October 17, 2004


Viewing Fahrenheit 9/11 doesn’t always result in immediate conversion to Michael Moore's cause:

Cindy Stewart told 6 News Friday, "My step son said last night ... his comment was that Michael Moore is a jerk. And I said, 'Why did you say that?' And he said, 'Oh well, we're watching 'Fahrenheit 9/11.'"

Stewart's step son is a high school student. Maybe Moore's movie should be compulsory high school viewing; after all, like Diana Kerry, Moore seems to have a gift for getting out the conservative vote:

Ms. Kerry, a former teacher, and media-dubbed as "Sister Kerry", believes that support for the U.S. in Iraq by the John Howard government in Australia makes Aussies a bigger target for international terrorists.

The Australian people, who obviously don't buy into the same notion, recently restored the Howard government to office.

There's been no word about what Moore or Kerry makes of that turn of events.

"Why aren't this guy's copious activities resonating where they should be - in the polls?" asks liberal columnist Gene Grant. "What happened to the 'Moore bounce'?" Grant continues:

Toss in all the work by assorted movie stars, rock acts such as the recently concluded "Vote for Change" tour by Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, the Dixie Chicks, R.E.M and a slew of other acts, liberal pundits at full throttle, a national radio network dubbed "Air America" whose sole reason for being is to unseat the president, and a reasonable man has to wonder what all this dust-raising has led up to. A tie - that's where.

For those who were thinking all this noise was going to put Kerry over the top, I would start breaking out Plan B. This ain't gonna get it done.

I'm afraid this is starting to look like yet another example of liberals predictably pandering to cheap emotions instead of doing the ugly and decidedly un-sexy work it takes to win elections.

Railing is not doing. Neither is finger-pointing, huffing incredulously or claiming to understand how the "rest of the world" considers us. All of it is garbage.

Yes, but it's lucrative garbage. Moore -- described by Anand Patwardhan (the "Michael Moore of India") as "the best thing that has happened to America since Chomsky" -- interrupted his Slacker Uprising tour a few days ago for an appearance in Utah:

Apparently Mr. Moore is only scheduled to speak in swing states, where he might be able to score some more voters for the Kerry ticket. So why stop in the largely Republican state of Utah? To do some "missionary work" as he put it, with a grin on his face. He said they kept asking him and asking him, and he just felt so sorry for the lonely Kerry supporters, that he had to come. For them. So they wouldn't feel so alone in the world.

So it turns out that this Michael Moore fellow really is a thoughtful, caring and compassionate soul. Or was it really just about the $40,000 check he will receive for a couple hours of his time?

And with every appearance, Moore inspires more young conservatives:

One sign among dozens read, "I would die to protect our nation. Would Mike?"

Holding the homemade placard was Danielle Dahl, 18, a Fallbrook resident and Cal State San Marcos freshman who was one of nearly 200 demonstrators hoisting signs and hollering praise for President Bush.

With equal enthusiasm, they berated controversial filmmaker Michael Moore as thousands waited in traffic to attended Moore's sold-out rally at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

"I like it," [Dahl] said of demonstrating. "I want to do it more."

Demonstrators rallied for more than two hours and many of their voices grew hoarse as the night wore on. From the crowded sidewalks, some protestors exchanged heated words with the passengers of cars that idled in traffic.
Some motorists blew their horns and extended rigid middle fingers.

"France is that way!" a demonstrator responded.

Posted by Tim Blair at October 17, 2004 03:41 AM

So all the rich, elitist, leftist, Hollywood airheads and musicians have failed to produce a Kerry bounce? Add to that list the mainstream media and entrenched academia. Maybe middle America sees through all that bullshit. I fail to see how actors, musicians and athletes have some special insight into world affairs. After the Bush landslide, we will be hearing from the shocked and clueless about how stupid the American people are for the next four years.

Posted by: Latino at October 17, 2004 at 03:56 AM

If it weren't for the mass assault against Bush by Hollywood and the MSM, he'd be up by 20 points. Shows what a fucking disaster Kerry is.

I'm pessimistic about Bush's chances because of this, so I try to remember that Ronnie went through the same thing. I'm just not sure it was as overwhelming then.

Posted by: Dave S. at October 17, 2004 at 04:46 AM

Moore "the best thing that has happened to America since Chomsky" ?

That Indian bloke is mad as a bag of Sicilian cut snakes. It's like saying Shaun McManus is the best kick since Paul Couch or Robert Harvey.

Posted by: Torre at October 17, 2004 at 05:05 AM

Gene Grant left out "The Day After Tomorrow", the by-all-accounts absurd Global Warming jeremiad.

Lefties like to mock the Religious Right for advocating teaching Creationism and according to Kerry/Edwards, we need a president who "believes in science".

This is science?

Posted by: JDB at October 17, 2004 at 05:41 AM

Well, there's always Fellowship 9/11. Forget Sauron and Saruman. It's all about oil!

Posted by: Bruce Rheinstein at October 17, 2004 at 06:01 AM

I live in Utah, and I was going to assasinate Moore when he was here, but my stupid ass boss made me work

Posted by: Oktober at October 17, 2004 at 07:01 AM

Elvis once sang that he believed for every drop of rain that fell, a flower grew. I beleive that every time one of these boneheads opens their mouth in support of Kerry, a vote for Kerry is lost.

Posted by: Ken J at October 17, 2004 at 07:33 AM

Arrgh! I'm moving to Utah in two months - geez, I thought I'd be safe from the likes of MM there.

Oh well - with any luck the Blue-minded in Utah won't be silly enough to throw $40K at him a second time.

Posted by: Sonetka at October 17, 2004 at 07:48 AM

Gene Grant mentions the need for the Dems to do "the ugly and decidedly un-sexy work it takes to win elections." But "ugly" can get really ugly.

In Houston, a family member recently stood in a store line and overheard the following: "I am going to vote at least a half dozen times. Those people can't tell one of us from another. And, then, I am going to pull everybody off the street I can find and get them into the voting booth, several times over. This is about getting what's due us."

She said he sounded reasonably intelligent and quite determined. Knowing what we know about the DNC encouraging the pre-emptive charge of voter intimidation and fraud and the Dems' campaign to stop photo and other ID requirements for voting, some of us are starting to lose faith in the process.

Posted by: c at October 17, 2004 at 08:31 AM

"Those people can't tell one of us from another...This is about getting what's due us."

Can you clarify who are "those people" and who are "us"?

Posted by: Angie Schultz at October 17, 2004 at 08:48 AM


The man happened to be African American. The inference was that white poll watchers wouldn't be able to tell black people apart. (And without good ID requirements, he might just be right.)

But what he said could apply to almost any ethnicity and even for minority whites voting in majority ethnic districts (like mine!) His attitude didn't appear to disturb the people with whom he was conversing. I think people are beginning to view Election Day cheating as a moral and civic "right" and not as a crime, which it most emphatically is. Rather like how some view their cheating on taxes...

Posted by: c at October 17, 2004 at 09:16 AM

Sick of Michael Moore? Burned out on his sophomoric, anti-American nihilism?

Go see Team America... I just did.

Incredibly vulgar. Absolutely tasteless. And I would never have believed you could literally weep with schadenfreude.

When you go, sit all the way through. There are two songs you will walk out of the theatre singing, but one of them is only in the credits.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at October 17, 2004 at 09:26 AM

If I heard anyone openly proclaiming their intention to fuck with my vote, I'd call the cops on him. I don't care what color their skin would be either. Voter fraud is illegal. Do we have a rule of law, or don't we?

If the fellow is joking, too bad so sad. I'd still like to make the jerk shit his pants.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 17, 2004 at 09:41 AM

It might strike American visitors to this site as bizarre, but here in Australia we have what might seem an anomaly in a free, democratic society, compulsory voting.

In practice, this means attendance at a polling booth and being handed a ballot paper is compulsory; actually voting with the ballot paper is not.

The benefit of this system is that it is virtually impossible for anyone to exploit minorities by claiming that they have been "disenfranchised".

Posted by: Pencil at October 17, 2004 at 10:58 AM

Well, Pencil, you just cleared up a mystery for me. I never understood why Australia mandated voting. In that context, it makes good sense.

But we'll never see that in America. Getting people to pay taxes or drive the speed limit in town is a major battle. Mandate their voting? Perish the thought!

But I'd like to take anyone (regardless of their political leanings) screwing with my franchise in any way and throw 'em a dark hole for 5 years. With an occasional crust of bread tossed in for sustenance.

Even better, make voter fraud a capital crime.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 17, 2004 at 11:47 AM

Well, the whole compulsory voting this is about to get interesting down here, I think. Nick Minchin, a prominent Liberal party Senator, is in favour of removing the compulsion. (It is also accepted political wisdom that it benefits the ALP).

With control of the Senate, we might see some change on that front, but I doubt it.

To me, it doesn't really matter. I'd vote anyway.

Posted by: Quentin George at October 17, 2004 at 11:52 AM

Kids and dogs. They are the best judges of character!

Posted by: Rebecca at October 17, 2004 at 12:15 PM

Up till last weekend I believed that compulsory voting was a good thing. Not now.
But then my sister-in-law came by and said she didn't really take notice of the election, she doesn't like Howard or Latham and so she just voted for some fringe groups on the ballot to piss the system off. I could not believe what I was hearing.
If it wasn't for maintaining family harmony I would have thrown her out.

Posted by: MOik at October 17, 2004 at 01:53 PM

The flip side of "non compulsory voting" is what I call the whining fringe.

I know one woman (around 30) who believes that her vote doesn't count, and refuses to exercise her franchise. However, she has no problem complaining about how "the government is screwing things up".

I expect that the real reason is that she doesn't want to do the work to vote intelligently. But I got tired of her whinging one day, and told her that until she voted, she has no reason to complain about anything in the government, since she made no effort to participate in the system.

Her mouth fell open, and she didn't complain in front of me again. I don't know that she ever voted....but she did get the message.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 17, 2004 at 02:05 PM

Recently some actor being interviewed by Andrew Denton of'Enough Rope' and another on 'Rove' stated they felt it was their duty to speak out on political issues.
I beg to differ- I would prefer that they stick to what they are best suited to, regardless of their political persuasion.
They may be brilliant actors who,through their skill able to give great pleasure however if they come out loudly condemning something I happen to believe in such as freeing Iraq from Saddam then I do not want to ever see them on screen again-ditto singers, models ,any celebrities. Forever I will not see the character they portray but the character that they are---people who denounce and scorn their own goverment, using the very free that they would deny others and whose soldiers die to protect. I would be more tolerant if I saw them marching on the Arab Embassies and crying for help for the people of Rawanda or Darfur, saw them donate seiously big money to aid worlds suffering rather than'Pastiche' film clips of them nursing a starving child whilst plaintively asking me to donate a few dollars most of which won't do more than getting a few aid workers there to struggle against the overwhelming tide of human suffering.
My 200 dollar donation geos nowhere- lets have less of the false modesty of these super heros and see them give a few of the undeserved and unearned millions they aquiered for little talent- Michael Moore could donate ALL the money from F9/11 to help the children of Iraq and Darfur and redeem himself a little.
However who am I too grumble- he is the best asset for the Bush Campaign- he reminds us that he represents all that is ugly, evil and undesirable in the Democrats. Credit where due

Posted by: Rose at October 17, 2004 at 02:43 PM

That Indian bloke is mad as a bag of Sicilian cut snakes. It's like saying Shaun McManus is the best kick since Paul Couch or Robert Harvey.

Putin is the best Russian leader since Stalin!

Posted by: Quentin George at October 17, 2004 at 03:05 PM
It's like saying Shaun McManus is the best kick since Paul Couch or Robert Harvey.

Worse! It's like saying Rove McManus is the best thing that has happened to Australia since Don Lane.

Posted by: Clem Snide at October 17, 2004 at 06:39 PM

If you want to understand the evolution of elitist political correctness (reductio ad absurdum), study the modern history of India.

Anand Patwardhan belongs to the Indian leftist elite who respond to a century of Islamic Terror on the subcontinent with handwringing and self-hatred, or like Arundhati Roy campaign for urban masses to go without good water and electricity supply (Narmada Dam) so that a few tribals can continue to live their stone-age lifestyle.

The 'Mahatma' Gandhi himself popularised the 'cycle of violence' theory by which any attempt at self-defence or proportionate response is 'merely exacerbating the problem'.

Thanks for that, Mahatma and Co.!

Muslim separatists began agitating in India for their 'land of the pure' (Paki-stan) and the return of the Caliphate about 90 years ago. Their method? Massacre large numbers of innocent Hindus, especially women and children, as cruelly as possible, then when the Hindus respond, claim that Muslims are the real victims. Thus they got what they wanted, and they've been on a roll ever since...

Sound familiar?
Coming soon to a theatre near you!

Posted by: Om at October 17, 2004 at 08:20 PM

With regards to compulsory voting: If you pause to think about the concept, it cannot be justified on any grounds. The whole thing is an oxymoron: You are being forced, under the threat of being fined, to exercise your democratic right! So, either it's a right, or it's a compulsion; it cannot be both.

Having worked on polling stations in the past elections handing out How-To-Vote cards, as well as scrutineering, I have seen first-hand the outcomes of forcing people to vote. People turning up drunk & stoned, voting for the "Legalize Marijuana Party" as the one most appropriate to the occasion. Others casting their vote for Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse. Yet others asking who the candidates were, with names mentioned of famous politicians of 20 years ago. -- A total mess.

At least when the process is voluntary, people who turn up do so because they have an interest in the whole thing. If some of them choose to be "disenfranchised", so be it - it's their choice. And it need not mean low voter turnouts - as evidenced by New Zealand, which regularly achieves turnouts comparable to Australia.

Additionally, one of the biggest benefits of voluntary voting is the fact that it would make "safe" seats much less so, in forcing the politicians to have to motivate people to turn up and vote in the first place. I can't see why that would be a negative, either.



Posted by: JPB at October 18, 2004 at 11:51 AM

The irony is that compulsory voting was instituted because both sides of politics were worried about the low turnout in the 1920s.

The figure was...69%.


Posted by: Quentin George at October 18, 2004 at 05:29 PM

Thanks, Tim, for making my life a little more surreal. That Gene Grant column ran last Thursday in the Albuquerque Tribune. I just got around to reading it fifteen minutes ago, and suddenly I'm seeing it again in an Australian blog?

Incidentally, Mr. Grant is by far the most reasonable and non-idiotic local columnist in that paper. The rest of them are such a gaggle of knee-jerk left-wing morons that I almost never read the damned thing.

Posted by: Alan S. at October 19, 2004 at 03:47 AM

While I support the president, this report about the Canadian "swing states" and the overseas vote -- apparently pro-Kerry -- really bothers me ... what's being done to counter it? :(

Or do we have enough of a lock on the home vote (and the military vote) to protect it from them and Democratic attempts to disenfranchise our military?

Posted by: Edward Yee at October 19, 2004 at 04:10 AM