Monday, October 29, 2012

HBO Real Time with Bill Maher #264 “Vote Democratic: We’re Not Perfect, But They’re Nuts.”

by Catherine Giordano

HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” episode 264 (which aired on Friday October 26) did a pretty good job of piling on Romney and the Republicans. Whenever that happens, I call it a good show. 

I think one of the best lines came during “Overtime” Barney Frank, congressman from Massachusetts, gave his idea for a bumper sticker.  I liked the line so much that I am using it as the name for this episode: “Vote Democratic; We’re Not Perfect, But They’re Nuts.” 

Bill got a few shots in during his opening monologue.  He mentioned Halloween describing it as a holiday where we try to fool people into thinking we are someone we are not. “Romney calls it campaigning.” 

Bill discussed the third presidential debate, the one devoted to foreign affairs, where we saw a kinder, gentler, more peace-loving Mitt Romney.  Bill pointed out that Romney’s answer to everything was “What he said, but from a white guy.” Then Bill added that Romney morphed into Obama on the stage that night, so much so that he hugged Micelle at the end of the debate.   

The Frankenstorm also became fodder for a joke. Bill said that the storm was being caused by a cold front from Canada meeting a hurricane from the Caribbean, and then mixing with hot air from Donald Trump.  

Bill did the interview with Barney Frank. I wish Barney had been on the panel because he is good with a quip and he always livens things up. Barney began by saying that “I run my mouth for a living.” (See what I mean.)  

Barney called Romney “the most intellectually dishonest person in history.” Someone had to say it. He said Romney thinks he is “destined to rule.”  (He does indeed give off that vibe. Remember in the 3rd debate when he challenged Obama about whether or not Obama has said “terror” the day after the Benghazi attack. He looked directly at Obama, jutted his chin out, and raised his eyebrows clear up to his scalp. What an imperious disdainful look!  Obama wisely chose not to respond to someone acting more like a school-yard bully than a presidential candidate. But I digress.) 

Barney made one other important point. He said that Romney will say anything. It’s just about impossible to figure out whether Romney believes the rightwing policies or not.  But, Ryan is a true believer, and Ryan will exert influence over Romney if they make it to the White House. My opinion is that it does not matter what Romney believes, he will take his orders from the right wing. 

The panel members were Eliot Spitzer, former governor of New York, Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee and Chrystia Freeland, a Reuter’s editor.

There was a discussion of the “way-out-there-crazy” Republican views of Joe Walsh (women don’t die in pregnancy), Todd Akin (women don’t get pregnant from rape), and Richard Murdock (God intends pregnancies to result from rape.)  Bill got in another zinger about Romney and abortion.  He said “Picasso could not portray all the sides Romney has on abortion.” Sadly, so true.   

A bit of talk about how McCain and George McGovern were able to work on policies like food stamps a few decades ago and how Republican cooperation on social policies would be impossible now. The Republican party has become the Tea party, and the Democrats have not moved as far to the left as the Republicans have moved to the right.  I think that is an understatement. I think Democrats have actually moved to the Center; (or what used to be the Center); it only looks like it is the left because Republicans have moved so far right.

The mid-show bit this week was about books.  Very funny book titles. Bill cracked up as he read them.  Here’s a few of them. 

Author: Republican Caucus; Title: What I Expect When You are Expecting
Author: Rush Limbaugh; Title: Belittle Women
Authors: Joe Walsh and Richard Murdock; Title: The Vagina Demagogues 

Nate Silver, the election statistics wizard, was the special guest. He’s the founder of and has a new book entitled “The Signal and the Noise.” He says Obama has a 75% chance to win the election. If only it could get to 99%, I could sleep easy. Still it is better than the other way around. He said that the Romney momentum stopped a week ago and that Romney is not close enough to pull ahead. This is the “From-Your-Lips-to-God’s Ear’s” moment of the week. 

The panel discussed race as a factor in this race. Sarah Palin saying Obama is ‘shuck and jive” (disgusting,) and John Sununu saying that former secretary of state to George Bush, Colin Powell, endorsed Obama because they are both black (beyond disgusting), and adding that Obama is stupid and lazy (outrageously disgusting, in that it references stereotypes about black people.)  

On to “New Rules.” The final new rule was called “Rom-Con”. It was so good, I wish I could quote it verbatim.That would make this piece too long, so you’ll just have to watch it. But, here’s taste.  Bill said you can catch a worse disease than Romnesia if Romney becomes president. It’s like they say about STD’s—you are not just sleeping with this one person, you are sleeping with everyone he has ever slept with. The analogy being that you won’t get just Romney, but every right wing nut he has ever pandered to. Remember Terry Schiavo, remember John Ashford throwing a sheet over a statue, remember when the Smithsonian could not mention global warming because the idea that heat melts ice was too radical, remember DOMA, remember stem-cells, remember evolution-is-from-the-pit-of-hell—all of that will be in the White House right alongside Romney. And here’s Bill’s closer. “If you say, ‘Oh don’t worry, Romney will stand up to the right wing crazies,’ there’s one problem with that: ‘Romney’ and ‘stand-up’ in the same sentence.” I have to add, are you certain that Romney himself is not one of the right-wing crazies? 

Think about what Barney Frank said, “Vote Democratic. We’re not perfect, but they’re nuts.”

--by Catherine Giordano

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