On Wednesday, American filmmaker Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9 / 11, Bowling for Columbine, Roger & Me) called on the Democratic Party to “declare a National Emergency” in response to Donald Trump’s being investigated “for espionage.” Moore was referring to the announcement Monday by FBI Director James B. Comey that the agency was investigating whether Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
Moore has enthusiastically adopted the reactionary and diversionary anti-Russian campaign as his own. The documentary maker—along with the rest of the Democratic Party and its hangers-on, including the various late-night talk show hosts—refuses in large measure to oppose Trump for his militarism, persecution of immigrants, right-wing social policies and attacks on the working class, but instead lambastes the new president for his supposed “collusion and obedience to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin” [one of Moore’s recent tweets].
By a “national emergency,” Moore explained Wednesday in his Instagram message, he meant an effort by the Democrats to paralyze the US government. He urged the party’s leadership in both houses of Congress “to bring a halt to all business being done in the name of this potential felony suspect, Donald J. Trump. No bill he supports, no Supreme Court nominee he has named, can be decided while he is under a criminal investigation. His presidency has no legitimacy until the FBI—and an independent investigative committee—discovers the truth. Fellow citizens, demand the Democrats cease all business.”
Moore made his demagogic appeal to the Democrats and the FBI on the same day that New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, as the WSWS has noted, floated the proposal for a palace coup against Trump. Friedman addressed an open letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, implying that they should remove Trump from office and install a military-CIA junta in the US.
But Moore did not need to take a lead from Friedman. He has been arguing along these same general lines for some time, along with talk show hosts Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert, among others. Comic Rosie O’Donnell, a week before the inauguration, urged President Barack Obama in a tweet to impose “MARTIAL LAW—DELAYING THE INAUGURATION—UNTIL TRUMP IS ‘CLEARED’ OF ALL CHARGES [of involvement in the Russian hacking scandal].”
In any event, Moore has reached the point where his politics and actions are entirely without principle. It is difficult to determine at times whether he fully believes some of the stupid and reckless things he says. Everything is subordinated to the need to confuse and disorient the mass opposition to Trump and channel it in a reactionary direction, thus preserving the two-party system.
It should be recalled that Moore spent the first part of 2016 firmly backing the campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. He denounced Sanders’ opponent, Hillary Clinton, for opposing reform of the financial system, an increase in the minimum wage and a free health care system. He taunted Clinton as the candidate of Goldman Sachs, a “hawk” and supporter of “violence against the poor.” He asked rhetorically, “Can anyone with a conscience vote for someone who led us on to war in Iraq?”
When Sanders dropped out of the race and threw his support to Clinton, Moore turned on a dime and did the same. The filmmaker proceeded to extol the virtues of the former first lady, describing her as “our Pope Francis,” someone who will “kick ass in Congress.”
“Our very first female president, someone the world respects, someone who is whip-smart and cares about kids, who will continue the Obama legacy,” he told the media.
The election of Trump threw the filmmaker into a genuine panic. Not so much because of the billionaire president’s right-wing policies, although Moore nominally opposes many of them, but because of the immense crisis and discrediting of the political system that the election results entailed.
The outcome of the vote revealed the miserable failure and bankruptcy of the Democratic Party, which was unwilling and unable—in the form of the Clinton campaign—to present a program that could attract any significant popular support. Since November, Moore has striven above all to conceal the central responsibility of the Obama administration and its right-wing policies and operations—an administration he supported—for Trump’s victory.
Virtually from the moment the Republican president took the oath of office, Moore has vehemently denounced him as a Russian puppet and lobbied for his removal.
At the time of the February 13 resignation of Trump’s national security advisor, Michael T. Flynn, because of Flynn’s earlier communications with the Russian ambassador to the US, Moore flew into near hysterics. He demanded Trump “vacate” the White House immediately, calling the president a “Russian traitor.”
On February 14, Moore tweeted Trump, “It’s now noontime in DC & it appears you are still squatting in our Oval Office. I gave u til this morning to leave.” He added later, “What part of ‘vacate you Russian traitor’ don’t you understand? We can do this the easy way (you resign), or the hard way (impeachment).” He followed up the same day, “Traitor! Resign by morning!”
On Facebook February 14, Moore referred to a “stunning bombshell from the New York Times,” i.e., entirely unsubstantiated allegations about Russian interference in the US elections, and went on, “It’s what we all suspected. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on: TRUMP COLLUDING WITH THE RUSSIANS TO THROW THE ELECTION TO HIM. … If it turns out there’s a traitor in the White House, the judicial branch must find a fair, peaceful way to un-do and then re-do the election of 2016.”
Along with everything else, this business about Trump being a “Russian traitor” is a filthy effort to revive McCarthyite anti-communism.
In a revealing Facebook entry March 5, following Trump’s claim that the White House had wiretapped his campaign in 2016, Moore commented: “Did Obama ‘tapp’ Trump? Let’s Hope So. If you’re like me, you have no love for the FBI, the NSA or the CIA. If you are from my generation, you know these are very often nefarious institutions. The FBI spied on Martin Luther King to stop his civil rights activities. The NSA was ordered to make up stuff on Iraq so [George W.] Bush could start a war. The CIA has had leaders of countries assassinated and democratically-elected Presidents (Iran, Chile, Guatemala) overthrown. These secret organizations have for decades committed so many acts in our name that have done much damage to good people and movements here and around the world.”
After making this acknowledgement, Moore went on to suggest that if the Obama administration and the intelligence apparatus indeed had evidence that the Trump campaign was in contact with Russian officials, “then it not only is possible that the Justice Department or the national security apparatus decided to get a warrant to dig deeper, I think most patriotic Americans would agree with me that the Obama administration HAD AN OBLIGATION to order that wiretap because an act of treason—Trump campaign people colluding with Russia to affect the outcome of our election—had taken place.”
So, without batting an eye, Moore expressed his support for and entered into a political bloc with the “nefarious institutions” he admitted only a few lines before had been responsible for global misery and murder, backing them in their internecine conflict with Donald Trump. The filmmaker should not have the slightest political credibility at this point.
Crude, pragmatic, generally swinish… this is Michael Moore now, a political scoundrel.