The attack from Obama's left flank began in earnest yesterday, as two reliably liberal forces openly compared Barack Obama's plan for escalating the war in Afghanistan to Bush's fiasco in Iraq.
Obama fangirl Rachel Maddow put together an Obama-Bush mashup on last night's show, playing Obama's speech announcing his Afghanistan plan next to clips of Bush talking about Iraq, and pointing out the eerie similarities. She hesitantly defended Obama—or at least seemed like she was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt—but it was clearly a shot across the bow.
Obama has made clear that he's not intimidated by the cable chatter, so he's unlikely to pay Maddow much heed. But Michael Moore could be another matter.
When Rush Limbaugh was accused of being the leader of the Republican Party, conservatives looked around for the fattest guy that Democrats like and accused them of being in thrall to Moore.
The comparison doesn't hold water, of course, because Moore was never able to force the chairman of the Democratic Party and a variety of congressional leaders to publicly grovel before him and go fetch him some Oxycontin or something.
Moreover, Moore has always been suspicious of what he sees as corporatist tendencies in the Democratic Party, and has freely criticized its leaders, making him more of a gadfly than commandante. But his reaction to Obama's plan is surprisingly forceful, making a direct comparison between Obama/Afghanistan and Bush/Iraq. Here's what's on Moore's web site right now:
Moore's been relatively quiet lately, and his trouble-making capacity is a little bit attenuated by the lack of a spotlight. But he's working on a film about the financial meltdown, a subject that is tailor-made for him—prepackaged with corporate greed, populist outrage, and plenty of little-guy-loses-the-house-but-rich-guy-gets-the-bonus stories to mine for class fury. So Moore will have a fairly big megaphone when the publicity tour starts, and Barack Obama probably doesn't want him running around saying he's just like Bush.