Michael Moore lost the election
: Michael Moore lost the election for John Kerry.
Michael Ledeen thinks the Guardian lost it by having a bunch of ferners try to influence our campaign.
You could argue that the French and Old Europe lost it for Kerry because he tied his star to them — now how dumb was that? — and we’re still pissed at them for deserting us.
You could argue that bin Laden lost it for Kerry by showing up again. Yes, you’d think that this only made Kerry’s point about letting OBL slip out of our fingers. But never underestimate our prideful anger.
But I say instead that Michael Moore lost it for Kerry. He lost it by starting the mudslinging over military service when he accused Bush of being a deserter; this opened the door for the Swiftie mudmen and cut short the ability to condemn them for it.
He lost it by making unfair attacks on Bush (when he could have made fair attacks), helping Bush to rally his fans around him.
But mainly, Moore lost the race for Kerry and the Democrats by turning them, by association, into a bunch of rabid seething fringie liberal loonies, all angry and extreme and too quick to forget what the real war is and who the real enemy is.
The right-wing is usually the side that is portrayed as fringie and rabid and extreme and, Lord knows, many of them are.
But Moore made the left seem just as extreme if not more so.
He demanded that we should all be as angry as he is. But what if we don’t want to be angry at our own side?
He demanded that we see conspiracies everywhere but where they exist: in the Islamofascist world.
He lowered the level of discourse to this: hyperbole, hype, lies by omission, and attack as a substitute for fact and discussion.
And that make it harder for Kerry to complain when the other side did likewise to him.
Bush did a better job of maintaining a thin wall of separation between him and the 527 nutjobs on his side. I don’t say that the wall was real, but the appearance of it was just real enough. Kerry did a bad job of separating himself from Moore; he didn’t try. So to many, Moore’s mud became Kerry’s mud.
There were thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of voters who were looking for an alternative to Bush, a reasonable, open, safe alternative. Moore made the Democrats look not like an alternative but the attackers.
And Moore — and Howard Dean and Air America and others — pushed Kerry and the Democrats into the position of being the anti-war party at a time when we are at war. That led to one flip-flop too many. Big mistake.
Moore was brilliant at creating a media frenzy. The media bought his hype and helped him make a fortune on his little flick. They made the mistake of thinking that each ticket bought to see that flick was worth many times more votes. No, the people who went to see F9/11 weren’t all buying Moore’s gospel. They were buying the hype. And that’s all Moore was selling: Hype. He wasn’t doing it for the good of the country. He was doing it for the good of Michael Moore.
But who wants to vote for the party of seethers and demeaners? Who wants to join the angry people and think that’s going to improve life? Who feels welcome in the company of disapprove snots? That is the party of Michael Moore.
The moral to the story: Don’t listen to Michael Moore. He led you astray, Democrats.
And Republicans: Just as I am tell Democrats not to believe that most of you are rabid religious nuts, you’d be unwise to think that most Democrats are rabid Michael Moore nuts; that would be just as wrong.
: I tried to warn you.
: See also Andrew Sullivan singing this hymn in harmony on Bill Maher, below.
: Roger L. Simon respectfully disagrees.