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Michael Moore on Midterm Elections, the Tea Party, and the Future of the Democratic Party

Filmmaker Michael Moore on Midterm Elections, the Tea Party, and the Future of the Democratic Party

For the past 20 years, renowned filmmaker, author and activist Michael Moore has been one of the most politically active, provocative and successful documentary filmmakers in the business. Moore came to our studio last night for our special live Election Night broadcast to discuss the midterm election results, the Tea Party movement, and the future of the Democratic and Republican parties.

Rushed Transcript:

A Boot to the Head ...from Michael Moore

A Boot to the Head ...from Michael Moore
Tuesday, October 28th, 2010


There she was, thrown to the pavement by a Republican in a checkered shirt. Another Republican thrusts his foot in between her legs and presses down with all his weight to pin her to the curb. Then a Republican leader comes over and viciously stomps on her head with his foot. You hear her glasses crunch under the pressure. Holding her head down with his foot, he applies more force so she can't move. Her skull and brain are now suffering a concussion.

The young woman's name is Lauren Valle, but she is really all of us. For come this Tuesday, the right wing -- and the wealthy who back them -- plan to take their collective boot and bring it down hard on not just the head of Barack Obama but on the heads of everyone they simply don't like.

Teachers union? The boot!

Muslim-looking people? The boot!

Thinking of retiring soon? The boot!

“I am Spartacus ... er .... Green!” (Why No Stampede to Green????)

Last night I attended a meeting of the Manhattan Greens. My heroes I have finally -- I-shouldahada-V8 years ago -- realized. People who have been Green for a good long time. People like all of us who endured the Bush regime. People not like some of us, who recognized Obama’s bullshit or even that of the other high profile Dems who made the media/corporate cut pre-2008-election from the get go.

People who put principles over political personality in America and stick to them. Who honor the law, true citizen consensus and democracy. People who have faith that justice and humanity will prevail despite the polls and the craven national media. People who kept their party from drifting farther and farther right. People who hold the line because they are committed and awake.

I thanked a calming yet commanding chairman John for “holding the lantern” all these years so I could finally, belatedly arrive. I filled out the registration form that Claudia, an earnest committee chairwoman, provided me. She even rallied a group cheer for me when it was done. I proudly attached a Green pin to the lapel of my black jacket that Tom, our charismatic host, excitedly extended to me. I ask you, “Do you feel that precious to the ‘kick ya in the teeth’ Dem party these days?” I felt an absolute rush! Of renewed commitment and hope. I was an advocate for truth and integrity. I didn’t have to fight my own party any more. Feel belittled by them. Have my courage and integrity mocked. We in the Greens are on the same page. I am free of the slimy faux-progressive pragmatism that demeaned my efforts in fighting for sane and humane healthcare and for global peace, the return of habeas corpus, the end to illegitimate detentions, and most recently the end to executive extrajudicial assassinations. (You would think such a platform would be a given among American progressives. Not defended and excused for not existing “for the time being” (right!) because of even worse dangers of impending Republicanism.)

The Spartacus reference is probably lost on most of the non-getting-up-there crowd. And maybe confusingly cynical for those who do remember the movie. It didn’t end well for Spartacus and his allies in terms of survival, but in terms of putting their bodies where their consciences were, yes, it is a fitting reference for here. In the climax of the movie Kirk Douglas, Spartacus, offers himself up to the Romans to save his fellow slave fighters. One by one his fellow slaves stand up in solidarity and declare, “I am Spartacus” to align with him. A Ghandi-esque moment of group will.

Every Man/Woman in the Beltway/Media Village is a Liar!

I caught a few minutes of the beginning of Chris Matthews' Hardball tonight on MSNBC. In that oh-so-familiar "I'm okay and everyone else is an idiot" way of his, he was coughing out his contempt at Americans too dim-witted to grasp how the Obama administration has brought our country 70% back to recovery.

At least I think that was the respectably high percentage he quoted, uncited, and I found myself wondering bitterly what unmentionable orifice that statistic had originated from.

Or maybe it actually had been computed somewhere by one with an esteemed degree and a six plus figure salary. Or better yet, presented by a government agency. Which ever way, I'm not buying.

I'm a Cage-Free Liberal Voting Green in November (and not for Obama in 2012)!

Obama and company apparently feel they deserve some appreciation and recognition in their what I can only call "bizarro bubble" perspective. It seems Obamaco is getting ready to blame us on the left for any Dem losses in November.

I say, let us take advantage of this opportunity. If we are marginalized and demonized by them whenever politically convenient, "Let's give them something to talk about!" Let us make our displeasure felt at the voting booth! Though when was the last time any real messages from us on the left actually made the establishment or faux-progressive media radar. To blame us they will have to end their insulting denial of the scope of our existence.

I say again, "Blue Dog Obama Treats Far Left Like a Hydrant." I was chided by some for calling us "far" left. Relatively speaking, I meant. It is not we who have drifted far left, it is Obama and legacy Dems and legacy Repubs who have galloped right. And yet, Obama spins away in indignation, as he continues to self-annoint all his sell-out activities as "historic". Borrows progressive rhetoric to celebrate his destructive, constitution-eroding, regressive leadership.

Glenn Greenwald says it all so well as he responds to a recent quote from Obama:

THE COMMON ILLS re N-O-T-A Voting: "Make it Clear You Don't Support That Crap BEFORE The Election!"

From THE COMMON ILLS, Thursday, September 16, 2010--I Hate The War

Today's snapshot mentions Libbyliberal's post a Corrente but does't include a link. My apologies. In the post, she argues that those who would normally vote Democrat withhold their vote this November for the various crimes and ongoing wars. As noted in the snapshot, the likely outcome of the midterms is that Dems lose seats. That's historically the outcome and it's been the most likely outcome since at least February if not before.

So that's probably what's going to happen. Forget Libbyliberal's post for a moment. Pretend it wasn't written. Here's what happens in the weeks after the election:

The Secret is Not in Trying to Win a Rigged Game, It's Walking Away From It

Political codependency escalating in this country. So many lost to the insane and rigged game of poltics. Lost to the political matrix once again.

I keep resorting to language from the psychology of addiction. Addicts and co-addicts so enmeshed in their dysfunctional dynamic that the capacity for sanity and empathy and recognition of a broader and real world is lost. And more and more they get sucked into the sick game, and pull those connected to them along ... down. So it is not just the frontline participants on the political, military and media front lines. The quicksand is big enough for more and more and more.

Bill Clinton said recently the Dems need more advertising. That is the answer. OY VEY!!!!! More game-playing by advertising to promote the toxic status quo of the Dems? I don't think so. Jon Stewart thinks a lot of it is about keeping the tone civil. That doesn't work with sociopaths, psychopaths, addicts, Jon. You play nice and they walk away with the store. And maybe even with the clothes that were on your back a second ago.

Melodie Beatty in her book Codependent No More claims that the secret of dealing with such a dynamic is not in trying to win. It is in "not playing." Detaching is a b*tch, though. And it has serious blowback. And serious frustration. Because one has to see and be strong enough to endure even more of the naked truth about just how many people are enthralled in denial, contributing to a broken system, and these denying people are conditioned to make the broken system move in its broken and destructive way.

So those willing to detach and call it ALL out become messengers ripe for ferocious targeting by the deniers hanging onto their denial for all they are worth. And the seeming guppies of denial turn to piranhas (I read that in an assertiveness book once, great metaphor) to protect the perpetrators who should be the targets of their rage. Freakshow anti-ethics. Or according to recovery psychology something called the Karpman Triangle. The perpetrator, rescuer, victim keep changing roles. We rescuers are demonized trying to save the citizenry against amoral Obama and Dems. Many of citizenry (Dems) leap forward to rescue Obama and Dem leaders, now seen as our victims. And we are now seen as the persecutors hurting not helping. Crazymaking rollercoaster rides. Emotional knot-making for all.

Is NY’s 15th Cong. Dist. Mature Enuf to Choose Integrity-Driven Tasini Over Corrupt Folk-Hero, Dem-Insider (Albatross) Rangel?

U.S. Representative Charlie Rangel's birthday party fundraiser was held at the Plaza Hotel August 11th. A very posh hotel. One that, as labor activist and contender for Rangel's House seat Jonathan Tasini pointed out, most of the people in their mutual 15th Congressional District could not afford to stay at or, for that matter, even eat at.

However, the extravagant bash seemed consistent with the extravagant levels of corporate/political cronied profit-making at the expense of the welfare of average citizens during Rangel’s 40 years in power. I suppose Rangel had a right to demand a display of loyalty from his fellow cronied elites – part of their exclusive, mutual, back-scratching contract. I suppose the crony attendees had the right, or felt they did, to expect the kind of lavish perks to which they unquestioningly seem to feel entitled.

I’m thinking, expensive, industrial strength, political kool-aid drinking demonstrations of loyalty should be suspect these days. Loyalty a/k/a cronyism. Crony capitalism is what has and continues to devour our country. Legalized bribery has and continues to corrupt our no longer “checking and balancing” three branches of government.

Unlike Rangel and his cronies, Jonathan Tasini empathizes with the plight of his fellow citizens:

The dysfunction of our political system has caused the greatest robbery of our lifetime of the wealth of the country. There is an incredible rumbling across among voters who are fed up. They have a right to feel that way.

Throughout the 15th Congressional district, whether you live in my neighborhood of Washington Heights, or you live in Harlem or the Upper West Side, people have been robbed—of their jobs, retirement, health care and the simple notion that you can expect a fair deal. We have the greatest divide between rich and poor in 100 years. One in four children are on food stamps—in the nation with the greatest wealth in human history.

Will House Democrats Oppose a Jobless War Supplemental?

Will House Democrats Oppose a Jobless War Supplemental?

Sunday 25 July 2010
by: Robert Naiman, t r u t h o u t | Report

The war supplemental for Afghanistan is expected to come back from the Senate to the House this week - without any kind of timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan, and without money to save teachers' jobs attached.

AP reports:

In a take-it-or-leave-it gesture, the Senate voted Thursday night to reject more than $20 billion in domestic spending the House had tacked on to its $60 billion bill to fund President Barack Obama's troop surge in Afghanistan.

The moves repel a long-shot bid by House Democrats earlier this month to resurrect their faltering jobs agenda with $10 billion in grants to school districts to avoid teacher layoffs, $5 billion for Pell Grants to low-income college students, $1 billion for a summer jobs program and $700 million to improve security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Labor unions had strongly backed the House Democratic effort to attach money to the supplemental, to boost employment and avoid teacher layoffs. Will these unions now urge House Democrats to vote no on any jobless war supplemental?

Few expect that the House, in a freestanding vote this week, will reject the $33 billion request for the Afghanistan war, since until now there has been a solid block of more than 90 percent of House Republicans committed to voting yes on what they would consider a "relatively clean" war supplemental.

But what is in serious dispute is how many House Democrats will vote no on a jobless war supplemental. A large Democratic no vote would send a strong signal to the White House of House Democratic impatience with a blank checkbook for endless and fruitless war, while the administration insists that there is no money to save jobs at home, at a time of nearly 10 percent measured unemployment. A large Democratic no vote would also send a powerful signal of Democratic "no confidence" in the Pentagon's war plans, increasing pressure on the administration to vigorously pursue a political resolution to the conflict and to establish a timetable for military withdrawal - as desired by the majority of Americans and three-quarters of Democrats, according to a recent CBS poll.

Senate Takes Up 'Emergency' War Bill Despite Obama Pledge to End Practice

Senate Takes Up 'Emergency' War Bill Despite Obama Pledge to End Practice

    A year after President Obama pledged to end the practice of funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with "emergency" spending bills, the Senate is taking up a $60 billion request that would do exactly that.

    The spending bill, which includes $33 billion for the two wars in addition to disaster relief funds and aid for Haiti, is running headlong into concern from war-weary Democrats and deficit-conscious Republicans.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the bill a "heavy lift" in her chamber. But the Senate, which is taking up the request first, could be the scene of a spending stand-off between Democrats and Republicans.

    Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., plans to offer an amendment requiring Congress to offset the cost of the package with spending cuts elsewhere. He slammed the administration for continuing to use the "emergency" supplemental to fund the wars -- by designating the spending bill as "emergency," Congress avoids having to find a way to pay for it.


Of course the duplicitous Coburn said absolutely nothing about curbing spending when Bush was President. And his cuts are most certainly going to be in social programs

Black Agenda Report: Obama’s Supreme Court

This was written a month ago, and her argument is even stronger when you consider Obama's ghost nominee

Freedom Rider: Obama’s Supreme Court

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    “If Obama cannot be counted on to put a justice in place who will do at least as well as Stevens, then the supposed need to give unquestioning support to Democrats has been proven to be patently false.”

    Every four years there is an election for president of the United States and every four years there is great disappointment regarding those candidates who are given sufficient political and economic support to be serious contenders. The Democratic Party eventually presents a presidential nominee who consciously and decisively ignores or subverts the progressive agenda, the needs of people of color and the needs of working people.

Who Let the Blue Dogs Out?

Published on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 by
Who Let the Blue Dogs Out?
by Norman Solomon

This is a grim story about the care and feeding of a Blue Dog.

Right now, Congresswoman Jane Harman is facing a serious primary challenge from a genuine progressive, Marcy Winograd, in Southern California's 36th congressional district.

Last Saturday afternoon, I sat on stage with both candidates and other panelists at a forum during the California Democratic Party convention in Los Angeles. The room was filled with several hundred progressive delegates.

Harman has been refusing to debate her opponent, but she couldn't stay away from the forum that afternoon. The entire convention would be voting the next day on whether to withhold endorsement of her for re-election.

FDL Statement on the Passage of the Health Care Bill

FDL Statement on the Passage of the Health Care Bill
By: Jane Hamsher Monday March 22, 2010 9:10 am

The country turned an important corner last night when Congress affirmed the moral imperative of providing quality health care to more Americans and passed the President’s sweeping health insurance reform bill. It is to President Obama’s credit that he was willing to commit his office to such a challenge when others before him had failed.

But this is not health care reform, and the task of providing health care that Americans can afford is still before us. Too much was sacrificed to corporate interests in the sausage-making process. Rather than address the fundamental flaws in our health care system, we applied a giant band-aid. This health care bill does not come close to doing all that needs to be done to meet the needs of our citizens and our businesses as we retool our economy for the 21st century.