Does the liberal-left have a clue? I sometimes think not.
In his book, "What's the Matter With Kansas?," Thomas Frank made the excellent point that the Karl Rove Republicans take advantage of ordinary's people's frustrations and resentments to lead them into voting against their best interest.
Frank's new book, "The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule," lacks the insight that distinguished his previous book. Why does Frank think that conservatives or liberals rule?
Neither rule. America is ruled by organized interest groups with money to elect candidates who serve their interests. Frank's book does not even mention the Israel Lobby, which bleeds Americans for the sake of Israeli territorial expansion. Check the index. Israel is not there.
Does Frank think that rapture evangelicals are conservative, that Christian Zionists are conservative? If so, where did he learn his theology?
Frank can't tell the difference between Ronald Reagan and Cheney/Bush. He conflates the collection of opportunists and fanatics that comprise the Bush Party with the Reagan conservatives who ended stagflation and the cold war. The adventurer, Jack Abramoff, is Frank's epitome of a conservative. Abramoff is the most mentioned person in Frank's story. In Frank's view, conservatives are out to ruin everyone except the rich.
But it was the Clinton administration that rigged the Consumer Price Index in order to cheat retired people out of their Social Security cost of living increases.
It was the Clinton administration that vanished discouraged workers from the unemployment rolls.
It was the Clinton administration that wrecked "effective government" by encouraging early civil service retirements in order to make way for quota hires.
Why doesn't Frank know that the "Reagan deficit" was due to the collapse of inflation below the forecast, thus reducing the flow of inflated revenues into the government's budget, whereas the Bush deficit is a result of what Nobel Democrat economist Joe Stiglitz has calculated to be a $3 trillion dollar war in the Middle East?
Frank doesn't want to know. Like so many fighting ideological battles, he just wants to damn "the enemy."
But who is Frank's enemy? He calls them "conservatives." But the Bush regime is a neoconservative regime. Neoconservatives, despite the name, are not conservatives. They have taken over formerly conservative publications, think tanks, and foundations and driven out the conservatives.
Neoconservatives are in the tradition of the French Jacobins of the 18th century. Having had the French Revolution, the revolutionaries thought that they should take it to all of Europe. Napoleon exercised French hegemony over Europe. The American neocons desire American hegemony over the world.
The true American conservative does not believe in foreign wars. In US history, conservatives were derided by liberals as "isolationists."
There is nothing conservative about launching wars of aggression on the basis of lies and deception in order to control the direction of oil pipelines and to enhance Israeli territorial expansion.
Frank misses all of this.