Thomas Frank on Clinton’s attack on Sanders

Paul Jay of the Real News Network did a good interview with Thomas Frank, one of my three or four favorite political writers, on why Hillary Clinton is attacking Bernie Sanders at this late date.   The interview starts about five minutes into the video.

Frank says Clinton has no just reason to hate Sanders personally.   He conducted a relatively gentlemanly primary election campaign, and supported her loyally during the general election.   She should be grateful that he decided to run within the Democratic Party in the first place, and not as a third-party candidate, like Ralph Nader in 2000.

But what Sanders represents, which is the pro-labor New Deal tradition of the Democratic Party, is deeply threatening to the power of the corporate wing of the party, which is what Clinton and her husband have represented through their political careers.

I think the reason the Democratic Party has done so little to fight voter disenfranchisement and to register voters is that disenfranchised and unregistered voters are mainly in demographic groups that corporate Democrats don’t care about.

They would rather seek the votes of culturally liberal suburban Republicans, whose votes, as Frank noted in the interview, Clinton actually won in the 2016 election.

The argument of the corporate Democrats is that (1) the Republican leaders are so reactionary and dangerous that nothing else matters except defeating them, (2) this can’t be done without matching the Republicans dollar for dollar and so (3) Democrats can’t afford to advocate policies contrary to the interests of their big-money contributors.

This is why they found that Sanders campaign so threatening, Frank said.   Sanders showed it was possible to conduct a political campaign based on small donations.   As far as that goes, Clinton outspent Trump two to one, and she still lost.

Sanders and Clinton are both getting on in years, and I don’t think either has a future as a national political candidate.  But I think there will be a long struggle between Sanders and Clinton factions under different names.   The struggle will be bitter because the stakes are high—whether the U.S. government will be accountable to the common people or to a corporate and political elite.

The video runs 54 minutes, which is a long time to watch a program on a computer screen.   Frank gives the gist of what he has to say in the first 20 or so minutes.    He starts to answer viewers’ Facebook questions at about the 29-minute mark.

The video about was the second in a series of TRNN interviews with Frank.   Below is the first interview, for whatever it is worth.   The content will be familiar to regular readers of this web log.

I’ll link to further interviews in the series if they’re interesting.   Or you can Google Real News Network or click on the link on my Resources page.


LINKS (added 9/19/2017)

  1.  Corporate Democrats have a vested interest in not listening to workers (9/5/2017).
  2.  Clinton attacks Sanders in new book (9/7/2017).
  3.  Liberal elite doesn’t care much about inequality (9/10/2017)
  4.  Clinton Democrats hate the left (9/12/2017)
  5.  From Ronald Reagan to Bernie Sanders (9/15/2017)
  6.  Prisoners of Hope (9/18/2017)


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3 Responses to “Thomas Frank on Clinton’s attack on Sanders”

  1. peteybee Says:

    Enormous point at around 18:25 in the video — Clinton could’ve made Sanders her VP choice…


  2. ashiftinconsciousness Says:

    If we lived in a reasonably sane and moral society Bernie Sanders would have been the Democrat’s nominee and Clinton would have represented the GOP. She’s Wall Street-operated.


  3. sglover Says:

    Since the election Sanders has been actively campaigning around the country for a variety of state- and local-level candidates. I saw him in my area a couple of months ago, at an event where he endorsed a gubernatorial candidate. This is a man who is working — hard! — at cultivating talent for the long haul. Can anyone say as much about ANY national-level Dem, let alone Clinton?? Those useless fools spent the whole of Obama’s term doing nothing while their “party” dissolved into nothing more than a shell, a grifting operation for funneling dollars to connected “consultants”.

    I’m edging close to 60, and I can’t think of **any** American national-level politician who wallowed in blame-shifting as much as Clinton has, and apparently still is. It used to be that Nixon’s 1964 “you won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around any more!” tantrum was considered an outlandish embarrassment. But that was a single episode; Nixon didn’t spend months expanding his tantrum by “writing” a book about it. Clinton makes Nixon look like a pillar of forebearance.


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