrats aren't any better.

Underlying everything is the primary point of the book...there's
...more
Mike
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is from a guy that knows. In particular I like his description of one President whose goal was medical insurance and a living wage for all. The current bunch would not recognize Richard Nixon. Or, how about President Eisenhower investing in education and building highways. And, his now unheeded warnings of the military industrial complex. With the current Party Of No, it's good to do as Deep Throat suggested Woodstein do: Follow The Money. Who stands to gain from a Romney/Ryan victory? The ...more
Frank Roberts
Aug 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
How did this piece of crap get on my to-read list?

A repetition of all the same cliches about how nuts the Republicans are, and how what is wrong with Democrats is how much like the Republicans they've become. And, of course, the #1 evil in American politics is corporate money. Everything would be fixed if we'd just take away the First Amendment right to spend money trying to influence the political process.
Jana Tenbrook (Reviews from the Stacks)
This is the worst political commentary I have read. The author is entirely unprofessional, and the entirety of the book is unreasonable name-calling and insults to as many people as Lofgren can think to mention.
Deb Van
Written by a GOP insider of 30 yrs who threw up his hands and walked away after the debt ceiling debate and the obstructionism of his party. I was interested in reading a very rational GOP pt of view since that is very hard to find these days.
Sandi Lipe
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book verified all the feelings that I've had about American Politics over the past 15 years or so. Ordinarily, when your opinions are verified, you feel good. This book just made me depressed. Nevertheless, it's a book that every voter should read.
Kara
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I need to stop reading books that depress me and evaporate my faith in democracy and civil society.
Elaine
Dec 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
I thought this book would be an unbiased look at the political process in Washington, however, the author just wanted to find as much wrong with the Republican party as possible.
Jud Barry
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Former Republican staffer Lofgren trashes his party. Like Mann/Ornstein in "It's Even Worse Than It Looks," he blames Newt Gingrich, only moreso, likening him to Robespierre. Ouch!
TK421
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
There is much work to be done...
Steve
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was hard to read (as it was so true and really highlighted the almost absolute political dysfunction in the USA in 2017) and hard to summarize, it had key themes:
1) How we got to this point
2) How contestant attack politics in a way creates a kind of Teflon that the media can’t really address
3) How the media is complicit in the decline in USA democracy, with the finalization of news we have far too few reports that can really analyze the news, also you have to actually think about what
...more
Amy
Let's get this out of the way first: the author, Mike Lofgren, is a retired US Republican Congressional aide who spent 28 years as a staff member. But The Party is Over is not just a long rant from a disgruntled former aide or a gossipy tell-all type of book. The Party is Over is an analysis of how Washington DC - and, thus, how the government as a whole - has changed over the last several decades and the most likely factors that facilitated the change. The book is parceled out into different ...more
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Mike Lofgren is an American former Republican aide, who retired in May 2011 after 28 years as a staff member in the U.S. Congress. Lofgren, who has a B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of Akron, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study European history at the University of Bern and University of Basel in Switzerland and completed the strategy and policy curriculum at the Naval War ...more
“Let’s face it: The Republican Party is no longer a broad-based conservative party in the historically accepted sense. It is an oligarchy with a well-developed public relations strategy designed to soothe and anesthetize its followers with appeals to tradition, security, and family even as it pursues a radical agenda that would transform the country into a Dickensian corporatocracy at home and a belligerent military empire abroad.” 8 likes
“The Republican Party has used objection, obstruction, and filibustering not only to block the necessary processes of government but also in order to make ordinary Americans deeply cynical about Washington. Republicans perpetually run against government and come out on top. But, in the process, they are undermining the foundations of self-rule in a representative democracy.” 7 likes
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