I went into the polls voting for the black guy, and what I got was the white guy… – Michael Moore quoting Bill Maher
You can see the full interview with Moore here as well as some of Maher’s commentary that Moore is referencing. It really is pretty unpleasant. This is not a quote taken out of context. It eclipses anything the Right Wing has said.
The look on Sherri Shephards’ face when Moore repeats this line is priceless. She knows exactly what he’s saying. So does Ta-Nehisi Coates:
In fact, it’s racist, and Michael Moore would do well to stop repeating it. It really is no better than the Kenyan anti-colonial bit, indeed it is a good deal worse. I said this yesterday on twitter, but it would be as if my Jewish accountant messed up my taxes and I said, “Dude, you’re Jewish, what the hell?!?!”
In fact, I’d be getting exactly what I deserved. If you paid more attention to Obama’s skin color, than to his speeches, the voluminous amounts of journalism noting his moderation, his two books which are, themselves, exercises in moderation, then you have chosen to be ignorant.
You are now being punished for that ignorance. No one should feel sorry for you. Try not being racist.
Exactly. Statements like this reveal an underlying racial color-coding. Moderation is the white man’s vice; radicalism is the black man’s virtue. This is not only racist but profoundly ignorant of history, civil rights, race, politics and reality.
It’s the logical extension of the racial animus that people like Moore have frequently shown toward African-American conservatives, especially Clarence Thomas, whose legal accomplishments are only just now becoming apparent to the Left. How often have we seen this “black people should be liberal” bullshit? This is just the next step: black people should not only be liberal, but radical.
I’m not surprised to hear Bill Maher saying this; he’s made a career out of stupid offensive statements. Nor am I surprised to see Michael Moore repeating and expanding upon it. The man has spent a career dealing with the world as though it were drawn in crayon — with a simple moral and racial color scheme. Conservatives evil; progressives good. White people racist; black people progressive.
But what it really reveals is just how low an opinion these idiots had of Barack Obama. They expected Barack Obama to play the Angry Black Man and push for socialized medicine, 50% tax rates, a Krugman-sized stimulus and dismantling of the Pentagon. What must really grate is that Barack Obama has shown himself to be smarter than they are. He is pushing for doable change rather than going down in flames on the alter of pure progressivism. And as a result, he’s getting stuff done. Stuff I mostly oppose, but stuff the Left should be joyous about.
As the Left grows more disenchanted with Obama’s failure to become FDR Mark II — a failure that was inevitable, given how big government already was when he was elected — we’re seeing more of this. Daily Kos has gone so far as to publish a guide to criticizing Obama without coming off as racist.
This incident illustrates why liberalism will never be a true governing philosophy. There is too much color-coding, too much viewing people as members of groups rather than as individuals, too much focus on ideological purity over practical politics. To the extent that I worry about conservatism — and I do — is it to the extent that it has ingested these damaging and damning traits (a subject for a future post).
Put on some extra popcorn, friends. It’s going to be fun watching these self-styled progressives make fools of themselves.
Update: Moore just keeps on digging.