Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bill Maher takes on the Democrats

HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher is one of my inspirations in blogging. Bill Maher makes no secret of his general disapproval of President Bush and the Republican thug-ocracy currently in power in Washington, but he doesn't genuflect to the Democratic so-called leadership, either.

On the 2005-10-14 episode, still running on HBO this week, Bill Maher talked to John Edwards and held his feet to the fire a bit. To his credit, John Edwards was talking about poverty as a moral and political issue well before the 2004 election, never mind before Hurricane Katrina. However, he still ducked and dodged when Maher confronted him:

Bill Maher: Why can't the Democrats stop the bad man from doing that to us all the time [twisting relief efforts to benefit corporations more than the people in the disaster area]?

John Edwards: We have to stop them. I mean, there's just too much at stake, and if we don't, no one else will.
Well, okay, but that didn't answer the question. Why do the Democrats consistently roll over and play dead when the Republicans funnel relief money — those infamous taxpayer dollars — into the hands of wealthy corporations at the expense of the poor people they're supposed to be helping?

Bill Maher hits the issue dead on with this fill-in-the-blank item for Edwards:
Politically speaking, when you look at the trouble that the Republicans have gotten themselves into lately, with the scandals, with Frist and DeLay and Rove and the cronyism and the messing up the hurricane and the quagmire, finish this sentence for me: "If the Democrats can't win big in 2006, they are _________."
Edwards shifted the discussion to something that, quite honestly, came across as little more than platitudes. Let me give you some of my direct answers.

If the Democrats can't win big in 2006, they are:
  • hopelessly ineffective
  • unworthy of being one of the two "major parties"
  • as incompetent as Michael Brown
  • way farther down on the "has-been" list than Danny Bonaduce, Gary Coleman, or even Dan Quayle
  • as politically out of touch with the American people as Herbert Hoover
Larry Miller brings up the idea that the culture of corruption is an integral part of the historical fabric of the city of New Orleans. More or less without interruption since its founding in 1718, corruption has been an accepted part of life in the Big Easy. Corruption is endemic from the police department to the housing inspectors to city hall itself. The culture of corruption in New Orleans should look very familiar to the Bush administration, since they are cut from the same cloth. In a culture of corruption, personal loyalty trumps competence and performance.

The Democrats today depress me almost as much about the future of the United States as the Republicans do, and that's no mean feat.