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January 08, 2005

Michael Moore Loves America?

Apparently on the Today show this week Michael Moore proclaimed his full and undying love for America. As Ari wonders-- what precisely does he love about the country?

It's a good question, and our newstwits never seem to ask the obvious follow-up: Given your obvious discontent with nearly every institution and tradition in this country, what specifically do you love about America? Don't speak in generalities; anyone can say "I love you." Pour your heart out about the particular wonderful things you find so endearing in your self-proclaimed beloved.

"Progressives" always have trouble with this, because, of course, they focus primarily on America's flaws; they want to change America, after all. But that's a curious sort of "love" -- a "love" which manifests itself in nothing but constant criticism and denigration. Yes, apparently there's the possibility of actual love, should America change more to their liking. Which reminds me of Hillary Clinton's provisional and hypothetical pledge of allegiace to America:

While the 9th Circuit objected to the phrase "one nation under God," Sen. Clinton reportedly prefers a version of the Pledge that acknowledges America's flaws, one that begins with the words: "I pledge allegiance to the America that can be."

News of Hillary's Pledge preference surfaced last November, when MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews was explaining why he thought she would make a White House bid:

"Hillary is dying for it," Matthews said during an interview with NBC's Tim Russert. "But she's also miserable right now because of all this patriotic stuff going on. She can't stand it. I remember Hillary. ... She once said, 'I pledge allegiance to the America that can be.'

"What are we, on probation?" Matthews protested. "I mean, when is she - when is she going to lighten up about this country and say 'This is a great place' instead of her constant complaining?"

Matthews continued:

"This is too much Barbra Streisand complaining about the country. I'm sorry. I'll say it. [Hillary has] got to love this place. And you know who'll win the next presidency, if it's a Democrat, it'll be a Hubert Humphrey-style Democrat who loves this country, who's happy, who's optimistic about the country. If it's another begrudger, another fearmonger, then Democrats don't deserve to win."

This was back before Matthews went full in the bag for the liberals, remember, in an apparently calculated effort to counter-program against Fox, which of couse has a lock on non-liberals.

But what sort of "love" is this? What kind of "love" is predicated on the ostensible beloved changing dramatically in order to appeal more to the alleged lover?

"Progressives" will often say that they love America so darned much that they feel compelled to constantly point out its flaws in order to improve it.

But you try this with a spouse. Tell your spouse, "I love you so damn much I just can't ever announce what I love about you, but rather must constantly criticize and castigate you in order to make you more like the imaginary perfect person in my head, which is the one I really love, but which you could actually be. One day. If you play your cards right. And get some breast augmentation surgery. I mean serious surgery-- I want you out there competing favorably with Plenty Up Topp and Kayla Kleavage."

I don't think that that sort of a protestation of love could possibly work with a person. I think if you tried that, you'd be sleeping on the couch.

Which is pretty much where the Democrats are, actually, thanks to this "maybe I can love you if you change completely to appease me" love affair of theirs. They're all on the political couch right now, getting the ideological silent treatment from the electorate, while George W. Bush -- far less reluctant to say "I love you" with no caveats attached -- gets to sleep in the Big Bed and have his way with the American people at least four or five times a week, sometimes twice a day when they're feeling particularly amorous.

Metaphorically, of course.

Update: Tall Dave observes that of course he "loves" America; it's just all the Americans (whom he's called "the stupidest people on earth") he hates.

Which is a standard leftist problem. They claim to love "the masses," but they seem to despise actual people. They "love" things in ultra-idealized abstraction while despising the actual, tangible, real-world exemplars of these things.

What else can explain them claiming to want to help the poor people of the world, and yet cheerleading natural disasters?


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posted by Ace at 03:18 PM

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