Nothing pisses me off more than when a show like Bill Maher's has on a conservative who is permitted to spout lie that are unchallenged. It's fine to have Republicans on a "liberal" show like Maher's, but not when they get away with that. That's why I was thrilled to see Alan Grayson absolutely demolish the insufferably smug, lying P.J. O'Rourke tonight. (O'Rourke also appeared to have had one too many before the show.)
Prior to O'Rouke's entry, Grayson was relatively subdued, making occasional jokes. There was not that much need to challenge from Nicolle Wallace, the other conservative on, who weakly employed Tactic No. 4 in the right wing repertoire: "If any Democrat does something questionable, it's irrelevant that all Republicans do the same thing." Thus, because four Dem. Senators oppose the jobs bill based on oil subsidies, it's irrelevant that all the Republicans oppose it for that and worse reasons. Or because Jimmy Carter supports some kind of voter ID, all of the onerous Voter ID laws are OK!
But O'Rourke is capable of sounding authoritative and knowledgeable when he lies. He also is a master of condescension and an expert in Right Wing Tactic No. 5: When you're losing an argument, just make a joke -- even a stupid joke works because the issue goes away. So O'Rourke was mocking the OWS protestors because they supposedly didn't have specific goals, were just DFH's playing bongo drums and had no leader:
Grayson said (I'm paraphrasing)
If you want someone who cares about millions of unemployed.
If you want someone who cares about 45 million people without health insurance
If you want someone who cares about millions in poverty.
Then I'd be proud to call myself that leader.
The crowd went nuts and O'Rourke was reduced to even more of a blubbering fool. Grayson had cut right through Tactic No. 5 by citing devastating statistics and showing that while he can be funny like he was earlier, he can cut to the heart of problems that prigs like O'Rourke minimize and joke about.
Then the discussion turned to the amounts of cash businesses and banks are sitting on. His mocking tactic lying on the floor in a pool of piss, O'Rourke resorted to Right Wing Tactic No. 1: A simple lie that sounds authoritative. He said that the banks are sitting on cash and not lending because of the capital restrictions of Dodd-Frank.
I yelled at the screen -- "Please Alan, call him on that!"
And Alan did not disappoint, saying directly to O'Rourke's face: "Nonsense," and explaining that the banks are getting huge interest on their cash and their failure to lend had nothing to do with Dodd.
Once again O'Rourke was reduced to blubbering, nearly falling off his seat onto Maher.
O'Rourke may be smarter than a lot of right wingers, but when challenged with facts and passion, he folds into a pitiful heap of goo.
Update: And thanks to you for the recs -- my first appearance on the Rec List since DK4 apparently made it harder