Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Rule: You Cannot Call Yourself Liberal or Progressive and Embrace Barry Goldwater's Philosophy

In light of all the kerfuffle surrounding Bill Maher's indefensible, irresponsible remarks recently, Politico has published a Lettermanesque piece entitled "Ten Little-Known Facts about Bill Maher."

The second little-known fact was the following:-

Describes himself as a libertarian. “The line I’ve always used is, I would be a Republican if they would. Which means that I like the Barry Goldwater Republican Party, even the Reagan Republican Party. I want a mean old man to watch my money… government is a sieve that takes as much money as it can and gives it away, usually needlessly,” he told Rolling Stone.

Now that's more than a bit of an oxymoron, considering Bill's trolling about the country now, billing himself as a Liberal or even a Progressive, taking pride from the fact that he's going into the "red South" to take the Liberal Left Coast word to people he thinks are toothless, inbred, neoConfederate Cracker losers, worth a few laughs at the expense of those blue Democrats who will pay upwards of a hundred bucks a shot for ninety minutes of Maher's self-proclaimed wisdom.

Considering the fact that Goldwater was a Libertarian's Libertarian, that Phyllis Schlafly worshipped at his altar, that he was a hop, skip and a jump this side of the Birchers and that he also actually brought respectable Republicanism to the Democratic South by opposing the Civil Rights Act (specifically the Property Rights portion which Ron Paul opposes even today), I find it hard to fathom that Bill blithely thinks himself a liberal.

Also oxymoronic (emphasis on the last three syllables there) is the fact that he regularly touts for more government intervention, including single-payer healthcare, amongst other things - the sort of stuff which was the absolute antithesis of everything Barry Goldwater espoused.

For someone who professes to be an avowed Progressive to express open admiration of Goldwater, much less Ronald "Welfare Queen" Reagan, the man whose economic policies began our thirty-year journey on the Road to Hell, means he is either a hypocrite, an open cynic, or just plain stupid.

However, it doesn't surprise me that he's an open fan of Barry Goldwater, considering the various examples of his racism which have been brought to the fore during the past four years; what does surprise me is the number of people who still proclaim him as their "liberal voice."

And Maher is so obtuse and bloody-minded, that he still cannot see that the outrage from both sides of the political spectrum at remarks made by both him and Rush Limbaugh have nothing to do with their First Amendment Right of Freedom of Speech. With that inherent constitutional right of being able to say literally anything, however repulsive, comes the common sense quality of speaking responsibly.

Maher's knickers were in such a twist that he took to the New York Times'sop-ed pages today to admonish us, please, to stop apologising.

In fact, the man who, along with his fellow Cornell alumnus, Keith Olbermann (who also seems to suffer from terminal adolescent immaturity syndrome), threw the mother of all hissy fits because Jon Stewart dared to equate the big mouths of the Right with those of the Left, now preaches the gospel of false equivalency, himself:-

I have a better idea. Let’s have an amnesty — from the left and the right — on every made-up, fake, totally insincere, playacted hurt, insult, slight and affront. Let’s make this Sunday the National Day of No Outrage. One day a year when you will not find some tiny thing someone did or said and pretend you can barely continue functioning until they apologize.

If that doesn’t work, what about this: If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life. Turn the page or flip the dial or pick up your roll of quarters and leave the booth.

The answer to whenever another human being annoys you is not “make them go away forever.” We need to learn to coexist, and it’s actually pretty easy to do. For example, I find Rush Limbaugh obnoxious, but I’ve been able to coexist comfortably with him for 20 years by using this simple method: I never listen to his program. The only time I hear him is when I’m at a stoplight next to a pickup truck.

When the lady at Costco gives you a free sample of its new ham pudding and you don’t like it, you spit it into a napkin and keep shopping. You don’t declare a holy war on ham.

I don’t want to live in a country where no one ever says anything that offends anyone. That’s why we have Canada.

This has nothing to do with turning off anything offensive we see or hear in the media. It's nothing to do with ignoring abominable remarks. It's everything to do with understanding that both Rush's remarks about Sandra Fluke (the "slut" and "prostitute" remarks) and Bill's about Sarah Palin ("twat" and "cunt") simply represent the deeply misogynistic thread which seems to be running through American life at the moment, indeed, subtly tying elements of the Right to those of the Left. Rush calling Sandra Fluke a "slut" and Bill calling Palin a "cunt" were insults to every woman in the country, be she private citizen or public figure.

They made the remarks. They should be - yes - man enough to own them. And apologise. Sincerely. Or else own their own misogyny.

And giving a million dollars to the President's PAC doesn't make you any less of a racist than most people with knowledge recognise that you are, Bill. Own that one and suck that up too.

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