Mama Slob-san's

Leftist Blogger wants to practice writing and exorcising her gaseous build up.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Thomas Frank-My Commie Hero

Hey, folks. Went to San Francisco on Monday to attend a "discussion" with Thomas Frank. This was put on by the Inforum division of The Commonwealth Club-a nonpartisan org that hosts public discourse.

Thomas Frank is the founding editor of The Baffler, a quarterly that examines and derides culture-mostly as it relates to our economic interests. He is also the author of One Market Under God and What's the Matter with Kansas?
He mostly talked about the usurping of the dialogue in US politics. We discuss (generally speaking) irrelevant topics as; Moral Values, rebelliousness in pop culture when we could be discussing more pressing issues like fair labor practices. He posits that John Kerry lost because the GOP (and their media accomplices) have framed the arguments so that Joe Public won't identify or like him. He's a "rich guy" while Dubya is "more like me".
These are all topics that Frank has a gift for fleshing out. I enjoyed seeing him in person, though I was sorry that he was so harried. He mentioned that he had jet lag-if you saw his schedule at you would see that he is on a break-neck book promotion. A lot of his comments I had already read and weren't news to me. But I was curious as to his party leanings. He seems so very disenchanted with The Democrats, I thought he might be a "let's tear it all down" or a third-partier. However, he is a bona fide Democrat just wanting to revitalize and redirect his wayward family.

His lament from the 2004 election is that Howard Dean didn't make the nomination, we lost his loud voice. He believes that Dean would have helped jumpstart the Party regardless if he had lost the Election. (I disagree with his opinion of Dean) Then once Kerry had the rest of the campaign, he failed to deliver a vital, distinguishing platform. (that I agree with)

Thomas Frank states that the "cultural wars would disappear if we talked about real issues". ("real" generally meaning the questions of allocation of wealth and resources)
Democrats have to admit that we play into those "wars" and just feed into the GOP doublespeak. Look at the macho pissing contests that Kerry and Dubya held. Kerry didn't take the time to campaign on labor, he didn't even spend time to campaign in rural constituencies.
Democrats need to own up to our responsibilities and discuss real issues that affect real people.


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