Jesse Larner on Moore and Bush
Clive Davis posts an interview with one Jesse Larner, an interesting fellow who wrote a book criticizing Michael Moore. What's so interesting about that, you say? Hasn't that been done quite a few times before? Well, not from the left, which is where Mr. Larner is coming from.
Larner seemed strangely split in the interview, which certainly isn't surprising. On the one hand, he seems to see Moore clearly enough, and to disagree with Moore's playing fast and loose with the facts. On the other hand (and perhaps my own bias is showing here), he seems so rabid about Bush that he thinks quoting any actual facts about him to be quite unnecessary. In this passage of Larner's, for example,
Moore gets the historical and political specifics wrong in many regards, but he is entirely right in his assessment of Bush's character. I really do see Bush as a creepy, conscienceless, arrogant, narcissistic, strutting little sociopath who believes he was appointed by god to the presidency...
Larner comes perilously close to the old "fake, but accurate" position here. He seems to be saying that Moore is right about Bush because--well, because Larner agrees with Moore that Bush is a creep, so it doesn't have to be proven, it's just self-evident. Very strange, this Bush Derangement Syndrome. Bush is many things, and there are certainly valid criticisms that can be made (and are made every day) about him. But surely Larner can do better than these over-the-top ad hominem attacks (although I'm also sure there are some commenters here who will hold the truth of Larner's remarks to be self-evident).
Larner also seems a bit sloppy about the words "liberal" and "leftist," sometimes seeming to distinguish them, and sometimes using them somewhat interchangeably. To me, they are two quite different species, although of course there is some crossover and overlap.
And then there's that "Bush stole the election" meme, stated, once again, without offering proof. Now, at the time of that election, I was still a total liberal Democrat, voted for Gore and didn't like Bush at all (not at all). I was very upset by the election's outcome--but I never for a moment saw Bush as stealing the election.
You can disagree with the Supreme Court's decision (which I did at the time), but you cannot deny that Bush went through the legal process. If the Democrats must criticize, why don't they just say the legal process failed? Or that they don't agree with the electoral college system, because it can have the effect of someone losing the popular vote but winning the election, as happened in 2000? (Although I noticed that it didn't seem many of them would have been the least bit perturbed had that very thing happened in 2004, with a far greater gap in the popular vote, as long as Kerry had won).
Certainly there are points one could fairly criticize in the 2000 election. But, "stole?" To use a word like that and not justify it is merely inflammatory rhetoric, exactly what Larner says he's against. The truth is that the 2000 election was a statistical dead heat, in Florida and as a whole, and I cannot understand this continual cry of "theft" from otherwise intelligent people. And, for what it's worth, I thought so even when I was a Democrat.