Bulworth

Bulworth
1998

I enjoy certain political movies. Bulworth is one of them. The movie stars Warren Beatty as Jay Billington Bulworth, a rank and file Democrat who is embarking on his last Senatorial campaign in California. The trailer shows some of the more confrontational aspects of the movie, like when Bulworth tells a black audience that they’ll never vote anything but Democrat and they don’t matter. He also tells a Jewish audience that he panders to them for money.

The movie ends up being about political pandering, insurance lobbyists and the statement that “socialism” in medicine is the only way to go. The cringe-worthy moments involve race relations. Beatty does a number of absolutely terrible raps. Plus, he suggests that America needs “a voluntary, free-spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction.” I won’t even explain that one.

The funny thing is that this decade old movie may be more relevant today than in 1998. Our national health care system will now serve to funnel people into the for-profit insurance system. Jewish voters are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the Democratic party. The black community is supporting a black president who has done less for African-Americans than many white presidents. Senator Bulworth tells it like it is, and it made him a sensation. I wonder what happens if other candidates did the same.

About 1539days

I'm like a word a day calendar for executive disasters.
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8 Responses to Bulworth

  1. Lola-at-Large says:

    It wasn’t very successful for Dukakis. http://articles.latimes.com/1988-10-23/news/mn-461_1_mike-dukakis

    The winning campaign will be the one that appears the most positive. That’s been true since Reagan. When things are this bad, it will be difficult to tell the truth and put a positive spin on it.

    • Three Wickets says:

      Just because Dukakis kept repeating “that’s a lie” doesn’t necessarily mean he was by default a great truth teller. Who know, don’t remember the campaign well. I’m generally wary of politicians or activists anyway who claim ownership of the truth. You can have strong principles and beliefs about what is right or what is best. But truth in politics seems usually pretty subjective. Facts are a different thing, wish journalists would spend more time with that.

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        He actually said in a speech or a debate (I don’t remember exactly) that he was going to do what politicians never do, tell the truth. And he did. At that moment, he lost the election.

        I’m not challenging your assertion that people should be suspicious of pols who claim to tell the truth; I’m just offering up the historical record, because history is context and context is everything.

        • 1539days says:

          But the truth about what? Was he telling the truth about what was wrong about the Reagan Administration or what was wrong with the Democratic Party? Anyone can tell the truth that suits them. Mondale told the truth that taxes would go up, but it was something his base wanted to hear.

    • Karma says:

      I get your point because we’ve all seen how feelings about Obama were more important than facts. But in both cases optics play a huge role and that article points to Dukakis handling his badly.

      The second ad tries to counter a Bush ad that ridicules Dukakis’ ride in an Army tank last month. The Dukakis version begins with him switching off the Bush ad on TV. Bush’s ads, Dukakis says, are “full of lies and he knows it.”

      By turning off the tv ad, Dukakis essentially says, ‘Don’t believe Bush/your lying eyes that I looked like a huge dork playing Army’. So who is lying to them then? Maybe if Dukakis pulled a Bulworth moment there and laughed at the ad, then went on about telling the truth, it would have resonated more.

  2. DeniseVB says:

    Nope this is the best movie Prez speech EVAH ! From The American President. Note: the Bob Rumson he refers to is the GOP challenger, though seems more like a New Dem by today’s standards.

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