By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2004, 1:59pm PT  


KING: You don't think Iraq is becoming Vietnam, do you?

MAHER: No. In Vietnam, George Bush had an exit strategy.

SNAP! As usual, on the money, Mr. Maher. And this, in regards to the U.S. Marine Commander in Western Iraq who has just come out as critical of Bush's political intervention into the military battle that he was not allowed to wage in Fallujah:

MAHER: Half this country now is not in our control, because we don't want a big fight right before the election. But at some point, if we want to make this work, we're going to have to take back these cities. And what this general is saying, you just make it harder, you make it more costly if we have to go in again and take them. So, you tell me that George Bush isn't playing politics with American soldier's lives, because he is.

And finally, on Bush's 527 canard...

MAHER: [Bush is] like the ventriloquist with the dummy [re: 527s]. I can't help it. Ladies and gentlemen, I can't help what my dummy says. Come on. You know, the 527s are for George Bush what paramilitary death squads were for South American juntas, you know. Just somebody that does their dirty work. We don't know what the death squads are doing.

KING: Hold on. Kerry has dirty work done for him, too. Moveon.org.

MAHER: Absolutely accepted. Yes, but I don't think they're spreading vicious unfounded lies about George Bush. You don't have to lie about George Bush's record, you just have to tell the truth.

And there's the difference.

(Full CNN transcript here. Selections taken from Fin's newly emerging "What We Know" blog.)