Episode 212

May 6, 2011



"There was a Republican debate last night. It was a virtual who's who of ‘who?'" -Bill Maher

"The madman's reign of violence and terror has ended: Charlie Sheen's comedy tour is over." -Bill Maher

On Osama Bin Laden:

"It turned out Bin Laden didn't leave his room, didn't have phone, didn't have Internet. He was either planning a new wave of terror, or he was grounded." -Bill Maher

"Insiders say that Bush feels slighted for not getting enough credit for getting Bin Laden...Which might have something to do with the fact that he DIDN'T." -Bill Maher

"Mama, don't let your kids grow up to be jihadists." -Bill Maher

"I don't think Al Qaeda is that good. You know, I've always said that. You know, we made them into such a big bogeyman" -Bill Maher

"In a sense, President Bush elevated them to the existential threat they wanted to be, rather than the serious enough problem they actually were." -Peter Bergen

"Very few people change history. Bin Laden changed history." -Peter Bergen

"A lot of Arabs have proven to themselves that there is an alternative to Bin Laden-ism if they want to do away with the corrupt, autocratic regimes in their countries." -Irshad Manji

"Guys like Bin Laden have been responsible for injuring and maiming and murdering more Muslims than any foreign imperial power has in the last hundred years." -Irshad Manji

"They liked him when he killed Americans. And then when he started killing Muslims because they weren't holy enough, they didn't like him. He was killing the wrong people." -Bill Maher

"Bin Laden-ism, I don't think, is dead yet. And I think there's a long way to go before we can legitimately say that, you know, it is no longer in our midst." -Irshad Manji

On Post-Bin Laden Politics:

"This discovery is a seismic event. And I think it's because it is so big and so disturbing that the political system has been slow to respond. And it's one reason why I think we need more politics after this event rather than less. We need a real debate about what do we do." -David Frum

"Why do we have to feel like we did on September 12th...why do we have to glorify that period where we just went off the rails and acted like idiots?" -Bill Maher

"[President Obama] gave his birth certificate; he shot a guy in the face. I just think America finally went, ‘Okay, you're one of us.'" -Bill Maher

"President Obama has made acceptable now for a bunch of liberals the idea that targeted assassination is just the way we do business in the United States." -Jeremy Scahill

"The poison in the political system is not simply a one-party monopoly. It is a pervasive thing." -David Frum

"Normal politics is not going to go away...there are going to remain differences between people that are expressed through the medium of political parties." -David Frum

On Where Credit Is Due:

"It was George Bush's information services that produced this victory for President Obama." -David Frum

"You discredit the intelligence professionals and the special-ops people that actually conducted this mission by holding up now the mantle of great torture..." -Jeremy Scahill, to David Frum

"This is what I've heard all week, that somehow we tortured somebody in 2002, and a mere 70,000 hours later, he led us right to Bin Laden." -Bill Maher

"The Bush Administration...wants to take advantage of, and take responsibility for something they didn't even invest in. I think not only is it disingenuous, it's just plain blind." -Michael Eric Dyson

"One way that we can...depoliticize national security policy is for President Obama to end the insecurity that that people who served in the Bush Administration have." -David Frum

On President Obama:

"The reality is that [President Obama] was being questioned as an un-American...then, he has to prove he's an American by killing the Muslim. And by going to the extreme, he proves that he's most American when he's most violent." -Michael Eric Dyson

"Obama has been seen as the ultimate ‘other.' And the only way he's included in the larger circle of American privilege and democracy and identity is that he kills the Muslim, and now we may let him in the back door. Why couldn't he be an American when he graduated from Harvard? Why couldn't he be an American when he was the smartest guy in the room? Why couldn't he be an American when he was putting forth policies that had the potential to change America? Why is it only killing the Muslim achieves it?" -Michael Eric Dyson

On Religion:

"You can't really be a Christian and take Jesus' words seriously and ever be happy about something like [bin Laden's killing], because he was about ‘turn the other cheek' and ‘love your enemies.' I am not a Christian. I have no such conflict." -Bill Maher

"One of the first things I thought after the dust settled and I didn't see a big outcry in the Muslim world, was, wow, they get madder at somebody drawing a cartoon than they do at actually killing a guy!" -Bill Maher

"The key is to ignore the [religious] book...if you read the Bible literally, if you saw your neighbor working on Sunday, you'd kill him." -Bill Maher

On Celebrating Death:

"We often hear Islamists declare, 'We love death as much as you people in the west love life.' Well, if we're going to now celebrate and jubilate in the death of Bin Laden, I have to say, I think that comes eerily close to mimicking the likes of the Islamists. And that gives me the creeps." -Irshad Manji

"I've never been someone who thinks all life is precious. I don't. I hear people say that. I don't think that's always true." -Bill Maher

"I think Irshad's point is that when we begin to see the evil in another person, and we begin to locate it there and not see that we're just as vulnerable to the same kind of stuff, we're not as humble as we should be. And therefore, we should be a bit more cautious about celebrating that." -Michael Eric Dyson

"We can't exempt ourselves from the same moral calculus that we are willing to apply to others." -Michael Eric Dyson

"We're not their therapist. What people feel is not always right." -David Frum

"If anything, we should have taken that as a moment to reflect on where we go from here rather than acting like we just won the World Cup." -Jeremy Scahill

On Who Really Won:

"One of Bin Laden's plans that was on his computer was to take out a train and a bridge. You know what? Our bridges are falling down anyway. You don't have to take them down." -Bill Maher

"Bin Laden didn't make us do the subprime mortgages." -David Frum

"The winners here were the war corporations that made a killing. And Osama bin Laden's agenda was moved forward in terms of economically hitting the United States with the complicity of George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and a complicit Democratic Congress that bankrolled the whole thing." -Jeremy Scahill

On Afghanistan:

"We need to ask the question, is our commitment to Afghanistan now obsolete?" -David Frum

"If you continue the presence in Afghanistan when the man was found in Pakistan, you have no justification... I think the president has to have enough courage to stand up and have some spine and say, ‘Let's get out.'" -Michael Eric Dyson

"We need to draw back and say this war on terror has depleted us of any moral imagination." -Michael Eric Dyson

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