The Moore You Know About Obama…
In politics, knowing what your opposition thinks and says about you and your team is critical. But listening to what they?re saying about their own side can sometimes be even more telling.
In the latest issue of Rolling Stone, Michael Moore insists that Barack Obama?s ambitions are much farther left than he lets on. Thus, the President has been deliberately lying to us about everything from health care reform to the war on terror. But contrary to the Bush years, when perceived presidential deceit evoked liberal rage and a film to go with it, Moore adoringly approves of what he now sees as a necessary ?rope-a-dope strategy? to advance his side?s cause.
The interview, part of a larger round table discussion also including Paul Krugman and David Gergen, asks the ?three leading political observers? to analyze and discuss the first six months of the Obama presidency. The most startling perspective Moore provides is in regard to the current health care debate:
I take all of the things that make me nervous about the decisions that Obama has made, and I look and them through that lens ? that it?s some kind of master plan. It?s like his continued support of a government-run option for health care. If a true public option is enacted ? and Obama knows this ? it will eventually bring about a single-payer system, because the profit-making insurance companies won?t be able to compete with a government plan and make the profits they want to make. At some point most of them will probably have to bow out of the business.
Moore?s frankness even earns praise from the far more temperate David Gergen:
I?m glad to have someone of Michael Moore?s honesty say that the public option on health care is, in fact, designed to be a pathway to a single-payer system. Because the Democrats have essentially said, ?That?s not true.?
Moore?s view of Obama on Iraq is similar. While the Fahrenheit 9/11 director demands ?more than a truth commission ? a serious criminal investigation? into the Bush administration?s supposed ?lying to convince Congress to back an invasion of another country that did nothing to us,? he also tells the magazine:
Look, this guy [Barack Obama] is a very good basketball player ? he fakes right and goes left. He says he?s going to keep 50,000 troops in Iraq. But I would be shocked if, three years from now, there are 50,000 troops in Iraq. He says these things to keep the wolves away from the door, and it works. The other side seems to buy it. That?s why I admire his craftiness here.
?Same with Afghanistan,? he claims. While adding, ?I don?t think there was a reason for the war? because ?the Taliban are not an invading force ? they are citizens of Afghanistan? and therefore ?it is up to the citizens of Afghanistan whether they want to be oppressed,? he makes clear:
When [Obama] said he was going to send in 20,000 new troops, I thought, ?He?s again trying to create this illusion so that the opposition will be kept at bay.?
(Think about it: When the far left thought ?Bush lied??about WMDs, remember??they cried for impeachment. But for Obama, it?s just matter of admirably creating crafty illusions in order to trick his pesky opposition into silence and submission. Consider it liberalism by any means necessary.)
The way Moore sees it, even when it comes to serious national security issues like prosecuting terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, ?I think he gets the opposition to shut up by telling them what they want to hear.? Indefinite detention? ??Indefinitely? for Obama,? he says, ?might mean ?two more months.??
Overall score from Moore?
I would give him an A if my theory about the rope-a-dope strategy he has employed turns out to be right. If I?m wrong about that, then I?ll have to mark it down to a C-minus. Right now, I?m going to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Eventually, Gergen confronts the filmmaker about the openness of his ?fakes right, moves left? rhetoric and asks, ?Isn?t that the same critique the Republicans have been making about the president for some time?? Moore bluntly responds:
Yeah, and nobody will listen to them! I feel sorry for them. They think they know what he?s doing and they try to point it out, but Obama just acts all innocent and says, ?No, I?m not doing that.? I probably shouldn?t be saying this, but I?m counting on the fact that Republicans won?t be reading this in Rolling Stone.
Team America?s ?giant socialist weasel? counted wrong.
Back in 2004, the idea that ?Bush lied? begat plenty of fits, a film, and much more from the far left. But that, of course, was when a Republican was president. Five years later, half-truths and deceit from a liberal Democratic president are not only commendable, it seems, but absolutely vital. Apparently Barack Obama?s real plans are just that unpalatable for the public to swallow.
Tom Qualtere?currently serves as research assistant to the president of The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. This column among many others can also be found at NewMajority.com.