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Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon Valley-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry and political bile.

btman at grotto11 dot com

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Thursday, July 8, 2004
17:34 - On second thought... yeah, go ahead, scream your fool head off, Mikey
http://www.denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2004/07/Muqtadaal-Moore.shtml

(top) link
Looks like Steven Den Beste has identified an upside to Michael Moore.

It strikes me that for all the short-term hoopla and enthusiasm about Moore from the left, and trepidation about him from the non-left, that in fact he may turn out to be just the man the non-left needs, appearing exactly when and where the non-left needs him most. A non-left mole couldn't have done a better job framing the LL position to their disadvantage.

Moore has planted his flag smacko in the middle of the Holy City of anti-Americanism. To defend that position, the LL's will now vocally proclaim something many have long believed but avoided admitting: they hate America and everything it stands for. That is not a message that will sell well to the broad electorate. They will proclaim that they love this nation, but... and then make clear that they despise most of the people who live in it, and despise the very features of this nation that the majority of us see as its greatest virtues. And they will poison the leftist political position even for non-loonie leftists. (Since Moore's supporters constitute a significant base of support for the Democratic Party, they're going to represent an ongoing headache for the Kerry campaign by their antics. And that will force him to continue to equivocate about his position major issues, to avoid alienating them, and at the same time avoid alienating the broad electorate.)

Spot-on. The people who say they love America but hate Americans, or who wrap themselves in stars and stripes while claiming that Americans are too stupid to be trusted with democracy, are only hiding under a thin veneer that masks their true nature. Their vision of an ideal America has nothing to do with what America has ever stood for in the pastójust what they think some theoretical, post-historical, post-religion, post-monetary, Star Trek version of America should be. "Let America be America," says Kerry, quoting Marxist poet Langston Hughes. Intentionally? One hopes not, but one can't help but suspect so.

So the truth will out, eventually. The timing thing still worries me, though; there's not enough time before the election for people to discover that the economy is doing pretty frickin' hot and that Kerry/Edwards don't present much of a palatable dish for the next four years, and since so much of our public discourse centers around whichever movie is announced using the three-foot-high marquee letters that come out of the Big Box at the multiplex, the Your-Duty-Is-Clear-Mr.-and-Mrs.-American-Voter meme won't dissipate before November. It's well and good to see that Moore is in no better a position to fight in the long term than al-Sadr was. But committing to engaging him and his followers over the long term means acquiescing to a Kerry win this fall, and I don't know if I'm willing to pay that price. Moore is one man, and sooner or later he'll collapse under his own weight and start his own solar system somewhere far away where he can't hurt anybody. But if we let him dictate the first national referendum on our conduct following 9/11, and give the world the perception that America repudiates our every action since that day, then any victory that occurs in the political landscape until 2008 will be small, flavorless potatoes.

But then again, we seem to have been able to operate under a deadline in Iraq, so maybe we can do the same here. Georgie boy, could you please start frickin' campaigning, for Pete's sake?


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