“Western civilization is what gave the word every goddamn liberal precept to adore,” Bill Maher thundered during his “New Rules” editorial on Friday’s Real Time. He went on to list religious freedom and other benefits.
So, Maher contended, citing a recent statement from President Joe Biden, “The world would be a better place if we had more Israels.” People live better today because of Western ideals, not in spite of them, Maher contended, and that’s why he’s struggling with the anti-Israel backlash, particularly on college campuses. “It’s like a volcano that blew,” he said. “I don’t know where this come from.”
That was the theme that also came through in the night’s panel discussion, which featured Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS and columnist for the Washington Post, and Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media. There was much handwringing and few solid answers on how things got to this point.
Zakaria said he understood how traumatized Israel is as a country, and brought up that killing people in Gaza will breed more hatred. “How do you separate the bad guys from a million children?” he asked.
Bremmer said there was “no strategic reason (Israel) needs to eliminate Hamas today.” But he also said he understood the need for vengeance, comparing it to that of a father whose daughter was raped.
Maher brought up inflammatory statements from Hamas that promised more attacks like Oct. 7 as the reason for Israel’s huge counterpunches. “They’re (Hamas) telling you we’re going to do this again.”
Bremmer blamed social media for enflaming people. Maher agreed, and said venemous posters were akin to the people with Tiki Torches. He said the ease of smart phone posting makes peoplle “shady, mean, passive aggressive. They want to think of themselves as social justice warriors.” He added, “Imagine if they had to move to Gaza.”
Earlier in the program, Maher talked with Rep. Dean Phillips, a Democratic Congressman from Minnesota’s 3rd district who recently announced his campaign to primary Biden for the 2024 presidential nomination.
Maher again made his case that Biden is now “Ruth Bader Biden,” and while the host claimed he’s done a good job, like the late Supreme Court Justice, “he did not know when to quit.”
Phillips pointed out the polls that indicate a massive number of Democrats want someone else to run.
The Congressman was loose on the show, and at one point whipped out some glasses and to show that he looks like Maher. But he emphasized that colleagues are talking about Biden’s decline and his insistence that he will run, a prospect that “will make 2016 look joyful,” Phillips said, adding, “I wish we had more competition, rather than a coronation.”
Biden is going to lose the election, Phillips said. “We’ve got to do something, and thank goodness we still live in a country where we can.”
Maher zinged the candidate as he receited a long list of races and ethnicities he wanted to embrace. Maher reminded him not to forget the gays and trans people.
“We are at risk if we keep fighting each other on any lines,” Phillips shot back.