To have a liberal political party

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a liberal political party? How about one, that unlike the Democrats, supported ending our two wars. Or one that wasn’t trying to sabotage efforts at creating a universal health care system?

On that point, here is an excellent video rant by Bill Maher (h/t

For those of you who can’t watch the video, here’s the transcript, courtesy of HBO.com (bolds are mine):

And finally, New Rule: He’s your president, not your boyfriend. Now, last week in this space, I criticized President Obama for not fighting corporate influence enough, and it made some liberals very angry. My phone rang off the hook, my email filled up, and Nancy Pelosi got so mad her face moved.

Look, folks, I like Obama, too. I’m just saying, let’s not make it a religion.

And, as far as you folks on the right who think that we’re now somehow in league, we’re not in league. I was criticizing Obama for not being hard enough on the corporate douchebags you live to defend. I don’t want to be on your team. Pick another kid.

So, I stand by my words. But, there is another side to the story. And that is that every time Obama tries to take on a progressive cause, there’s a major political party standing in his way: the Democrats. Now, people talk a lot about a third political party in America. We don’t need a third party. We need a first party. You go to the polls and your choices are the guy who voted for the first Wall Street bailout, or the guy who voted for the next ten.

This year, we’re hearing that a public option for health care is unlikely because it doesn’t have the support of enough Democrats. Even Ted Kennedy’s plan– Ted Kennedy, yeah — leaves 37 million uninsured. This is because we don’t have a left and a right part in this country anymore. We have a center-right party and a crazy party.

And, over the last 30-odd years, Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital.

So, what we have is one perfectly good party for hedge fund managers, credit card companies, banks, defense contractors, big agriculture and the pharmaceutical lobby; that’s the Democrats.

And they sit across the aisle from a small group of religious lunatics, flat-earth-ers and Civil War re-enactors who mostly communicate by AM radio and call themselves the Republicans. And who actually worry that Obama is a socialist.

Socialist? He’s not even a liberal. I know he’s not because he’s on TV. And while I see Democrats on television, I don’t see actual liberals. And if occasionally you do get to hear Ralph Nader or Noam Chomsky or Dennis Kucinich, they’re treated like buffoons. Okay, these are not three of the world’s most charismatic men, but then nobody is going to confuse Newt Gingrich for Zac Efron. And I have to look at his fat face on TV more often than that free credit report song.

Shouldn’t there be one party that unambiguously supports cutting the military budget, a party that is straight up in favor of gun control, gay marriage, higher taxes on the rich, universal health care–legalizing pot–and steep, direct taxing of polluters? These aren’t radical ideas. A majority of Americans are either already for them or would be if they were properly argued and defended.

And what we need is an actual progressive party to represent the millions of Americans who aren’t being served by the Democrats. Because, bottom line, Democrats are the new Republicans.

It’s like when some Chinese company buys the name of a great old American brand and slaps it on some cheap crap. You buy it out of reflex, and it’s only later that you think, wow, I didn’t even know Woolworth’s made dildos…

8 Comments

  1. Jarrod

    It’s good to know that one thing both sides can agree on is that their chosen party is doing a piss-poor job of representing their supposed interests.

  2. Chris

    Jarrod,
    In the Democrats case, they aren’t even pretending to try…

  3. Jarrod

    True, the GOP did try to pretend John McCain is conservative

  4. Clint

    Gotta love Maher. Even if you don’t agree with his commentary, you have to admit he’s funny.

    He had a really piece in the LA Times recently blasting Obama for acting too much like a celebrity:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-maher12-2009jun12,0,7966784.story

  5. Andrew

    As long as they put Nader on television, he isn’t being treated like *enough* of a buffoon.

  6. Biff

    Nader is a traitor to the Democratic Party who stole all our votes! Those were OUR votes! How DARE people think they can vote for just whoever they want!!!

  7. Chris

    Biff,
    Let’s be fair, Nader didn’t steal “all” of the Dem’s votes. And let’s be honest, he probably never expected anyone to vote for him anyways.

  8. Clint

    Remember when the chairman of the Democratic Party, Terry McAuliffe, tried to bribe Nader so that he wouldn’t campaign in the contested states in ’04?

    http://www.federaljack.com/2009/05/28/nader-mcauliffe-offered-me-money-to-pull-out-of-key-states/

    Good work, establishment Left.