I’m on a mission to keep saying this everywhere, even though I realize that I have become a monomaniac. A lot of people still haven’t seemed to have gotten the word.
In the political game as it is played today (and really, during every period) you need to have some way of getting your message out to intuitive gut thinkers who don’t pay close attention to facts and logic. You know, the salt of the earth types and the fuckups.
Michael Moore is able to do that, whereas the Democratic party itself has been pitifully weak in this regard.
The Republican machine, including its surrogates, has been masterful at this job: this is one of the defining factors of the last 25 years or so of American political life.
Conservatives have profited enormously from the Republicans’ impressionistic propaganda. Whether or not they listen to the Republican surrogates, and whether or not they praise them, conservatives are all implicated with Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and any number of other equally sleazy but less famous characters. (Not to mention the egregious William Safire and George Will — but that’s a different story).
When conservatives make high-minded statements of outrage about Moore, unless they can point to a track record of consistent rejection of the comparable Republican flaks, they show themselves to be partisans pure and simple, and they discredit themselves — except as more or less effective political operatives.
“Two wrongs doesn’t make a right”, they say. Yes it does, in a competitive sport. Both sides get to play by the same rules. If reaching in or pushing off or palming the ball or travelling or standing in the lane is allowed for one team, it has to be allowed for the other.
Michael Moore’s film is impressionistic, propagandistic, polemical, and not really fair. It is NOT especially dishonest or inaccurate. His film should be very effective in convincing a lot of ill-informed whim voters.
I.e., voters the Republicans thought they owned.
Versions of this rant were posted in the comments on Matt Yglesias and Kevin Drum.