Reagan Advisor Lyn Nofziger Criticizes Current ‘Corrupt’ Republicans

Off the reservation: Lyn Nofziger has been a fixture in Republican Party politics since the 1960’s. He worked on Ronald Reagan’s first campaign for governor of California, and briefly in the Reagan White House. He also ran campaigns for Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes.

But now Nofziger is speaking out – in the ultra-rightwing Washington Times ( – on the current state of affairs in the GOP, and what he has to say is not pretty:

On the current leadership of the Republican Party:

“They’ve been in power too long … Any time you put any political party in power for too long, it becomes corrupt. It loses its focus. It forgets why it came there.”

On the “conservative” label:

“‘Conservative’ is a word that doesn’t mean anything. It can mean what you want it to mean … To me, conservative means believing in a minimum amount of government and a maximum amount of freedom — and keeping government out of people’s lives and business — and leaving people alone … I recognize you have to have national defense and have to finance the government. But government does not have to be the be-all and end-all.”

On Ronald Reagan:

“Our problem is we are trying to make a saint out of a man who certainly wasn’t perfect. But he was a unique president. He believed in three things: God, the American people and himself. And that’s kind of unique.”

On Bush family consigliere James Baker:

“You [could] split [the Reagan] senior staff into two parties: the Reagan people and the Baker people … [Baker is] a guy who’s arrogant, who thought he knew better than the president … I don’t think he’s an honorable man. And you can quote me.”

On Pat Buchanan:

“A friend of mine. But I don’t think Pat is as libertarian as I am. I don’t think he wants more government; he just wants different government. … He’s a protectionist.”

On the neo-conservative efforts to spread democracy by force:

“I’m not a great believer in spreading democracy, because I don’t think you can spread democracy. People have to want it themselves.”


  • Anonymous Coward
    November 25, 2005 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    Isn’t this the guy who, when indicted for illegally
    lobbying his former office, publicly said in his defense
    “It’s a dumb law” — and got off?

  • Audrey
    November 25, 2005 - 9:54 am | Permalink

    As a liberal, I don’t agree with Lyn Nofziger’s politics, but I must say that this Bush White House has made pre-Bush adminstrations look pretty good in comparison. Thinking Republicans must be very nostalgic for the old days.

  • bob the nihilist
    November 25, 2005 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    My, how they scurry…

  • Romelee
    November 25, 2005 - 10:22 am | Permalink

    That must hurt to have Reagan people judging him What a mess they have made of America .

  • November 25, 2005 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    Normally I love reading a right-winger’s savaging of his own, especially one with the reputed savvy of Nofzinger, but, damn, I have to laugh at this:
    “They’ve [the Republicab leadership] been in power too long … Any time you put any political party in power for too long, it becomes corrupt. It loses its focus. It forgets why it came there.”
    This remark is extremely cynical or extremely naive. On the off chance that the latter is the case, I invite Mr. Nofziger, and any others who truly believe the problem with GOP leadership is that these well-intentioned worthies have lost their way after 11 or so years of control, to look at the careers of Bush, Cheney, Frist, DeLay before and after their political involvement, to understand corruption and cronyism was EXACTLY why they all came to Washington in the first place!

  • Elaine N. Ramey
    November 25, 2005 - 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Lyn Nofziger was compliant and part of another corrupt regime in the Reagan years. Reagan was bustin’ Unions in the U. S. then kissing up to Pope John Paul II who was working to get Unions in Poland. Under Reagan, there was much corruption, killing innocents in central America, trading arms for hostages, etc all because he was listening to Mommy, Nancy Davis. The Democratic Party did not leave Reagan as he claimed; it was Mommy Nancy who changed his mind then George Will stole Carters campaign notes. Forget the sweet talk and check the action,like the filthy Bush Regime!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • November 25, 2005 - 6:27 pm | Permalink

    It will be interesting to see how the Karl Rover Ministry of Propaganda and Lies will smear Lyn Nofziger. Put another way, how will the corrupt Bushies rewrite the history of NOfziger?

  • The Oracle
    November 25, 2005 - 7:53 pm | Permalink

    No matter how Nofziger spins it, the goal of the Republican Party has always been to steal the U.S. government from “the people,” and hand it over to their corporate cronies.

    I’m a liberal libertarian. I believe our government should stay out of our private lives and that the government should never be used as a bludgeon for promoting some religious fundamentalist agenda.

    On the other hand, since our government is “of the people, by the people and FOR the people,” I believe in institutions and programs like FEMA, social security, Medicaid, labor unions and every other government or private program which essentially levels the playing field against the corporate cronies and their runaway Robber Baron greed.

    As many American citizens are now aware, the Republican Party has become the party which fosters a “culture of corruption” in Washington D.C. and a “culture of corporate corruption” in our country’s boardrooms.

    They are just the latest incarnation of the Robber Barons of the late 19th century…with a hardcore religious fundamentalist twist.

    I believe many of our nation’s founders would be shocked at how much the Republican Party has undermined our civil liberties and endangered our national security with their blindingly insane policies which endeavor to establish a corporate/religious aristocracy in our great nation.

    In other words, the Republican Party are just a bunch of Torys, with their corporate pals taking the place of the British aristocracy and their religious pals like Robertson and Dobson taking the place of the Church of England. (Hmmmm, I already thought we fought and won the Revolutionary War against elitist snobs. Unfortunately, I guess we will always be fighting for our democracy against people with this warped mindset.)

  • Dot O'Brien
    November 25, 2005 - 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Lyn Nofziger…How I wish more brave Americans would speak out in defense of our democracy. I actually prepared 25 professional posters, drove to Washington, distributed the posters to fellow marchers and joined them in my FIRST march.
    It isn’t too dramatic to be concerned for this country’s future. Maybe we’ve taken it for granted. I pray we’re not too late to save it. These are certainly the most frightening days I’ve ever experienced. And I’ve lived through some of this country’s most harrowing.

  • Moonsha
    November 25, 2005 - 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Nothing has changed with the Bush regime. Lyn is not as innocent as he would like to portray. Maybe he is trying to clear a guilty conscience. This neoconservative movement started gaining momentum in the Reagan administration. Bush for the most part is a figure head in all of this. Cheney has been co-president all along. When these Republicans show you who they are then please believe them! How many lies does it take? How many lives? How much larger the deficit? How much dirtier the environment? How much money are you willing to keep lining the pockets of defense contractors? If you are a tax payer in this country, then you are supporting this war machine of a government. Even if you are antiwar, you are still funding it through your taxes. Force accountability because those running our government into the ground have lost all reasoning.

  • RN
    November 26, 2005 - 5:54 am | Permalink

    The ‘old line’ Republicans are scared shitless that they will lose the next election for Congress and then lose the next Presidential election. They smell ‘blood in the water’ and feel their only hope is to put a dagger in the heart of the neo cons so they can reclaim the Party before it is too late. Make no mistake, this group still wants a wedding between government and big business. What they don’t want is stupid wars, and right wing ‘Christian’ fundamentalists taking over the party. They propably don’t really care that much about abortion or the rights of gays, they just want to be free to control things without killing the goose that layed the golden egg.

  • November 26, 2005 - 7:21 am | Permalink

    I am thankful for every crumb we get, and this is yet, just another crumb.

    But, it is these crumbs that can help US find our way back out of this dangerous forest of darkness. Hopefully, this is a nightmare fairytale and part one of the movie is about to end.

    When this “League of Evil Gentlemen” decided they needed to take over the globe, in the 1970s, during their first gatherings; and, then during the Reagan Era, it accelerated into pinky promises – all the club members thought it would be different.

    It is always this way with a fantasy versus reality.

    It is going to be different.

    They all forgot: The government is supposed to serve the public. Yes, since the democracy of Athens, it is just the way is supposed to be. Oops, the Aught Years time lapse created a selective memory.

    Unfortunately, the “Reaganomics trickle down theory” was misconstrued as a good economic “policy,” and it cut taxes for too many people who already had lots of money.

    It is crystal clear, the trickle down theory is still not working, to this day.

    Instead, the super rich began gobbling up our media and became giants who have obfuscated, gagged, stomped on, and even annihilated free speech and information.

    These “Alpha Fedoras” are twisted and believe, that brainwashing people into thinking war is a necessity for democracy, is in their best interest.

    And, this is just the tip of the iceberg and what a statement – that war, is just a small piece to this puzzle, of what these current corrupt politicians have commingled with the news, to sell, as “good,” for the people of Earth.

    I think that any group of people who are big time investors in defense, must never, ever, be in charge of making decisions about war.

    The special interests of this group of racketeering thugs, is, they all own stock in the Carlyle Group defense “umbrella”; and, of course, oil. Do not think for a moment that the news media giants – who will name names – are not also, somehow, invested in this diabolical scheme.

    This is the information I would love to see, in our public domain, what these people have raked in, with their stock holdings in defense contracts, oil, and the news.

    Why, even Col. Murtha has integrity and ethics about this. His brother’s defense firm has received revenue from its contracts in Iraq. Thus, to pull out of Iraq causes loss of revenue, for his brother’s company. Wherein Murtha, who also has invested into the company – obviously, he is a hawk – shall lose money. But a hawk with a conscience, finally, and we need him on the side of the good, not the evil.

    Its all about the money, really.

  • realist
    November 26, 2005 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    The Grand Old Party is grand for grandees, but for the rest of us it stands for

    G reed
    O ver
    P eople

  • Daniel W. Van Riper
    November 26, 2005 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    Lyn Nofziger is discovering what conservatives are starting to discover, one after the other: that conservatives and neoconservatives are not only vastly different, they are opposites.

    Like many, or perhaps most conservatives over the last thirty five years, he has been hoodwinked into believing that the neoconservative/neoliberal goal of overthrowing the Constitution and replacing our representative government with a corporate dictatorship is a desirable goal for our society.

    He calls himself a “libertarian.” Maybe he is. But he has spent most of his career as a “neolibertarian,” to coin a term. That would be a libertarian who, like neoconservatives and neoliberals, believes in corporate control of society. In other words, a phony libertarian.

    It sounds like Mr. Nofziger is waking up from a dream. Perhaps he is even becoming more aware, more mature in his understanding of politics and liberty.

    And as he becomes more mature, he becomes more like a LIBERAL. He is becoming more like an American, one who believes in the primacy of the Bill of Rights, one who is repelled by tyranny, whether you call it monarchy, fascism or corporatism.

    The idea of liberty, friends, is the liberal justification of our nation. We are a liberal nation, founded by liberals, based on liberal ideas, sustained by a liberal notion of freedom. The underpinnings of our liberal society are enshrined in a liberal Constitution and expressed by the liberal Bill of Rights.

    Let’s encourage and applaud Mr. Nofziger and his ilk as they wake up and become liberal Americans.

  • November 26, 2005 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

    We can destroy the Republican agenda and advance a progressive agenda.

    Take action now by browsing

  • November 26, 2005 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

    GOP also refers to the Grand Old Plantation.

    Today we have wage slavery.

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