This year marks the 15th anniversary of the last film Warren Beatty directed, “Bullworth.” It’s the story of a depressed liberal senator who’s become a corporate sellout. He agrees to block an insurance company reform bill in exchange for a $10 million life insurance policy, then arranges to have a hit man assassinate him so the money will go to his daughter. But then he snaps like King Lear and begins rapping in South Central L.A. and telling the truth about D.C. corruption.
[It’s] considered one of the sharpest political films ever released by a Hollywood studio — which is probably why the studio that released it, Rupert Murdoch’s 20th Century Fox, deliberately opened it against the 1998 remake of “Godzilla.” The film was crushed at the box office, by design, even though the script got an Oscar nomination.
This week, The New York Times reported that an anonymous source in Barack Obama’s inner circle said that the president, in private, has talked longingly of “going Bullworth.” Which was kind of inspiring, considering that so far his second term has been the full Ishtar. Obama’s been denied more legislative victories than Annette Benning’s been denied Oscar victories.
But this was enough to send right-wing media into another hissy fit. The New York Post — owned by the guy who owns Fox News and released “Bullworth” — actually ran the headline “Obama admits he’s a socialist.”
The evidence the Post gives is that scene in the film where Bullworth loses his mind at a big donor fundraiser and raps: “You can call it single payer or Canadian way / Only socialized medicine will ever save the day! / Come on now, lemme hear that dirty word: / Socialism!”
You sure about that, New York Post? A thirdhand account that Obama dreams of “going Bullworth” means he admits he’s a socialist? Maybe it just means he dreams of rapping poorly, wearing FUBU fashions of the late ’90s or hooking up with Halle Berry. Heck, we all dream of those things.
It’s a bit awkward because the only people who disdain Obama more than the people who call him a socialist are actual socialists.
Socialism technically means that government by and for the people should provide basic security from the cradle to the grave for all of its citizens; collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods; and that if people’s lives are going to be affected by economic institutions, then the people should own those institutions.
And America’s already pretty socialist, in terms of Social Security, Medicare, libraries, roads, Pell grants, unemployment benefits, public schools and the military.
But let’s say you’re right. Let’s say this proves once and for all that this considerably corporate president is a socialist.
Considering he’s cut taxes over 18 times for small businesses and that government is growing at its smallest levels since Eisenhower and that the private sector has had over three straight years of consecutive job growth —
Considering that Obamacare was designed by Republicans and private health insurance companies get 32 million new customers with no real incentive to change and that making people buy a private company’s insurance plan is pretty much the opposite of socialism (you’re thinking of single payer) —
Considering Obama and Tim Geithner protected Wall Street and let the guys who ripped us off get away with it and he never nationalized any of the corrupt banks —
Considering none of the auto companies that got bailed out were nationalized and they paid the loans back, that bit of socialism actually saved capitalism —
Considering that Obama voted for Bush’s bank bailout, made over 80 percent of Bush’s tax cuts permanent, hasn’t done a thing about derivatives trading, has taken tons of Wall Street cash —
Considering that half the current value of the stock market was created between 1817 and 2009 and the other half was created under this president and that we’ve seen the Dow hit record highs as the rich have continued to still get richer —
Well, then, if Obama really is a socialist, even right wingers have to admit: he totally sucks at it.
|—||John Fugelsang: Barack Obama — Worst. Socialist. Ever.|
Cenk Uygur, journalist David Cay Johnston, Mediaite senior editor Andrew Kirell and retired Col. Morris Davis discuss President Obama’s speech about closing Guantanamo Bay.
A former Gitmo chief prosecutor, Morris talks about the legal concerns regarding the prisoners we’ve never tried and the risk Obama is taking by giving them their day in court. Cenk theorizes that Obama is basically saying, “It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s that I don’t want to pay the political price.”
|—||Michael Hastings on the DOJ’s AP probe: ‘The national security state has completely run amok’|
|—||John Fugelsang: The subtle differences between Barack Obama and Richard Nixon|
“The Majority Report” host Sam Seder and Forbes.com contributor Rick Ungar joined Current TV’s John Fugelsang to consider how the Obama administration dealt with a week filled with scandal. Controversy ranged from continued uproar over Benghazi to the revelation of a scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service and the tea party to news that the Department of Justice obtained phone records of Associated Press reporters.
“These are not hard ‘scandals’ to do battle with — we’ve seen much worse and we’ve seen presidents come out of them way better,” Ungar says. “Certainly Ronald Reagan comes to mind with Iran-Contra — he didn’t get impeached. They have got to get their game plan together and stop being so stupid.”
“The strategy of the White House should be to push legislation that puts the Republicans in a box and … basically calls their bluff on these things,” Seder says.
There are currently 1,007 hate groups in the United State, up 60 percent from 2000. Mark Potok, a senior fellow for the Southern Poverty Law Center, joins Michael Shure inside “The War Room” to talk about the rise in hate groups in every state of the nation.