29 December 2017

Thomas Frank Interviews 7 and 8 with Paul Jay on the Real News Network

Here is the two part continuation of the interviews on the Real News Network between Paul Jay and Thomas Frank.

Frank has the Clintons nailed, and continues to reiterate the high points of how they led the Democratic Party into an historic betrayal of their base, the working people.  For money and power.

However, he is far, far too kind, almost to the point of what can be called a willful bias, to Barack Obama.

I am sorry, but can it be more obvious that Obama was a bait-and-switch brand for the oligarch class?

He seems to come back to a more realistic assessment in the second segment.  But he just cannot bring himself to draw the conclusion that Obama was not some hapless dupe, a victim of circumstance, but knew exactly what he was doing, and early on had made his choice of what or whom to serve.

It is very hard to assess motives to a series of actions.  Was it due to the bullet or the bribe?  Was it a foregone conclusion from the very first?  But at some point the circumstantial and particular evidence can become overwhelming.
He’s afraid of what happened to Martin Luther King Jr. And I know from a good friend who was there when it happened, that at a small dinner with progressive supporters – after these progressive supporters were banging on Obama before the election, 'Why don’t you do the things we thought you stood for?' Obama turned sharply and said, “Don’t you remember what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.?” That’s a quote, and that’s a very revealing quote.

Ray McGovern
The Democrats love to blame those diabolically crafty Republicans, the evil and omnipresent Russians, the weakness of virtue in the face of implacable darkness.

But for a variety of reasons, the liberal intelligentsia cannot bring themselves to accept the fact that our first 'black president,' articulate, well-educated, and charismatic, for whatever reasons, quickly became a willing tool of the moneyed interests.  Paul Jay flat out says, 'Obama is too sacred to touch.'

And the 800 pound gorilla in the room, who is incredibly never mentioned, who was a phenomenon in the presidential primaries, is Bernie Sanders.  They did manage a passing nod to Elizabeth Warren, however.  Paul Jay kept trying to bring the conversation back to Obamas ongoing role in crushing the Sanders progressive wing of the Democrats, but Frank cannot help but run away from it, back to the more comfortable areas of liberal outrage like W.

There seems to be a lot of that going around, however.  The supporters of Trump are buying into his populist mystique, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that he is a long time friend of big money, albeit a much clumsier deceiver and liar. 

Ah the wonderful ironies of the credibility trap.  

And how easy it is to see the hypocrisy and expedient rationalizations of the other guys. Which is why we must examine our own souls first before we would seek to harshly criticize another.

Don't get me wrong. I find both Thomas Frank and Paul Jay to be absolutely spellbinding, and much more intelligent and articulate than myself. It is just what, a comfort, to see that even the professionals and highly talented have the same human foibles as ourselves.

Where will all this end, this tragic overreach by the rich and the powerful?  History and human nature both suggest that the truth cannot be admitted, and then faced and overcome, until one hits bottom.

I have embedded episode 7 here.   You can click on the link below this to go to the RAI site for episode 8 and presumably an episode 9 when it appears.

Click here for episode 8.

Here is a link to the Reality Asserts Itself series on the Real News Network.