"That son of a bitch!"
The audience was not—pace poor genteel Ellen Goodman (back)—a "club." There wasn't any hissing, or other overt displays. Rather, the audience was extremely quiet, alert, attentive. No cell phones, no conversations, nobody getting up for candy or popcorn. People were really paying attention, aware, perhaps, that the message of the movie isn't coming from anywhere else in our oh-so-competitive media marketplace of ideas.
A few of my own reactions:
1. It would be a great mistake to underestimate Bush. F911's brutal closeups reveal a man who's mean as a snake and entirely without conscience. (I'm convinced, by the way, that Moore's reading of what Bush was thinking in the Florida classroom is correct: Bush was thinking "Who fucked me?" You can see the calculation going on behind the pursed lips and shifting eyes.)
2. The original sin of the Democratic party was not "the war"—it was fighting a war through unconstitutional means and without gaining the consent of the people. As a result, the Democratic party lost "the mandate of heaven" for a generation, and almost wrecked the military into the bargain. The same thing can happen to the Republican party, for the same reasons, and it should.
The movie was also replete with little facts I didn't know. One of them was that James Bath, grounded at the same time as aWol—and whose name was blacked out on the service records released by the administration—not only funded one of Bush's companies, he did so with Bin Laden money. How odd.
But the biggest thing I didn't know was this:
3. When it came time for the Senate to certify the results of the 2004 election, 25 members of the House black caucus tried to block the counting of Florida's votes, on the grounds that we now know, and could reasonably have believed then, that black voters had been disenfranchised. However, to bring their petition onto the Senate floor, it had to be signed by at least one Senator.
And no Senator would sign (see here).
Disgraceful. How much trouble would have been avoided today, if that day Democrats had stood up for what they knew was right?
And, oh yeah, 4. Al Gore is an asshole. So? Better an asshole than a stone sociopath. My opinion.
My own 2 cents, though I haven't seen it. From what I've read, Bush better be worried about this film. It seems powerful enough to sway the electorate that can be swayed. We're talking about the coveted swing voters, those who are beginning to see, finally, that President Arrogant Psycho is fucking this country all to Hell.