By Mary Kate Cary, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Bill Maher, following behind Janeane Garofalo and Robert Shrum earlier this week, continues the left's angry diatribe against the tea party protests in today's L.A. Times. His column is one big, ugly, name-calling screed, moving past the tax day protests to call all Republicans "a socially awkward group of mostly white people who speak a language only they understand. Like Trekkies, but paranoid." Here's the most offensive part:
Look, I get it, "real America." After an eight-year run of controlling the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court, this latest election has you feeling like a rejected husband. You've come home to find your things out on the front lawn—or at least more things than you usually keep out on the front lawn. You're not ready to let go, but the country you love is moving on. And now you want to call it a whore and key its car.
That's what you are, the bitter divorced guy whose country has left him — obsessing over it, haranguing it, blubbering one minute about how much you love it and vowing the next that if you cannot have it, nobody will.
But it's been almost 100 days, and your country is not coming back to you. She's found somebody new. And it's a black guy.
The healthy thing to do is to just get past it and learn to cherish the memories. You'll always have New Orleans and Abu Ghraib.
And if today's conservatives are insulted by this, because they feel they're better than the people who have the microphone in their party, then I say to them what I would say to moderate Muslims: Denounce your radicals. To paraphrase George W. Bush, either you're with them or you're embarrassed by them.
Somebody's got to stand up to this kind of attitude, so here it goes. Maher's belittling tone, pervasive sarcasm, and nasty one-liners are just plain mean. The "black guy" line is offensive on a number of levels. Bill Maher has shown himself to be arrogant, snide, and completely outside of the mainstream. As I asked earlier this week, why is the left so angry? What's going on here?
What Maher doesn't seem to get is that while most Americans—including many Republicans and conservatives—personally like President Obama and wish him well, there are plenty of people with legitimate concerns about some of his policies. I find it deeply disturbing that reasonable people who stand up and say they're worried about the amount of taxing and spending are being called racists. There is a battle of ideas going on in America right now—from tax policy to torture memos—and it doesn't have anything to do with the color of anyone's skin.
Maybe in his zeal to make fun of conservatives, Bill Maher has missed the very public debate going on within the Republican Party about the future: Newt Gingrich's call for a new third party; David Frum's piece on the cover of Newsweek denouncing Rush Limbaugh's politics; Meghan McCain's standing up to extremists like Ann Coulter. If he were listening to what's going on across America, maybe he'd realize that there are big changes underway within the Republican Party—especially among conservatives. But apparently he's too amused with his own snarky one-liners to care.