What Michael Moore Understands About Hillary Clinton

Richard Brody in The New Yorker:

Brody-Trumpland2-1200Michael Moore in TrumpLand” isn’t quite the film that I expected it to be, and that’s all to the good. Moore is, of course, a genius of political satire, deploying his persona—as a populist socialist skeptic with a superb sense of humor and a chess player’s skill at media positioning—to deeply humane ends that are mainly detached from practicality, policy, and practical politics. The very idea of the new film—a recording of Moore’s one-man show from the stage of a theatre in a small, predominantly Republican town in Ohio—runs the risk of self-parody, being a feature-length lampooning of Trump, laid out with meticulously researched facts set forth with the sublime derision of which Moore is a master. It would have been a highly saleable version of preaching to the converted.

…Moore’s final rhetorical stroke is to add that the lifetime of struggle that Hillary has faced (and he cites the struggles of Pope Francis as a comparison) has left her bitterly resentful of the status quo, profoundly progressive in temperament, deeply intent on making decisive changes when, finally, she realizes her lifelong goal of being in a position to make them. In effect, Moore presents a Hillary Clinton whose progressivism arises from no mere butterfly idealism but embodies the hard-won experience of the best American tradition. Then he can’t help but ice the cake: he dreams of her flurry of executive orders (a conservative’s nightmare); he envisions that she’ll replace old enemies (“Iran and North Korea”) with new ones (“Monsanto and Wells Fargo”); and he puts his own enthusiasm for Clinton on the line with a celebrity-fuelled vow—that if, in two years, she doesn’t deliver on the progressive vision that she promises, he himself will run for President in 2020. (He quickly piles the comedy onto this notion—his first promise is that all electronic devices will use the same charger cord.)

More here.