With pictures of Ralph Nader surrounding him, Michael Moore this week threatened Congressional Democrats with defeat at the polls in 2010.
Moore was a Nader for President supporter in 2000, aiding and abetting the consumer advocate in his quest for the Presidency.
Moore returned to the Democratic fold in 2004 and 2008 – throwing his support to John Kerry and Barack Obama.
But earlier this week, Moore returned to Nader territory – the press room at Public Citizen on DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C. – and with pictures of the consumer advocate on the wall surrounding him – Moore announced that he intended to launch a campaign against Congressional Democrats who didn’t at least support a strong public option in the health care legislation currently barreling through the Congress.
Moore is a supporter of a single payer system but — unlike many in the single payer movement — he’s willing to compromise down to a strong public option.
But it’s clear that Democrats in Congress are in no mood even for a strong public option.
And Michael is in no mood to compromise further.
"To the Democrats in Congress who don’t quite get it, I want to offer a personal pledge," Moore said. "I – and a lot of other people – have every intention of removing you from Congress in the next election if you stand in the way of health care legislation that the people want."
"That is not a hollow or idle threat," Moore said. "We will come to your districts and work against you. First in the primary. And – if we have to in the general election. You don’t think so? You don’t think so? You think we are just going to go along with you because you are Democrats? You should think again. We will organize the thousands of people in your district who have suffered as a result of this cruel health care system we have. We will organize them. We will come after you and we will remove you from office."
Moore didn’t clearly define the standard he would use in deciding whether to challenge a Democrat.
First he said that he organize against Democrats "who stand in the way of health care legislation that the people want."
Then he said he would organize against Democrats if they didn’t "get behind the President."
(Question: Michael — You mean get behind the dirty deal Obama cut with the drug and health insurance industries – Obama takes single payer off the table and the criminal corporations support Obamacare?")
Then he said that the legislation would have to "at the minimum have a public option available to all people who can buy into this – at the very least it has to have this."
Moore then accused the 2000 Naderistas – and by implication himself – of being activists who are "reckless in politics" who "don’t really care."
"Let me just say – there are some people in this room – if you remember back to the election of 2000 – that are fairly reckless individuals when it comes to politics," Moore said.
"They don’t really care. When they see a hypocrite, when they see somebody who has turned their back on the people who put them in office, they will be relentless in working against you. Even if it means that the Democrat doesn’t win."
Even if it means the Democrat doesn’t win.
Welcome back Michael.
Onward to single payer.
Russell Mokhiber is editor of Corporate Crime Reporter and founder of singlepayeraction.org