I watched Real Time with Bill Maher last night. After taking a break from Maher for most of last year because I felt he was always 10 days to 2 weeks behind on facts and perhaps had gotten a little lazy on preparation for his show, I figured I had to watch immediately after the GOP Convention just for a couple of laughs. I wasn't disappointed.
He obliterated Dinesh D'Souza while interviewing him and called him out for every bullshit meme that douchebag put in his anti-Obama movie. Catch a repeat if you can. But the main thing that caught my attention was the panel discussion: Jason Alexander, Soledad O'Brien and one of my favorite people to hate, Ron Christie.
I just came to the conclusion that this was the role he was being paid for and that he couldn't possibly believe the bullshit pouring out of his mouth. Just like it's an act for Sean Hannity, I felt the same about Ron Christie. And for me personally, that makes me despise that person even more; there's no conviction or honesty in what they say. It's just a little game, being a paid shill for the GOP.
But watching Christie tonight, after not seeing him for so long, perhaps because his 15 minutes were up or he had a moment of clarity on the air and was subsequently fired as a GOP surrogate (but I doubt that) I tried to give him a fresh start. And wouldn't you know it, that little fucker is still the towing the GOP line always was- but this time I felt differently.
I used to think he was a paid shill, but now I truly think he actually believes what he says. ...I know right?! I was shocked too! The $716 billion Medicare story came up and Christie denounced President Obama's awful $716 billion Medicare "cut" but defended Paul Ryan's $716 billion Medicare "savings," and no amount of explanation that the savings were the same was going to change Christie's mind. Nope. Obama's cut bad. Ryan's savings good.
Bill Maher: So let me ask this panel, do you think we’ve ever seen lies like this [from politicians like Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney]? Because it’s one thing to slant things, all politicians do that, but to just pull out of your ass…I mean Mitt Romney went through…Obama ‘s apologizing around the world — Fact checkers: no — Raising taxes on the middle class — Not true — Cutting defense — He’s only raised it. — Uh, you know, wrecked our credit rating — Welfare work requirement…he got rid of that — No, he didn’t do that — Robbing Medicare… Just a series of total lies. Have we seen this before?
Soledad O’Brien: I don’t know if we’ve seen it before, but what I think you are seeing is people trying to get control of the message, that sort of the veracity doesn’t matter, right? If you can just say it and say it often, say it enough, and say it loud enough, and just keep repeating it and have everyone around you repeating it, then eventually it becomes true. I think that we’ve seen that a lot in this campaign.
Bill Maher: Well now you’re describing what Hitler did. I’m not saying the Republicans are Hitler, but Hitler famously said the big lie works and the little lie doesn’t.
While this is technically true, what's misleading is that it's a cost savings over future spending curbing the increasing costs, not a cut in current spending. The part of Christie's sentence "took $716 billion out under Medicare Advantage" is purposely misleading. You know, it's that fiscal responsibility Republicans constantly beat their chests about but never really put into practice. But I'm done with this. Unlike Republicans, I'm not going to beat a dead horse while simultaneously beating my head against the wall.Ron Christie: Well I think the big lie here is we need to fact check the fact checkers. The fact of the matter is the media has been running around – audience disapproval – the media has been running around saying Paul Ryan has been lying. The fact of the matter is this: President Obama and his plan Obamacare took $716 billion out under Medicare Advantage, he took it out of hospitals, and he took it out of the insurance program, and he programmed that into Obamacare. That’s true.
When the issue of climate change came up, Christie wondered why it was such a cudgel on both sides, and wished we could just "agree to disagree." The science is not still out on this! And the English scientist email conspiracy theory has been thoroughly debunked as Christie was reminded by Maher when he tried to make that an issue. But at this point I wasn't so much angry as I was dumbfounded.
How does a seemingly intelligent person like Ron Christie deny global warming? How is it that one can be so ingrained in their ideology that solid, scientific facts are nothing but a conspiracy theory in their eyes? How did his brain develop to the point that if he and others like him in his party, which looks like a vast majority of them at this point, don't believe or understand something, then they outright just refuse it? Or that they are so willing to believe a lie from someone they respect, but when confronted with the truth, with facts staring them in the face even by nonpartisan entities, it just doesn't sink in?
No matter how many times they are confronted with pure fact, it's dismissed which makes trying to have a conversation or debate with Republicans, teabaggrs and Obama haters so frustrating. Paraphrasing Maher, how can you have a debate when you can't agree on the facts?
Ron Christie believes Paul Ryan because he wants to believe Paul Ryan. But all those reporters actually doing their jobs for a change and reporting the lies? Nu-uh. He said someone should "fact check the fact checkers." ...What? Well, then who's going to fact check the fact checkers checking the fact checkers when you still don't get the result you want?! It's all talking in circles. It's birtherism at the next level. Insist on a birth certificate, but when it's provided, insist it's a forgery. Ask for the long form and when it's provided, insist it's a forgery. They will never be satisfied.
It must be nice to live in your own little bubble, blissfully unaware that maybe, just maybe you might be wrong.
(Cross-posted on ABLC)