Maher to Americans In Denial: ‘Do You Read?’

What’s up with Jay Leno’s studio audience?

Bill Maher was on the Tonight Show last night and eventually The Chin asked for Maher’s thoughts on the violent rhetoric in U.S. politics. Maher said the go-to rhetoric for many Republicans is along the lines of “Wouldn’t it be fun to kill people we disagree with?” There was an audible murmur of disagreement in the audience. Well, actually, more than a murmur.

To which Maher reponded: “Really, then, do you read?” And then he laid out some facts and a little opinion for the crowd to ponder. Here’s some of what he said:

“Have you seen what people have said? Have you seen what Sarah Palin says? You know, she talks about ‘Don’t retreat, reload.’ She says it like a pull toy that’s broken, every five minutes she says this.

“Michelle Bachmann says she wants Minnesotans armed and dangerous. Allen West, a new Congressman, said he wants his opponent to be afraid to leave the house.

“Left-wingers don’t talk that way. And also, left-wingers, even if they do sometimes make a gun analogy or something, their audience isn’t hysterical.

“They’re already talking, the right-wingers, to audiences who are hysterical, who are irrational, and are highly armed to begin with.

“Newt Gingrich … said the Obama administration is as much a threat to us as were the Nazis and the Soviet Union.

“Now … when you characterize the opposition, the political opposition, as not just the opposition but the enemy – the Soviet Union and the Nazis were our enemies – of course you’re going to have borderline people who go and take this over the line.

“So stop telling me that the left and the right are both crazy. Yes, there are crazies on the left, but they’re not the same – they’re not gun crazy, they’re not violent crazy …

“Who’s part of the militias? When you hear the phrase ‘armed compound in a secluded rural area,’ what is that – a bunch of Democrats? Is that Denis Kucinich out there?”

It would be easy to explain the audience reaction by saying Leno’s crowd is more conservative than your average Californian, and there may even be truth to that. But really, I think their reaction reflects a more general zeitgeist of denial. Many U.S. citizens are doing their darndest to avoid confronting uncomfortable truths about their political culture.

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Posted by on January 12, 2011. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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13 Responses to Maher to Americans In Denial: ‘Do You Read?’

  1. Holte Ender

    January 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    After the funerals, the story will drift out of the headlines, then there ill be another massacre, talk about a downward spiral.

    I read this morning that sales of the Glock 19 pistol used by Loughner have gone through the roof. No such thing a bad publicity for the arms industry.

    • Stimpson

      January 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      I, too, expect the massacre will be out of people’s consciousness soon. Until the next gun calamity.

  2. Dusty Taylor

    January 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    This is amazing and I wished to hell I had seen Maher address the audience of intellectually-challenged nimrods. Thank You Stimpson!

    • Stimpson

      January 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      You’re welcome. Click on the link and you can watch it. The fun really starts about 6 minutes in. 🙂

      • Dusty

        January 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm

        I will enjoy it later with a nice cocktail. 😉

  3. Gwendolyn H. Barry

    January 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I’ve experienced a national funeral. Many of us have. Then again … has Sarah Palin? Maher is my generation. He remembers what it looked like to watch it on TV, in a decade of rollover shots of caskets taking hero’s Home. RFKjr wrote about it over at HuffPo, saying;
    “Uncle Jack’s speech in Dallas was to have been an explosive broadside against the right wing. He found Dallas’ streets packed five deep with Kennedy Democrats, but among them were the familiar ornaments of presidential hatred; high-flying confederate flags and hundreds of posters adorning the walls and streets of Dallas showing Jack’s picture inscribed with “Wanted for Treason.” One man held a posterboard saying, “you a traitor [sic].”

    Maher is absolutely right; can these people so sedentary in the midst of a world melting down … even read? All I can think to do the last few days is wrap the Obama’s in protective white light… because even though he’s pissed me politically off… he IS my President. I wish him well. With all of the vitriol the Koch Bros. and the machinery of the GOP did to promote it purposefully, why don’t they step up to the national plate and denounce any further embrace of hatred?

  4. Stimpson

    January 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    As much as I like Maher, I admit that he can be abrasive. Earlier in the show, in fact, he called a couple of audience members “morons”. But he’s absolutely correct in saying the problem is overwhelmingly from the right.

    • Gwendolyn H. Barry

      January 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm

      yes, he can be extraordinarily abrasive. too true. I still enjoy his commentary, agree with much of it and like his show. LOL

      • Dusty

        January 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm

        Bill never worries about being politically correct. Ocasionally I want to slap the taste right out of his mouth, but usually I agree with him wholeheartedly. 😉

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  6. Jess

    January 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Totally with Bill on the whole false equivalency thing. I am about sick of hearing from conservatives that both sides do it. I am actually sick of the news people too, Keith you too, saying sorry. In what world is worst person in the world the same as the progressives are a cancer that need to be excised and pretend killing Nancy Pelosi on your show. I notice that all the wingers are frantically trying to distance themselves from this. Guilty conscience or what.

  7. Anonymous

    March 28, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I’m really proud of the fact that the United States Military and Police Departments and The United States Constitution protects Bill Maher and his right to say stupid stuff and insult people who he disagrees with, unfortunately, Bill wouldn’t do the same for people he disagrees with.

  8. John.Bluetooth

    December 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Interesting.