opagandist who makes Oliver Stone look like Alistair Cooke. Moore is, of course, free to say that the war on terror is a clever cover story for George W. Bush's attempt to line his own pockets. Or to suggest that as nasty as bin Laden is, he is nowhere near as bad as our president. But the reception this preposterous pastiche of lies, warmed-over conspiracy theories and free-floating venom has received from the Democratic elite as well as from the public reveals just how badly riven we are.
This is not a fact-checking column on "Fahrenheit 9/11." For that, I recommend National Review Online or Mark Steyn (www.marksteyn.com) -- though be warned that pregnant women and those with heart conditions might want to approach Steyn with caution. He is that funny (see for example his review of Clinton's book).
What should not go unnoticed however is that Michael Moore's drivel is endorsed by leaders of the Democratic Party -- indeed, by the ex officio leader of the Democratic Party, Terry McAuliffe. He attended the opening and emerged to declare the film "very powerful, much more powerful than I thought it would be." He later told CNN, "Clearly the movie makes it clear that George Bush is not fit to be president of this country." Other Democrats in attendance were Senators Tom Daschle (D., S.D.), Tom Harkin (D., Iowa), Max Baucus (D., Mont.), Ernest Hollings (D., S.C.), Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), and Congressmen Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.) and Jim McDermott (D., Wash.). As Byron York points out, all of them, and John Kerry as well, should be asked by reporters if they endorse the conclusions of this movie.
Nor is Moore alone in spewing vitriol into the national debate. Many on the left seem incapable of carrying on a political discussion without descending into character assassination. One of their roadside bombs hit close to home this week. From his perch on the New York Times editorial page, Paul Krugman spins a bit of a conspiracy tale of his own. In a column titled "Who Lost Iraq?" Krugman attributes the "failure" of Iraq's reconstruction to "ideological obsession and cronyism."