I used to watch Bill Maher regularly during his Comedy Central days, before he decided he was such an insightful political pundit that he could afford to eschew comedy and just engage in full-time conservative and Republican smearing. On his HBO show Bill is only useful now to remind us of the ugliest tendencies of the Young Angry Left, as Maher will engage in such “comedy” as calling Sarah Palin a cunt, while his audience of fawning dim bulbs clap and bark like hyper-active seals. All Maher does is try to fan the flames of societal division and hate, and HBO is apparently satisfied with that, since there are enough progressive fans of societal division and hate that being funny isn’t deemed essential. Maher’s weekly partyist ranting has even spawned imitators on other networks, like Samantha Bee and John Oliver. Both are funnier than Bill.
Still, millions of people see this poison and spread it around the internet, so I guess it’s past time to point out how Maher is either ignorant or determined to spread stupidity via confirmation bias. We can stipulate that he’s no longer funny, and seldom even attempts to be.
At the end of last week the latest episode of “Bill Foams At the Mouth” debuted, with the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch the primary object of Bill’s wrath, I mean “wit.” He began with his monologue.
If anyone senses a joke, raise your hand.
“I don’t know why you’d be happy today. Today is a day Republicans are happy. They got their two favorite things — a right-wing asshole on the Supreme Court and Trump finally blowing some shit up.”
- Bill assumes that only one side of the political divide watches him. He’s right, but it’s not healthy for the culture, and he’s one of the reasons comedy and the arts now divide rather than unite us.
- Maher calls a dedicated jurist and legal scholar an “asshole” simply because he’s conservative. This is bigotry. Denigrating, stereotyping and demonizing whole categories of people based on their priority of values is no different ethically from denigrating them based on their religion or ethnicity. It’s unfair, disrespectful, irresponsible and undemocratic.
- Did you raise your hand? Maher, a professional comedian, gets laughs by using words like shit, asshole, and cunt. There was a guy I knew named Larry who did that quite successfully too.
Of course, we were in the 5th grade…
Then Maher, as usual, moved on to calling Republicans racists.
In 2013, 98 Republicans signed a letter saying bombing Syria in response to a chemical attack was unconstitutional without congressional authorization. But this is different because Obama was President then. That would have involved bombing while black, and you can’t — can’t do that.
In the wake of the embarrassment and the exposure of President Obama by President Trump’s decisive handling of an issue that his predecessor made into a trademark display of his weakness, fecklessness and dithering, the desperate Obama Fan Club has virtually made Maher’s spin a talking point. Almost all media accounts bolstering their narrative leave out the actual sequence of events, which was…
1. Obama says Assad using chemical weapons would cross a red line.
2. Assad uses chemical weapons.
3. Obama does nothing.
4. Obama denies saying he drew a “red line.”
5. Widespread bi-partisan mockery and criticism ensues. The complaint: You don’t make empty threats, because when your bluff is called, the United States appears weak, and future threats become meaningless.
6. In response to the criticism, Obama announces that now he wants to show Assad he’s not a weenie, and will launch an attack.
7. Many Republican members of Congress, realizing that their constituents are dubious of more involvement in the Middle East, say they don’t want any attacks. They are also Republicans, and want to make things as difficult for a Democratic President as possible, not because he’s black. Is there any doubt that if the GOP were threatening to filibuster and Obama SCOTUS nominee, Maher would say that it was because Republicans are racists?
8. Obama had already previously directly exceeded the Congressional authority granted him in pursuing warfare against Libya, so the objections by Republicans had a context that does not exist now.
9. Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, had made public statements that the proposed attack would be harmless, a “pinprick” and symbolic only.
Wowsers. If a single episode can symbolize the entire, awful, incompetent Obama 8-year international fiasco, this was it. President Trump’s missile attack, which came immediately after the nerve gassing of Syrians and sent a clear message that the United States was watching, concerned about maintaining at least minimum norms in the use of banned weapons, and would respond again, perhaps in far more destructive ways, if this warning was ignored. Obama sent the clear message— before his proposed response, which was to come a full month after the “red line’ was crossed—that he was only responding with minimal force because of political pressure, and that it was meaningless and virtually harmless, nothing but cynical political cover.
A joke, in other words. I would have voted against that.
10. Democrats also opposed the attacks. They, of course, were not objecting to “bombing while black.” Maher, Chris Matthews, MSNBC, the entire race-baiting-addicted progressive community brazenly continues to argue that the exact same position when taken by Democrats is reasonable and honorable, but when taken by Republicans is racist.
11. I almost forgot….Are any hands raised for that last comment by Bill? Is “bombing while black” hilarious?
Next Maher decided to really test the IQs of his audience pinnipeds with this tortured jibe:
“Interesting side note to this: No change in the Trump policy on Syrian refugees coming here. Republicans feel about Syrians in Syria the same way they feel about the fetus in the womb. When it’s a beautiful baby in Syria, it’s a sacred, precious gift from God. Once it leaves, you’re on your own.”
This is what passes as “logic” from ideological hate-mongers like Maher. The President’s job is to protect the United States, first and foremost. The temporary refugee halt, wisely or not, was enacted to prevent terrorists (adult terrorists, not infant terrorists) from entering the country along with a flood of refugees that may or may not be adequately vetted under procedures established under a President who regularly behaved as outlined above—which is to say, ineptly and unseriously, and who denied that Radical Islam exists. There is nothing inconsistent with policies that say in one case, no, the United States will not stand idly by while Assad commits war crimes, and in the other, no, we’re not going to let concern for the human rights plight of Syrians place American lives in jeopardy. Bill’s statement suggests that a consistent policy would be to just admit babies as refugees without their parents.
Dragging abortion into the discussion was just free-floating conservative-bashing without context or thought.
Did that comment cause you to laugh out loud?
“And, you know, speaking of protecting fetuses, the Republican Senate has confirmed Scalia clone Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court — proving that in America cheating still works, ladies and gentleman. Cheating still works.”
1. “Cheating still works” is a punchline?
2. Did Maher make the same cynical observation when Harry Reid used every trick in the book to get Obamacare passed, by-passing the GOP House even after the text of the bill had changed? How about when Reid set the precedent for the “nuclear option” in 2013, killing the filibuster for lower court judges? (The answer is no.)
3. The statement is wrong and counter-factual any way you look at it. First, the “nuclear option” may be unwise, and and may be Draconian, and may be Machiavellian, but it isn’t “cheating.” The Senate can make its own rules, and change its rules. Cheating is when you defy the rules. When Gorsuch was confirmed, it was entirely within Senate rules.
4. Or, in the alternative, if you think the nuclear option is cheating (it isn’t), then Gorsuch’s confirmation is an example of cheating not working. Reid broke the long-standing tradition to get Obama lower court nominees confirmed. He cheated, by Maher’s assessment. He created the precedent, and it backfired on Democrats, the original “cheaters.”
During the show’s regular panel discussion where two hard-left Furies join Bill in intimidating a carefully-selected conservative patsy while the seals bark, Maher attacked Gorsuch again with rib-ticling wit and satirical brilliance:
But Neil Gorsuch could be there for 40 years, and this guy has never shown any empathy toward a human being, okay, and all the people — please — do I have to go back to the trucker in the freezing cold who was going to die, and he sided with the corporation? Okay, but, you know, this is what’s — this is what we’re looking for, so those people who said Hillary was the lesser of two evils, good luck with your back alley abortion.
Wait, wait…give me a chance to stop giggling. Let me look at some pictures of gassed Syrian kids. Okay, I’m sober now…
1. Hands? Was it “back alley abortion” that had you rolling on the floor?
2. Clearly, Bill Maher has read all of Gorsuch’s opinions, and knows his life inside and out, so you can rely on his statement that he “has never shown any empathy toward a human being.”
Now, now, Jack–he’s a comedian. You can’t hold him to facts: it’s all in good fun! That was a joke!
Oh. Thanks for telling me. (It’s a lie.)
3. I and many others have explained the trucker case, which Maher almost certainly hasn’t read, and is just going by the misrepresentations of Al Franken, another alleged comic. Here, one more time, is law professor Ann Althouse’s clarification of the issues Maher either doesn’t comprehend, didn’t read, or is intentionally misrepresenting..but HUMOROUSLY!
There was a statute that protected truck drivers from getting fired for refusing to drive a malfunctioning truck, but this was the opposite. His employer wanted him not to drive the malfunctioning truck, and he did it anyway, to save himself from freezing (or so we are told).
The legal question was only whether the statute applied, not whether we feel sorry for the man or whether we would have fired him. Judge Gorsuch used the plain meaning of the statute. But judges might depart from the plain meaning of the text when it is necessary to avoid giving the language an absurd meaning, but it’s obvious that the statute had a non-absurd meaning (which was to protect drivers who decline to drive defective trucks). But Franken, blatantly twisting the meaning of “absurd” — and reminding us that he was once a comedian — said:
“It is absurd to say this company is in its rights to fire him because he made the choice of possibly dying from freezing to death or causing other people to die possibly by driving an unsafe vehicle. That’s absurd. Now, I had a career in identifying absurdity. And I know it when I see it. And it makes me question your judgment.”
If that’s what counts as “absurd,” then judges could take any statute and twist it to mean whatever it would need to mean to allow them to bestow victory on any party the judge feels empathy with. That’s a terrible idea for statutory interpretation. But Franken was into his own cuteness, chuckling at the wittiness of “I had a career in identifying absurdity.” But the absurdity is in thinking that the ways of comedy would transfer to legal analysis.
4. To once again point out the progressive delusion, which Maher assumes and which is audience, being ignorant as chipmunks, uncritically accept, about what judges and courts do: judges interpret laws when they are vague, conflicting with other laws, or their application is in question. They are not supposed to warp the laws based on the judges’ “feelings,” or factors like compassion. Maher is arguing that poor people, unlucky people, good people—you know, Democrats and their constituencies—should get a thumb on the scales of justice regardless of what the laws actually say. Well, he’s not a lawyer, he’s a comedian—I’m sure you chuckled throughout that riff. His position is moronic, however. It is up to legislators to write “compassionate” laws, not judges to manufacture them.
5. The back-alley comment is despicable, dishonest, and pure scare-mongering, hysterically funny as it is. Gorsuch has never suggested that he seeks to over-rule Roe v.Wade. He has written that the right of privacy isn’t in the Constitution—hardly a radical contention, and the imagined privacy right was the basis for the dubiously-reasoned opinion. However, he is an outspoken advocate of stare decisus—I’m sure Bill doesn’t know the term–which is the principle that the Supreme Court will avoid striking down previous decisions once they have become established in the fabric of the law. I doubt that Gorsuch is eager to knock down Roe, and nobody can vote against Roe until there’s a case appealed to the Court that could result in it.
Maher is an ethics corrupter who spreads division, hate and ignorance without being funny. He has abused the Jester’s Privilege.
Let us never speak of him again.