I heard Tom Frank speak recently at the Kansas City Public Library about his new book, “Listen, Liberal”. I’ve known Tom since 2003, when he interviewed me for his earlier book, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”
His latest book does to the Democratic Party what the latter did to the Republican Party, i.e. strips away all the ideological window dressing and shows what the real motivations of the party’s leaders are.
Frank’s book doesn’t disappoint, nor did his March 24 speaking appearance.
The organizing principle behind the book is very straightforward. Frank contends the last two Democratic administrations have quietly but effectively taken the party away from its role as champion of the American working class and economic equality.
Instead, Tom shows how the real loyalties of the Democrats have shifted to the professional class, i.e. affluent, well educated, liberals who may have all the politically correct positions on social issues (“gays, guns, and God”) but who are just as adept at promoting their own financial self-interest as any reactionary Republican business mogul.
Indeed, the author gives dozens of examples, large and small, of how the Democratic leadership has betrayed their own political heritage.
Frank makes exactly the same point I’ve made in many of my posts here.
To the extent the Great Recession was caused by federal deregulation of business – which is debatable – almost all the deregulation occurred under Democratic administrations, a fact which is not debatable.
From promoting subprime lending, to repealing banking regulations, to striking trade deals that cause jobs to flow out of the country and cheap imports to flow in, Frank lays the blame squarely at the feet of the Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Obama administrations. Continue reading