Sunday, February 13, 2011

Following the Rightwing Fashion

Living in the UK, I often say I’m five hours ahead and one day behind everyone else. Also, working a long day and catching up with news Stateside leaves me less time than I want to write about things I’ve read or seen.
I’ve only just caught up with watching Bill Maher’s Real Time from February 4th, and something Bill said on that program has stuck rigidly in my craw.

John Fund was a panelist that week, and the only Republican in a trio which included Rep Anthony Weiner from New York.

I would normally applaud Bill including Republican points-of-view in the program. I think it’s valid to hear the other side, even if one doesn’t agree with what they say. Although I’m normally pessimistic by nature, I sometimes come across a Republican/conservative who makes a good point – good enough to make me think. I also like to think that there are still reasonable and moderate Republicans somewhere out there, with whom the Democrats can cooperate in a civil and constructive fashion.

Conversely, I think the wingnuts need to be exposed for the fearmongerers that they are and for the irresponsible deceit they propagate. Therefore, a two-way discussion is always helpful.

I know there was a time when Bill moaned about being unable to attract viable Republican guests on his program, often bragging that they were afraid to appear, knowing that he would ask the questions others were afraid to ask, and that was true; but lately – at least since John Bolton’s last appearance in early 2010 – Bill’s been wont to give his Republican guests too much of a free and easy ride.

That Friday night, February 4th, as he took his place in the moderator’s seat, the first thing Bill did was apologise to John Fund, for his being the only Republican/conservative guest that evening and having to pit himself against two obvious Democrats on the panel. He went onto explain that they’d been recently trying to have at least two Republican guests on the show, but that particular week, they’d been unable to find a second.

That remark kick-started something in my brain. The previous week, Bill actually had a panel of three Republican/conservative guests, and thus far, this season, the Rightwing viewpoint has far out-weighed that of the Left. For too long on that program, anytime a Republican/Rightwinger (synonymous) appears, they dominate the discussion, interrupt, talk over others and are just generally rude.

And as for Bill, he either lets their comments ride or totally ignores them by cracking a bad joke.

At the beginning of the second half of the 2010 season, Andrew Breitbart was on the panel, along with Amy Holmes. This was fresh in the aftermath of the Shirley Sherrod escapade, but throughout the panel discussion, not a mention was made of either Sherrod or race in anyway … until Carl Sagan’s widow appeared as the mid-panel guest.

She was very quick off the mark to confront Breitbart about this incident. Breitbart almost stood up in his chair and quickly berated Bill, by reminding him that one of the pre-conditions to Breitbart’s appearance on the show was that there would be no mention of either Sherrod or racial issues. Bill mumbled a hasty agreement and moved onto the next topic.

W … T … F?

What happened to those questions other hosts were afraid to ask? And why did he feel it mete to apologise to John Fund for not being able to secure another Republican guest so Fund could feel good about safety in numbers?
Bill regularly complains about Obama’s “neediness” in pandering to the Republicans, ignorantly refusing to realise that, now that the House has a GOP majority – thanks in part to Bill’s reverse cheerleading efforts in convincing the lowest common denominator of the ueber Left that Obama was no different than Bush, that he was weak and a pussy – Obama has to reach agreement with this half of the bicameral legislature in order to govern effectively. He has that responsiblity, and so does the Speaker. And polls have shown increasingly that the voting public want to see compromise and cooperation, rather than stalemate and stagnation. Otherwise, why don’t we all go to hell in a handcart?

And whilst Bill complains about Obama’s pandering to the Right, he, himself, looks increasingly cosy in the company of such staunch Republicans as John Fund, Michael Steele and Darrell Issa. And this week, after regularly ranting against corporate welfare and the power and wealth of corporate power in the US, he bows from the waist to the Queen Mother of Corporate Media Whores, Whoreanna Fuckington, herself, with a softball interview which allowed her, not only to continue her abject participation in the Big Lie propagation concerning the President, but also to cherry-pick her chosen Messiah for the GOP Presidential nomination, John Huntsman.

Bill calls himself a Progressive, but he’s in favour of the death penalty, is anti-union in sentiment, doesn’t like federal funding of the National Endowment for the Arts, is virulently pro-Israel and has a fear of Islam and Muslims that’s almost palpable, considering his interview with Anderson Cooper last spring. All those sentiments sound pretty closet Republican to me.

Or maybe, since Whoreanna’s sold herself to the highest bidder and isn’t afraid to be photographed either clinching Newt or reclining comfortably into the arms of Darrell Issa, turning Right is now the fashionable thing to do for some dedicated followers of political fashion like Bill Maher.

Some would call it flip-flopping; others, hypocrisy. I say it’s chickens coming home to roost.

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