Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Frederick Douglass's descendants speak on this 4th of July

Saturday, November 6, 2010

There is no equivalency: We are NOT like the Right. We don't do what they do! Bill Maher explains

h/t Digby

"And finally, New Rule, if you're going to have a rally where hundreds of thousands of people show up, you might as well go ahead and make it about something. With all due respect to my friends Jon and Stephen, it seems to me that if you truly wanted to come down on the side of restoring sanity and reason, you'd side with the sane and the reasonable, and not try to pretend that the insanity is equally distributed in both parties.

Keith Olbermann is right, when he says he's not the equivalent of Glenn Beck. One reports facts, the other one is very close to playing with his poop.

And the big mistake of modern media has been this notion of balance for balance's sake, that the left is just as violent and cruel as the right, that unions are just as powerful as corporations, that reverse racism is just as damaging as racism. There's a difference between a mad man, and a madman.

Now, getting over 200,000 people to come to a liberal rally is a great achievement, and gave me hope. And what I really loved about it was that it was twice the size of the Glenn Beck crowd on the Mall in August! Although it weighed the same.

But the message of the rally, as I heard it, was that if the media would just stop giving voice to the crazies on both sides, then maybe we could restore sanity. It was all non-partisan, and urged cooperation with the moderates on the other side, forgetting that Obama tried that, and found out there are no moderates on the other side.

When Jon announced his rally, he said that the national conversation is dominated by people on the right who believe Obama's a socialist, and people on the left who believe 9/11 was an inside job. But I can't name any Democratic leaders who think 9/11 was an inside job. But Republican leaders who think Obama's a socialist? All of them! McCain, Boehner, Cantor, Palin, all of them! It's now official Republican dogma, like tax cuts pay for themselves, and gay men just haven't met the right woman.

As another example of both sides using overheated rhetoric, Jon cited the right equating Obama with Hitler, and the left calling Bush a war criminal. Except thinking Obama is like Hitler is utterly unfounded, but thinking Bush is a war criminal? That's the opinion of General Anthony Taguba, who headed the Army's investigation into Abu Ghraib.

You see, Republicans keep staking out a position that is further and further right, and then demand Democrats meet them in the middle, which is now not the middle anymore. That's the reason health care reform is so watered down; it's Bob Dole's old plan from 1994. Same thing with cap-and-trade; it was the first President Bush's plan to deal with carbon emissions. Now the Republican plan for climate change is to claim it's a hoax.

But it's not. I know that because I've lived in L.A. since '83, and there's been a change in the city: I can see it now. All of us who live out here have had that experience. Oh look, there's a mountain there! Government, led by liberal Democrats, passed laws which changed the air I breathe for the better. OK, I'm for them! And not for the party that is, as we speak, plotting to abolish the EPA. And I don't need to pretend that both sides have a point here. And I don't care what left or right commentators say about it; I only care what climate scientists say about it.

Two opposing sides don't necessarily have two compelling arguments. Martin Luther King spoke on that Mall in the capitol, and he didn't say, "Remember folks, those Southern sheriffs with the fire hoses and the German shepherds, they have a point too!" No, he said, "I have a dream, they have a nightmare!" This isn't Team Edward and Team Jacob. Liberals, like the ones on that field, must stand up and be counted, and not pretend that we're as mean or greedy or short-sighted or just plain batshit as they are. And if that's too polarizing for you, and you still want to reach across the aisle and hold hands and sing with someone on the right, try church!"


Sue said...

Oh Fabulous, wonderful, SMART Bill, Love it!

I hate when the doomsday predictors say the right and left are one in the same, NO WE ARE NOT! We are the peaceniks, the nice ones, they are the ...well, ya know what I mean...

Life As I Know It Now said...

Well I'm not as famous as Bill but I've been saying the same damn thing for a while now. I don't know any radical liberals but I sure as hell do know a lot of bat shit crazy teabaggers who advocate violence.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The equivalency meme is wrong!

There is no loud mouthed demagogue on the left who has 20 million listeners hearing negativity and hatred 3 hours a day 5 days a week!

MSNBC has left leaning hosts, to be sure, but again, MSNBC does not have the number of viewers that FAUX has.

And NO ONE in MSNBC is a poop flinger the way the Becks and Limbaughs are, or the nincompoops (Peggy Noonan's description of Sarah!) like Palin and Hannity.

There is no comparison.

Liberals don't take guns to liberal gatherings and imply that if voters don't send them to Washington they'll implement "2nd Amendment remedies--Tea Bagger sweetheart Sharron Angle threatened this.

And which liberal who lost produced a baseball bat and warned that the public hadn't seen the last of him/her? Tea Bagger Paladino did.

Fascist thugs.

Jerry Critter said...

These are great observations. Why should we compromise with the criminally insane and the psychopathic liars?

TAO said...


I say we need to beat them at their own game!

I say if Sarah Palin can see Russia from her backyard somebody needs to check her birth certificate or check exactly it is where she lives because you can't see Russia from Alaska...

Shaw Kenawe said...

Andrew Sullivan, a respected writer/blogger for the Atlantic, has been asking to see Trig's birth certificate since Palin was tapped for the vp in '08.

She won't do so. There are still a number of unanswered question about the birth of her last child.

For example: Why didn't anyone she worked with know that she was pregnant?

Fair to go after her for this?

Andrew Sullivan believes it is.

dmarks said...

"I say if Sarah Palin can see Russia from her backyard somebody needs to check her birth certificate or check exactly it is where she lives because you can't see Russia from Alaska..."

Of course Palin is a nincompoop if we can bash her for fabricated quotes.... things she never said. You can't see it from her back yard (she never said this), but dry land parts of Russia and Alaska are only 3 miles apart. So you can see one from the other.

Joe "Truth 101" Kelly said...

And it also depends on what you mean by "is", doesn't it Dmarks.

I'm glad I'm not the only one that's noticed John Stewart's change the last few weeks.

He's trying hard to bash Dems for some reason. It's not Obama's fault Reid and the Senate Dems didn't change the rules regarding filibuster in 2009. Obama is not at fault for republican obstructionism and right wing lies and misleads.

The right hates America. Before my life is over the Texas School Board will have adopted a curriculum teaching that Hitler was a good republican because he preached order and obedience and the Civil War was started by slaves who appreciated the easy life they had under their white owners.

Shaw Kenawe said...


You missed the point. It's not what her exact words were regarding Alaska's proximity to Russia. The point is that she trotted that geographical information out as a bona fide for her foreign policy knowledge.

And THAT'S what makes her deserving of derision.

Here's the interview with Couric where she makes a fool of herself:

Couric: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

Sarah Palin: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land-boundary that we have with Canada. It's funny that a comment like that was kinda made to … I don't know, you know … reporters.

Couric: Mocked?

Palin: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

Couric: Well, explain to me why that enhances your foreign-policy credentials.

Palin: Well, it certainly does, because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I am the executive of. And there…

That's where she trots out the ridiculous idea that because Alaska borders Canada and is near Russia, that gives her foreign policy credentials.

Couric: Have you ever been involved in any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

Palin: We have trade missions back and forth, we do. It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia.

(IOW, NO!) But here's where she loses her way in a scramble-egged explanation of how she is a foreign policy wonk:

As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state.

I don't understand how anyone can defend that meaningless tripe.

Shaw Kenawe said...
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Shaw Kenawe said...
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Shaw Kenawe said...

Blogger comments is acting up this morning. Still sleeping?

The Honorable, Esteemed And Distinguished Judge Dervish Sanders (A High IQ Individual) said...

I am mightily disappointed with Mr. Stewart. He also never told people to vote.

I was going to write a post about this myself, but I guess there is no point now. Your's is probably better than mine would have been anyway.

dmarks said...

"that the left is just as violent and cruel as the right, that unions are just as powerful as corporations, that reverse racism is just as damaging as racism"

If you look at the far left, it is at least as violent and cruel as the far right (Mao, Milosevic, Pol Pot, etc compared to Hitler, Stossner, Mussolini, etc.

Union power? Few people are forced to join corporations. But most of unions' millions of members were forced to join against their will, coughing up dues and political slush money to the greedy thugs against their will.

And as for reverse racism, it is all racism. And it is all damaging.
Shaw said:


You missed the point. "

I got the point because I knew the facts. Tao lodged a huge whopper that is completely wrong, and you let him slide on it, while at the same time attributing a fake backyard quote to someone who never said it. Both flat-out lies. But both OK with you. Basic geography does not matter, right? Nor do fake quotes, apparently. But we know that you don't apply such sloppy standards when the Right makes dubious claims about the Left, do you?

"It's not what her exact words were regarding Alaska's proximity to Russia"

Yeah, I guess "exact words" do not matter to the point that we can just make up anything we want and have it accepted. I get the point loud and clear. You readily defended the "meaningless tripe."