Abortion is certainly no laughing matter, which makes it a delicate dance for a current comedian to broach. Bill Maher worked on both sides of the street Friday night real time on HBO, starting with a few quips and then getting into some serious discussion about the ultra-sensitive issue.
Beginning with a riff about Cinco de Mayo – “If you can’t remember what you did last night, you may want to have an abortion now” – Maher noted several states with ultra-restrictive laws. “Suddenly finding the right pronoun doesn’t seem so big.”
On the plus side, those in states with draconian abortion laws can use the carpool lane if they drive to another area, Maher said.
The panel discussion included Democratic strategist and CNN political aide Paul Begala and former NBC sports reporter and guest co-host for The view,“Michele Tafoya.
“People hate to talk about abortion, so let’s talk about it,” Maher said to get things started. “Is this going to be the galling problem the left thinks it will be?”
Begala said the apparent demise of Roe v. Wade would take the nation back to 1931, pointing out that Texas and Michigan have laws that provide no exceptions for rape or incest. “They want to punish and control.:
Tafoya said she was pro-choice, but said, “There has to be a point where we say, ‘This is a human who is capable of living outside the womb.” She brought up a colleague who works in a hospital maternity ward and saw five-month-old premieres that survived to 20-year-olds. “Why would you eradicate that life?”
Maher noted that abortion “wasn’t a partisan issue until it became an issue for the Christian right.”
Tafoya noted that the advent of ultrasound may have raised temperatures before Maher gave his own opinion.
“It really comes down to, ‘Do you like women, or do you like babies?’ I never thought life itself was particularly precious I really don’t I mean it I think life is for the living Until you’re born, you don’t live We wouldn’t miss you if you weren’t born. ” He admitted: “I understand that’s not the view of most people.
Begala noted that most people support three views on abortion: “Rape, incest and if my daughter gets in trouble.”
Calling on the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Tafoya said the former judge thought Roe v. Wade was not properly constructed. “I think there’s a middle ground.”
Concluding with new rules, Maher said taking care of you and keeping you safe is not Twitter’s job. “It’s your job,” he said, noting how some people feel that the social media audience is “all helpless dumb blondes willing to believe anything. Like Donald Trump.”
He went through a list of technological innovations that instilled fear in the past. “Lies can spread faster, but so can the truth. The idea that we can clean up Twitter and protect you is ridiculous. It’s like checking graffiti on a bathroom wall at a dive bar.”
Every era is the era of misinformation, Maher claimed, proposing, “Develop a better bullshit detector. That’s a better solution than giving up what I’m allowed to read.”
Sometimes, Maher said, misinformation is just history’s first draft. “This is America,” he said with a laugh as an American flag propped him up. “Where people have the right to express what they think, including the right to be wrong, to lie and to be an asshole.”
Opening guest Chloe Maxmin† former Maine state senator and co-author of Dirt Road Revival: How To Rebuild National Politics And Why Our Future Depends On It?called for a new effort to address the needs of Americans in rural areas through dialogue.