In a word, no. In two words: hell no.
Here’s Michael Moore answering critics who say that he is the mirror image of Rush Limbaugh:
[S]ome commentators (Richard Wolffe of Newsweek, Chuck Todd of NBC News, etc.) have likened this to “what Republicans tried to do to the Democrats with Michael Moore.” Perhaps.
But there is one central difference: What I have believed in, and what I have stood for in these past eight years — an end to the war, establishing universal health care, closing Guantanamo and banning torture, making the rich pay more tax and aggressively going after the corporate chiefs on Wall Street — these are all things which the MAJORITY of Americans believe in, too. That’s why in November the majority voted for the guy I voted for. The majority of Americans rejected the ideology of Rush and embraced the same issues I have raised consistently in my movies and books.
How did this happen? Considering how, for the past eight years, the Republican machine thought they could somehow smear and damage the Democrats if they said it was “the party of Michael Moore,” it appears that the American public heard them loud and clear and decided that, ‘hey, if you say Michael Moore is connected to the Democrats, then the Democrats must be OK!’
I might also add that I don’t ever recall the “leadership” of the Democratic party kissing Michael Moore’s ass. As I recall, he got a ringside seat at the 2004 Democratic convention and that was about it. But I don’t ever recall the critical mass of the Democratic party agreeing with Michael Moore on much of anything — until they saw the electorate moving in Moore’s direction.
Think about it — which Democrats cried “Amen!” when Moore said this in his 2003 Oscar acceptance speech on the eve of Iraq war’s beginning:
We like non-fiction and we live in fictitious times.
We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious President.
We — We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons.
Whether it’s the fictition of duct tape or the fiction of orange alerts, we are against this war, Mr. Bush.
Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you.
And any time you’ve got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up.
Thank you very much.
It was over a year before any important Democrat spoke in support of Michael Moore said that night. Mostly this was because there was no institutional or intellectual base of support in the party for what he was saying then. There was no tradition in the party, no elder statesman to whom he could point in the same way that Limbaugh’s Republicans point to Reagan today.
Oh, the Republicans tried to tie Moore around the neck of the Democrats, hoping he’d sink them like a cinder block. They succeeded, except they discovered he wasn’t a cinder block, but a helium balloon instead. The more they identified Moore’s politics with the Democrats, the higher up in the polls the Democrats went.
Eventually, the majority of Americans came around to where Moore was that night — and we have the Republican party to thank for that.
And as a direct result of that, Democrats have largely lost their fear of Michael Moore.
But that hardly means that Democrats think that they’ll lose elections or money or both by going against what Michael Moore preaches.
Simply put, the same thing cannot be said of Rush Limbaugh and his Republican party.
Obama and the Democrats going after Rush is a good thing and will not do for him what the Republican attack plan did for me — namely, the majority of Americans will never be sympathetic to him because they simply don’t agree with him.
Well, strictly speaking, they did agree with Rush way back in the early 90′s. But a lot has happened since then to demonstrate how wrong those policies were and how much damage they’ve inflicted on all of us. For Rush Limbaugh’s Republicans to think that anyone wants to go back to those policies is mistaken and will just cause them further losses at the polls in coming elections.
And THAT might be the best thing they ever did for the country.