Nick Romano
September 16, 2017 AT 12:14 PM EDT

From California’s “defiance” of the federal government on climate change to local authorities refusing “to cooperate with Trump’s deportation squad,” Bill Maher declared “the white supremacists are the federal government” and liberals are the new “rebels” of states’ rights.

The Real Time host said on his Friday night show that “the script has completely flipped from 50 years ago,” pointing to Alabama Governor George Wallace, who proclaimed in a 1963 speech, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” He “physically blocked the door of the University of Alabama to prevent black kids from enrolling” and used states’ rights as justification for his cause, Maher noted.

“But that was then,” the HBO personality continued. “Now the white supremacists are the federal government and it’s liberal states that are under siege from federal overreach. We’re trying to defend our way of life here and what we believe in. We believe in sanctuary cities and pollution controls and legalized pot and gun control and ObamaCare and a woman’s right to choose — and we’re going to defend ‘em.”

Switching to a Southern accent, he shouted, “We the rebels now! We are the rebels now and now we get to talk like this!”

Maher compared Mississippi’s defiance of Attorney General Bobby Kennedy’s call for desegregation in the 1960s to states now fighting against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who, among other controversial moves, is attacking affirmative action. Conservatives, he says, “can’t get mad because we’re just following in a long and hallowed conservative tradition called states’ rights. It’s just that now we’re the state that wants to be left alone.”

Watch Maher in the clip above.

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