Michael Moore: Looking for the pixie dust

I call it Progressive’s Pixie Dust Syndrome, the belief that if progressives can just convince Obama to do the right thing, then he will! Pixie dust will then be spread across the land and all will be well, as errant Dems come to their senses and we all sing “Cumbaya” together. Sadly, Michael Moore has an extremely serious case of PPDS as witness his How Democrats can avoid catastrophe in November.

If you’re of a mindset that believes a return to 2001-2008 would be sheer insanity, then you probably agree we’ve got no choice but to save the Democrats from themselves.

Not without a price tag. Not without forcing concessions from the Obama Administration. Otherwise you’re just a chump and they know they can punch you and you’ll do nothing. (Just like what congressional Republicans are doing to their Democratic counterparts.)

He then posits 5 things Dems can do to get that pixie dust here ASAP. However, none of them have the slightest chance of happening. Plus, his first choice shows his ignorance of the current financial crisis and how it was caused.

1. Immediate wall-to-wall tv ads, internet videos, and appearances hammering who the hell put us in the misery we’re in.

Bush and Co. also caused the biggest collapse of our economy since the Great Depression.

This is patently false. Bush & Co. played a part in it, sure. So did Bill Clinton as president when he cheerfully aided and abetted in the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which deregulated the banking industry and directly led to the crisis. Both parties have plenty of blood on their hands here, are beholden to Wall Street money, and have gutted the regulatory agencies. Obama has given hundreds of billions to the banksters, allowed accounting regulations to be further gutted, all for bankster’s gain and to the detriment of the rest of us. To think he will magically reverse course now is delusion.

Sorry Michael, the pixie dust just ain’t going to happen. Our problems are systemic, deep-rooted, and both parties are complicit.

Michael Moore gives up on Democrats. “Wusses.. I’m sick of them”

These Democrats are a bunch of wusses,” Moore told Raw Story in a hard-edged interview Wednesday. “They don’t have the courage of their convictions. They won’t stand and fight.”

It’s more than that. For the most part Congressional Dems are complicit, because they basically agree with the Republicans on most issues but have to pretend otherwise. A major role of the Democratic Party is to provide a pretend outlet for dissent, while trying to render that dissent harmless. It’s not that Democrats are secret Republicans, it’s that the vast bulk of both parties are bought, sold, and paid for corporatists.

Obama hired Rahm

But people looking for the reasons why the Obama presidency has not lived up to its promise won’t find the answer amid the minor rifts between key players. Nor will they find the answer in how well or poorly this White House has played the game of politics. The fact is that after a campaign that appealed so successfully to idealism, Obama hired a bunch of saboteurs of hope and change.

Not only is Rahm Emmanuel Obama’s chosen enforcer, he has no core values and worse, is startlingly incompetent. He’s failed at implementing most of Obama’s agenda and now the president’s inner circle is in disarray and fighting publicly. This just 14 months after Inauguration.

Forget Obama’s lofty speeches about hope. The only constituency he has unfailingly supported and siphoned hundreds of billions to are the investment banks. Actions speak louder than words.

Nader was right about Obama

The timidity of the left exposes its cowardice, lack of a moral compass and mounting political impotence. The left stands for nothing. The damage Obama and the Democrats have done is immense. But the damage liberals do the longer they beg Obama and the Democrats for a few scraps is worse. It is time to walk out on the Democrats. It is time to back alternative third-party candidates and grass-roots movements, no matter how marginal such support may be.

If we do not take a stand soon we must prepare for the rise of a frightening protofascist movement, one that is already gaining huge ground among the permanently unemployed, a frightened middle class and frustrated low-wage workers. We are, even more than Glenn Beck or tea-party protesters, responsible for the gusts fanning the flames of right-wing revolt because we have failed to articulate a credible alternative.

Well, they’re hardly all protofascist. Many of their grievances are quite real too. But yes, the left and liberals need to forget Obama, get in the streets, team up with whoever, and get some real change in this country.

We need radical structuring of the entire economic system. Nothing less will do. Toss the moneychangers out of the temples and into prison. Break up the big banks. get a regulatory apparatus that actually enforces the rules. For starters.

More on Capitalism A Love Story

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Joseph Childers thinks Michael Moore blew a huge opportunity to get some truth and real debate out there.

Michael Moore has wasted not just millions of dollars and two hours of my time. He’s wasted a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity We are at an unprecedented moment in history right now: where the corrupt and immoral economic superstructure we live under is actually up for debate; a time when people are finally questioning why their toil and time should be subordinated to the whims of what appears to be little more than a crooked casino. He could have used the near-universal revulsion at the Wall Street bailouts to preach to someone other than a now-bored choir.

But, while Moore does take the Democrats in Congress to task, he gives an unforgivable pass to the Dem presidents, and thus, completely loses any claim to intellectual integrity.

Indeed, Clinton repealed the Glass-Seagall Act, which deregulated banks and unquestionably led to the current financial crisis. Obama has let Goldman Sachs and the rest of the investment banks do just about whatever they want. Look, I like a lot of what Obama is doing but as Congressman Kucinich said in Sept. 2008 during the bailout debate “Is this the US Congress or the Board of Directors of Goldman Sachs?” This has gotten worse not better under Obama. Moore’s huge flaw is he can not see that Democrats hold just as much responsibility and culpability as Republicans. The problem is not one party or the other but a corrupt system with a revolving door between high paying private sector jobs and government ‘service,’ awash in a flood of thinly disguised bribes pretending to be campaign contributions along with a lack of ethics and concern for the nation at large.

Matt Taibbi responds to Childers saying yeah, the movie is flawed, definitely odd in spots but give the guy credit for what he’s done.

But let’s give Michael Moore credit. Most of the movie isn’t about Michael Moore. It’s about what’s happened to this country, how far it’s fallen, in the age of financial deregulation.

Even just looking at the historical context provided by Moore’s own movies, the progression is kind of scary. Back when Moore made Roger and Me, he was describing how blue-collar workers could no longer could find jobs to support themselves. In Bowling for Columbine he talked about the workfare programs we cooked up to keep those ex-employed blue collar workers alive, how brutal and inhumane those programs can be.

In Capitalism: A Love Story we’re now talking about how the compensation for professional jobs we used to consider upper-middle class, like the job of airline pilot, have dropped below subsistence level. This is a portrait of a society steaming toward a feudal structure.

At least Michael Moore is getting us talking about the right topics.

It’s a good first step. But maybe he could have spent fifteen minutes on detailing how European socialist / capitalist systems work so people would know that genuine alternatives already exist (with decent health care.) Not that those system are perfect, not hardly. But most Americans don’t even know they exist or that the American system – based on what “The father of capitalism” Adam Smith envisioned it as – could scarcely still be considered capitalism anymore. It’s really just government-sanctioned organized theft by the few from the many. That is what Moore is talking about, right? But unless you delve into the economic systems deeper, you’ll see the movie and be left rudderless as to solutions.

And why is it titled Capitalism. A Love Story. Does he think capitalism is currently flawed but redeemable? Is he trying to be ironic? You tell me.

Marc Cooper finds Michael Moore’s Capitalism muddled

michael moore capitalism a love story

There’s no story line. The citizen’s arrest of a corporation was clever 20 years ago when Moore did Roger and Me but timeworn and predictable now. The economic problems here did not start with Reagan or end with the election of Obama. But most importantly, Moore slams capitalism but offers no solution and doesn’t appear to have even pondered what it could be. That’s what journalist Marc Cooper finds clumsy and muddled about the movie.

If you are going to go to the trouble of making a movie, however clumsily denouncing capitalism per se, it seems to me that you have a responsibility to say what you would like to see in its place. The 800 lb gorilla sitting in every movie theater, naturally, even if unsaid, is the specter of socialism or communism which are assumed by most to be the antithesis of capitalism. Few Americans know the difference between one or another let alone any degrees of shading within the categories. But it’s fair to say that both notion –rightly and wrongly– have a pretty negative connotation amongst most Americans and Moore does himself no good by not addressing that issue head on (I say that as a socialist by the way).

So after getting us all stroked and stoked, what’s Moore’s payoff? How does he answer his own self-posed question as to what capitalism should be replaced by?

“Democracy” is his answer.

Huh?

It sort of begs the question on behalf of any thinking person if Moore is using that word as a euphemism for some sort of socialism or is he just plain copping out? Hell if I know!

In a word. Muddled. If you’re going to skewer capitalism, then explain what some of the other economic systems are, whether it be the European-style capitalism-socialism mix, actual socialism. or even some of the flavors of anarchism (worker’s council, no State). Also, discuss how what we call capitalism now isn’t anything like what Adam Smith envisioned it as being. Give people an idea what the possibilities are. Don’t just leave them hanging.

America’s love affair with capitalism a fatal attraction?

capitalism: a love story. poster

Byron DeLear, who I knew when we both lived in LA and he ran for a House seat as a Green, just kicked off his debut in Examiner with a column on Michael Moore’s new movie.

The failures of the S&L crisis, Enron, subprime mortgages, Bear Stearns, Lehman, AIG, reveal a deeper social pathology; an epidemic of self-serving materialism, eating away at the soul of America.

“Capitalism: A Love Story” challenges a morally complacent and slumbering nation unaware that the compound depredations of excessive profiteering and consumerism just don’t jive with our most revered ethical and religious teachings.

I disagree a bit with the assumption the nation is slumbering. It’s more that people don’t quite know what to do yet. They see the corruption and fraud, the gaming of the system by an elite few, the compliance by D.C. to do what financial interests want – and it angers them. What they aren’t sure of yet is what the solution is.

As for the economic royalists who attempt to control us now DeLear offers this quote;

“These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power.”

That quote was from a speech by FDR in 1936. The genuinely patriotic thing to do in such cases is remove from power the slime who are corrupting the country as they enrich themselves.

With my ear to the street, I sense a fight like no other welling up in the people. The folks in upper echelons of national power need to honor their commitments and start serving their real master, the American people, or we will find a different crew.

I agree. Let’s get it done.