Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh--the Difference Is Power

Moore doesn't have the power among Democrats that Limbaugh has among Republicans—and that's good.

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By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Michael Moore has a lengthy post over at HuffPo on comparisons between himself and Rush Limbaugh. Not surprisingly, he takes umbrage at the comparisons. And not surprisingly, he misses a key difference: Rush has more juice.

Moore writes:

But some commentators (Richard Wolffe of Newsweek, Chuck Todd of NBC News, etc.) have likened this to "what Republicans tried to do to the Democrats with Michael Moore." Perhaps. But there is one central difference: What I have believed in, and what I have stood for in these past eight years — an end to the war, establishing universal health care, closing Guantanamo and banning torture, making the rich pay more taxes and aggressively going after the corporate chiefs on Wall Street — these are all things which the majority of Americans believe in too. That's why in November the majority voted for the guy I voted for. The majority of Americans rejected the ideology of Rush and embraced the same issues I have raised consistently in my movies and books.

These are important distinctions, without question.

But there's another critical distinction between Moore and Limbaugh. Moore simply doesn't have the political clout within the Democratic Party that Limbaugh has among Republicans. As I wrote earlier this week, can you imagine DNC Chairman Tim Kaine beating a hasty and very public retreat if he were to cross Moore? Can you imagine any prominent Democrat having to genuflect before Moore?

This isn't a criticism of Moore. By his nature as a daily radio presence, Limbaugh is going to have much greater direct, immediate power. It's easier to have a cult of personality when you're a daily presence as opposed to weighing in with movies every couple of years. And Limbaugh's shtick explicitly includes blindly obedient followers ("Ditto!").

So no, Michael Moore is not Rush Limbaugh.

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