An interview with Thomas Frank author of The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule.
Weekly Signals (KUCI: University of California-Irvine)
Hosts: Mike Kaspar and Nathan Callahan
From the author of the landmark bestseller, a jaw-dropping investigation of the decades of deliberate-and lucrative-conservative misrule
In his previous book - What's the Matter with Kansas? - Frank explained why working America votes for politicians who reserve their favors for the rich. Now, in The Wrecking Crew, Frank examines the blundering and corrupt Washington those politicians have given us.
Casting back to the early days of the conservative revolution, Frank describes the rise of a ruling coalition dedicated to dismantling government. But rather than cutting down the big government they claim to hate, conservatives have simply sold it off, deregulating some industries, defunding others, but always turning public policy into a private-sector bidding war. Washington itself has been remade into a golden landscape of super-wealthy suburbs and gleaming lobbyist headquarters-the wages of government-by-entrepreneurship practiced so outrageously by figures such as Jack Abramoff.
It is no coincidence, Frank argues, that the same politicians who guffaw at the idea of effective government have installed a regime in which incompetence is the rule. Nor will the country easily shake off the consequences of deliberate misgovernment through the usual election remedies. Obsessed with achieving a lasting victory, conservatives have taken pains to enshrine the free market as the permanent creed of state.
Frank is the founding editor of The Baffler and a contributing editor at Harper's.
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