Fuel to fire, or, how to incite the opposition

I like Michael Moore. He has been the  authentic artistic voice of the abandoned industrial cities of the mid-West and has grown into a successful and talented film maker and provocateur. I like him. And we need provocateurs always, but as a film director might concede, timing is everything.

Moore did no favors today for Chuck Hagel nor for the likely contentious confirmation battle to come once Obama, as expected, nominates Hagel for Sec Def. Moore penned a column for The Huffington Post. Here’s a bit:

But what you probably haven’t seen — because everyone has forgotten — is that back in 2007, Chuck Hagel went totally crazy and told the truth about our invasion of Iraq. Here’s what he said:

“People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.”

Hagel was and is a brave and pretty honest guy. He shares many of the qualities that make people like Chris Christie – candid, fearless. But Moore’s is a voice that inflames the right and when he stands up publicly for Chuck Hagel, I fear he makes the coming battle even  more difficult because we may now expect an even louder torrent of outrage from the usual suspects.

I’m reminded of a single line of movie dialogue from the 90’s. The film was The American President (one of my favorite films and in many ways a perfect movie). As the prez, Michael Douglas says “And we’re gonna get the guns. If we have to go door to door, we’ll get the guns.”

That probably didn’t help either.

10 responses to “Fuel to fire, or, how to incite the opposition

  1. Exactly, Moe. You are perspicacious on this because politics in this country have devolved from discourse, at least occasionally, into combat, and the enemy of the right this time is not Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Leonid Brezhnev, nor Saddam Hussein. It is openly declared by Mitch McConnell et. al. to be Barack Obama. The national interest is forfeit in the process.

    I am struggling through Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals” and I read today of Abraham Lincoln’s wisdom in refraining from any new policy pronouncements after winning his party’s nomination, even having surrogates simply read from his past speeches in lieu of breaking any new ground. The country was torn in many different directions and he wisely took the moderate position. After all, in a proper democracy a President represents all the people, not just a faction. Extreme partisanship is the enemy of a stable Republic. It was true then, and it’s no less true now.


    • Most Americans would say that the national interest is served by gelding Obama as a POTUS since not one single one of his positions seem to have been in congruence with America’s national interests.

      I do, however, find it interesting that you’re paraphrasing Lincoln’s desire to mend the nation if possible and stating that, “in a proper democracy a President represents all the people, not just a faction.” I find it interesting because representing just a fraction – at the direct expense of the other fraction – of the residents of America is exactly what Obama and the Dems have been doing…and they’ve been somewhat electorally successful by doing so.


      • What recent president has had a policy in congruence with America’s self interest in your opinion? And what you call ‘representing a faction’ is what I’d call following thorugh on the issues you advocated as you campaigned for election.


        • Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton in his 2nd term (shocked?), Bush Jr. (sometimes).

          And what you call ‘representing a faction’ is what I’d call following thorugh on the issues you advocated as you campaigned for election.

          And you can certain call it that with more than a little accuracy. Obama ran on a straight Left-wing platform meant to divide the country and mobilize the Left to actually get out an vote against his enemy if not for Obama himself.


    • I loved Team of Rivals and was thrilled to see the Lincoln movie stay true to the portrait drawn by Kearns Goodwin. If you have the time, you might try her “No Ordinary Time” about FDR and the backstories in the White House during WWII. The Churchill portrait in particular is delicious.. It focuses on the FDR/Eleanor relationship and how that played out in policy. Terrific book.


  2. Moore’s a traitor so you’re right; his open endorsement of Hagel is not a kindness – to the point where one has to wonder what Moore’s up to. That’s sort of sad. I’ve nothing against Hagel at all and this is going to draw fire on his position from Americans.

    Of course, I liked Gates too and Panetta, while despicable, was one of the few possible choices as an interim appointment.

    Yep! I know you’all be shocked but I’ve felt pretty good, overall, with Obama’s choices for SecDef. Hell! I loved Gates’ first appropriations budget and loathed – and ranted about – the bipartisan raping of it by Congress.


    • How is Moore a traitor? Interesting charge to fling at an outspoken critic of government policy – a right we cherish.


      • Everything that Moore produces is virulently anti-American and designed to deride, insult, and undermine the very foundations of our society. Hence, he’s a traitor in every way but current legalism…which CAN be changed. 😉


  3. Pingback: Fuel to fire, or, how to incite the opposition…Michael Moore on Chuck Hagel…Whatever Works…. | Politicaldog101.Com

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