Michael Moore has a witty, "must read" column up over at his website and at the Huffington Post in which he challenges Barack Obama to replace Rahm Emanuel with–Michael Moore. "President Obama, Replace Rahm With Me: An Open Letter From Michael Moore" is a funny post and gets in digs at both Obama and Rahm.
But at its base, Michael Moore perceives Obama wrongly: Obama isn’t hostage to the right or hostage to Rahm, Obama isn’t some good guy who’s been misled. Rather, Obama’s a willing partner, even leader (he is POTUS, after all), in what his administration has done this past 14 months. Obama sold out long ago to Robert Rubin and Goldman Sachs.
First, let’s have a look at Moore’s excellent writing over at the Huffington Post which starts with:
Dear President Obama,
I understand you may be looking to replace Rahm Emanuel as your chief of staff.
I would like to humbly offer myself, yours truly, as his replacement.
I will come to D.C. and clean up the mess that’s been created around you. I will work for $1 a year. I will help the Dems on Capitol Hill find their spines and I will teach them how to nonviolently beat the Republicans to a pulp.
And I will help you get done what the American people sent you there to do. I don’t need much, just a cot in the White House basement will do.
Now, don’t get too giddy with excitement over my offer, because you and I are going to be up at 5 in the morning, seven days a week and I am going to get you pumped up for battle every single day (see photo). Each morning you and I will do 100 jumping jacks and you will repeat after me:
"THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ELECTED ME, NOT THE REPUBLICANS, TO RUN THE COUNTRY! I AM IN CHARGE! I WILL ORDER ALL OBSTRUCTIONISTS OUTTA MY WAY! IF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DON’T LIKE WHAT I’M DOING THEY CAN THROW MY ASS OUT IN 2012. IN THE MEANTIME, I CALL THE SHOTS ON THEIR BEHALF! NOW, CONGRESS, DROP AND GIVE ME 50!!"
That’s funny! I can just see the good Congresspeople dropping and doing 50 push-ups (or Michael, for that matter!).
Later in his article, Moore goes on to say this:
Well, you and the Democrats have been in charge now for over a year and not one banking regulation has been reinstated. We don’t have universal health care. The war in Afghanistan has escalated. And tens of thousands of Americans continue to lose their jobs and be thrown out of their homes. For most of us, it’s just simply no longer good enough that Bush is gone. Woo hoo. Bush is gone. Yippee. That hasn’t created one new friggin’ job.
You’re such a good guy, Mr. President. You came to Washington with your hand extended to the Republicans and they just chopped it off. You wanted to be respectful and they decided that they were going to say "no" to everything you suggested. Yet, you kept on saying you still believed in bipartisanship.
Well, if you really want bipartisanship, just go ahead and let the Republicans win in November. Then you’ll get all the bipartisanship you want.
It’s written well, Michael, and it sounds great. I especially like your P.S.:
P.S. Just to give you an idea of the new style I’ll be bringing with me, when a cornhole like Sen. Ben Nelson tries to hold you up next time, this is what I will tell him in order to get his vote: "You’ve got exactly 30 seconds to rescind your demand or I will personally make sure that Nebraska doesn’t get one more federal dollar for the rest of Obama’s term. And then I will let everyone in your state know that you wear Sooner panties, backwards. NOW DROP AND GIVE ME 50!"
What a hoot that is!
But unfortunately, Michael, you’ve made a mistake(s)[see below where you wrongly credit Rahm with the 50 state strategy]. You haven’t looked at facts. You haven’t looked at Obama’s real background. The scenario that you paint–Obama’s a good guy surrounded by bad advisers like Rahm who have misled him–is wrong. Please have a look at Bill Moyer’s Journal interview with Matt Taibbi and Robert Kuttner (see link below) and Obama’s speech before the Hamilton Project in 2006 (links below) to see the real Obama.
Obama, after all, is the guy who picked Rahm as his Chief of Staff. Just like he let the Republican Robert Gates (who was chosen by W) continue in the most important position in his Cabinet–Secretary of Defense. Just like Obama kept on almost all of W’s generals, and even promoted most of them. Remember too, that Obama wanted that great libertarian and humanist, Judd Gregg, who opposed both Obama’s economic stimulus plan and just recently a one-time $250 payment to Social Security recipients who otherwise get no cost of living increase this year in their benefits, as Obama’s Commerce Secretary.
One must dig into facts, into actions, more–Michael–to understand the real Obama. Pick up just about anything Matt Taibbi has written, or James Street’s excellent, "Obama as Predicted". Have a look at then Senator Barack Obama’s speech in 2006 at the opening ceremony of the Hamilton Project. Bob Rubin and Goldman Sachs funded the Hamilton Project and in his speech, Obama thanks "my friend Bob" and calls for more NAFTA-like agreements and cuts in entitlements. It’s not an coincidence that one of Obama’s first acts (Obama’s Geithner coordinated with Bush’s Paulson) was to support TARP 1 and Tarp 2. It’s not a coincidence that so many Goldman Sachs people are working next to Obama. It’s not just a coincidence that Goldman Sachs was one of the primary beneficiaries of Obama’s economic bailouts, either. It’s not a coincidence that Obama lied to the American public as a candidate when he said he wanted to reform NAFTA.
Nor is it a coincidence that one of the chief architects of deregulation, the guy that Harvard fired, Larry Summers, sits as Obama’s chief economic adviser. (NOTE: Both Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot share something: a disdain for coincidences. The super sleuths, though fictional, were right. With Obama, one has to follow the money trail too.).
The Russian people made the same kind of mistake pre-revolution. If one looks back at history during that time, common people all thought the Tsar was a "good guy" (despite his abysmal record) and that he was misled by bad advisers. Same well-intentioned but mistaken thinking in your post, Michael. In reality, the Tsar cared about the Tsar, not "his" people. Ditto with Obama. Obama has his Rasputin only because he, Obama, chose him and continues to support him.
I know you’re a nice guy and I’ve loved your documentaries over the years. I still laugh at the scene in "Sicko" where you use the bullhorn at Gitmo asking for help! Hilarious! Any time I see a bullhorn it reminds me of your good work. And those priceless interviews on the streets with Congressmen in your documentary on "Fahrenheit 9-11". Classic stuff! Better than "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." You outdid Capra with reality and that’s hard to do.
But since you’re a nice guy, one of the true good guys around, maybe you find it easier to believe that Obama is one too. He’s not (I’m not talking about Obama as person or as dad but as a leader). Not at least in the sense of whom he fights for. Obama was bought and paid for by Goldman Sachs and he fights for them, big banks, big insurance companies, and the military industrial complex. His record for the past 14 months makes that clear.
One thing that you got spot on, Michael, was the ending of your otherwise excellent post:
Let me be clear about one thing: The Democrats on Election Day 2010 are going to get an ass-whoopin’ of biblical proportions if things don’t change right now. And after the new Republican majority takes over, they, along with a few conservative Democrats in Congress, will get to bipartisanly impeach you for being a socialist and a citizen of Kenya. How nice to see both sides of the aisle working together again!
And the brief window we had to fix this country will be gone.
The only way to clean up the mess is not for you, Michael Moore, to take Rahm’s position, but to take Obama’s position.
Mike, please, please, for the sake of Flint and the rest of America, primary Obama in 2012. You won’t need a bullhorn then, you’d have the entire Bully Pulpit!
Then we’ll see real, not faux, change!
On the Hamilton Project please see these articles that appeared here at FDL:
1. "The Hamilton Project: Same Corporatist Whine in New DLC Vessels" [includes video clip with Senator Obama's April, 2006, speech: bowing and scrapping to Robert Rubin of Goldman Sachs ("my friend, Bob"); endorsing NAFTA and asking for more such trade pacts; and, asking for cuts to entitlements]
Also highly recommended for insights into the REAL Obama:
1) Bill Moyer’s Journal program with interview of Matt Taibbi and Robert Kuttner, 18 December 2009 [where a video clip of the entire show can be seen or you can read the full transcript of the program]
2) "Betrayal"–President Obama–is the Saddest Word"
3) Stanley Kutler, "The System Works, Obama’s Approach Doesn’t" at Truthdig
4) Matt Taibbi, "Obama’s Big Sellout"
5) Paul Street, "Obama, as Predicted"
SPECIAL NOTE TO MICHAEL MOORE:
In your article on your own website and at the Huffington Post, you wrongly credit Rahm with the successful 50-state strategy:
That’s certainly what he [Rahm] did in 2006. After six long, miserable years of the middle-class getting slaughtered and the poor being flushed down the toilet, Rahm Emanuel took on the job of returning Congress to the Democrats. No one believed it could be done.
But he did it. Big time.
Wrong, wrong, (with a bullhorn) WRONG! That was Howard Dean’s work and it’s also a fact that Rahm (and Obama) hates Dean for this and his other successes. That’s why Dean is not in the Obama administration. Recall also that Rahm was strategy maker for the 1994 Democratic fiasco and was nearly sacked by Bill Clinton for it!