Friday, October 30, 2020
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Pity the Billionaire

or, if you prefer the complete title of the new book by Thomas Frank, Pity the Billionaire:  The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right.

If you have been a regular reader of Daily Kos over the past few years, you will have few earthshaking moments while reading this book - almost all of the points Frank makes have appeared here, in front-page stories and in posts by reader.  Nevertheless this book may qualify as essential reading for how much it brings together, and in the fashion it provides a coherent explanation of what has happened, from the strategy and tactics of those who have already destroyed trillions of the wealth of others in America and abroad, in the failure of Obama and Cogressional Democrats to have prevented it from happening and in allowing it - at least until recently - to continue pretty much unabated. Or, as Frank puts it near the end of his Introduction,  

This is the story of a swindle that will have terrible consequences down the road.  And although it sounds curious to say so, the newest Right has met its goals not by deception alone - although there has benn a great deal of this - but by offering and idealism so powerful that it clouds its partisans' perceptions of reality.   (p. 12)

And if there is a key, brief takeaway that can be learned from how they operated, it is found on p. 33:

To play by the rules was a chump's game.