Sarah Ferguson’s puff piece interview with Hillary Clinton on the ABC’s Four Corners program was yet another pathetic attempt by the mainstream media to prop up this failed icon of the liberal establishment.

Ferguson never once put Clinton on the spot over her bankrupt neoliberal political program. Why was Clinton so incapable of galvanising support from the mass of the US population to defeat a vile reactionary con man and buffoon like Donald Trump?

The 2016 election should have been a cakewalk. Clinton had a massively greater campaign budget. She was backed by the great bulk of the media, including papers that had traditionally supported Republican candidates. The whole of the Washington political and military establishment supported her as the safe candidate for US imperialism, whereas the core Republican leadership detested Trump.

How could she fail so dismally?

Instead of seriously challenging Clinton about what she stood for politically, Ferguson just provided a platform for Clinton to promote her book What Happened and to trot out in great detail her pathetic excuses that it was all down to a nefarious plot by the Russians in cahoots with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, aided by the intervention of FBI director James Comey.

This is inane arse covering. Vladimir Putin is a nasty authoritarian, but he is nowhere near powerful enough to totally manipulate US public opinion and get his candidate into the White House.

Let’s just concede for the moment that, as Clinton alleges, Russian machinations on Facebook did influence a few hundred thousand votes in key states. The real question remains why the election was so close in the first place that the alleged Russian intervention could make any difference at all.

Simply put, the only reason a candidate as appalling as Trump had a chance in hell of winning was because of the disastrous policies and governing record of the liberal Democrats that Clinton personified. Despite their claims to stand up for ordinary working class and middle class people, the Democrats have been continually at the beck and call of the rich and powerful.

The Democrats, during the presidency of her husband Bill Clinton, savaged welfare spending and pushed through the 1994 “tough on crime bill” that paved the way for the incarceration of millions of Black US citizens.

The Democrats under the Obama administration bailed out the Wall Street banks to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars while millions of struggling families lost their homes and jobs during the devastating global financial crisis. Wages were held down at pathetically low levels while the likes of Wal-Mart racked up record profits.

The Democrat-controlled White House and local administrations did nothing to curtail the relentless wave of police killings of Blacks. And Clinton attacked the Black Lives Matter movement. In eight years, Obama rounded up and deported more undocumented migrants than all his predecessors combined.

Democrats continued the murderous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and unleashed repeated drone attacks in Pakistan. To justify their obscene “war on terror”, they relentlessly whipped up Islamophobia and refused to shut down the Guantánamo Bay torture centre.

Virtually everything the Democrats did in office helped pave the way for a far right extreme racist pseudo-populist like Trump.

When Trump said he was going to make America great again, Clinton’s response was that it was already great. Tell that to the millions of workers who lost their homes or whose brothers, sisters, parents or children are being gunned down by racist cops. Little wonder that 42 percent of eligible voters (and that does not include the millions who did not even bother to enrol to vote) declared a plague on both houses and stayed at home on polling day.

The supposed feminist icon Hillary Clinton could not even win the votes of a majority of white women over a vile sexist like Trump. Why?

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the only women who mattered to Clinton were women CEOs and women heads of state. In all her years in office, she did nothing to advance the conditions and living standards of working women or to legislate for free abortion.

To compound the situation, the Democratic Party establishment strained all its resources to ensure that no serious alternative to Trump was presented. It resorted to every dirty trick in the book to guarantee that Hillary Clinton was installed as their presidential nominee rather than Bernie Sanders, who campaigned for a series of progressive reforms such as free health care.

In her book, Clinton spends as much time attacking Sanders as she does Trump, railing at Sanders for “thunder[ing] on at every event about the sins of the millionaires and billionaires”. Yep, no doubt about it, she was the candidate of the rich and powerful. She even opposed the demand for a $15 per hour minimum wage.

Sarah Ferguson had an exclusive interview with the politician who, more than any other, gave us the Trump presidency. It was the opportunity of a lifetime. But instead of conducting a serious interview holding one of the most important figures in a historic political drama to account, she gave Clinton a shoulder to cry on.