Moore and Maddow Agree: Things Are Pretty Screwed up
Editor's note: As it turns out, Bart Stupak, the Congressman threatening to sink health reform over abortion, comes from Michael Moore's district in Michigan. In the following transcript from the Rachel Maddow Show, Maddow and guest Michael Moore talk about Stupak's crusade against the health bill and why Democrats are so bad at getting things done.
MADDOW: Joining us now is Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker, Michael Moore, who‘s latest film “Capitalism: A Love Story” is just now out on DVD. Michael Moore, I‘ve wanted to have you on the show for so long. Thank you so much for coming in. It‘s really nice to meet you.
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Thanks. I‘m so honored to be here. I love watching the show and thank you very much.
MADDOW: You really watch it?
MOORE: I‘ve been watching—I‘ll tell you, I‘ve been watching this - the whole Bart Stupak thing. As you mentioned, this is my congressman. I had no idea after, especially last week‘s show, I turned the TV off, I said to my wife, our congressman lives in a brothel and he belongs to a cult. What‘s going on?!
MADDOW: You know, he wants everybody to know that he didn‘t belong to The Family for the eight years that he lived at The Family‘s subsidized congressmen townhouse with all the affairs going on.
MOORE: Yes. And if he was living with, say, in house of skinheads, he probably would just say, hey, you know, all these kids were out skateboarding. He just said, yes, I‘ve got a cheap room, come on in.
MADDOW: It‘s amazing.
MOORE: Now, it‘s totally amazing. It‘s embarrassing. You know, Michigan‘s a great state. I live in his district actually. It‘s 31 of the 80-plus counties in Michigan he represents. All of northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. So—and I know him. He‘s a former Michigan state trooper, a police officer. And, you know, he‘s done good things and he‘s, you know, he‘s—NRA‘s been after him and he stood up to them. And—but this has just been shocking. And it‘s unconscionable that he would try to stop, even this watered down, pathetic version of a health care bill that—over his own personal religious beliefs. I just—it just—you know, it‘s kind of like—my feeling is, OK, if you don‘t want to have an abortion, don‘t have one, you know? If you don‘t want to sleep with somebody of the same gender, don‘t do it. If you don‘t want to own a gun—well, actually, that‘s a little different, because if you have 50 guns in your garage, I‘m a little concerned about that. But everything else it‘s like—I don‘t know where they get this sense of they need to control everybody else‘s private lives.
MADDOW: Well, the thing that‘s—the thing that‘s hard about it for me is what we just talked about in this previous segment, that if he‘s really concerned about federal funding for abortion, there really isn‘t any federal funding for abortion in this thing. And if he really wants to try to get—to stop health reform, unless he can get this language put in there, there‘s—by the rules, there‘s no way to put that language in there. All the things that he‘s supposedly standing on principle about either aren‘t true or are impossible.
MADDOW: And so, what‘s it about? It‘s hard to—I don‘t know. It‘s hard to get inside of that, I guess.
MOORE: That‘s right. And I wouldn‘t waste a whole lot of time on it, but I personally am trying to recruit somebody to run against—I just heard today about Connie. I know her, she‘s great.
MADDOW: Oh, good.
MOORE: But he needs to be challenged in the primary. People in Michigan are embarrassed by his behavior on this, pure and simple.
MADDOW: We bumped in with a clip from “Capitalism,” which is just out on DVD, with the guys with the chainsaw over the regulation. Can I show you one other quick clip to add to the chainsaw imagery there? It‘s just really quick. Just watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY ®, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The right course is the one championed by Ronald Reagan 30 years ago and by John McCain and Sarah Palin today! (CHEERING) The right course is to rein in government spending, lower taxes, take a weed-whacker to excessive regulation. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The weed-whacker.
MOORE: What is it with these guys and yard work? You know, I don‘t really see Mitt Romney out there doing edging, you know, along his sidewalk. These guys—I‘ll tell you, let me tell you something—these guys haven‘t done a yard work in like 30 years. If I had been there that day in the press conference with the guy with the chainsaw, I would have asked him to turn it on.
I‘d like to actually to see if he knows how to use that chainsaw.
MADDOW: He‘d put the tip down and it will kick right back at to him. Right.
MOORE: You know, he just would have called his help in.
MADDOW: Right. Well, the—but that—you know, I wanted to show you that Mitt Romney clip because that was—the photo that you had was from 2003, and it‘s this ominous sense, like, whoa, they‘re cutting through all the regulation. But that was in 2008 during the RNC, while the financial system was supposedly melting down.
MADDOW: It just makes me think that they‘re—I mean, they‘re still talking about using garden implements on regulation, even in the midst of the financial system collapsing. What does that make—what does that say to you about the way the sort of the way the rhetoric and the politics don‘t change with the they can even tell the impact of them?
MOORE: Well, it - they are—they are blind and they are deaf to all of this. And it‘s—I‘ll tell you what‘s going to happen here. Because not one single regulation or rule has been reinstated on the banking industry, on Wall Street, you know, they‘re back to dealing with their crazy derivatives and credit default swaps and all that ... Trust me, the next collapse or crash is right around the corner, because they‘re doing the same stuff they were doing leading up to that first crash in ‘08. And it‘s amazing that nobody‘s doing anything. It‘s amazing that the Democrats in Congress haven‘t forced this issue in a very strong way, because they would have the support of the American people. Nobody wants the other shoe to drop here, and it‘s getting ready to drop. And I—I just—I don‘t understand—well, I guess I do understand, because those banks and the people on Wall Street are lining the pockets of our members of Congress. So—
MADDOW: But on the right, of course, they‘re caricaturing Wall Street reform as socialism. Everything is socialism.
MOORE: Yes. Everything is socialism to them. Boy, that is so tired, isn‘t it?
MADDOW: I know.
MOORE: It‘s—you know, as I said in my film, to me, everything that they call socialism, wanting to help people when they‘re sick, wanting to provide, you know, jobs for people when they don‘t have work, these are all aren‘t these the Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, even atheist principles that we all grew up with? That we were told that we were to be good to those who were without? And then we were to share the pie?
MADDOW: But those must be kept in check—they must be kept in check so that greed can lead us towards something.
MOORE: Yes. Well, we see what it‘s led us to. It‘s led us to the fact that one out of eight homes now in America is in foreclosure or delinquency. One out of eight home—and, of course, millions that don‘t have health care and everything else. It‘s—you know, how do you—how do you get yourself out of bed every morning to do this show? Just the despair of how—the hope that we all had a year, year and a half ago, and now it‘s like, I just feel like the Democrats are—they‘re in for an ass- whooping of biblical proportions in November if they don‘t get off the dime and do the job they were sent there to do. I mean that. I mean—don‘t they see that? It‘s just—
MADDOW: Well, I mean, since the Civil War, every—it‘s only been twice that the president‘s party has not lost seats -- in the election after which that president was elected. And so, it‘s almost historically impossible for the Democrats not to lose seats. Do you see any way that there‘s any way they cannot lose too many seats? That they could avoid the bloodbath?
MOORE: Yes. They can avoid it by having courage of their convictions and doing what the Republicans do when they take power. You know, when the Republicans come into town, they get in the Hummer and they drive down Pennsylvania Avenue, mow down anybody in sight. They walk into Congress with both guns blazing and they say, “We were sent here to do a job,” and then they do the job. Democrats come in—I mean, by an incredible majority in the Senate and the House, an this historic election with Obama in the White House— Democrats come in and go, “Oh, hi, hi, I guess we don‘t need universal health care for everybody. We can—we can—you know, we can compromise. It‘s OK. It‘s OK.” You know, it‘s like—they used to at least just sing kumbayah. Now, they go in like frightened animals. I don‘t understand - I don‘t understand it. Why is it about them where they can‘t do the math? It‘s like your Stupak math, you know, where a dozen is actually four. He‘s got four members. Actually, in Michigan, we call that the Stupak dozen.
MADDOW: Right. It got explained to them.
MOORE: So, it‘s like—you have all Democrats, are they all afflicted with this math disease? I know liberals were better in English and social studies in school. Have they just not figured out how much the American people wanted them to do this? And I think, too, remember Reagan. You know, Reagan was loved by many people who didn‘t necessarily agree with all of his policies. But Americans don‘t really see themselves as Democrats or Republicans. They want somebody in there who believes in something, who‘s going to go for it. And if the Democrats would just say to themselves, you know what, we‘ve got these eight months here, let‘s just do what we were sent here to do and damn the torpedoes. And yes, some of us may lose as a result of that, but so many more Americans are going to admire us for standing up for something, for believing in something. That‘s what‘s going to put them out of office more than anything, and the fact that their base is going to be so depressed by the fact that we didn‘t get universal health care.
That we didn‘t put any restrictions on the banks and on Wall Street. People are just going to stay home. And why they would allow this to happen is beyond me.
MADDOW: Yes. I mean, it seems like they—when you listen to Democrats talk about election prospects, they‘re convinced that they‘re going to lose. You would expect that would free them up to try something.
MOORE: It‘s kind—it‘s kind of like, OK, the boat is taking in water. Do we just sit here or do we pick up the Dixie Cup that‘s over here and start bailing? I mean, we may not make it, but, you know— do something. Do something, Democrats. Are you listening to me?