Orange is the New Red


Michael Moore is getting a quite a bad rap today for the open letter he published at Daily Kos in which he had the temerity to publicly call for President Obama not to essentially make the Afghan misadventure a permanent thing.  The horrified cries of treachery and America-hating naturally rained down, of course, but this time not from whom you’d think.  The guy who bravely tossed downtrodden liberals a desperately-needed lifeline with 2004′s Fahrenheit 911 is finding out how the Dixie Chicks felt back in the day, when criticizing the jingoistic, leader-worshipping zeitgeist was strictly verboten in polite society, and he foolishly believed that might have changed by now.  His effort, unfortunately, because it involved criticizing the new president, went over like a fart in church among Kossacks, which is disheartening but no longer very surprising.  What a difference a new Decider makes.

As he did back then, Moore railed at the self-destructive futility not just of a particular war, but of war itself; using timeless quotes from Orwell about how war robs a society of both its treasure and humanity, rendering its citizens inconsequential drones who toil only for subsistence at home and bloodshed abroad.  He was a lot more supportive and polite about it, by the way, than I would have been, and since Moore has a slightly larger chance of being heard within Obama’s Rahm-bubble than I do, that was probably a wise and temperate course.  But reading the scathing and unhinged rebuttals that immediately followed at Daily Kos, Hell, he might as well have gone ahead hurled the rhetorical drink in Obama’s face that I would have.  For such comparatively dainty impudence, one Obamabot sneeringly scolded Moore, satirically presenting him as a “quasi-celebrity” while reverently anointing Obama as “someone who matters,” and even pretended to speak in his distorted version of Moore’s voice, unsuccessfully attempting to negate its truth.  Liz Cheney could have surely done his (most certainly a man…) job more ably, not that she needs to, after that.  She can just read aloud from DKos.

The next delusional nincompoop, not to be outdone, modestly wrote in Obama’s hallowed voice, even though it came out sounding more like a duet with Bill Kristol and Tom Friedman cheek to cheek.  Just like back in 2003, the basic argument this imitation Leader offered was “I know more than you do, so there” and that world-beating logic naturally trumps such irrelevant minutia as impending national bankruptcy and unalterable opposition from 3/4 of the planet.  You see, pointless, destructive, and futile wars aren’t the business of the little people, except when it comes to dying in them or paying for them through the massive public penury they inevitably entail.  But never mind.  The “liberal hawks” that brought us Vietnam have returned, and this time they’re not just the pampered “best and brightest” of yore, but seem to have been joined by the dominant voices of the formerly peace-seeking “liberal” blogosphere, too.

I would like to point out to these people who was right last time.

How can any “liberal’ support, even rhetorically, the “necessity” of ANY of our imperialistic wars, given a hundred years or so of evidence here, and a couple thousand elsewhere?  Wars do nothing but enrich the few at the expense of the many, eat away at open government, and create rationales for reducing liberty at home.  Any ephemeral and symbolic gains made in this elitist chess game will only redound to the usual suspects; the rest of humanity only benefits to the extent that the thousands dead will leave behind for us the food they didn’t eat and the houses they don’t need, thus marginally reducing the poverty that war has made our lot.  ”Neutron Jack” Welch would surely approve;  nothing says quarterly profits like a reduced payroll.

Suddenly and quite unexpectedly, I find myself feeling nostalgic about the Bush years; his belligerent heinousness and indifference to human suffering brought squabbling liberals together, bound by the essential humanity and compassion that is supposed to be our core but had become nearly lost during the economically giddy but morally dispiriting Clinton years.  Now we have the Clinton years back, with all the virulent right-wing animosity even as what hard-fought social progress the last half century produced was cynically discredited and tossed under the bus, this time minus the relative peace and undeniable prosperity.  What a deal.

Ah, but after the darkness of the Bush years, liberals were thought to have found their voices again after years of being silenced and worse, by the openness and freedom of the liberal blogosphere, and maybe I had too much to drink that day, but I thought that meant that some of our values might not be dismissed out of hand in a place like Daily Kos the way they always were on CNN and FOX.  I was wrong.

For years, conservatives claimed, not without merit, that liberals were blinded by their hatred of Bush, equating criticism of his disastrous policies with hatred for the man himself and the country he led.  Dissent was tantamount to treason, and Michael Moore was of course the traitor in chief.

Now, we supposedly have the President we wanted, yet the horrendous policies and their deleterious effects will now officially remain the same as those of the President before, and we’re supposed to be happy about it.  My open letter to Michael Moore:  Next time cut out the middleman and just say your piece on FOX; the response you get from the teabaggers will be exactly the same.


When I got back to Portland this afternoon I popped back in at Kos, and there were two excellent anti-war posts, one by Cenk Ungyur of the Young Turks, and one by David Mizner, both on the rec list.  At the top though, was one with STFU in the title from a newly minted neocon, and more of the same followed.


  1. mikeinportc says:

    Haven’t visited the Orange Zoo in a long time ,and given the snippets I’ve heard from MM in his recent pundit-ops, sounds about as expected. *sigh* Should I go over there and offer to loan my copy of Savage Mules ? ;)

  2. cocktailhag says:

    It’s pretty pathetic. Talk about political correctness… but unfortunately for the opposite goals. I pop in a lot at Kos, and the bot-ism isn’t usually this bad.

  3. Ouranos says:

    I won’t go so far as to say I’m “feeling nostalgic” about the Bush years, but I get what you mean.

    I have visited DKOS maybe three times in the past 2 years. For almost 2 years before that I used to go there almost every day. I thought I was be connecting with like-minded people, people who believed in the Constitution, people who believed everyone’s rights were worth defending, people who opposed George Bush not based on political affiliation but on policy positions.

    I was only fooling myself.

    Within a month or two of when the 2008 primary season started I discovered that the “like-minded” there were actually a small minority. I found out most of the people there cared not one whit for what is right, but only for what was advantageous to them and their candidate, their “team.”

    Michael Moore was right to criticize Obama’s wars. The waste, of human potential most of all, disturbs me beyond words. The cost, in human terms, is staggering, and Obama wants to ramp it up some more.

    I’ve heard that nearly every culture that has ever existed on the face of this planet has had some version of the Golden Rule, but it’s sad to see so few people have learned its true meaning.

    I’ll leave you with this nugget from that highly-regarded, erstwhile philosopher, Ponce de Leon Montgomery County Alabama Georgia Beauregard Possum:

    “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

    • cocktailhag says:

      I certainly noticed that. Even the mildest criticism of Obama is met with a barrage of sneers and pearl-clutching…. Could it be that they just didn’t like Bush for his looks? One wonders.
      It’s the historical blindness that gets me the most.

  4. retzilian says:

    I knew the fix was in at Kos awhile back when they started to censor topics over there. It was clear some things were strictly off-limits and the majority of posters there are all about getting and maintaining power for the Democratic party, no different really than the Republicans they despise. They are two sides of the same coin.

    Actually, the main reason I don’t read there is because the writing is so bad. I’m such a writing snob. That’s why I limit reading places where the writing doesn’t make me cringe.

    • cocktailhag says:

      There are two or three good writers; Jeff Lieber and Teacherken come to mind, but they do stand out. I watched all evening in vain for someone to post a diary in Moore’s defense. Nada.

  5. I’m surprised you’re surprised. The neocons jumped the Republican party late July 2007, the week Karl Rove and the neocon think tank chorus declared Hillary Clinton “presidential.” From that point on the Blue Dog Dems took the reigns and now it’s their turn to ruin our lives. Daily Kos is the Kontrolled Opposition. Likely on CIA payroll. As soon as Obama was coronoated figurehead the bowels of the comments section at DailyKos started looking like the editorial page at the Moonie Times.

    The Council on Foreign Relations is driving this bus. It owns both the Democratic and Republican parties. The CFR expresses its will through Obama via Hillary Clinton for now, regardless of the fact that Trilateralist usurper stole the crown Hillary was promised in 2006. No matter: The CFR gave Hillary the Dept of State slot to retain her authority, not to mention her immunity from multiple prosecutions, and now Obama reads the speeches her staff gives to him. Problem solved. The wars continue.

    This is why I’m surprised Cocktail Hag isn’t expressing more outward hostility at her betrayal by the Democrats, especially by now since they’ve had almost a year to deliver. I’m still excited anyway, thinking oooooh Cocktail Hag’s gonna let er rip on our latest Nobel Peace Prize winner’s escalation is Craptakistan! Or maybe a parody of Hillary Clinton’s stone-cold-dead speech – like a machine reading a press release – about North Korea today or yesterday whenever that was. Tough talk, RAWWWR! Or NPR going on about how maybe we’re being too politically correct by not treating the scaree mooselims like the terrists they obviously are (I’m serious). Or the anti-Muslim chorus in the comments section at the Huffington Post. Probably visiting from Daily Kos. I could go on but this thing’s getting long.

    I know I should be writing those rants myself – that’s the rule we write what we want – but you’re so much better at expressing exasperation and disgust than I am so entertain me dammit! Kidding! But seriously: All the good rant material is coming out of the Democrats these days.