Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2012, not "2016"

In the 80s, I went to see "Roger and Me," Michael Moore's first documentary chronicling General Motors CEO Roger Smith's oversight of the automaker's downsizing, and the subsequent decline of the standard of living for former GM employees. Moore reminded me of Columbo, who played a harmless idiot to disguise that he was onto the criminals. I also liked "Bowling for Columbine," the expose of the National Rifle Association's role in liberalizing gun sales to deadly effect. Moore lost me when he exchanged his rumpled Columbo-ness for being another loudmouth on cable news.

It's the same way I feel about watching MSNBC. While emotionally it makes me feel good to watch people with philosophies similar to mine sticking it to some Tea Party wingnut, I know that what I'm hearing are extremely one-sided opinions. I can't watch Rachel Maddow or Lawrence O'Donnell for very long without feeling queasy and changing the channel.

Because propaganda of any kind makes me physically ill, I have no intention of paying good money to see "2016: Obama's America," the extreme right's version of a Michael Moore documentary. Here's what Daniel Larison, a columnist for the American Conservative (not a fawning guest on Rachel Maddow's show) has to say about Dinesh D'Souza's assessment of President Obama:

"It is hardly necessary to delve deeply into the Kenyan past or trace the roots of anticolonialist thought to discern why Obama, a thoroughly conventional center-left Democrat, favors raising taxes on wealthier people. This is a standard part of the Democratic agenda and has been for the last decade. Having opposed tax cuts for wealthier Americans earlier in the decade, Democrats are continuing to be against them. This is not mystifying. What is a little mystifying is why so many conservative pundits and writers feel the need to construct preposterous, overly-complicated Obama theories to explain what is perfectly obvious and straightforward."