Last Saturday while Michael Moore was reading his impassioned “America Is NOT Broke” speech to protesters outside the statehouse in chilly, blustery Madison, Wisconsin, Obama was at Andrews Air Force playing golf in near 60’s weather. [Here]
While no one begrudges the President some time off, you still have to wonder whose time was better spent on that afternoon. (h/t Constant Weader.[Here]) We also have to note that Obama spent Friday in Florida discussing the importance of education in his “Winning the Future” policy. And who did he invite to join him? None other than ex-governor Jeb Bush who fought against public education and its teachers when he was in office. He shifted funds away from public schools and tried to end teachers’ tenure. He was against a Florida constitutional amendment to reduce class size and when it passed, tried to circumvent it and then to repeal it.
I could go on, but won’t. In any event, Jeb was a curious person for Obama to go speechifying with about public education.
And what was Michael Moore saying in Madison in that biting Wisconsin air?
Moore began by nailing his verbal message to an imaginary headline that floated over the crowd and should float over all of America: [Here] [This image and the emphasis are all mine.]
Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you'll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.
Today just 400 Americans have the same wealth as half of all Americans (155 million Americans) combined...
Moore went on to say that the wealthy have done two canny things. First, they have control of the media and with this control they have convinced folks that anyone can be as rich as they want and they can be president. The media will play this fantasy over and over until everyone believes it and will thus not dare to upset the apple cart and with it, this shining American dream.
The second smart thing that the rich have done, according to Moore, is to convince us all that if the market collapses, the entire fabric of our society would collapse. Our life savings and pensions and our hopes for a secure future would disappear. They have been so convincing that we were willing to take our own tax money to bail the banks out of an economic mess that they created. As we know, only a few months after the bailout, those same folks were collecting huge bonuses and giggling about how smart they had been.
But, Moore told his proud audience that their protest in Wisconsin happened in spite of the media manipulations. And he ended his speech (and current blog) with this:
Madison, do not retreat. We are with you. We will win together.
Moore gave them no formula for success, just a reminder of why they came together. There is no doubt that nothing that Moore told the protesters was news to them or to us as we heard or read it.
But wasn’t it splendid to hear this statement? Moore has said that when he finished writing his blog, it occured to him that he should fly to Wisconsin and turn the blog into a direct message. Moore had the resources and had the inclination to do it.
Obama had the resources, too.......