On HBO, Reid Trashes 'Concentration Camps,' 'Geneva Convention Level Threat'

During Friday’s Real Time, HBO host Bill Maher and his panel weighed in on the first Democratic debates, so not surprisingly, it did not take long for the guests to start trashing President Trump, calling him an “overt enemy of liberal democracy” and claiming there’s “concentration camps” at the border. Believe it or not, Maher had the most rational analysis; repeatedly calling out his liberal guests for their double standards.

Guest Adam Gopnik, described the first debate as “a totally surreal charade” before complaining that people on stage acted “as though George Washington were still living in it...as though nobody wants to pay attention to the reality that the guy who is actually in it is an overt enemy of liberal democracy.” 

 

He also bashed Trump as “a guy who everyday does something to attack not just the norms or the premises of liberal democracy, who’s playing a scene out of Goodfellas with Vladimir Putin at the same time,” adding “we are living in the midst of a national emergency.”

MSNBC’s AM Joy host Joy Reid agreed that the Democratic contenders are “not taking seriously the threat that this President presents to democracy.” She argued that we cannot have “a standard immigration debate” because “what we have now is a debate over whether or not the United States is operating concentration camps at our border. We have an almost Geneva Convention level threat to people’s lives...We’re throwing kids in cages, we’re putting up military tents.”

Maher had the audacity to point out that “people died when Obama was President in the...same situations” but that didn’t stop Reid from ignoring that reality, ruling that the situation at the border “makes us look like the kind of country we used to send monitors to.”

After Reid finished her rant, Maher scorched liberals’ double standard when it came to “going nuts” when President Trump talked about how African-Americans and Hispanics in “inner cities” were “living in hell” while having no problem when Cory Booker talked about during Wednesday's debate how he heard gunshots in his neighborhood.

Reid attempted to justify the double standard: “The difference is Cory Booker doesn’t believe any country run by a black person is a sh*thole that is ungovernable.” At this point, Maher strongly pushed back on Reid for “changing the subject.”

Later, Maher stood up for people concerned about immigration; an apparent reversal from his previous description of Trump supporters as racist: “You can be concerned about immigration and not be someone who is just motivated by racial panic. And I think they get offended when people say that to them…like you’re only offended, you’re only motivated by this one thing.” 

It says a lot about the mental state of the left when, even for just a few moments, Bill Maher became a voice of reason.

A transcript of the relevant portion of Friday’s edition of Real Time is below. Click “expand” to read more.

HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher

06/28/19

10:17 PM

BILL MAHER: What are your debate takeaways?

JOY REID: So you know, it’s…it’s interesting that you did that the way you did, Bill, because I do think of this kind of like either “Survivor” or “The Bachelorette,” right? So the idea is there are 20 people, they want to all get a rose. So, your strategy has to be either eliminate someone else so that they don’t get a rose, right, be the nice person nobody attacks so that you can remain and go on to the next round, right? Or be the villain like Omarosa was on “The Apprentice”... 

MAHER: Right.

REID: …that you go to the end because the producers won’t let you be cut. Right? So everybody went in and most people didn’t think about that.

MAHER: It’s not a serious country.

REID: Well unfortunately, Trump is President. Right? The reality show is the reality.

MAHER: But he…but this proves it’s not just him.

REID: Yeah but…

MAHER: This is the Democrats; they’re doing it.

REID: It’s the country.

MAHER: They set it up like this. They could have set it up more serious.

ADAM GOPNIK: The whole thing, Bill, had the quality of a totally surreal charade because there we get the perky debate music and that big image of the White House, as though George Washington were still living in it, and it’s as though nobody wants to pay attention to the reality that the guy who is actually in it is an overt enemy of liberal democracy is a guy who every day, does something to attack not just the norms and the premises of liberal democracy, who’s playing a scene out of Goodfellas with Vladimir Putin at the same time. We are living in the midst of a national emergency, and what we see in the Democratic debate is arguing about you’re…how much private health insurance you’re going to take away…

REID: Yeah.

GOPNIK: …versus what percentage you’re going to take away.

REID: I think that’s right. I think…

MAX BROOKS: And also, this was…I thought this was a great debate for the presidency of Sweden.

(LAUGHTER)

BROOKS: I’m going to take away your guns. I’m going to raise taxes on the middle class.

MAHER: Right.

BROOKS: …going to pick your doctor. I mean, they should just dub it…

(LAUGHTER)

BROOKS: What country do you think you’re running in?

MAHER: So could…could one candidate have said, before they, they tried to outdo each other in how much they love…and we’re all compassionate, this is the compassionate party! You’ve got that vote. Could one of them have said, you know, Trump always says we’re for open borders, we’re not? First thing we’d like to establish is that we’re for secure borders, and then go into your compassionate speech…

GOPNIK: Well but the same thing is…

REID: No but I think before you even do that, we have to do what you’re talking about because I agree with you that the problem that we’re having and I think the Democratic Party’s having at writ large, not just in this debate, they’re not taking seriously the threat that this President presents to democracy. They’re debating as if Jeb Bush is the Republican…

MAHER: Right. Yeah, you’re right.

GOPNIK: …standard issue Republican.

REID: A standard issue Republican.

GOPNIK: The worst thing, Joy, is too; it re-normalizes Trump…

REID: It does.

GOPNIK: …because by treating him that way, it makes him seem more normal. And the other horrible thing that they’re doing is that they’re giving hostages to Trump. For instance, on…on immigration, yes, but also on health care. You know, in every one of those wonderful, universal Medicare systems and, you know, I feel very personally about this, as they all, as they all like to say…

MAHER: Everything is so personal to these people.

GOPNIK: I feel very personally about this because I was raised in Canada with universal health care, lived for many years in France with a wonderful system, and every one of those systems has a strong, private component to it. Private insurance goes along with public insurance, that’s all you have to say. Of course we’re going to keep private insurance going.

REID: But I mean, that’s also a standard debate. You talked about immigration. This is not a standard immigration debate. What we have now is a debate over whether or not the United States is operating concentration camps at our border. We have an almost Geneva Convention level threat to people’s lives. What, six children have died at the border? We’re throwing kids in cages, we’re putting up military tents, this is not normal immigration policy.

MAHER: People died when Obama was president in the same place…same situations.

REID: But he didn’t have this policy, this policy of taking mothers from their kids. This idea that we’re going…

MAHER: Yes.

REID: …to set up camps…

MAHER: Yes, of course. Again, we all agree…

REID: This is Trump.

MAHER: We all agree…

REID: We need to debate that on the level that it is, as serious as it is.

GOPNIK: I agree Joy, but there are a thousand, to coin a phrase, a thousand small sanities between accepting the bigotry and brutality of Trump and simply seeming to suggest that we can…that we can have open borders, which is a total, another hostage…

REID: I don’t think any Democrat said that.

MAHER: No but it’s always about this one thing. Should we call it concentration camps or should we call it something less? And really, most of the debate should be over here in another bigger area but…

BROOKS: And can we also point out in a, in a culture where everybody gets offended about everything…

MAHER: Yes.

BROOKS: Jew, half-Jew, half-Jew, we have got two Jews. Anybody here offended by using concentration camp?

MAHER: A little bit.

BROOKS: A little bit. Okay. A little…enough to completely walk away and throw everything out the window?

MAHER: No. Of course not.

GOPNIK: No, no, no analogy is ever perfect. No analogy runs on all fours.

BROOKS: So stop attacking the language!

REID: But what’s happening at the border, we know what it is…

MAHER: Right.

REID: We see what it is. It’s horrific. It is, it is…it makes us look like the kind of country we used to send monitors to.

MAHER: Right.

GOPNIK: But Absolutely Joy, the problem is those things are so horrific, and this returns to my original point, that if we try to treat them as though they are normal, political issues…

REID: We shouldn’t. We shouldn’t.

GOPNIK: …we normalize Trump and that’s the worst thing we can do.

MAHER: Can I just show you? This, this is from 2016. This is Trump talking about…well, just watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Our inner cities, African-Americans, Hispanics, are living in hell because it’s so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MAHER: All right, now remember all of the liberals going nuts about this. It was so unfair, it was so wrong. Here’s Cory Booker Wednesday night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CORY BOOKER: I hear gunshots in my neighborhood. I think I’m the only one…I hope I’m the only one on this panel here that had seven people shot in their neighborhood just last week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Yeah but the difference is Cory Booker doesn’t believe any country run by a black person is a shithole that is ungovernable. Right, Donald Trump’s hostility…

MAHER: Whoa, whoa, whoa, you’re changing the subject.

REID: No but I’m saying, the difference is…

MAHER: When Trump said it…

REID: …where it’s coming from. It’s where it’s coming from. Donald Trump is also the guy, his own lawyer said drives through black neighborhoods, saying these people don’t how to live. His attitude toward African-Americans is important here. Cory Booker is not hostile to the African-American community.

(CROSSTALK)

MAHER: That really misses the point.

GOPNIK: Again, again, you can take urban violence as a serious problem without turning it into a plague, a horror that is afflicted on us, which is especially afflicted on white people.

MAHER: It sounded to me like they have said very similar things but we hated one because he was on one team and liked one because he was on the other.

GOPNIK: They said…

REID: It’s where it’s coming from…

GOPNIK … similar things…

MAHER: And that’s the problem.

GOPNIK: In totally, in totally different contexts…

REID: Different context.

GOPNIK: …with totally different histories.

BROOKS: There’s also a larger global picture, there’s a larger historical picture here, which is, if you don’t…if the moderates do not address legitimate concerns, legitimate problems…

MAHER: Right.

BROOKS: …the radicals…

MAHER: Correct.

BROOKS: …will do this. You saw this in Germany, the Soviet Union, Afghanistan, Vietnam, anytime there is a legitimate concern, if we don’t get in there and solve the problems instead of ignoring it, the radicals will hijack those problems, and that will make it their banner issue.

REID: What’s the legitimate concern?

BROOKS: The legitimate concern is, okay, there’s been illegal immigration since I was a kid. Okay, so what do we do?

REID: Right so now, what’s the legitimate concern?

BROOKS: The legitimate concern is people think that their jobs are being taken away.

REID: So it’s not necessarily a legitimate concern, it’s a perception among some people…

BROOKS: It’s a perception so…

REID: That these brown people are a threat…

BROOKS: We need to dig in and figure out why are the jobs going away? It’s not because…I don’t know anybody that I grew up with in high school who put strawberry picker as their main goal.

(LAUGHTER)

BROOKS: Nobody. Nobody said wow, I would love to wash dishes for the rest of my life. And yet the perception is they are taking our jobs.

GOPNIK: Right but Joy’s point, which I think is a reasonable one, is the perception is false…

REID: Right.

GOPNIK: …nonetheless, the perception persists. That’s what politics is there to do.

REID: And, and Donald Trump…

GOPNIK: It’s there to…

REID: …is stoking the perception in order to use it to whip up demagoguery. Donald Trump is not a typical…

MAHER: Right.

REID: …American President…

BROOKS: But the real concern…

REID: …he’s using racial panic…

BROOKS: Well because the real concern…

REID: …to stay in power.

BROOKS: Yeah, the real concern is that globalization has destroyed millions of lives…

REID: Not about immigration…

MAHER: But you can be concerned about immigration and not be someone who is just motivated by racial panic. And I think they get offended when people say that to them…like you’re only offended, you’re only motivated by this one thing. Whereas, look, there are so many people from these three South American countries who are seeking asylum. Fareed Zakaria wrote today about the fact that asylum…

GOPNIK: Is taking…is eating up the immigration system.

MAHER: Right. And it’s defined…

REID: But why? Because Donald Trump has broken the asylum system.

GOPNIK: But this is…

REID: He stopped…he stopped exceeding to cultural, I mean…to international norms. Donald Trump broke the asylum system. There was nothing wrong…

GOPNIK: There’s no question…

REID: …with it until he decided to screw it up.

GOPNIK: There’s no question about that; that returns to the central point, and that is that Donald Trump has so perverted the basics of American democracy that it makes it only possible to think that you’re identifying with a brutal bigot when you take a, when you take a more cautious attitude towards immigration.

MAHER: Yeah.

GOPNIK: That’s why the only thing that matters is defeating Donald Trump, and why it is so catastrophic when Democrats, instead of focusing with all of the sobriety and coalition building that’s essential to this moment, in order to defeat Donald Trump, get involved in these absurd squabbles back and forth between each other about…

BROOKS: And this is where I think we need…

GOPNIK: …tiny notes of discourse.

Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Immigration HBO Real Time Bill Maher Joy Reid Donald Trump Cory Booker
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