I know I’ve heard people say that we need to make economic sacrifices in order to save the environment. I’ve never heard anyone specifically say we need a recession to save the planet, or at least endangered animals. Even Greta Thunberg seems a bit too sensible for that.
But lo: That’s why we have the great Bill Maher, a man who believes an economic downturn that eliminates jobs, decimates 401(k)s and brings economic hardship to untold numbers of families is perfectly acceptable if it helps achieve his political aims. After all, it’s not like he’s going to suffer, right?
Maher first called for recession in order to get rid of Trump during a June 8 edition of his “Real Time with Bill Maher” show last year.
“I feel like the bottom has to fall out at some point and by the way, I’m hoping for it because I think one way you get rid of Trump is to crash the economy,” the HBO host said.
“So please, bring on the recession. Sorry if that hurts people but it’s either root for a recession or you lose your democracy.”
We still have our democracy. We may have a bit of economic uncertainty but we don’t have a recession. So, uh, why are we looking for that recession again, Mr. Maher?
Well, how about those poor animals? That was his argument Friday, according to Newsbusters, when he told his audience that “recessions don’t last forever” but “you know what lasts forever? Wiping out species and people.”
“So, I’ve been saying for about two years that I hope we have a recession and people get mad at me; Sean Hannity thinks I’m actually causing a recession,” Maher began.
“I do not have this power but he seems to be wanting to blame it on me like I’m a genie, I can make it happen. I’m just saying, we can survive a recession. We’ve had 47 of them. We’ve had one every time there’s a Republican president,” he said to cheers.
“They don’t … they don’t last forever. You know what lasts forever? Wiping out species and people. But this week, the U.N. report came out, more than a million species of plants and animals are at risk of extinction, so Trump, of course, did what any evil villain would do. He rolled back the protections of the Endangered Species Act.
“This has saved the green sea turtle, the American alligator, the peregrine falcon, bald eagles, grizzly bears, gray wolves, humpback whales, and those are just the animals,” he continued.
“There’s now … there’s going to be a new word in the language: Flint water. There’s now Flint water in Newark. So, yes, a recession would be very worth getting rid of Donald Trump and these kind of policies.”
This led to a profane rant by token RINO Rick Wilson about how he wants to “bring on the recession if it means that you replace …and I, and I say this as a Republican of the Teddy Roosevelt variety. If you replace a g–damn oil lobbyist who runs the f—— EPA right now … They’re just doing this to be a——s. They want their base to be like, ‘we’re taking them regulations away.’”
Here’s the video, which we warn you contains VERY profane language. This is a Bill Maher show, after all. There’s lots of four-(and five-, and six-, and seven- and more)-letter words in here. This is not work safe in the extreme. Viewer discretion is highly advised:
So, all right, we’re just going to ignore Wilson’s rant and assume that maybe he availed himself not immoderately of the potent potables available to him in the green room, or maybe he was just having a bad day. Let’s look instead at Maher’s fulmination and examine his reasons for wanting a recession and why they’re all rubbish.
There is, of course, the kerfuffle over the changes to the Endangered Species Act. These are all billed as the Worst Thing to Ever Happen to the Environment™ by pretty much everyone in the media.
The other side of the argument — that this was a necessary rebalancing of the Endangered Species Act with the interests of landowners, community stakeholders and, yes, those evil corporations that create jobs that almost certainly won’t endanger any species — was hardly represented.
That it wasn’t represented on Maher’s show, either, is hardly a surprise.
Furthermore, there’s no connection between the U.N. report Maher referred to — and by the way, is there anything more alarmist and less reliable than a report on the environment from the United Nations? — and what the Trump administration did.
The “green sea turtle, the American alligator, the peregrine falcon, bald eagles, grizzly bears, gray wolves, humpback whales” — they’re all going to keep on being safe, no matter how deep a recession we go into. In fact, some of them are already more than safe, and yet they haven’t been taken off the Endangered Species List.
And then there’s drinking water, both in Flint, Michigan, and Newark, New Jersey. What’s funny is that drinking water is usually a local issue and, well, neither Flint nor Newark has been run by those rascally GOP plutocrats any time in recent memory.
If you want a long-form discussion about how Democrats were single-handedly responsible for literally everything that happened in Flint, the editorial board at National Review published a scathing 2016 deconstruction of every misstep and act of near-criminal negligence and hubris that led to the water crisis and how Democratic fingerprints — and only Democratic fingerprints — were all over every aspect of it.
We don’t exactly know where the blame lies in Newark as of yet. It is, unsurprisingly, a city that’s been run by a succession of bumbling Democratic mayors who have ended up in deserved obscurity or incarceration — or, in one unfortunate outlier, in the U.S. Senate. It’s in a state where the cogs are mostly Democratic apparatchiks. Where the Republicans or Trump are to be seen is anyone’s guess.
In short, neither issue could have been prevented by a recession that booted Trump out of office and let loose the hounds of liberaldom in the Environmental Protection Agency. Even Maher could have realized how silly this rhetorical point was by checking the dates and realizing the Flint water crisis began under the Obama administration’s watch.
But, no. What we need is a recession. The American people need to be punished with a financial plague of locusts — a plague Maher himself is well-insulated against — so that the plebs will all vote Trump out of office, don political hair shirts and vow never to deviate from the Maher line again.
Thank God we have this otter-haired Cassandra who, week after week, tells America what’s good for it and occasionally wishes financial ruin upon it if it doesn’t follow his prescriptions. So there wasn’t a recession and we still have our democracy? Big deal, Maher says. Just wait until all the animals die! Then you’ll really wish you couldn’t pay your bills.
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