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writing for godot

Cornel West Schools Whiny Little B!tch Bill Maher -- and Articulates the Progressive Case

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Written by librarian1984   
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 05:21

 

Cornel West Schools Whiny Little B!tch Bill Maher .. and Articulates the Progressive Case
Here is a rough transcript of one exchange between Bill Maher and Cornel West on Real Time, Friday May 19th:
Bill starts off talking about the persistence of police shooting black men without consequence but inexplicably ends by invoking Hillary Clinton, saying she is 'against it' while Trump is not -- 'it' presumably being murder -- and then he abandons the main point to take a jab at West:
BM: You, as someone who said Trump and Hillary were equally awful ...
CW: I said one was a disaster and one was a catastrophe.
BM: Exactly my point.
(West stays on topic and gives a passionate statement about the systemic racism behind these shootings. As he's speaking, Maher repeatedly tries to interrupt, eager to talk about .. Hillary?)
BM: But Hillary's first speech ...
CW: She talked about a lot of things, brother, but without much integrity.
BM: That's such bullshit.
CW: Not bullshit .. Look at how they treated Bernie Sanders, man. You care about the Russians, but look what they did to Bernie Sanders. (voice shakes) Bernie woulda won if he had a chance. Hillary can't even take responsibility for losing the election.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (to Maher): Look what you did to him.
BM: But he's so wrong .. so wrong.
CW: Don't trot Hillary Clinton out on me. She's better than Trump, but don't lie about the sister.
BM: She's better than Trump, that's all I'm saying. A LOT better than Trump, in so many ways.
CW: That doesn't take too much. Who ISN'T better than Trump?
BM: That's glib. That's beneath you. For someone who's such an intellectual that answer is beneath you.
CW: I'll tell you why it's not. Remember when I asked you if you'd vote for Donald Trump or David Duke, and you said you wouldn't vote for either one?
BM: Hillary Clinton is not David Duke.
CW: If you're talking about Wall Street, about militarism .. If you're talking about Hondurans or the Palestinians, on all those ...
BM: She's light years better than him on all of them.
CW: On all those things Hillary is unacceptable.
BM: No. She is not unacceptable.
NdT: You're still arguing about the last election. Let's --
BM: That's because they haven't learned the lesson that we need to win the next election. That's why.
CW: No. No. No. If you're gonna lie about Hillary you contribute to --
David Frum: Here's the lesson you need to learn for 2017... Bill said (we should impeach Trump by Christmas). That gives you Pence, and that is better.
BM: Yes.
******************************************
Herein lies the crux of the public disagreement between establishment Democrats and progressives, as well as evidence of Maher's duplicity.
Maher uses rhetorical tricks and lies of omission to be able to reject West's arguments, and when that doesn't work he resorts to interruptions and insults. He begins the exchange by mischaracterizing West's stance, and when confronted claims equivalence -- but West is saying that even though Clinton IS better than Trump there's a minimum she does not meet, while Maher believes her being the LOTE is enough, even if she is a militaristic corporatist.
Imagine there is a 'political goodness' scale, with Pol Pot at -10 and Benjamin Franklin at +10. Let's say Bernie Sanders is a +7, Hillary is a -3 and Trump ran as a -5 (but is governing as a -7). Maher and establishment Democrats do not believe there is a lower limit. Just being less evil is good enough. They could vote for a -9 as long as that candidate was running against a -10.
But West and others found we have a limit -- let's call it zero -- and I daresay many registered Independents and people who don't participate anymore have also reached theirs. There are now more registered Independents than Republicans or Democrats (42%/31/32), and they're coming disproportionately from the DP -- yet establishment Dems want to maintain the same leadership and electoral strategies going forward -- even though, in the past eight years, the Democrats have lost over 1100 state seats, governorships, House and Senate seats -- because by avoiding an honest look at how that's happened they're able to stay in power and make the case that we should keep doing the exact. same. thing. Is that rational -- or is it the only way to justify maintaining the staus quo?

People, even incompetent ones, don't give up power willingly, so we can understand why the politicians and staffers want to avoid accountability -- but why do Democratic voters go along? For the same reason conservatives persistently vote against their own interests: FEAR.

Fear is a useful motivator, and well understood by corporations and the MIIC. It encourages people to shut down rational thought and respond more readily to manipulation, which is exactly what we're seeing. It is against our interests to keep voting LOTE rather than demanding better candidates. It is irrational to vote for someone who will hurt us, even if they hurt us less than the other guy. It's idiotic to provoke a nuclear power (unless you're a war profiteer). It's not rational to be silent as our civil liberties are stripped away. It's unwise to watch money corrupt our elections, to be silent as our air and water are polluted. Dishonest elections aren't in our best interest either -- Democrats have lost the presidency more than once now because of it -- but we don't focus on that .. or universal healthcare or peace or wealth inequality or net neutrality or the pillaging of the social safety net. Because Trump.

We know from the leaked emails that the DNC and the Clinton campaign, colluding with the media, conspired not only to put Hillary Clinton in place but to ensure that Donald Trump was her opponent -- because they knew she was a weak candidate and thought he would be easier to defeat. Please. Let that sink in. The Democrats used superdelegates, voter suppression and election fraud to install Hillary Clinton. (Noam Chomsky recently told the BBC that Sanders would have won the nomination if not for 'the shenanigans of the party mangers'.) Then the DNC worked with the msm to give the GOP nomination to Trump. Then they ran such a pathetic campaign that they still lost to the clown candidate. And then they stayed. in. power.
But Maher's dishonesty doesn't end there. He says he only means that Hillary is better than Trump, so he and West must be in agreement -- but immediately ups the ante, saying she is better than Trump 'by a lot' and 'in so many ways'. Wow. That's a lot of love for incremental change. I guess it's only incremental for US. Bill will make out no matter who wins.
Bill, half Catholic, understands the sin of omission -- and uses it freely. He ignores election irregularities in the primary
as did, notably, statistician Nate Silver. He ignores that Clinton also has financial ties to Russia, and that the Clinton Foundation is as fraught with conflicts as Trump Inc. He forgets to mention that Trump outflanked Clinton on several issues FROM THE LEFT, a disingenuousness also coming from those who say we can't afford to abandon 'the radical center'.
And is Maher really saying, with a straight face, that Clinton would NOT have appointed Goldman-Sachs people? lmao. Is he saying that Clinton, the queen of fracking and fossil fuels, would be good for the environment? What do you call that .. dishonest or naive? And does he really believe she would appoint liberals to SCOTUS? What, 'liberals' like Merrick Garland, or anti-choice (but pro-TPP) Tim Kaine?
More importantly, Maher (and Bee and Noah and Oliver) act as if, in the long list of things that went wrong with this election, the issue we really need to dwell on, week after week, is that progressives did not fall into line. He doesn't criticize the DNC, who stole the nomination. He doesn't criticize the party, that has done nothing but lose for eight years, nor Hillary, who couldn't be bothered to go to MI and went out of her way to insult rural voters and millennials and progressives and coal miners and whoever else she could think of. He pretends Obama wasn't fighting tooth and nail for TPP while Hillary was running, and he doesn't find anything to fault with the people who ran the worst campaign I've seen in my lifetime. He's not worried about the international rejection of neoliberal policies like austerity, privatization and militarism. He ignores that Hillary, after Trump lobbed 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria, criticized Trump for not bombing more. She said he shouldn't have warned Russia the attack was coming. Gee, what's NOT to love, right, Bill?
No. It's progressives who voted for Jill Stein .. we're the problem. The people who GOT IT RIGHT. The people who said Clinton would motivate GOP voters but depress liberal turnout. (Remember when we thought we could retake the Senate?) The people who warned she had too much baggage and was running a bad campaign. The people who said it was an antiestablishment year. WE'RE the problem. The ones who brought millions of new voters to the party, who appealed to Independents, who showed a way out of taking corporate money .. we're the problem?

Then Maher lays on Big Lie Number One, that it's progressives who gave us Trump, and who haven't learned the lesson of 2016. Remember what Goebbels and Rove said, that the lie needs to be big, and that you need to keep saying it over and over again until people believe it, and that making people afraid primes them for manipulation. Maher and the other millionaire comedians, the msm and the DNC have brazenly flipped the script to say that progressives -- who have the numbers, the enthusiasm and the agenda -- are the problem, even as neoliberals have slunk back into power, voted to keep taking corporate money and insist on running the 2018 election with the same bankrupt strategies -- as if something new will happen. Maher and corporate Democrats have to ignore reality to push this narrative. They have to forget:
that Sanders endorsed Clinton earlier than Clinton endorsed Obama;
that Sanders brought millions of new voters to the party;
that more of his supporters voted for Clinton than Clinton supporters voted for Obama;
that more Republicans voted for Johnson than Democrats voted for Stein;
that more Democrats voted for Trump than voted for Stein;
that more white women voted for Trump than voted for Clinton;
that more stayed home than voted for Stein;
that Clinton got 7 million fewer votes than Obama;
that hundreds of districts flipped from Obama to Trump;
that a recent Gallup poll found that, if the election were held today, Trump would still beat Clinton;
that Sanders filled arenas multiple times a day while Clinton couldn't fill a HS gym.
All those inconvenient truths are ignored so we can demonize the wing of the party that was right about the election, that has enthusiasm, that appeals to Independents and young people, that knows how to raise non-corporate money, that Politico said was, by far, the most knowledgeable segment of the electorate -- all so that the same people can stay in power.
And then the final betrayal. Republican David Frum says we should impeach Trump because Pence will be 'better' -- and Maher agrees.

And that is Big Lie Number Two. Pence will be better for whom? FOR THE GOP. Look at them. Trump is chaos and they are falling apart. They have passed ZERO pieces of legislation and they're in big trouble with their constituents. Yes, Pence is more smile-y, more socially acceptable -- but he is a dangerous religious zealot who did great harm to the state of Indiana, especially women. He knows what he's doing and will have the total cooperation of the GOP establishment. They will succeed in passing tax reform, repealing the ACA, shutting down Planned Parenthood, gutting Social Security and Medicare, etc.

Trump is exhausting but he is the price we pay for our lack of vigilance. We cannot opt for the short term satisfaction of impeachment just because it will make our day-to-day lives less stressful. We have to strategize, and take advantage of a GOP in ultimate disarray. The only good thing that comes from a Trump presidency is liberal activism, which would wither away under Pence or Clinton.

In every situation, no matter how dire, there is opportunity -- and there is a lot more opportunity to sweep the GOP with Trump in place. I don't have much use for Nancy Pelosi but she is a canny politician, and she said last week that Democrats should stop calling for impeachment. That's because she knows Trump will be great to run against in 2018 and 2020.

So once again the DP establishment determines that Trump is acceptable because he renders some political advantage -- but you don't see the msm reporting Pelosi's remonstrance because the msm doesn't work for the Democrats, despite conservative tropes; they are owned by and work for TPTB -- who may, at any time, decide Trump needs to go because they'll achieve more with Pence -- while Democratic voters are surrendering agency, letting themselves be manipulated by cynics and careerists who don't care that the richest country on earth has one of the highest rates of child poverty. That life expectancy is going down and infant mortality is going up. That public schools have been gutted, that our bridges are crumbling, that Flint STILL doesn't have potable water, that blacks are being murdered and incarcerated, under Republicans and Democrats. That we are bombing eight ME countries and making record arms deals with terrorist states, that we're allied with al Qaeda in Syria, that we illegally moved NATO boundaries to the Russian border and have been conducting war games there. That natives suffer twin epidemics of diabetes and alcoholism, that wages have been stagnant for forty years, that the middle class is disappearing ... on and on.

We have one corporate party that pretends to be two. We are being betrayed every single day by our government and the media, and by people like Maher and Rachel Maddow and Nate Silver, people who profit from the status quo but pretend they're 'with us'.
Notice how much less funny Maher is. Strident propaganda is not all that entertaining, and satire, after all, requires an underlying element of truth.
Welcome to the machine, Bill.
Progressives are not the problem. Progressives are the solution.
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+3 # Moxa 2017-05-24 21:31
Excellent article. The two parties represent their own interests, not those of the people.

We need a new party! Please go to draftbernie.org and sign the petition.
 
 
+4 # librarian1984 2017-05-25 13:01
Sorry about the formatting. I've tried to correct it but it still is spaced really weird.

I signed the petition a long time ago -- I think I heard about it from you :^)

You are so right about the party. It would be more efficient to return the party of FDR to its ideological roots but the DP has made it abundantly clear they do not intend to incorporate progressives except in the most superficial ways. The neoliberals are entrenched. To support them is to support war abroad and austerity at home.

Look at CA -- Dem gov, house and senate supermajorities -- but no single payer health care. (But I saw Sen. Dick Durbin today say he supports single payer!)

Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton's communication director, was asked recently who she'd like to see run in 2020: Tim Kaine -- not even pro-choice!

They want us to unite -- as long as we're quiet and vote as we're told and agree to be led by .. Tim Kaine and Tom Perez?! Oh HELL no!

Perhaps the latest shenanigans in California will push Sanders across the Rubicon. He's the only thing keeping the DP relevant -- while they chastise him, boo him, undercut him, ignore and insult him -- and if he leaves they'll say he's a traitor.

The Democrap Party is not FOR US. They're not. They are corporate through and through. What other organization would reject the country's most popular politician? Astonishing.

There's a progressive tsunami coming, and the Democrats are going to be wiped out.
 

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