Because he’ll take a seemingly legitimate point and drop into a vat of stupidity. Here’s the clip everyone is talking about:
Buried within that stupidity is a legitimate point that the Republican leadership and a large part of the punditsphere are campaigning against a partially imaginary candidate. I’ve pointed out before that the “apology tour” stuff was bull and that Obamacare, bad as it is, was hatched in conservative circles and is to the right of Nixon’s proposal. There are blogs I’ve stopped reading because they are entirely focused on what they think is going on inside the President’s supposed Marxist fascist Islamic atheist brain.
However, that is all beside the point. Maher isn’t really interested in who or what Obama is or what the Right Wing is thinking. What he’s interested in playing yet another round of Liberals Are All Reasonable, Conservative Are All Crazy. This is the favorite game of pseudo-intellectual liberal flakes like Maher and this is just his latest excuse to have another round.
All right. Fine, fucker. Let’s throw down, shall we?
First of all, not all of the complaints against Obama — not even a significant minority — are illegitimate. Obamacare is not a figment of the fevered Right Wing imagination; it’s an actual law that was actually passed and actually massively increases federal control over the insurance system. The crummy economy is not some specter conjured up by Rush Limbaugh. The massive deficit is not an illusion created by Fox News. We can argue over how much responsibility Obama bears for these things; but we can’t argue over whether they exist.
If you ask people why they don’t like Obama, I guarantee you that, except for a handful of pundits, the words “Saul Alinsky” will never pass their lips. They will cite bailouts, which Bush started but Obama supported and manipulated to the advantage of his political allies. They will cite the economy and the debt. They will cite Obamacare. They will cite Dodd-Frank. They will talk about a man who looks at our ridiculous tax system and proposes more complications.
These are not imaginary hobgoblins we attribute to some Barack X candidate who only exists in our diseased conservative minds (Maher, of course, thinking all conservative minds are diseased). These are things the President bears responsibility for.
And liberals only criticized Bush for stuff he did? Bullshit. During Bush’s presidency, liberals complained about him gutting spending on education, the environment and infrastructure, even though he did no such thing. During Bush’s presidency, liberals complained about him gutting regulation, even though the Bush Administration passed more and more costly regulations than any Administration in history. We heard that George Bush didn’t like black people. Michael Moore wrote an entire book about how the early 2000’s recession was a plot to keep the middle class down. We heard the tired old complaints about Republicans not caring about women, minorities, the environment, science, the world, etc. What is that but inventing your own Bushitler?
Fuck, Bill Maher in this very same diatribe accuses Bush of deliberately lying about WMDs in Iraq. Memo to Bill: you’re putting thoughts in Bush’s brain just like we are putting them into Obama’s. The conclusion of almost everyone who has looked at it is that we had rotten intelligence.
You want someone inventing his own candidate? Trip over to Charles Johnson’s blog and see what he has to say about Ron Paul, a supposedly vile racist scumbag who was recently praised by … the president of the NAACP. Look at the number of liberal blogs that repeat the lie that Gingrich served his wife with divorce papers in the hospital. Look at the liberals making the disgusting claim that Karen Santorum had an abortion when her son Gabriel was born premature or thinking Rick Santorum invented anti-gay bigotry in a 2003 interview. Look at the people saying Mitt Romney wears “magic underwear” even though the temple garments are no such thing (anti-Mormonism being the last acceptable bigotry).
Enough? Oh, I haven’t even begun to fight. Let’s take this a step further: a lot of the policies liberals criticized Bush for: indefinite detention, drone strikes, war in Afghanistan, tax cuts, opposition to gay marriage — are policies they have fallen thunderously silent about now that Obama is continuing them.
Oh, they may occasionally make some noise about these things. But it’s a token gesture at best. Barack Obama has gotten more money from Wall Street than any president candidate and in his recent SOTU said we should investigate the mortgage bubble …. three years into his presidency. But it’s Republicans who are the tools of the 1%. The recently passed indefinite detention provision was greeted with maybe a hundredth of the outrage that was unfurled when Bush went on a golfing trip.
Oh, golfing trips. Yeah. All you lefties who bitched when Bush hit the links: where’s your outrage when Obama hits 18 holes?
Barack Obama has been worse on medical marijuana than Bush ever was. He’s been worse on criminal justice issues than Bush was. He’s been almost as bad on basic civil liberties. But you’d never know it outside of Glenn Greenwald’s blog.
If we’ve invented Barack X, the liberals have invented Barack the Bold, the man who, simply by his innate goodness, can continue Bush policies without criticism. A front-page article on Newsweek recently argued that even the mild criticisms the Left has made of Obama simply miss the big picture; that he’s playing this brilliant long game for change. We’re just too stupid to see it.
In this clip, you see perfectly why I can’t watch Bill Maher’s show. Because for every smart thing he says, he says ten stupid things. Every fact is sandwiched two pieces of bullshit.
In the end, he is what he is: an arrogant liberal troll.