Michael Moore is often dead on with his critiques of Republicans and many times with Democrats as well, but just like with his films, he often makes the facts fit whatever narrative he is trying to push.
Like many others in the “firebagger brigade”, since the election of President Obama, he spends most of his time criticizing Democrats. Personally, I’m sick of his whiny “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” shtick and based on the actions he takes every election cycle, he doesn’t seem very concerned about electing liberals to office. If he were, he would be more careful about what comes out of his pie hole. In fact, I see his shtick as very harmful to liberal politicians.
There was a clip flying around the internet the other day in which Michael Moore imparts his wisdom to us on politics and tells us why the 2010 elections favored the Republicans. For those of you who are aware of reality, it’s maddening to watch. It is a perfect example of the type of hyperbole that Moore employs and how he will say whatever he needs to — in order to push his narrative and thus his brand. Roll tape:
For those of you who can’t watch clips online, here is my rush transcript of his idiotic, uninformed rant.
“The only reason Obama won was because of 18 to 29 year olds. That’s why he won, I hope you understand that he lost the entire white vote. You do know that, right? 57% of whites voted for McCain, white men. 53% of white women voted for McCain. He lost the white vote but became president of the United States. How did that happen? Because he got an overwhelmingly…number of, an overwhelming number of votes from the one white demographic, and only one that he won, 18 to 29 year olds. (applause) They came out in record numbers and put him over the top, along with…Ann Richards told me a story a long time ago, it’s not a story, it’s just a fact. Where she said to me, do you realize that since Harry Truman, no Democrat other than Lyndon Johnson in ’64 has won the White House with, by winning the white male vote. They all have lost the white…Clinton lost it both times, Carter lost it, Obama lost it and yet there’s so much the Democrats are trying to appeal to the crazy white guy. Forget about him, he’s got a party. I mean, don’t forget about him, I mean, I mean, I’m not a self hating white guy, I’m just saying, so don’t forget about me. But, I’m just saying that, that, that we need to think about this.
So young people didn’t come out in 2010, they stayed home. You know, I’m at these things around the country, people are going, how come these young people didn’t come out, why didn’t they come out, if they were so excited in ’08. Well it’s because they are young people, cuz they don’t suffer fools, cuz they don’t take bullshit. You promise them something, you better do it or they’re gonna call you on it. They don’t like hypocrites, they don’t like somebody that doesn’t follow through, they’re like DAD, YOU SAID YOU’D STOP THE WAR, DAD, YOU SAID YOU’D CLOSE GUANTANAMO THE FIRST DAY, DAD…I’M NOT VOTING. And you know, god I’m glad we aren’t that way, we’ve learned to…garbled talk…they’re not like that. We need young people and their rebellion and their ability to not go along with BS. And their not going to go along with President Obama’s BS. He let them down, they stayed home. He wants to keep letting them down for the next year, they’ll stay home. Lots of people will stay home.
Obama’s problem, you know, isn’t according to Rahm Emmanual calling us all f-ing retards, right? Right, remember that? You know, his problem isn’t the Michael Moores, we’re all going to vote for Obama, that’s not the problem. The problem is that we’re not going to be able to bring 10 people with us to the polls. Who we gonna look in the eye and say, hey yeah, the last 3 years, whoa yeah. You know, and we’re not goin to be able to tell too many people. You know it was really Bush’s fault, Bush left this mess…yeah, yeah, thats all true, it’s all true. But we elected him to start cleaning up the mess…”
There is so much wrong with what Michael Moore said. He is the king of hyperbole. And whenever he gets called out on it, he acts all humble and pulls out his, “I’m just a high school graduate” and implies that he’s just speaking for the common man. It’s almost an excuse for getting so many facts wrong, he should either take a minute and Google it or keep his wisdom to himself.
It Sucks To Lose An Election You Weren’t In
The first and most obvious thing that comes to my mind after watching that clip is that PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS NOT ON THE BALLOT IN 2010. I really shouldn’t have to tell people that, but with all the blame being heaped on President Obama for an election he wasn’t even in, I feel it’s necessary to remind people. If Moore wants to shift the blame away from a congress that has poll ratings lower than serial killers, he ought to at least acknowledge that he is casting blame on a man who wasn’t even on the ballot.
And regardless of how the pundits want to spin things, all politics are local. If you have a representative who is doing a good job, do you vote him/her out because of what a national politician has done. No fucking way. So the entire premise that a president, whether Democrat or Republican, has a major impact on midterm elections is just pundits pushing agendas. And then trying to tie turnout to a president who isn’t on the ballot takes it even further into unreality.
If you look at the above statement, it isn’t hard to see that Michael Moore completely ignores and marginalizes black voters — making it all about what part of the white vote candidate Obama got. What does this statement say to you, “The only reason Obama won was because of the 18 – 29 year olds. That’s why he won, I hope you understand that he lost the entire white vote, 57% of whites voted for McCain, white men. 53% of white women voted for McCain….an overwhelming number of votes from the one white demographic, and only one that he won, 18 to 29 year olds.”
He begins with the gross exaggeration that “he lost the entire white vote”, which is obviously just over-the-top rhetoric because he contradicts himself in the next sentence. Moore frequently says stuff and then takes it back or says he didn’t mean it. You know a lot of people think before they say shit, you might want to give that a try Mike. He has made a career out of exaggerations and misrepresentations, just watch one of his movies.
He then goes on to say the only reason Obama won was because of that group of white 18 – 29 year olds, which is complete horseshit for several reasons. Every vote counts and to make a claim that just one part of the electorate is wholly responsible for a candidate winning is, well, just fucking stupid. It’s playing games with statistics and molding them to fit some bizarre narrative.
If you watched the video, you can see how he emphasizes “the one white demographic, and only one that he won, 18 to 29 year olds.” That statement , very oddly, elicited applause from the crowd. I imagined Moore was channeling his inner Joan Walsh on that one. And of course, it was those white kids that “put him over the top”, not the millions of others from many races who also turned out in record numbers.
Blacks ages 18 to 29 increased their voter turnout rate by 8.7 percentage points, from 49.5% in 2004 to 58.2% in 2008, according to an analysis by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University, The voter turnout rate among young black eligible voters was higher than that of young eligible voters of any other racial and ethnic group in 2008. This, too, was a first.
Rich White Guys Know Best
I’m left wondering why Moore separates out the white voters from the black voters and why he emphasized it so much in his speech? It really doesn’t make a lot of sense, as far as I can tell. And I’m left wondering why he told the Ann Richards story about how every Democratic president since Truman, with the exception of Lyndon Johnson, won without getting the majority of the white vote. I guess the point he was clumsily trying to make was that he thinks that President Obama is trying to appeal to “crazy white guys.” Maybe it was just a setup so he could go all self-deprecating, another part of his shtick that is growing old.
Notice the gesture he does when he says “I’m not a self hating white guy, I’m just saying, so don’t forget about me.” He does a “little ole me” gesture as he clutches his throat with both hands. He’s just your average Joe — flying around in a private jet on his book tour and “Occupy co-opting”, living in his upper west side New York apartment or his Lake Michigan beach front home in my great state of Michigan. Poor, poor “Millionaire Mike.”
That line of reasoning dovetails with a recent, racially insensitive comment he made on The View, where he repeated that oh so funny joke of Bill Maher’s — the one where he says he voted for the black guy, but got the white guy. He has a history of dealing with racial issues in a very privileged, paternal way. I’ve heard him say many times that he is “disappointed” in Obama and every time I hear it, it comes off as very condescending, arrogant and from a place of privilege. I found a fascinating essay that explores his treatment of race in the film Bowling for Columbine that helped shed some light on what I perceive to be Moore’s issue. Go read the whole piece, it’s pretty deep but a great read.
Michael Moore’s self-location within the subject of race, and within the film itself, as safely and ironically removed from either the operation of racism or its effects takes two primary forms. The first consists of the ironic humorist who finds images demonstrating the perpetuation of racism entertainingly stupid. The second consists of the paternal authority who both comforts and speaks for people of color. Moore’s medium, film, and his agenda to understand the culture and people of the United States all but require him to grant speaking subjectivity to US residents of color within his film, but he constructs himself and other white men as the subjects who can best interpret, understand, and describe the country, and the function of racism, to his viewers.
That passage speaks volumes to me about Michael Moore’s attitude towards our first black president. I think it applies equally to many of the white progressives who continually talk down to President Obama, many who can’t even seem to call him President. It is especially frustrating to hear the white progressive punditry lecture him about politics. It makes me want to say, well as soon as you get elected President of the United States, you come talk to me. Until then, Shut The Fuck Up!
Occupying The Minds Of Young Voters
The next section of his rant infuses many falsehoods together into one pile of steaming shit. He claims that the reason young people didn’t turn out in 2010 is because “they don’t suffer fools”, which considering what he says immediately afterwards, is basically calling President Obama a fool. He goes on to say “they don’t take bullshit”, but then starts into a caricature of a young person as a whiny kid, “Dad, you said they’d stop the war. Dad, you said you’d close Guantanamo on the first day…I’m not voting.” Let me remind you again that President Obama was not on the ballot. Making a direct correlation between voter turnout and someone who wasn’t on the ballot, like I said, is fucking stupid. I know people make connections between the mood in the country and all that, but if there is a connection, it is a tenuous one at best. Making such bold proclamations from an indirect correlation, reveals a different agenda to me. Why else would he go to such extremes to pin voter turnout on a president in an off presidential year. Midterm elections always have much lower turnout and it’s a “fools” game to try to blame it on any one reason.
The idea that a midterm election is always a referendum on the sitting president is, in my opinion, one manufactured by the media and perpetuated by the likes of Michael Moore. I know people love to cite exit polls as proof, but once again, he was not on the ballot, so any opinions from exit polls are completely independent of why they showed up to the polls. Many times. it’s the referendums and local issues that get people to show up in midterm elections. If President Obama had been on the ballot, I know that the results would have been much different. The discontent on the left in 2010 was as much about the helplessness of trying to govern with the “Party of No” thwarting him at every turn, as it was about the President. I’ve had many times where I thought, what’s the use, Republicans and conservadems will just squash anything he tries. I’m sure glad President Obama keeps pressing forward, he’s one tenacious dude.
Another gem in Moore’s pile of shit was his reference to closing Guantanamo on the first day. The reality is that President Obama did issue an order to close Gitmo on his first full day as President. The bigger reality that always seems to get missed by the whiny, arrogant, Professional Left is that congress appropriates money and after Obama fought for months to get Guantanamo closed, the boneheads in congress, including Democratic boneheads, made it impossible. They killed the bill that would fund the closure. Do you EVER hear any of the Professional Left place blame on anyone other than President Obama — the guy who tried like hell to close it. Please share in the comments if you did.
And of course, on the line about ending the wars — combat operations in Iraq have been over since August of 2010 and as we learned recently, they will all be out by the end of the year — just as President Obama promised. And the timetable for getting out of Afghanistan may happen ahead of schedule. The other promise candidate Obama made of weakening Al Qaeda has been overwhelmingly successful. And no, I don’t like the idea of increased drone attacks and the innocent people who have been killed and injured. But living in reality, I never expected that cleaning up after Bush and Cheney’s mess was going to be easy. Anyone who thinks that, is deluding themselves and needs to accept that we live in a pretty violent, shitty world. When I think about all the innocent people who are dying in hundreds of countries every day, including our own, it makes me want to curl up in the fetal position.
What Was That Nixon Era Term That Starts With Rat and Ends With Ucker?
We need young people and their rebellion and their ability to not go along with BS. And their not going to go along with President Obama’s BS. He let them down, they stayed home. He wants to keep letting them down for the next year, they’ll stay home. Lots of people will stay home.
That statement is based on the premise that young people stayed home in 2010 solely because of President Obama, not because they always do, or because the entire mood of the electorate was down after 2 years of Republican and conservadem hell, not because maybe the angry, white, racist Tea Party was mobilized against the man being portrayed as a Kenyan, Muslim intent on destroying America….nah, it was all because President Obama “disappointed” the kids. Didn’t do what they wanted and they threw a temper tantrum on the kitchen floor and screamed, “I’m not voting.”
But the signal it sends to anyone watching is that they would be justified in staying home. Michael Moore, in effect, is giving them permission to stay home and planting that seed which will later be fertilized with more horseshit that is surely to come out of Michael Moore’s white, privileged pie hole.
And if Moore hadn’t spewed enough crap to this point, he then takes it even further with this misrepresentation of reality, which I think elicited a “what the fuck is he talking about” response from the audience, based on Moore’s reaction to the audience.
Obama’s problem, you know, isn’t according to Rahm Emanuel calling us all f-ing retards, right? Right, remember that?
The one and only Angry Black Lady explains exactly why this statement is such an exaggeration of what was actually said. Just one more example of the Professional Left searching for reasons to whine.
Rahm Emanuel made his famous “fucking retarded” comment, and the Professional Left got itself in an uproar, even though any sensible reading of Emanuel’s comments could not possibly lead to the conclusion that he was referring to a couple of bloggers as being “fucking retarded,” or that he was referencing liberals as a whole as “fucking retarded.”
The friction was laid bare in August when Mr. Emanuel showed up at a weekly strategy session featuring liberal groups and White House aides. Some attendees said they were planning to air ads attacking conservative Democrats who were balking at Mr. Obama’s health-care overhaul.
“F—ing retarded,” Mr. Emanuel scolded the group, according to several participants. He warned them not to alienate lawmakers whose votes would be needed on health care and other top legislative items.
So while, Emanuel did use the term “fucking retarded” and yes, using the term “retarded” is ableist and offensive, all the Professional Left could think about were their huwt feewings and the crumpled tissues soaked with tears of disappointment, even though they had to misrepresent the context in which the statement was made in order to include themselves among the hippies that Emanuel had so brutally punched.
So the statement Michael Moore attributes to Rahm Emanuel was aimed at the idea of running ads against conservative democrats, he was not calling anyone that name, let alone Michael Moore or as Moore tries to exaggerate further “calling us all f-ing retards, right?.” What would be Moore’s reason for outright lying about what Rahm Emanuel said and aiming it at his audience?
So after all that bullshit, lies, exaggerations, misrepresentations and extreme hyperbole….what comes out of his mouth?
You know, his problem isn’t the Michael Moore’s, we’re all going to vote for Obama, that’s not the problem. The problem is that we’re not going to be able to bring 10 people with us to the polls. Who we gonna look in the eye and say, hey yeah, the last 3 years, whoa yeah. You know, and we’re not goin to be able to tell too many people. You know it was really Bush’s fault, Bush left this mess…yeah, yeah, that’s all true, it’s all true. But we elected him to start cleaning up the mess…”
So what he’s really saying is, of course I’m going to vote for him, but in the mean time, I’m going to trash him and give all the moderates and independents a reason not to vote. Is he a masochist who longs for Republican rule again. If he is really going to vote for President Obama, he should be telling everyone who will listen that fact. He should be dragging a hundred people to the polls, if he really thinks that Republicans are scum and that President Obama is worthy of his vote.
I’m sure you noticed what was missing from his idiotic dialogue, any recognition that the Republican Party had anything to do with the last 3 years. There is no mention of their unprecedented obstruction, no mention of their being taken over by the Tea Party, no mention of even the conservadems and Joe Lieberman, who have been a constant pain in President Obama’s ass. The one thing he trots out is the idea that Bush is to blame, which with the help of the media has been turned around and used against the President. The media helped put a statute of limitations on how long someone can be blamed for fucking up an entire country over the course of 8 years. It was less than 3 months. So the one thing Moore trots out that could be considered context, is a talking point that actually works against the president. Thanks for nothing, Mike!
Michael Moore clearly lives in an alternate reality where the consequences of voting or not voting have no relevance. He isn’t going to hurt at all if Republicans get control of the White House again. He isn’t going to have his right to an abortion taken away when the next president chooses our next Supreme Court justices. He isn’t going to suffer from malnourishment when the government takes away his food stamps. He isn’t going to suffer one bit and in fact, will probably make millions of dollars off a snarky, poorly sourced “documentary” that takes advantage of those suffering people — because he helped elect President Perry or Romney. With friends like Michael Moore, who the fuck needs enemies.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles