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From the Archive: Author Thomas Frank Delivers Candid Criticism of Democrats

Following Tom Frank’s appearance of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, here’s the most recent of more than 15 interviews we did in recent years.From November, 2020, this interview reflects our post-election views of the incoming Biden administration, which reflected low expectations.  On April 30, 2021, Frank was a panelist on Maher’s show, and expressed surprise at Biden’s first 100 days; he also broke his pledge to move on from political commentary, which your humble host approves of.  Prof. Nancy MacLean was the other panelist on the show, and we will re-post her PBC interview, too.

On HBO, Frank did a great job pushing back on Maher’s ignorant remarks about the myth of the Bill Clinton years, especially regarding the damage of NAFTA and welfare reform, and the shift of the Democrats away from serving the middle class. He also express skepticism of Russiagate, prompting Maher to concede for the first time that “there was some erroneous reporting” on it.

Here’s my “last interview” with Tom Frank.  You can find 15 other interviews with Frank by entering his name in the search window at; and remember the wager I made with him in August, 2016 that Trump would beat Hillary Clinton.

Here is the text posted with the interview:

Thomas Frank, author and historian, returns for a Last Interview, and talks about the election, what’s wrong with the Democrats, and his plans to end political commentary.Frank is the well-known author of What’s the Matter With Kansas, Listen, Liberal, and The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism.

We open with discussion of Trump’s post-election machinations in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona, and how Trump’s disruption in Georgia could leave him a loser and lead to defeat of the 2 GOP senators in the January 5 runoff.

We discuss the transformation of the Democratic Party to a pro-war, pro-intelligence party, and Frank’s brilliant analysis of the Democrats’ abandonment of poor working people in favor of white professional voters.  Frank argues that this created the opening for Trump to attract working class voters–and suggests that they might just trade places.

We also talk about the “blame progressives” reactions of moderate Dems to the weak performance of Democratic House and Senate candidates.

Tom Frank explains how he has said what he has to say about politics, and his plans to shift his focus to other topics.