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'I'm Here to Celebrate the End of the Republicans

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'I'm Here to Celebrate the End of the Republicans PostTue Aug 31, 2004 6:21 pm  Reply with quote

Michael Moore: 'I'm Here to Celebrate the End of the Republicans'
By Robert B. Bluey Staff Writer
August 31, 2004

New York ( - USA Today hired Michael Moore to write a column from a liberal's perspective during the Republican National Convention this week. But Moore did more talking than writing Monday night when he railed about the issues.

Reporters from news outlets across the globe, including, spoke to Moore for nearly 20 minutes before Monday's primetime speeches. The following are some of the topics Moore addressed.

When asked about the impact of GOP speakers Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger:

"No amount of testimonials are going to help Bush at this convention because of the 1,000 American soldiers who have died in Iraq. They come now from virtually every community across the country. And the people back home have seen those coffins come back, and they're asking the question, for what?

"Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. It's one of the many pieces of deceit they've thrown out there, which the American people originally accepted. But the thing is, once the American people learn the truth, they come around. They're not about to be fooled a second time.

"People are going to trust their own experiences with what they've seen with this war. It doesn't look good for Mr. Bush."

"They have to put those people up because they're more like the American people than the Bush administration is. The American people support women's rights. The American people want strong environmental laws, the American people want assault weapons off the streets.

"You have the gun-hating Michael Bloomberg, the gay-loving Rudy Giuliani and the abortion-rights advocate Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking here. I think that's completely appropriate because that's where the American people are at.

"There's no way the Republicans can win if they are really themselves because they are members of the minorities in this country when it comes to those issues."

"The great news about Arnold Schwarzenegger is that in California the only way a Republican can get elected now they are, 'I love the gay people. I love the environment. I love the women. I married to a Kennedy.' You've got to married to a Kennedy to get elected in California now. That's how bad it is to be a Republican there."

On his experience so far at the Republican National Convention:

"This is the first time I've ever been inside a Republican convention. Previous conventions found me lacking in credentials.

"I'm writing a guest column for USA Today this week and so that's why I have credentials. When you think USA Today, you think Michael Moore."

"They're treating me very well. There have been no problems. No problem getting press credentials, no problem getting in here."

When asked how he fits in with Republicans:

"I've earned more [money] than most of these delegates. I'm a dangerous guy to give a lot of money because I don't have a lot of material needs.

"I've always been very grateful to the Bush family. They've been very good to me. Dubya's first cousin taught me how to be a filmmaker. Kevin Rafferty shot 'Roger and Me' and helped me edit the film. He's Bush first cousin. Kevin's mom and Barbara are sisters.

"When I made 'Roger and Me,' Bush's father had a special screening of it at Camp David. I was very honored by that. I harbor no ill will to the Bush family, and in fact, without them I wouldn't be a filmmaker, probably."

On his home state of Michigan, a political battleground in 2004:

"I plan to spend a lot of time in Michigan helping people get to the polls. [Bush] comes to Michigan a lot, but he sticks around Macomb County. You'd think every time he came he'd bring a few jobs for the people there. Bring a few jobs and they might vote for him.

"The people of Michigan have suffered greatly these last four years, and I think they're tired of that suffering."

What he plans to do while at the GOP convention:

"I'm interested in talking to average, everyday Republicans here. I find there's a lot of common ground. You know, Republicans want the same things I want. We want to live in peace, we want everyone to have a good job, we want everyone to go to good schools. The differences are how we get there.

"We should also talk about the common ground that we share as Americans. We all love this country and we support our troops. On our side, we support the troops by thinking the best way to support them is not sending them into harm's way unless it's absolutely necessary. Our military should only be used for the self-defense of this country."

Whether Bush was a better candidate in 2000 or today:

"He's a much worse candidate. He was actually a much better candidate in 2000 because then he hadn't started a war that has become a disaster. In 2000, he hadn't lost billions and billions of dollars in the national treasury. In 2000, he hadn't lost millions of jobs. He's in much worse shape this year."

What would happen if Bush is re-elected:

"That's like asking, 'What if this platform collapsed right now?' You don't even want to fathom that thought. Just take it back what you said."

Why Moore needs a security detail this week:

"I have a very close personal relationship with the Bush family and they're very concerned about me. They don't want anything to happen."

On Ralph Nader:

"One thing Ralph Nader doesn't understand is the quality of a good leader is you have to listen to the people. And the people across the board have spoken. This is not the year for him to run. Even his own Green Party has told him it's not the year to run. But the Republicans love him, and I guess it's good that somebody loves him."

His position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

"Everyone I know supports Israel, supports Israel's right to exist and anybody who grew up in the generation I grew up in, post-World War II, has a very clear memory of what happened to the Jewish people in this world. And it is our responsibility to stand and defend them and protect them until our dying days, and to never forget what happened to them.

"Most Arab-Americans believe the only solution is to recognize Israel and have a two-state system. That's the position of George Bush, it's the position of John Kerry, it's the position of any smart-thinking person. The only solution out of the problem is to have two secure democratic states."

Whether he'll consider running for office:

"I already ran for office. I was one of the first 18-year-olds elected in this country when the constitutional amendment was passed. I served four years in Michigan. I put my time in. [Besides], people aren't going to vote for a person who looks like this."

About the possible end of the Bush administration:

"I'm always celebrating. It's the kind of celebration when you know the Republicans only have a few months left. You're filled with so much joy and happiness, you can't do anything but want to party."

"I'm here to celebrate the end of the Republicans. They've had four years, it's not been a very good marriage between them and the American people and now it's coming to an end. It's wonderful they're here at the Garden to have a party and celebrate their last few months."

Whether Republicans should feel uncomfortable in a Democrat-dominated city:

"This is a wonderful place for the Republicans to be. It's a very Republican town. There's a Republican mayor, there's a Republican governor. There's a death penalty and there's two nuclear plants within 30 miles of the city. It's the perfect place. Republicans should feel very welcome here."

"It's also the home of the National Review, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, Wall Street. There's more Fortune 500 executives here than any other place in the world. Rush Limbaugh's show comes out of here. Sean Hannity's show comes out of here. Bill O'Reilly comes out of here. Fox News Channel is here. It's a Republican town."

Last edited by KNOW-THIS on Wed Sep 01, 2004 3:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostWed Sep 01, 2004 3:26 am  Reply with quote

The Ebert and McCain show
By Michael Moore
NEW YORK Poor John McCain.
Here's a guy I've always sort of liked, a courageous war hero reduced to carrying water for the Bush campaign. (Related stories: Moore index page)

So it was Monday night, as I sat in the press section unbeknownst to Sen. McCain when he switched from pro-war convention speaker to film critic. Out of nowhere, he began to attack my movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, calling me a "disingenuous filmmaker." The problem is, he hasn't seen the movie, a fact he later admitted to Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

I know Republicans are mad that my film may have convinced just enough people to tip the balance in this election. Yet with all the serious issues facing our country, and right smack in the middle of an important speech about the need to catch the terrorists and continue the war in Iraq, McCain decided to turn the convention into the Ebert and McCain Show. He claimed that I portrayed Saddam's Iraq as an "oasis of peace."

Some of the 20 million who have seen the film must have wondered, "Did I miss that scene? I knew I shouldn't have gone out for those Goobers." All I can imagine McCain was referring to was a brief cutaway just as President Bush announces the commencement of the bombing of Baghdad on March 19, 2003.

Human-rights groups say thousands of civilians were killed because of our bombing. I thought it would be worthwhile to show some of the faces of Iraqi people who might soon meet their death.

I felt really bad for McCain standing there on the stage. The man wanted to be president. That dream was snuffed out during the 2000 primaries, when George W. Bush's supporters spread nasty rumors about what five and a half years in a North Vietnamese POW camp might have done to McCain's sanity.

Then there were the calls to potential white voters in South Carolina to inform them that McCain had a "black baby." (He and his wife adopted a child from Bangladesh.) The Bush supporters also spread other rumors that questioned McCain's patriotism, even though the man was a decorated war hero while W. chose to oh, let's not get into that again.

Still, McCain has offered to soldier on for Bush. So how does Bush's campaign treat him? It doesn't tell him I might be in the press section, officially credentialed.

It has him say some gibberish about my movie. Everyone then sees me, I start laughing my ball cap off, the crowd goes bananas, and poor McCain must think he said something funny or cool, so he says, "That line was so good, I'll use it again."


Thousands of Republicans turned to me chanting "Four more years." I thought, "That's strange, Republicans are usually good at math, but they're off by a few dozen months. Bush only has two months left." So I held up two fingers to correct their miscalculation. But that just drove them into more of a frenzy.

If you have never had this happen to you, I insist you try it at least once in your life. It is better than an angry mosh pit at a Slayer concert. As a quiet salute to Beavis and Butthead, I held up my index finger and thumb in an "L" the international sign for loser which is what I hope their candidate is about to become.

As for McCain, he had to beg the mob to be silent and listen to the rest of his speech. He must have wondered why a party that promises to protect us from terrorists booed my name more loudly than Saddam's or Osama's. Actually, no one mentioned the "O" name Monday night because, well, that would acknowledge that they have failed to find him.

Perhaps that is why Bush told Today anchor Matt Lauer that we can't win the war against terrorism. Perhaps that is why they were more mad at me than the bad guys. I'm much easier to remove.

Maybe I'll call up McCain and treat him to a movie down the block, one I know he will enjoy, considering he agreed that I was right when Chris Matthews said a main point of my movie is that "war is often fought by people without power."

If he will join me at the movies, he'll see brave soldiers like himself face the camera and tell the truth to the American people about what is going on in a place called Iraq.
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PostThu Sep 02, 2004 3:58 am  Reply with quote

Don't send more kids to die
By Michael Moore
NEW YORK Tonight, it's show time for George W. Bush, and I can't wait to hear what he has to tell the Republican convention.
It has been a pretty thrilling week so far, my favorite moment by far being the rebellious Bush twins who, in just a few short minutes, delivered on their promise to issue "payback" to their parents and all authority in general. (Related stories: Moore index page)

They revealed their parents' pet name for each other: "Bushie" or "Bushy" no spelling was provided. They seemed to have embarrassed their grandmother with a joke about the TV show Sex and the City as a place to have sex. And they claimed to have seen their boogieing parents "shake it like a Polaroid picture." That's one picture that took the rest of the night for me to shake out of my head.

Nonetheless, I loved the Bush daughters: They were funny, sassy and free spirits. Back in 1999, they told their father in no uncertain terms that they did not want him to run for president. They wanted their dad at home, they wanted their privacy, and they wanted to go to college in peace. He chose to ignore their pleas and I guess Tuesday night was their way of saying, "Thanks, Dad."

And thank him they should. He and Laura have obviously done a good job raising two bright, independent women. He made their privacy a top priority and did what he could to protect them. They clearly love their parents and, when you see that happen, you know the Bushes did something right in their home. For that, they should be commended.

Other fathers and mothers who loved their daughters and sons across America can no longer celebrate with them. That's because their children are dead on the streets and roads of Iraq, sent there by Mr. Bush to "defend" America.

This week, in an appearance leading up to his arrival here Wednesday night, Bush acknowledged he had miscalculated what would happen in Iraq after he invaded it. He had thought it was going to be much easier. It turned out to be much, much worse.

That must be some comfort to the parents of nearly 1,000 brave soldiers now dead because of his "miscalculation." If I made a miscalculation and ran over a child on the street, what do you think would happen to me? Do you think the cops would simply say, "Hey, Mr. Moore, you did your best driving down this street, you made a miscalculation, the kid is dead, but you are trying to save the world, so be on your way?" Something tells me this is not what would happen. What I don't get is that Mr. Bush makes his mistake and thinks he has a right to continue in his job.

Let's hope he isn't getting his inspiration from Richard Nixon, the same man Arnold Schwarzenegger hailed Tuesday night as his reason for becoming a Republican. You have to give Arnold an award for guts. He must be the first Republican convention speaker to mention Nixon since he resigned. Nixon snuck into office in 1968 with his secret plan to end the Vietnam War. Another miscalculation: The war continued for years, and thousands more died.

I would love to hear Bush apologize tonight to the parents and loved ones of those who have died in Iraq. I would like to hear him say he knows what it means to love your children and that he, in good conscience, cannot send any more children to their deaths.

I would like to hear him say tonight, "I'm sorry. There never were weapons of mass destruction and there never was a connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. There was no imminent threat, our lives were not in danger, no missiles were going to hit Cleveland. Because of our desire to get our hands on the second largest supply of oil in the world, we sacrificed a thousand of your sons and daughters. For this, we are greatly sorry."

I guess a boy can dream.

The other thing I would like to hear tonight is: Why haven't you caught Osama bin Laden? You've had three years to find him. The man killed nearly 3,000 people here on our soil.

Maybe Bush has no worse explanation than he just hasn't been able to do it. Well, if your town's dogcatcher couldn't catch a wild dog that has been on the loose biting people for three years, what would be the dogcatcher's chances for re-election? Not good.

And so it should be for Bush.

Unless he has the answers tonight. Perhaps he has a reason or can accept responsibility for his actions and promise to send no one else's child off to die for a cause that has nothing to do with the defense of this country.

If he takes a moment to look into his daughters' eyes tonight, he will know the answer and give the greatest speech of his life.
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PostFri Sep 03, 2004 6:15 am  Reply with quote  

September 3rd, 2004 12:28 am
Why Democrats shouldn't be scared - By Michael Moore

By Michael Moore / USA Today

NEW YORK If I've heard it once, I've heard it a hundred times from discouraged Democrats and liberals as the Republican convention here wrapped up this week. Their shoulders hunched, their eyes at a droop, they lower their voice to a whisper hoping that if they don't say it too loud it may not come true: "I...I...I think Bush is going to win."

Clearly, they're watching too much TV. Too much of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Zell Miller, Dick Cheney and Rudy Giuliani. Too much of swift boat veterans and Fox News commentators.

Action heroes always look good on TV. On Wednesday night, the GOP even made an action-hero video and showed it at the convention. There was White House political czar Karl Rove and other administration officials dressed up for "war" and going through boot camp on the National Mall in Washington.

I could only sit there in the convention hall and wish this were the real thing: Rove, national security adviser Condi Rice and Co. being sent to Iraq, and our boys and girls being brought home. But then the lights came up, and everyone sitting in the Bush family box was having a grand ol' hoot and a holler at the video they just saw.

For some reason, all of this has scared the bejabbers out of the Democrats. I can hear the wailing and moaning from Berkeley, Calif., to Cambridge, Mass. The frightening scenes from the convention have sent John Kerry's supporters looking for the shovels so they can dig their underground bunkers in preparation for another four years of the Dark Force.

I can't believe all of this whimpering and whining. Kerry has been ahead in many polls all summer long, but the Republicans come to New York for one week off-Broadway and suddenly everyone is dressed in mourning black and sitting shivah?

Exactly what moment was it during the convention that convinced them that the Republicans had now "connected" with the majority of Americans and that it was all over? Arnold praising Richard Nixon? Ooooh, that's a real crowd-pleaser. Elizabeth Dole decrying the removal of the Ten Commandments from a courthouse wall in Alabama? Yes, that's a big topic of conversation in the unemployment line in Akron, Ohio. Georgia Sen. Miller, a Democratic turncoat, looking like Freddy Krueger at an all-girls camp? His speech and the look on what you could see of his strangely lit face was enough for parents to send small children to their bedrooms.

My friends and I include all Democrats, independents and recovering Republicans in this salutation do not be afraid. Yes, the Bush Republicans huff and they puff, but they blow their own house down.

As many polls confirm, a majority of your fellow Americans believe in your agenda. They want stronger environmental laws, are strong supporters of women's rights, favor gun control and want the war in Iraq to end.

Rejoice. You're already more than halfway there when you have the public on board. Just imagine if you had to go out and do the work to convince the majority of Americans that women shouldn't be paid the same as men. All they ask is that you put up a candidate for president who believes in something and fights for those beliefs.

Is that too much to ask?

The Republicans have no idea how much harm they have done to themselves. They used to have a folk-hero mayor of New York named Rudy Giuliani. On 9/11, he went charging right into Ground Zero to see whom he could help save. Everyone loved Rudy because he seemed as though he was there to comfort all Americans, not just members of his own party.

But in his speech to the convention this week, he revised the history of that tragic day for partisan gain:

As chaos ensued, "spontaneously, I grabbed the arm of then-police commissioner Bernard Kerik and said to Bernie, 'Thank God George Bush is our president.' And I say it again tonight, 'Thank God George Bush is our president.' "


There were the sub-par entertainers nobody knew. There was the show of "Black Republicans," "Arab-American Republicans" and other minorities they trot out to show how much they are loved by groups their policies abuse.

And there were the Band-Aids. The worst display of how out of touch the Republicans are was those Purple Heart Band-Aids the delegates wore to mock Kerry over his war wounds, which, for them, did not spill the required amount of blood.

What they didn't seem to get is that watching at home might have been millions of war veterans feeling that they were being ridiculed by a bunch of rich Republicans who would never send their own offspring to die in Fallujah or Danang.

Kerry supporters and Bush-bashers should not despair. These Republicans have not made a permanent dent in Kerry's armor. The only person who can do that is John Kerry. And by coming out swinging as he did just minutes after Bush finished his speech Thursday night, Kerry proved he knows that the only way to win this fight is to fight and fight hard.

He must realize that he faces Al Gore's fate only if he fails to stand up like the hero he is, only if he sits on the fence and keeps justifying his vote for the Iraq war instead of just saying, "Look, I was for it just like 70% of America until we learned the truth, and now I'm against it, like the majority of Americans are now."

Kerry needs to trust that his victory is only going to happen by inspiring the natural base of the Democratic Party blacks, working people, women, the poor and young people. Women and people of color make up 62% of this country. That's a big majority. Give them a reason to come out on Nov. 2.
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