God this awful. Michael Moore is such an asshole. He has a smarmy, annoying way of speaking. He's dancing, ducking, bobbing, and weaving. He won't answer a question. He keeps changing the subject. He makes bizarre rhetorical leaps. He finds strange, lawerly ways of conflating having flawed intelligence and "lying". He won't back down from the charge of lying for a second, no matter how many facts are marshalled against him.
The format is that Michael Moore gets to ask questions too. He just asked what Bill would say to the parents of the 900 soldiers who have died. What an ass!
Good God! How can anyone stand to watch this guy for two seconds, let alone an entire movie. That nasal voice! And he's even uglier than he used to be.
He's now saying that he would have been even tougher in Afghanistan than Bush, when initially he was against going in there at all to begin with. This is insane. I can't believe anyone takes this man seriously.
Moore's saying he wouldn't have removed the Taliban. He's saying he would have pre-emptively taken out Hitler if he could have. Please.
Moore with the demagogeury. He keeps talking about sacrificing "children", would you "sacrifice your child" etc. etc. Despicable.
Moore: "You're not gonna get me to defend Saddam Hussein." Heh.
Now Moore's saying that in the 90's "the people rose up" and ended dictatorships. Like that would have happened in Iraq.
Now he's saying, "Why didn't they rise up?" What a liberal! What a humanitarian!
He keeps on with the "sacrifice your child" crap. What a scumbag.
O'Reilly now after the clip ends, "No matter how much evidence is produced, you'll never get a Bush hater to stop saying that lies were told."
Feh. I have to take a shower now. What a horrible experience. How can anyone respect or like that man? And, he's a guest of honor of one of our two major political parties. Maybe America really is as fucked up as Michael Moore thinks it is.
UPDATE: To bring one more nutty extremist into the mix, John Derbyshire saw the meeting of the minds last night too. He actually makes some cogent points. See here, here, and especially here. The Derb has a good answer to Fat Mike's repeated asinine question of "Would you sacrifice your child to secure Fallujah?":
All right, it's a stupid question as phrased. O'Reilly should have said that. Then he should have said this: "If a child of mine wished to pursue a career in the U.S. military, I should be proud. If he was then sent off to fight in a hot war, in which the USA had engaged under the proper conventional and constitutional procedures of this republic -- under the command of the President, with the approval of the Congress -- I would make no attempt to stop him. If he died in combat, I should grieve as a loving parent; but I would blame nobody. And if anyone tried to make political capital out of my child's death, I would loathe that person."
It's a bit long-winded for a situation in which you're dealing with a constant-interrupter like Moore, but the basic idea of it is a great response that I wish O'Reilly had used. I wonder if it might also have been effective to respond with the question, "So, do you think that people who, of their own free will, join the military are too stupid to understand the consequences of their decision, that they might have to go to war, and that war is dangerous? Do you not know that there are thousands of cases of young men and women joining the military since 9/11 out of patriotism and a desire to defend America, even though they knew that they would probably be going to war and risking getting killed?" etc. etc.
Of course, people like Michael Moore have no respect for our troops, despite their constant protestations to the contrary. They don't respect them as individual human beings capable of making their own decisions and understanding the consequences. To him, they are nothing more than the helpless, hapless, idiot dupes of larger forces. The Derb captures this beautifully here:
Mulling over Michael Moore's remarks to Bill O'Reilly, it occurs to me that they show up one aspect of the leftist mindset with special clarity. The philosopher David Stove had a phrase for all those theories that portray human beings as the helpless pawns of inscrutable, impersonal forces ("the rich," "the powerful," "history," "stereotyping"). He called them "puppetry theories."
That's what you see with Moore. Ordinary people -- people less enlightened than Moore and his pals -- are clueless, helpless doofuses, being pushed around by sinister evil-doers. George W. Bush "sends" young people (Moore actually calls them "children, which is revealing in itself) to die in Iraq, as if the servicemen and -women involved had no volition at all! My reader from Iowa shows the absurdity and fundamental inhumanity of this point of view very well. His Ranger son is not a helpless infant being "sent to die" by an evil administration. He is an adult person who chooses, decides, and acts, according to his convictions, preferences, and free will.
The Left has never departed in any significant way from Leninist collectivism. Human beings are not autonomous spiritual beings, possessed of free will. They are mechanical units who need to be directed, governed, shoveled around like so many truckloads of concrete, socially engineered. Or they are "children," to be scolded and directed and constantly supervised.
Evelyn Waugh once interrupted someone who was telling him something about "the man in the street." Said Waugh: "There is no such thing as 'the man in the street.' There are only men, each possessed of an immortal soul, who from time to time feel the need to use streets." I imagine that to Michael Moore, that remark is utterly incomprehensible.
John Climacus makes the comment below that O'Reilly gave in too easily on the idea that everything regarding the WMD justification of the war was a complete mistake, when we have in fact found WMD programs, Sarin-tipped rockets etc. which were definitely a threat to us. Also, for my part, I think that anytime anyone goes on as if WMD was the only justification ever presented for the war, they should be told that the humanitarian/taking out dictators idea was there from the beginning too, if you listened to Bush's speeches at the time. Also, any time that anyone says that there were other dictatorships in the world besides Saddam Hussein's Iraq I think the response should be, "Well, do you actually favor invading those countries too, or are you just bringing that up as a rhetorical point?"
I don't know if any of my ideas are good ones, but I think that in these times it's important that we all figure out how to become better debaters and polemicists to deal with Michael Moore and his acolytes, which last I checked, seemed to include virtually the entire Democratic Party. So, if anyone else saw the cage match last night and has some good suggestions on how to handle Moore's rhetorical gambits, which we're going to be seeing employed by a lot of other people, please leave them in the comments.
SECOND UPDATE: The transcript of the interview/debate/shouty thing is now up. And Derbyshire has received a great e-mail in response to Moore's condescending "sacrificing children" crap:
Moore's question could have been easily answered by noting that no parents sacrificed their child for Fallujah, or any other Iraq or Afghanistan city. Ours is a voluntary military; parent's do not enlist their sons and daughters. They enlist themselves.
"I was in the Marine Corps Reserve during Operation Desert Storm and the 'Blackhawk Down' incident in Somalia, and have served the last eight and a half years as an active duty officer. My Airborne Ranger cousin was one of the soldiers killed in Mogadishu October 3, 1993. Many college friends were astonished that the death of my cousin, whom I grew up with and was more a brother, did not change my view of our military involvement in hostile locations in the world. Similar to what your reader wrote, he died doing what he had always wanted to do, and in an honorable way, trying to help free a starving population from the subjugation of rival warlords; this is, in my mind, preferable to him being killed by a drunk driver (incidentally I lost another high school friend and fellow Marine in 1992 because a woman ran stop sign) or a homicide on U.S. city street.
We serve our country because we believe what we do is important to the our nation and indeed the world. My Aunt and Uncle still grieve the loss of their son, but they also realize he was there because he chose to be and believed in our country. I still grieve the loss of my cousin, but know that he died honorably, in a profession he chose (not his parents or anyone else)."
THIRD UPDATE: Michele has a more direct response.