I just watched the 15 February episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. There were two notable parts of the show. The first was George Zimmerman’s brother Robert. (Not Bob Dylan!) The amazing thing about the interview is just how good he is a public spokesman and apologist. Maher even notes this during the interview. Of course, it isn’t all good. He makes some comments that are at least questionable.
Jonathan Capehart takes Zimmerman to task on one issue in particular: his statement that, “‘Stand your ground’ is not a factor in this defense.” As Capehart explains in some detail, before George Zimmerman even goes to trial for second degree murder, he will have a “Stand Your Ground” hearing. And if it is found that he did “stand his ground,” he will never even be tried for murder.
So it’s all good for Robert to go around and tell stories of the mixed race Zimmerman household and that his brother really was beaten up by the time the police got there. And I can even understand why he’s lying about “stand your ground”: he doesn’t want his brother to be sacrificed as a result of the unpopularity of the law. But it will all turn out very bad if George Zimmerman does allude not just conviction but even trial. And as Capehart has long argued: that is a very real possibility.
Also on the show was Jamie Weinstein, senior editor at Tucker Carlson’s insipid The Daily Caller. And he played the good little libertarian well on the show. But he bugged the hell out of me. How is it that all of the public libertarians spend all their time on Republican talking points? At one moment he argued that Obama had vilified the rich by claiming that they ought to pay a bit more of their pocket change in taxes. Jon Meacham countered him on this—truly surprised that anyone would seriously make that argument. Then Weinstein tried to claim that he wasn’t making that argument. (It was only one of many!) He looks like a teenager and he has the intellectual sophistication of one. I don’t know why Maher brings people like him on his show; he must just be that desperate for conservatives. It’s pathetic.
During Overtime, Weinstein showed that he was a fake libertarian by claiming that he was for cannabis legalization. This to me is the ultimate test as to whether someone really has a principled libertarian ideology: are they in favor of legalizing heroin. If they aren’t, then they really aren’t for freedom. If they don’t think people should be able to legally buy and sell heroin, then their ideology descends into good old fashioned conservatism: the rich should have rights and the poor should stand in line.
Watching Real Time is always a mixed blessing. On the one side, Maher is very funny and some of the guests are great. On the other, he always has idiot conservatives on and he doesn’t know enough to counter them on their bullshit. This is even more true with libertarians because Maher has strong tendencies in that way. In fact, I would argue that he is more a libertarian than someone like Jamie Weinstein, because a real libertarian would admit that the Democrats are much closer to libertarian ideology than the Republicans, who are proto-fascist.
One more thing. During New Rules, Maher said, “After Michael Jackson turned white and now this: other races must give some their their pop stars to the black community. Starting with Justin Biebbro.” That’s the photo above.