Last night's episode of Real Time was one of the best in the show's five season history, making the decision about which clip to post a tough one. After much deliberation, I finally decided on this: Wrapping up his "New Rules" segment, Bill sardonically shattered the "liberal" notion that President Bush hasn't asked us to sacrifice anything for the GWOT.
Maher: And finally, new rule: liberals must stop saying President Bush hasn't asked Americans to sacrifice for the War on Terror. On the contrary, he's asked us to sacrifice something enormous: Our civil rights. (full transcript below the fold via IBN)
Now, when I heard George Bush was reading my e-mails, I probably had the same reaction you did--George Bush can read?! (Laughter.) Yes he can, and this administration has read your phone records, credit card statements, mail, internet logs... I can't tell if their fighting the War on Terror or producing the next season of Cheater. (Laughter.) I mail myself a copy of the Consitution every morning, just on the hope they'll open it and see what it says! (Laughter and applause).
So when it comes to sacrifice, don't kid yourself--you *have* given up a lot! You've given up faith in your government's honesty, the good will of people overseas, and 6/10 of the Bill of Rights. Here's what you've sacrificed: search and seizure, warrents, self incrimination, trial by jury, cruel and unusual punishment. Here's what you have left: handguns, religion, and they can't make you quarter a British soldier. If Prince Harry invades the inland empire, he has to bring a tent. (Laughter).
You know, in previous wars, Americans on the homefront made a very different kind of sacrifice. During World War II, we endured rationing, payed higher taxes, bought war bonds, and in the interest of national unity, people even pretended Bob Hope was funny. (Laughter.) Right--like you laughed at him!
Women donated their silk undergarments so they could be sewn into parachutes. Can you imagine nowadays a Britney Spears or a Lindsay Lohan going without underwear? (Laughter.) Bad example, but look, George Bush has never been too bright about understanding "furriners", but he does know Americans. He asked *this* generation to sacrifice the things he knew we would not miss--our privacy and our morality. He let us keep the money. But he made a cynical bet, that we wouldn't much care if we became a Big Brother country that has now tortured a lot of random people.
And yet no one asks the tough questions, like "Is torture necessary?", "Who will watch the watchers?" and "When does Jack Bauer go to the bathroom?" (Laughter.) I mean, it's been five years--is he wearing one of those astronaut diapers?
In conclusion, after September 11, President Bush told us Osama bin Laden "could run but he can't hide". But he ran and hid. (Laughter.) So Bush went to Plan B: pissing on the Constitution and torturing random people. Conservatives always say the great thing Reagan did was make us feel good about America again. Well, do you feel good about America now?
I'll give you my answer. And to get it out of me, you don't even need to hold my head under water and have a snarling guard dog rip my nuts off. (Laughter). No, I don't feel very good about that. They say evil happens when good men do nothing. Well, the Democrats proved it also happens when mediocre people do nothing.