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Am I the only one freaked out by this?
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Last night on Real Time, Bill Maher and the panel (Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Kennedy and Martin Bashir) were talking about the Obama/Jan Brewer dustup, and the broader topic of illegal immigration. After predictably defending Brewer's behavior, Rohrabacher claimed that "the position of the Democratic party and the president is very clear on illegal immigration. They're for a more liberal system, and allowing more illegal immigrants into our country."

Bashir did an off-camera spit-take ("What?!?!?"), and Maher called it "more inside-the-bubble stuff" (Rohrabacher had earlier claimed that Obama is determined to "slash the military," based on nothing other than the Republican stereotype/caricature that all Democrats want to slash the military), pointing out that "last year we had zero, zero net immigration," which Rohrabacher indignantly pooh-poohed and dismissed. "I'm glad you believe that," he said snarkily. Maher went on to mention Monica Crowley's interview with Brewer where she thanked the Arizona governor for, in Maher's words, "standing up to the President, [and] against this tide, this invasion of illegal immigrants; again, the fact: net zero."

Rohrabacher came back, slightly enraged, "Baloney, baloney, baloney!" And here's where it gets freaky:

"Go to your local schools and find 25% of your kids being illegal aliens, and having, and bringing down the education level of everybody else; having our health care being drained of resources, when we can't even take care of our own; yeah, go ahead and vote for liberals! Go ahead and vote for liberals if you want to give education, health care, and money to people who come here illegally!"

Maybe it's me, but this quote bothered me. A lot.

Forget for a moment that Roharbacher, like all Republicans it seems nowadays, is completely full of it, substituting caricatures and stereotypes about Democrats from the 1970s and '80s for what is actually happening in the real world, and what this President has actually done, said, proposed and advocated. This "Go ahead and vote for liberals if you want [X]" business, where [X] is something no actual liberal and no actual Democrat has ever actually proposed, suggested, advocated, supported or brought about, is standard issue by now.

But the idea that having foreign-born students in a classroom, regardless of where they come from, "bring[s] down the education level of everybody else," is staggeringly offensive. I taught for four years in a large academic high school in the most ethnically-diverse municipality on the planet; I never had fewer than eight cultures and native countries represented in any class. We had kids from all over Latin America, the Near, Middle and Far East, and eastern Europe; we also had second- and third-generation Greek Americans and Italian Americans, as well as a diverse African-American population. I can promise everyone that the presence of foreign-born students did not reduce the quality of education for anyone in my classroom, or any other teacher in that school.

This was appalling; one of the most appalling things I've ever heard on Maher's show.

Originally posted to GrafZeppelin127 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 10:37 AM PST.

Also republished by California politics and LatinoKos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I had a hard time watching it.... (25+ / 0-)

    Rohrbacker and Kennedy just totally dominated the conversation with their shit.  The smartest person there (Bashir) was barely able to get a word in, and even Maher was shaking his head and face-palming at the absolute stupidity and ignorance of those two loud-mouthed crazies.  I hope he never invites them back... for it wasn't a discussion of facts - it was two idiots taking advantage of the forum, spewing Frank Luntz/GOP talking points.

    "George Washington: "The power under the Constitution will always be in the people.... and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled." 1787

    by moose67 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 10:47:00 AM PST

    •  Exactly Moose, (14+ / 0-)

      My thought was WTF?!!:  Martin Bashir flew out to the left coast...only to be ignored?  I've seen the same thing happen to Paul Krugman and other expert luminaries on Bill Maher's show.  He invites them, then totally relinquishes control to the wingers that just keep talking over everyone.  Why invite Krugman, Bashir, etc. and allow them to be ignored and marginalized?

      •  the problem is not Bill Maher - the problem is (17+ / 0-)

        the ill-mannered louts who represent the conservative right who are invited to the show.

        Ever since the Reagan Era (and started by none other than Pat Buchanan on shows like Crossfire), this behavior has been rampant on the Right.

        Not willing to have a civil debate like adults, oh no. They want need to dominate the entire conversation - even when they are blathering about nonsense, perhaps most especially when they talk nonsense...

        They are loud, rude, overbearing, and CANNOT support their viewpoints with actual facts, because most of their facts are nothing more than personal subjective ideology full of truthiness and seriously lacking in truthfullness.

        I felt badly for Mr Bashir, as I find him a fair and balanced reporter of fact-based information - but if you get tossed in the mix, you need to come prepared to rumble, not sit quietly while the crazies spout non-stop.

        * * *
        I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization
        * * *
        "A Better World is Possible" - #Occupy

        by Angie in WA State on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 11:40:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree. (14+ / 0-)

          Bill Maher is the moderator; he invited Martin Bashir.  He had both the power and obligation to tell the 2 yahoos to STFU for a minute and ask Mr. Bashir his thoughts on their diatribes.

          •  I agree with your disagreement (5+ / 0-)

            When your show is named after you, it kind of implies you have some control. I admit, I'm not as enamored of him as some. He can be spot on and he can be completely fickle and more interested in shit stirring. I haven't watched this episode yet...it's DVR'd...but I've seen this in other epis so I'm not at all surprised.

            We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

            by Vita Brevis on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 12:42:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I agree. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc, Paddy999, GDbot, caul

            Maher should have exercised some control. I watch mainly MSNBC and I have noticed that a right winger gets to spew non-facts and when it is a liberals turn they ALWAYS interrupt. I see this mainly on Wagner's show in the morning where she has one right winger against 3 from the left. The right winger is always the rudest.

            Maher let Kennedy go on and on with nonsense. The Rohrbacher just spouted lies. Bashir was just too polite to interrupt. Maher should have given him a few opportunities.

            Now I will not say both sides do it, but usually people on the left interrupt when a lie or non-fact is spouted. People on the right interrupt when a fact is stated.

            The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. - Elbert Hubbard -9.62/-8.15

            by GustavMahler on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 04:10:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maher (0+ / 0-)

              I usually watch Bill Maher's show, I'm not enamored by him but I find it one of the more acceptable shows on TV (well "news" shows) to watch because he usually has one redeeming moment.

              But he's not a good host.  He's slightly better than Chris Mathews constant interruptions but he will either get into irrelevant fights or let the conservative speak too much.  I think he likes the fact that the audience will boo or the panel gets enraged because remember, he's tight with Ann Coulter.  He's not bad (only problems I've had with him are the Ellison exchange, his odd rambling on medicine, etc.) but he gets carried away a bit.

              I say this as a fan of him but he's more of a guy with a show than a guy that hosts a show.

              This comment was also more exciting than Tim Pawlenty

              by RVKU on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 04:28:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  That Kennedy person to be kind (13+ / 0-)

      I don't even think she qualifies as a person, is the rudest, dumbest thing I have ever seen. Why he would even have her on the show makes me wonder if he is as smart as I think he is. I could not even bare to watch it. Especially at a time like this, when so many important things are going on.

      I usually look forward to watching Bill's show but if it is going to be more like this one I will have to pass. Bill should control his guest when they monopolize like she did. It is not fair to someone like Martin who is intelligent and has so much to contribute.

    •  Kennedy clearly listens to way to much (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RVKU, ER Doc, caul

      Alex Jones...a conspiracy around every corner...

      An example of someone who thinks they know way more than they actually do...

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 02:01:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was wore out just listening to the show last (16+ / 0-)

    night.  It was horrible.  Bill's show was so good last week, but this week those two nutballs would not let a real conversation take place.  I don't know who the Kennedy female was and I don't care.  What a nobody.  She had to insert her nothing opinion into everybody's conversation.  

    Would love to have had been able to listen to Martin but the Creep from California wouldn't let him speak.  Vote Rohbacher out.  He's old tired old talking point Newt Gingrich wanna be.  No facts.  Not very smart.  Whose pocket is he in?

    If these are Bill's personal buddies he is starting to lose me.  I pay extra cable to get HBO to watch his show.  I watch very little else.  Maybe it's time to cut back on some bills.  Looks like I am going to need the money in the near future for maybe food or something.

    'cause God may forgive you, but I won't. Yes, Jesus loves you, but I don't. They don't have to live with you and neither do I. You say that you're born again, well so am I. God may forgive you, but I won't and I won't even try"--Iris Dement

    by Paddy999 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 10:50:04 AM PST

    •  Unfortunately, Rohbacher will never be "voted out" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BayAreaKen, ER Doc, caul

      since he represents the beach all along Orange County.  It is a strange area with a strange electorate who are slightly to the right of Charles Krauthammer.  He has one of the most safe Republican seats in the nation, so he can spout all the right wing bullshit he wants and no one in his district will ever call him out on it.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 02:47:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What, Martin Bashir was on? (11+ / 0-)

    Seriously, if I were he, I'd refuse to go back until Bill got more polite guests on his panel. Those two Republican a-holes wouldn't even let Bill talk, much less Mr. Bashir. And I'm thinking of refusing to watch the next episode if this is the way Real Time is going to be this year.

    Go ahead, buy my husband's art. Please. http://www.etsy.com/shop/Windthin?ref=ss_profile

    by allergywoman on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 10:52:50 AM PST

  •  There is a school of thought that proposes (3+ / 0-)

    the United States became the power and nation we were, because of white, Anglo-Saxon, religious persecuted and pure of heart individuals. You know, the one who invented waterboarding women to the death.
    There is also a school of thought that proposes the United States grew to become the nation they were because of the forced labor of slaves, indentured servants and the influx of immigrants that changed the focus of this country into a caring and welcoming society.
    I believe the best proposition can be divined by watching what has happened since the white, Anglo-Saxon, religious extremists and their ilk have once again regained control of this country's direction.

    "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

    by Cruzankenny on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 10:59:13 AM PST

  •  I don't get it.. (7+ / 0-)

    Why would anyone give racists and delusional liars yet another soapbox? They already have Fox and thousands of hate radio stations. Maher is seriously mis-guided.

    A man, a plan, a canal, Panama

    by Karl Rover on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 11:00:11 AM PST

  •  I've got a proposal for Dana Rohrabacher! (8+ / 0-)

    You put your educational attainments and intelligence up against this former illegal immigrant's.  We'll appoint a neutral panel of judges to decide which of you would be "bringing down the educational level" of everybody else if you were in a class together.  If it's the former illegal immigrant, I'll agree that you're right on immigration.  But if it's YOU Dana, then you resign from Congress and admit that you're a bigoted idiot.

    PROUD to be a Democrat!

    by leevank on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 11:06:41 AM PST

  •  I did not watch it just because (0+ / 0-)

    he was on. Could not put myself through that BS.

  •  Now I know where the title (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Shirl In Idaho, ER Doc

    "Are you smarter than a Fifth Grader?" came from.  American's are not!  Including the Politicians!

    'cause God may forgive you, but I won't. Yes, Jesus loves you, but I don't. They don't have to live with you and neither do I. You say that you're born again, well so am I. God may forgive you, but I won't and I won't even try"--Iris Dement

    by Paddy999 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 11:16:26 AM PST

  •  After I saw the Real Time lineup I decided to (9+ / 0-)

    record it so I could skip the horrible parts.  Rohrabacher showed his absolute ignorance but at least the audience booed him loudly.  The "lady" does something (supposedly) related to music on an AM station and she nicely showed everyone that she was as rude and full of crap as Robrabacher.  Martin Bashir is one of the best and I was pretty angry that he couldn't get a word in edgeways.  

    "By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell -- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed." Adolf Hitler

    by pittie70 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 11:16:59 AM PST

  •  Really Like The Show. Last Night It Was Amusing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jakedog42, pittie70, Paddy999, MrJersey

    just because Kennedy and Rohrabacher were just so bad. Rohrabacher was doing the truthiness thing.  Democrats are anti-miltitary and pro-illegal immigration because you can just feel it in your gut. Never mind the facts.  Maher did call him on that. He

    One amusing thing is Rohrabacher kept on complaining about being cut off (it was more Kennedy than anybody else). Bashir couldn't get anything in edge-wise and one of the few times he said anything, Rohrabacher complained that Bashir was cutting him off. I said that it seemed like an aging Republican had brought his bratty Young Republican daughter to the show. Kennedy was making facial and hand  gestures mocking Rohrabacher as he spoke. I called Kennedy a Young Republican but even describing her as that is kind of sad. She is 39 years old. Her 90s MTV VJ act is getting kind of old. As she is.

  •  I've got another proposal for Rohrabacher (5+ / 0-)

    Lose the coral necklace. Hasn't been a cool fashion accessory for 35 years dude.

  •  It was a bad combination of rightwingers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jakedog42, pittie70, Paddy999, MrJersey

    He also started the show with Mark Foley who made a xenophobic joke about Iranians.  

    Roar-back-er and Kennedy took over the show as the know-nothing echo chamber.  Hilarious part when Rohrbacher and Kennedy are hogging all the airtime talking over each other and Bashir politely tries to correct a lie and Rohrbacher gets indignant and interrupts him to demand to make his point, as if he hasn't been talking the whole time.

    Bill Maher needs to make new friends - those three  (Foley, Rohrbacher, and Kennedy) he had on the show were a sad waste of air time.

    "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 11:27:56 AM PST

  •  Boy was i mad (10+ / 0-)

    Crazy Dana is my congresscritter and I have been voting against him for 22 years. I've volunteered and donated money to his opponents, but it doesn't do any good. He is in a highly gerrymandered district for one thing and the national Democratic party doesn't seem to have any interest in getting him out. They never give any assistance to his opponents. It seems we Dems in CA 46 are on our own. The only reason for this that I can see is that Dana is consistently rated as the LEAST effective member of congress. In 22 years I don't think he has introduced a single important bill. As for that bimbo on the show, someone should stick a bag over her head and put her on a rocket to the moon with the immature salamander. I hated last nights show so much I was screaming at the TV and that is something I hardly ever do.

  •  I can't stand Rohrabacher (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, jakedog42, Paddy999, GDbot, caul

    But then again, it's not the first time I've heard stuff like that out of the mouths of California Republicans. To me, they're almost as bad as their Arizona counterparts.

    "Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose." ―Yoda to Anakin Skywalker

    by Auntie Neo Kawn on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 12:46:30 PM PST

  •  Bill Maher owes an apology to Martin Bashir, Chef (7+ / 0-)

    Mario Batali and his audience.  I have no idea who that woman was who contributed absolutely no information or reality based opinion in a very loud voice, but she should learn that it is better for others to suspect you are an idiot than it is to open your mouth to prove them right.

    Maher had a perfect opportunity to use Martin Bashir to show how totally out of touch the GOP, represented by Rorhbacher, actually is.  If he didn't have the exact figures of the deportation numbers, Bashir probably did.  Why would he tolerate such ignorance to go unrefuted when he had such a brilliant panelist is beyond me, but it definitely convinced me that I should be watching Bashir's show.

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 12:59:56 PM PST

  •  I just checked out Bill Maher's Facebook page. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BayAreaKen, Zaphkiel, Paddy999, GDbot

    There were 622 comments about last night's show and from the many I read, none were complimentary.  Bill was taken to task for not taking control of the panel.  There is a lot of anger about the behavior of Kennedy and Rohrbacher, and that Bashir did't get a chance to participate.  Shame on Bill!

    "By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell -- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed." Adolf Hitler

    by pittie70 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 03:31:48 PM PST

  •  Listen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paddy999

    to that guy and you realize why Congress is less popular than herpes.

  •  Real Time is a hit or miss (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Railfan, jakedog42

    I admit, I originally subscribed to HBO so I could watch Real Time.  I never miss a show.  But every now-and-again the show is so awful as to make me want to cancel said subscription.

    When Bill's show goes bad, it goes horribly bad.  As many of the comments above highlight, Bill lost control of his panel.  It truly was a shame.  I've seen and heard Bill say to past guests "stop talking" (or some such language).  Last night, he let them run.  To some extent, there is value in letting them make fools of themselves.  But as a home viewer, I couldn't make head's or tails of what was being said.  I had a pit in my stomach watching people scream over each other.  Including Bill.  

    I did like how he tried to call bullshit on the congressman and Kennedy a few times.  But he wasn't as forceful as he has been previously.  I also was upset when Kennedy abruptly and effectively changed the conversation by bringing up religion.  Nice deflection.  Bill shouldn't have let her get away with that.

    So we agree.  Not the best episode last night.  I'm not ready to throw in the towel, however.  Mostly, the show is worth watching.  But I do like how, through the Facebook page, Bill is being taken to task.  He should be.  I hope they get the message.

  •  MTV was sort of a landing place for another .... (0+ / 0-)

    libertarian VJ, Kurt Loder, but Loder is less stupid about it than Kennedy, who despite her degree in philosophy seems to have little ability to apply that education to real-life. I know Daisy Fuentes is very anti-Castro though I don't know if this rightward view applies to her other views.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Loder and Kennedy's views reflected the beliefs of the suits at MTV back then despite the flak MTV was getting from the right, I knew someone who worked (behind the scenes) in the xxx industry in the 1980's and he was surprised by how many rightwingers he encountered even as Messe was harassing them.

    I remember even Howard Stern complaining about how conservative MTV management was.

     

  •  Thugs have no idea what's going to hit them. None (0+ / 0-)

    at all.

    Rohrbacher and their designated 'cool kid' who's 40 by (Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, stage name Kennedy, born September 8, 1972) actually believe the nonsense they spout is 'fact'.  Rohrbacher was visibly disappointed and confused when at one pt he turned to the audience for confirmation of the 'truth' of one of his delusions and... you could hear a pin drop.  

    As Bill and Martin said, 'the Bubble', i.e., the Fauxbubble.  They've been listening only to each other for so long they 1) have no idea what the truth of reality is, and 2) no idea what the majority of voters actually believe.  (Which kind of explains why the few who do, Rove et al, are pushing voter suppression so hard, eh?)

  •  I'll bet that your classroom diversity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GDbot

    caused your students to learn more, not less.  Truly "smart" people know that the more cultures, languages, experiences, facts, and opinions to which one is exposed, the more one learns - and will likely crave to learn more still.  What "brings down the education level" of people is the smug satisfaction that their way is the right way, the only way.  

    I pity those who think they have all the answers.  Not only are they not very smart, but they miss the total, unfettered joy of curiosity.  :-)

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 05:20:50 PM PST

  •  Glad To See I Wasn't The Only One (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paddy999

    I usually enjoy Bill's show but last night! I found myself getting so aggravated by it. I had no idea who this "Kennedy" lady was and don't want to sit through hearing her again.  It was hard to figure out who was ruder, her or that Republican from California (with the puka shell necklace - seriously who wears them anymore).  That guy is so representative of the Republicans now.  He was all b.s.; had no facts to back himself up with and kept shouting out accusations that made no sense.  Why can't this people discuss policy? Everything was Obama's fault. The sad part is there are so many people in this country who believe jerks like him.

    Maher owes Bashir an apology; wouldn't be surprised if Bashir doesn't appear on the show again.

    Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote.

    by Renie57 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 05:33:30 PM PST

  •  Try living in his district. (0+ / 0-)

    His comments on Real Time are just par for the course..

    The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

    by Orange County Liberal on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 06:20:21 PM PST

  •  It's Rohrabacher with an A... (0+ / 0-)

    And that bitter old lunatic should be institutionalized and kept under 24 hour sedation. Please, someone. Call the hospital and get that man some professional help.

    .

  •  Found it on YouTube (0+ / 0-)

    I liked when he tried doing Maher's "OH YOU LOOK AT THE FACTS" thing back at him, and failed miserably.

    British guy with a big interest in US politics; -3.50, -3.18

    by General Goose on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 04:46:33 AM PST

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