Makes clear he's not 'in league' with 'lunatics' on the Right, before attacking Dems, media, for abandoning Progressive values
'We have a center-Right party and a crazy party'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/20/2009, 12:01pm PT  


In last week's "New Rules" segment on HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher blasted President Obama for "not getting the job done," adding "this is not what I voted for." He had been critical of Obama's lack of fight for health care reform, and "nibbling" that's leaving insurance companies "still running the show," bailed out banks "laughing at us about how easy it was to get back to 'business as usual,'" and scientists' vital warnings about serious climate change being largely ignored.

We ran that video last week, and found it was linked to by an enormous number of rightwing websites, using the opportunity to suggest that Maher now agreed with them about Obama.

This week (video above-right) Maher clarified the record. He first noted: "Last week in this space, I criticized President Obama for not fighting corporate influence enough, and it made some Liberals very angry. My phone rang off the hook." But he then removed any doubt about whether he was actually "in league" with those on the Right.

"As far as you folks on the Right that think that we're somehow in league --- we're not in league! I was criticizing Obama for not being hard enough on the corporate douche bags you live to defend. I don't wanna be on your team. Pick another kid."

"So I stand by my words," Maher said, before launching into a no-holds barred attack on the Democrats and Obama for their failings, yet again. "There is another side to the story. And that is, that every time Obama tries to take on a Progressive cause, there's a major political party standing in his way --- the Democrats."

"We don't have a Left and a Right party in this country anymore. We have a center-Right party and a crazy party. And over the last thirty-odd years, Democrats have moved to the Right, and the Right has moved into a mental hospital."

He went on to criticize Democrats for becoming the party of "hedge fund managers, credit card companies, banks, defense contractors, big agriculture and the pharmaceutical lobby [who] sit across the aisle from a small group of religious lunatics, flat-earthers, and Civil War re-enacters...who mostly communicate by AM radio and call themselves the Republicans."

The major concluding thesis in his scathing criticism: "Bottom line, Democrats are the new Republicans"

Diane Sweet of RAW STORY observed in her coverage: "If Maher had finished by declaring his candidacy for public office, by the sound of the applause in response to his monologue, he would have left the studio Friday evening with an audience full of supporters."

If you're unable to watch the video (above right), a text-transcript of the key quotes from this week's must-see monologue follow below. As with last week's, we find ourselves hard-pressed to disagree with a word of it...

Last week in this space, I criticized President Obama for not fighting corporate influence enough, and it made some Liberals very angry. My phone rang off the hook.
...
As far as you folks on the Right that think that we're somehow in league --- we're not in league! I was criticizing Obama for not being hard enough on the corporate douche bags you live to defend. I don't wanna be on your team. Pick another kid.

So I stand by my words. But there is another side to the story. And that is, that every time Obama tries to take on a Progressive cause, there's a major political party standing in his way --- the Democrats.
...
We don't need a third party, we need a first party. You go to the polls and your choices are the guy who voted for the first Wall Street bailout, or the guy who voted for the next ten.

We don't have a Left and a Right party in this country anymore. We have a center-Right party and a crazy party. And over the last thirty-odd years, Democrats have moved to the Right, and the Right has moved into a mental hospital.

So what we have is one perfectly good party for hedge fund managers, credit card companies, banks, defense contractors, big agriculture and the pharmaceutical lobby --- that's the Democrats.

And they sit across the aisle from a small group of religious lunatics, flat-earthers, and Civil War re-enacters...who mostly communicate by AM radio and call themselves the Republicans. And who actually worry that Obama is a Socialist. Socialist? He's not even a Liberal. I know he's not, because he's on TV. And while I see Democrats on television, I don't see actual Liberals. And if occassionally you do get to hear Ralph Nader or Noam Chomsky or Dennis Kucinich, they're treated like buffoons.
...

Shouldn't there be one party that unambiguously supports cutting the military party? A party that is straight up in favor of gun control, gay marriage, higher taxes on the right, universal healthcare, legalizing pot and steep direct taxing of polluters?

These aren't radical ideas. A majority of Americans are either already for them, or would be if they were properly argued and defended. And what we need is an actual Progressive party to represent the millions of Americans who aren't being served by the Democrats. Because, bottom line, Democrats are the new Republicans.