Winner 2013 Webby Awards for Best Political Website
Top Banner, Site wide
Apr 16, 2014

 Choose a size
Text Size

Top Leaderboard, Site wide

A Victory Lap for Obamacare

Paul Robeson: A Life

Truthdig Bazaar more items

A/V Booth

Maher to Democrats: ?Chill Out?

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Apr 7, 2008
Bill Maher

From TSA’s mood music to Obama’s bowling blunder, Bill Maher takes on the issues of the week, including the growing concern over the Democrats’ heated primary battle: “If voting can destroy the Democratic Party, then the party isn’t very democratic.”

Watch it:


Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By bert, April 9, 2008 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

According to cyrena       “[No] SIGNIFICANT persons were CONTINUING to call for Hillary to ‘quit’,”

I can see the new newspaper headline now’


These insignificanr persons are: Bill Richardson, Patrick Leahy, Chris Dodd, Dick Durbin.

Thanks, cyrena for confirming same.

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, April 9, 2008 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

I hope he’s not on the “task force”.

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, April 9, 2008 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

I don’t believe Hillary or any of the candidates should quit prior to their respective conventions.

The present system is unfair to the states with late primaries whose residents cannot vote for the candidate of their choice, just who remains.

A National primary day would be the most fair.

Report this

By bozhidar bob balkas, April 9, 2008 at 8:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

he did say on larry king show some years ago, and i quote, I am with israel. what he may have meant by it i’m not sure. does he approbate some of the unprecendented crimes that IOF is doing. such as manhunting, kidnapping, plowing under orchards, stealing land almost daily, fragmentaion of palestinian homeland, negation of the right to return, collectively punnishing palestinians for crimes or even no crimes of the indivduals?
once i heard him say that i no longer listen to him. thank you

Report this

By cyrena, April 9, 2008 at 3:48 am Link to this comment


As you can see, I did note your post, (once I read it) and as usual, you DID NOT PROVIDE ‘proof’ of anything bert, which Leefeller has noted on another thread.

And bert, YOU NEVER DO! So, if you think I’ve ignored you before when I’ve asked for resources, it’s because whatever you provide is propaganda, and EVEN THEN, you fail to use it properly to answer the questions.

If I tried to submit the kind of shit that you use, and build any sort of an aguement/response to the ISSUE or the relevant question, it would very appropriately be judged as NON-ACCEPTABLE.

Hopefully you have an adequate pension, and you just do this as a ‘hobby’ (or maybe Hillary has you on commission).

Report this

By cyrena, April 9, 2008 at 3:34 am Link to this comment


I had not ignored your reply, though it was not here when I checked earlier.

Thanks SO MUCH for the WIKIPEDIA cut and paste. That was some EXCELLENT ‘researching’ bert.

PLEASE read = SARCASM here since I’m perfectly capable of checking wikipedia as one of many SECONDARY sources, and in this case, I’d already done that.

It does NOT however, answer the question that I posed to Maani. (criteria) and consequently, it’s just more BS from you. Maybe you failed to read the question properly. 

It’s the same with the other stuff you posted on the ‘sources’ of the calls for Hillary to quit. My own question was VERY SPECIFIC within it’s time frame.

I already KNEW that Leahy had made such a call. I said this, in reference to Maani’s April 8th post, as if it were continuing:

My quote:

“…SINCE THEN, nobody, (of ANY real significance) has continued to ‘call for’ Hillary to quit…THAT I AM AWARE OF, INCLUDING HER OPPONENT!!

NO! You didn’t ANSWER my question at all. You did NOT give me anything that would suggest that any SIGNIFICANT persons were CONTINUING to call for Hillary to ‘quit’, and it’s already been established why the others did, nearly 2 or more weeks ago. They were mostly reacting to recent polls that indicated many people were disgusted with the bloodletting, and that the party was disintegrating under the nastiness. And yes, a few of the PUNDTS, (such as Jonathon at Newsweek) also suggested that it was because she couldn’t win. It’s not up to you to determine that PUNDITS are ‘Obama supporters’ because for the MEDIA, they want this thing to go on forever.

More importantly, you’ve TOTALLY dismissed the fact that Obama HIMSELF, has NEVER made such a ‘call’ or recommendation, but that he’s actually done the OPPOSITE. He said, (in the immediate aftermath of those original statements) that he believed that Hillary should STAY IN THE RACE AS LONG AS SHE WANTS!

As it so happens, I believe the very same thing, because I’m about keeping things on the up and up. Matter of fact, I had this very same question for my former co-workers when the recount in Florida was interrupted.(2000) They, (being bush supporters) didn’t WANT any recounts. I wondered (in my naiveté at the time) why the bush team WOULDN’T want the votes recounted, just to make it clear to the American people that he HAD won the State of Florida.

That is the very same attitude that I have now, since my ‘principles’ don’t change, depending on who’s in the lead or not in the lead. So yes, despite the fact that Hillary has next to no chance of winning all 10 remaining contests in significant enough numbers, she should STILL continue, if for no other reason than to give the voters of those remaining states their opportunity to cast their votes. THEY haven’t broken any of the party rules, so they should be able to vote for whomever they choose.

But, in your zealotry to keep shit stirred up, you still wanna create all of these divisive diversions. Like Maani.

You also FAILED to tell me what ‘criteria’ was expected from the superdelegates in casting their own votes, instead going through all of this bullshit that we already know. RATHER, the ONLY thing you preferred to emphasize was that they were not BOUND to vote based on their constituency, and we all know that as well. Why else would HRC’s own campaign manager admit that they have 10 staffers DEDICATED to pursuing/hounding these delegates?

I’ve since found the additional ‘criteria’. I might add that you OBVIOUSLY don’t know much about John Lewis, because he’s the LAST person to be scared off by hate mail or threats.

You’re still full of shit bert, and egregiously disrespectful of anyone with actual democratic principles. You’ve long ago proved that.

BTW, since I’m sure you didn’t bother to watch or listen, HRC did an excellent job, (IMO – others would disagree) in her statements and questions today. Personally speaking, I was very impressed with her statement and her questions.

Report this

By bert, April 8, 2008 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment

Did you see cyrena’s reply to you that you did not answer her question on who was asking Hillary to quit? I guess that menas she either did not see my specific answer or she just ignored it. I’m betting on the ignored, becasue so often cyrena asks for proof and when I supply it she says nothing and does not respond.

Ih well, what can we say?

Report this

By cyrena, April 8, 2008 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment


I didn’t expect you to tell me who/where all of these calls for quits were allegedly still coming from, and of course you didn’t, because they aren’t. Easy for you to claim that I’m living under a rock if I haven’t heard it. (I’m not by the way, though our beach does have several – good for lots of things)

Meantime, I answered my own questions about the ‘criteria’ and a whole lot more. You should check it out, though I’m sure you’re a ‘team leader’ and probably already aware of the latest tricks.

But, you’re still rusty as a spin master Maani. We see right through it. Maybe your team needs another conference call. 

In Super Delegate Count, Tough Math for Clinton
  By John Harwood
  The New York Times


  “So her aides have lobbied to persuade those still uncommitted superdelegates to back her - or to continue holding out so her campaign has the chance to demonstrate momentum and superior electability in primaries from Pennsylvania’s on April 22 through Montana’s on June 3.”

  “Mrs. Clinton tried again this weekend to stem the erosion, speaking to Ms. Campbell on a campaign swing through Montana. But Ms. Campbell declined to hold out any longer, saying, “Senator Obama reminds me of why I’m a Democrat.” (me too)

Aides said time was actually in Mr. Obama’s favor. The longer he demonstrates he can withstand the heat of a national campaign, they say, the more willing party leaders seem to be to embrace him. “What we’re seeing now is a trickle of people making that final decision to publicly commit,” says Jeffrey Berman, Mr. Obama’s chief delegate tracker.

  His counterpart for Mrs. Clinton, Harold Ickes, directs 10 staffers working full time to forestall further defections. Mr. Ickes says the campaign can preserve a large enough pool of holdouts for her to rally before the Denver convention.

  Mrs. Clinton’s strategists were HEARTENED by the negative publicity that followed the inflammatory criticism of the United States by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. They saw the episode as a fresh argument for Democratic superdelegates to stay off the Obama bandwagon.

  But Mr. Obama’s campaign, backed by recent opinion polls, argues that his speech rejecting those remarks while calling for dialogue on race relations has prevented fallout among superdelegates.

  “Most people think he passed that test,” said Mr. Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Steve Hildebrand.

Read more

Then this:
The Clinton Campaign’s New Math
“But the Clinton campaign has found a new angle: imaginary electoral college votes. It is sending surrogates out to push the idea that superdelegates should vote for the candidate who would have come out ahead if the primaries were awarding electoral college votes instead of delegates.
This has a veneer of legitimacy because the campaign can say, “In the fall, the president is chosen through the electoral college. If you want to know who would make the best nominee, look at the electoral vote math.” In fact, Clinton communications guru Howard Wolfson said almost exactly this to the New York Times.

Now, is this spin? Of course it is. The Clinton campaign will and has spit out any criteria it can think of that shifts the media narrative in its direction. It is losing the pledged delegate count, it is losing the popular vote, and it has lost more states. But it is in front when it comes to this notion of electoral college votes because it has won more big states. “It is our belief that at the end of the day, superdelegates will need to take into account a variety of factors,” said spokesman Phil Singer on a conference call on Monday. “And that includes which candidate is going to be best able to accumulate the requisite 270 electoral votes.”

Read more

Oh yeah, she’s still working up the MI FL thing too.

Report this

By liberal white boy, April 8, 2008 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bill Maher: Liberal Comedian Or The Treasonous Punk Ass Bitch Of Benjamin Netanyahu?

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, April 8, 2008 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

Ask them.

Report this

By Maani, April 8, 2008 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment


[Bert: Thanks for the assist!]

I will not address the “Hillary should quit” issue since (i) bert has done a good initial job of doing so, and (ii) you would have to be living under a HUGE rock not to have heard the broadness and depth of the outcry in this regard.  And if you are not aware of how the calls for her to quit are related to the superdelegate issue - and that Obama (until recently), his surrogates and his supporters have SPECIFICALLY tied it to this issue - then you are living under a huge rock in a very remote area.

Re the superdelegates, here are a couple of pieces that will help explain them.  An excerpt from the first:

“The Hunt Commission proposed superdelegates (initially set at 14 percent of all delegates, subsequently increased to about 20 percent) to improve the party’s mainstream appeal by moderating the new dominance of these activists and by increasing the contributions of elected and party officials to the Democratic platform and their impact on the selection of a nominee; TO PROVIDE AN ELEMENT OF PEER REVIEW, WEIGHING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE OFFICE, THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF THE CANDIDATES AND THE CHANCES THAT THEY’LL WIN; and to create stronger ties between the party and its elected officials to promote a unified campaign and teamwork in government.”  (Emphases mine)


Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, April 8, 2008 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

In 76’ Brown won the Maryland Democratic primary and I voted for him. 

Later in California, he was taken out by the fruit fly.

Report this

By bert, April 8, 2008 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

cyrena writes:    “So, that’s my question Maani. Can you tell us here, who all of these folks are, who either HAVE called for her to quit, or ARE still doing that, as of the time that you wrote this piece? Who are they?

After you can’t tell us that,...” 

WRONG WRONG WRONG Not only can I tell you, I will.

***From The Hills pundits blog March 31, 2008:
Late last week, from prominent Obama supporters, there was a drumbeat of calls for Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race. Bill Richardson, Patrick Leahy, Chris Dodd, Dick Durbin and others all chimed in with the same chant: He’s ahead. She can’t win. She’s only hurting the party. She should drop out.

***From Real Clear Politics, column by Jack Kelly, Feb. 28, 2007
Syndicated columnist Robert Novak and Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter have written columns this week urging Sen. Hillary Clinton to drop out of the Democratic race for president now, before the primaries March 4 in Ohio and Texas.

These calls from these and others were then picked up by folks who blog, including some here on TD, that wanted Hillary to drop out. Some even went so far as to offer her Majority Leader position.

Report this

By bert, April 8, 2008 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

From Wikipedia

“‘Superdelegate’ is an informal term commonly used for some of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention, the presidential nominating convention of the United States Democratic Party.

Unlike most convention delegates, the superdelegates are not selected based on the party primaries and caucuses in each U.S. state, in which voters choose among candidates for the party’s presidential nomination. Instead, most of the superdelegates are seated automatically, based solely on their status as current or former party leaders and elected officials (“PLEOs”). Others are chosen during the primary season. ALL THE SUPER DELEGATES ARE FREE TO SUPPORT ANY CANDIDATE FOR THE NOMINATION [caps/emphasis mine]

The Democratic Party rules do not use the term “superdelegate”.


Democratic Party rules distinguish pledged and unpledged delegates. Pledged delegates are selected based on their announced preferences in the contest for the presidential nomination. In the party primary elections and caucuses in each U.S. state, voters express their preference among the contenders for the party’s nomination for President of the United States. Pledged delegates supporting each candidate are chosen in approximate ratio to their candidate’s share of the vote. The party rules state (Rule 12.J): “Delegates elected to the national convention pledged to a presidential candidate SHALL IN ALL GOOD CONSCIENCE [caps/emphasis mine]  reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.”[1]

By contrast, the unpledged PLEO delegates are seated without regard to their presidential preferences, just by virtue of being current or former elected officeholders and party officials. Many of them have chosen to announce endorsements, but they are not bound in any way.” END QUOTE

I repeat unpledged or super delegates are not reqyired or bound to support any candidate. Regular delegates can vote in good conscience.

You will have to ask Rep. John Lewis himself why he changed his support. I read news accounts at the time he made his announcement that he received a lot of pressure from Obama supporters including rude and obnoxious and harrassing phone calls and hateful letters and emails from people in his district.

link to full article (including history - “Like, how it was ‘created’ to function.”:

Report this

By cyrena, April 8, 2008 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

Maani writes more propaganda:

“The calls for Hillary to quit are based on one thing and one thing only: the assumption that the superdelegates must, or even should, vote solely on the basis of who has the most pledged delegates and/or popular vote…”

Maani, help us out here, and see if you can answer any of the standard questions that the average person would ask when they read this standard BS.

First, can you tell us exactly WHO it is allegedly making these ‘call for Hillary to quit”. I’m aware of Patrick Leheay, and that was at least a couple of weeks back. Basically, it went NOWHERE! That is except for YOU consistently bringing it up, which does not surprise me, because you want to create this false propaganda connection to the superdelegate issue, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

I’ve read and I’ve listened to all of the AM pundits, and a few of the majors. (print majors only) I’ve read the comments on this blog, and several others since Leahy made his ‘call’ and there might be a handful (back at the time) who may have thought it was a good idea, BASED SOLELY on the blood letting, and the genuine fear that if Hillary (and her supporters) kept up the Kitchen Sink antics, that the ‘fence sitters’ were gonna be so disgusted, they wouldn’t vote for either one of them. Quincy mentions this in his or her post as well.

SINCE THEN, nobody, (of ANY real significance) has continued to ‘call for’ Hillary to quit…THAT I AM AWARE OF, INCLUDING HER OPPONENT!!

So, my question is, WHY do you keep suggesting that this is the case? You went through the trouble to make that standard phony gesture to Aegrus that you were so ‘surprised to agree with him’ and bert puppeted right behind. (maybe there was a ‘team conference call’ on new blog strategies and you coached everyone?)

But the REALITY is Maani, I really can’t find ANYBODY who agrees with this, INCLUDING Obama supporters!I have said a half-dozen times or more, MYSELF, that she absolutely should not, (quit) and this ISN’T the first time that Mahr has said the same.

So, that’s my question Maani. Can you tell us here, who all of these folks are, who either HAVE called for her to quit, or ARE still doing that, as of the time that you wrote this piece? Who are they?

After you can’t tell us that, can you tell us why you think these ‘calls for her to quit’ (that I think you’ve created to further your propaganda) have ANYTHING to do with the superdelegates? You’ve obfuscated/parsed/ that of course, so maybe you’ll really be able to suggest what connections you see to that.

Then, can you tell us how you, bert, and Hillary have somehow decided what the purpose of the superdelegates is, and why they AREN’T supposed to consider the ‘will of their constituents’ in casting their own votes. I would like to know if that is written somewhere, in the text of the ‘superdelegate’ duties or principles, or if YOU’VE just decided that, based on Hillary’s determination to bully them all into voting for HER, regardless of what their constituents voted.
An example you might reflect on could be the very long term Congressman from GA, Rep. John Lewis, since HIS understanding of his responsibility as a superdelegate, is to represent the will of his constituents. So, how would you go about EXPLAINING to this long term Congressman, that HIS understanding is WRONG, and that he’s supposed to use ‘some other’ criteria to cast his vote, and can you tell him what documents he needs to study to understand what those ‘other criteria’ are?

And of course, I’d like to study the same myself. Guess I just don’t take your word for it. So hopefully, you can direct me to whatever your interpretation is, of how these delegates are supposed to select their candidates. It seems really vague so far. Like, how it was ‘created’ to function.

Report this

By bert, April 7, 2008 at 11:11 pm Link to this comment

Great post Maani. And as usual logical and on point. I appreciate that you are always so level headed.

No Candidate in History Has Ever Been Told to Quit Before

What are Obama and his supporters so afraid of?

Simple: after Hillary Clinton wins Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and other upcoming contests, she will lead Obama in the POPULAR VOTE.

Never before has a leading candidate for President been told by the media to drop out of the race. Then again, we’ve never had a woman as leading candidate for the nomination before.

Look at the men who have run in the past, who were nowhere close to becoming the nominee, and how the media encouraged them to stay in the race.

After the remaining states and territories vote, I predict that Hillary Clinton will lead Obama by about 500,000 in the popular vote and will trail him by only about 30 pledged delegates.

Why on Earth should she quit when men have fought for the nomination all the way to the convention, including two prominent Obama supporters (we’re looking at you, Jackson and Kennedy) who had no chance of ever winning.

• In 1988, Jesse Jackson took his campaign against winner Michael Dukakis all the way to the convention, often to great media praise.

• In 1980, Ted Kennedy carried his run against Jimmy Carter all the way to the convention, even though it was clear he had been routed.

• In 1976, Ronald Reagan contested the “inevitability” of Gerald Ford all the way to the convention. Few, then or since, have ever thought to criticize Reagan’s failure to step aside and let Ford assume the mantle.

• Also in 1976, three candidates—Mo Udall, Jerry Brown, and Frank Church—ran against Jimmy Carter all the way through the final primaries, even though Carter seemed more than likely to be the eventual nominee.

• Even in 1960, Lyndon Johnson and Adlai Stevenson fought the “certain” nomination of John F. Kennedy all the way to the convention floor.

So why this rush to get Clinton out?

Report this

By Maani, April 7, 2008 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment

The calls for Hillary to quit are based on one thing and one thing only: the assumption that the superdelegates must, or even should, vote solely on the basis of who has the most pledged delegates and/or popular vote.  [N.B. No one has answered me as to what happens if these two things are split between the candidates…]

But this is a red herring.  Whether or not one likes the superdelegate system - or even considers it “democratic” - it is the system we have.  Given this, the superdelegate system was created for the express purpose of NOT making its decision SOLELY on pledged delegates and/or popular vote.  It can, and in many people’s opinion should, consider other factors - particularly when two candidates are so close.

The calls by Obama supporters is thus based on fallacious logic: the superdelegates DO NOT and SHOULD NOT HAVE TO pledge themselves based solely on pledged delegates and/or popular vote.

If we are going to abide by the rules re MI and FL delegates - no matter how much many of us may disagree with them (and many of us do, no matter which candidate we support) - then the same should hold true for the superdelegate system: no matter how flawed or even “undemocratic” it may be, it is the we have, and we cannot demand that it function solely as we might like, but rather allow it to function as it was created to do.

Perhaps that will lead to what the Obama supporters believe to be the most “democratic” result - that the superdelegates DO pledge themselves based on pledged delegates and/or popular vote - and perhaps it will not.  But whatever their decision, it should be accepted by all, and everyone must “move on” afterwards by supporting whoever is the nominee.


Report this

By bert, April 7, 2008 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

A lot of us are asking this question. He has shown absolutely no leadership on this ar all. He should resign.

Report this

By bert, April 7, 2008 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

I was just getting ready to respond to Aegris and let him know that I, too - surprise - agreed with him. But then just happened to notice your post was next in line and you said what I was going to write. I guess great minds really do think alike.  smile

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, April 7, 2008 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

Within the next couple of months, with all the press and media attention I’m sure that the scrutiny given to both the candidates, one will choke.  I’ve begun to see Hillary start to gag.

The MSM has all but silenced any mention of Ron Paul in print or on the airwaves even though he hasn’t stepped out.  How Republicans could have ever chose McCain over Ron Paul defies logic, as Ron Paul won most of the debates and managed to set records raising money.

We have a long way to go till November.

Report this

By Quinty, April 7, 2008 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wonder how much Howard Dean has to do with this?

For allowing Michigan and Florida to be left out of the “legitimate” primaries and causing the current seating mess? Is he (I don’t know) at all responsible for allowing this to happen? Shouldn’t he have kept the process more under control so as not to eliminate all those Florida and Michigan voters? Causing bad feelings against the Party?

For allowing the primary season to drag on so long? In such a disorderly manner?

Report this

By Quinty, April 7, 2008 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s not a question about democracy or voting. What prompted the calls for Hillary to withdraw was the coincidence of her reaching the point where it would require a “miracle” for her to win while she simultaneously threw the “kitchen sink” at Obama.

Nor does she have to withdraw. If she merely “suspends” her candidacy in case that “miracle” occurs that would be fine. Or she can go on to the remaining primaries without drawing blood. For that only helps McCain.

Sure she has a right to continue, and should. But those who were inspired into asking for her withdrawal were motivated by the blood on the floor. And Hillary really should look out over that, no?

Report this

By Maani, April 7, 2008 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment


Is it possible?  Am I agreeing with you for a SECOND time?  LOL.

Seriously, good post.  I hope it resonates with some of the more fanatical Obama supporters here).


Report this

By Aegrus, April 7, 2008 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

This is one of the points I agree with Bill on. Honestly, anyone saying either candidate should drop out has their head up their ass. It is still a close race. Any silly non-issues brought up would surely be pointed out later in the general election if they weren’t being talked about now. Grow up, get a back-bone and wait for the results.

Report this

By Jeremy, April 7, 2008 at 7:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s not quite as simple as voting destroying the Democratic party. A long primary battle might be great if it were scheduled to end a few months before the general election, so that the nominee can actually run against the Republican nominee for more than a very short time.

But, that’s not how it’s scheduled, and it’s not Hillary’s fault or Obama’s fault, but the fault of the people who drew up the crazy schedule in the first place. If it were scheduled better, no one would be freaking out.

Report this

sign up to get updates

Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.