Saturday, November 04, 2006

Bill Maher New Rules

On tonight's HBO Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill used his closing "New Rules" segment to give the Democrats a much-needed reality check about what they need to do to win back the confidence of the American people.

Listen up, Democrats: it's as simple as A - B - C ...

New rule: Stop hassling me about my Hallowe'en costume. Yes, you've seen it on the Internet: I went as the Crocodile Hunter, with a bloody stinger in my chest, because people who really love animals understand that if you get killed by one, chances are you were doing something to it you shouldn't have been. You want me to apologize for a joke? Who do you think I am, John Kerry?

New rule: You can't write your autobiography if you haven't done anything. Kevin Federline says he's going to write the story of his life before Britney. Great! 300 pages of a guy smoking weed and playing X-Box — look out, Tom Wolfe! I guess now that K-Fed has conquered the music world, he wants to see if he can get booed off stage at a book-signing. A spokesman for the letter J said if this book is published, the alphabet will sue for slander.

New rule: No more public marriage proposals. When you hire a skywriting plane or propose to your girlfriend at a ball game, every unmarried woman is looking at her man like, "Well??" And you're not helping the married men, either, whose wives are remembering how they proposed to them in flip-flops, cargo shorts, and a Who Farted? t-shirt, by saying, "What the hell — I'm going bald anyway!"

New rule: Stop repackaging old crap and trying to pawn it off as something new. Disney has released a two-disc "platinum" version of The Little Mermaid, digitally restored because, Who could make out what's happening in the original black-and-white kinescope? This shameless hyping of previously released material, "now with additional content," is the very kind of thing I should have lampooned in New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer, now available in paperback.

And finally — oh, and Jack [Kingston, R–GA], you might want to take notes to rebut this; I brought a pen and paper (I'm on the case.) And if you can't because we end the show on this, when the show closes we go to our; we will let you have the first word. But finally,

New rule: Controlling Congress is for closers. Listen up, Democrats: it's as simple as A - B - C, Always Be Closing. First prize: subpoena power in the new Congress. Second prize: set of steak knives. Third prize: you're fired! The election is four days away, and I'm through dicking around with you. Here are the leads, here are your talking points:
  1. When they say Democrats will raise taxes, you say, "We have to, because someone spent all the money in the world cutting Paris Hilton's taxes and not killing Osama bin Laden."

    In just six years, the national debt has doubled. You can't keep spending money you don't take in; that's not even elementary economics, it's just called "Don't be Michael Jackson."

  2. When they say the terrorists want the Democrats to win, you say, "Are you insane?"

    George Bush has been a terrorist's wet dream. He inflames radical hatred against America, and then runs on offering to protect us from it. It's like a guy throwing shit on you and then selling you relief from the flies.

  3. When they say "Cut and Run" or "Defeat-ocrat," you say, "Bush lost the war, period."

    All this nonsense about, "The violence is getting worse over there because they're trying to influence the election," no, it's getting worse because you drew up the postwar plans on the back of a cocktail napkin at Applebee's. And of course Democrats want to win, but that's impossible now that you've ethnically cleansed the place by making it unlivable — just like you did with New Orleans.

  4. When they say that actual combat veterans like John Kerry are denigrating the troops, you say, "You're completely full of shit."

    Remember when Al Gore caught all that flack for sighing and moaning during that debate? Yeah, don't do that; just say, "You're full of shit." If I was a troop, the support I would want back home would mainly come in the form of people pressuring Washington to get me out of this pointless nightmare! That's how I would feel supported. So when they say Democrats are obstructionists, you say, "You're welcome." Sometimes good people have to intercede to prevent dire consequences. You wouldn't want to think of me as an obstructionist, but what if Roseanne [Barr] had offered to sing? So I would be happy to frame this debate as a fight between the obstructionists and the enablers. There's your talking point: Vote Republican, and you vote to enable George Bush to keep ruling like an emperor, a retarded child emperor, but an emperor. So Democrats, you've got four days to get out there and close, and it's not about slogans this time, although when it comes to slogans, the only one I'm prepared to accept from the opposition is, "The Republican Party: we're sorry."
The Democrats have spent too much time lost in the wilderness of timid, poll-driven, scripted rhetoric, and then they can't even deliver a mediocre line correctly, much less score a rhetorical knockout. If the Democrats can't stand up to George W. Bush, how will they ever stand up to Osama bin Laden? Seriously. It's not an idle question, just as my question to the World Can't Wait folks that I've worked with is, How do we get from Point A, marching in the streets and shaking our fists, to Point B, an end to the Bush régime and its policies of torture and detention and illegal surveillance and unprovoked wars? Bush's plan is insane and dangerous. It is going to haunt our children and our grandchildren for decades, both in terms of a sustained increase in hostility towards Americans worldwide and in terms of crushing debt held largely in the hands of foreign governments.

Where's the national security interest in having Red China hold billions of dollars of our debt? Apparently only Richard Nixon could go to China, but only George W. Bush could sell our nation to China. Where's the national interest in having the United States a net debtor nation to Mexico? Are we going to stop illegal immigration by making the United States as inefficient and ineffective as the Mexican economy? Are we safer when we are pushing away the world's crucial "swing voters" — the non-aligned countries and the broad mass of public opinion — by allowing ourselves to be portrayed accurately as people who torture people who have been held indefinitely without access to lawyers or family members, when the prisoner has committed no crime or hostile act of any kind?

For more on my [Lincoln Madison's] thoughts on the midterm elections, you might be interested in these entries from The Third Path:

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