Conservatives love to loathe HBO’s Bill Maher, and with good reason.
The “Real Time with Bill Maher” host excoriates the GOP on a weekly basis. He got down and dirty long before Stephen Colbert summoned images of c*** holsters and Samantha Bee dubbed the First Daughter a “feckless c-word.”
Maher has earned the vitriol coming from the right. Yes, he built that.
Dismissing him is a mistake all the same. Maher’s GOP attacks are often instructive. Along with his mostly liberal guests, he telegraphs the talking points progressives seize upon during the latest news cycle.
Maher does more than that, though.
He occasionally makes perfect sense. In a sane world these moments would unite the Left and the Right. They rarely do. The divide between the two sides is too vast. And, sadly, the Left has embraced some positions Democrats from a generation ago, or even much more recently, would disavow.
Here are nine times Maher diverged from his hard-left peers and delivered common sense for the masses.
Stop Chasing Conservatives from Restaurants
How in the world could this not-so-hot take be controversial? Yet in 2018 the vast majority of liberal pundits and politicians won’t take a stand against this abhorrent behavior. In fact, Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono refused to denounce the tactic -- twice -- during a CNN interview.
Here’s what he said over the weekend about this growing trend, one that threatens to explode in the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh nomination battle.
Conservatives get to run America and we get to ruin their dinner. And listen, I get it. Nobody wants to see Ted Cruz when they’re eating… But we need to get people like Ted Cruz out of power, not out of restaurants. This is something Republicans understand way better than Democrats that real power isn’t about making a scene or what makes you feel good.
Inviting Andrew Breitbart on His Show
Few people understood the media better than the late Andrew Breitbart. The Breitbart News founder, who died at age 43 six years ago, instinctively knew how reporters twisted reality, and he routinely called them on it.
That means most liberal talk show hosts kept him off their guest list. Not Maher. He invited Breitbart on his show. The result? A full-bodied debate that let audiences decide for themselves who made the most salient points.
Breitbart shared the positive feedback he got from the appearance from local liberals. Maher’s audience may have treated him like a hostile intruder, but Maher welcomed a dangerious political adversary into his liberal lair.
Mocking Liberals for Kneejerk Islam Defense
Maher is no friend to religion. Anyone’s religion, to be clear. He even made a movie to that effect.
His attacks on Islam, though, are different. Few of his peers take as hard a stand against the religion as Maher. His critiques don’t stop there, though. He repeatedly calls his own side to task for ignoring certain realities about what he sees as the faith’s female problem.
“This ridiculous fetishizing of Islam on the part of liberals has got to stop,” he said. “I’m not anti-Muslim; I’m anti-misogyny. I thought feminism was a thing with liberals … Yes, I’m against it when they throw a tarp over a woman like a motorboat. Have you ever tried one of those things on? It’s stifling,” Maher said of the burqa. “Men make women walk around all day in a fucking voting booth so they don’t have to be responsible for their erections. Your move, #MeToo.”
Conservatives are Wise to Engage with Liberals
Maher recently had Steve Bannon on his HBO show.
Yes, that Steve Bannon.
Most shows at this point wouldn’t dare host the disgraced former Breitbart News chairman. [Editor’s Note: This reporter previously worked at Breitbart under Bannon’s leadership]
Maher invited him on all the same. He went further, saying the Right’s ability to engage with their ideological foes helps them succeed at the ballot box.
“I’m going to say to you what I say to every conservative who comes on this show: Thank you,” Maher told Bannon on “Real Time with Bill Maher.” “I appreciate it and it says volumes why Republicans are in power and we have none,” Maher continued. “Hillary Clinton never came here. Maybe she’d be president if she was a little more confident.”
Yes, Taxes Can Be Too High
They say some young workers start leaning to the right once they see how much the government takes out of their paychecks.
For Maher, he’s seen enough of his hard-earned dollars get redirected to those government coffers. And he isn’t afraid to bring the subject up.
“ln California, I just want to say: Liberals — you could actually lose me.” As a resident of California, a state with high income taxes, Maher complained that his taxes are “over 50 percent.” What’s more, Maher made a point seldom heard except on Fox News or by a rich Parisian. Maher said, “Rich people … actually do pay the freight in this country … like 70 percent” of the taxes.
Palestinians May Be at Fault for Their Woes
Maher said Palestinians have a “legitimate gripe” given their impoverished conditions and the ongoing Mideast crisis. Then he did a full stop and started explaining why empathy only goes so far.
“Nobody seems to ask, ‘who’s fault is that, mostly?'” he says about Palestinian casualties after another Israeli-Palestinian battle. “I feel terrible for a Palestinian child who dies. But if it’s your father, your brother or your uncle who is firing those rockets into Israel, whose fault is it, really? Do you really expect the Israelis not to retaliate?”
PC Groupthink Is Hurting the Left
The Outrage Police rarely chase Maher down a dark alley. That’s a subject for another argument. He still isn’t willing to give them a pass. More importantly? He realizes the Outrage Police and the Left are too often one and the same.
It’s why he scorched his fellow liberals on the subject, saying their delicate sensibilities are costing them at the ballot box.
“What matters is that while you self-involved fools were policing language at the Kids’ Choice Awards, a madman talked his way into the White House,” he said. “What matters is that while liberals were in a contest to see who could be the first to call out fat-shaming, the Tea Party has been busy taking over school boards. Stop protecting your virgin ears and start noticing you’re getting [crude metaphor].”
College Snowflakes Deserve to Be Melted
Most stars have been shockingly silent over the attacks on free speech happening on college campuses nationwide. Maher has had enough of those freedom-snuffing students, even if his fellow panelists blanched at his attack on a very special “Real Time with Bill Maher” episode.
“They characterize themselves as the protestors in Tiananmen Square, but they look like the Chinese army,” Maher said of Mizzou students who blocked the media from the campus’ quad, designating it a “safe space.” “Their right to not be offended does not supersede the First Amendment.”
Defending Amy Schumer from the Left’s Attacks
“I Feel Pretty” is a disposable comedy that couldn’t reverse Schumer’s downward trajectory at the box office. That’s not why the film matters. The story of a full-bodied woman who suddenly thinks she’s supermodel thin drew savage attacks from Team Social Justice Warrior.
A few conservatives rallied to Schumer’s side, ignoring her hard-left ideology. Maher was arguably the lone voice of consequence from the Left who defended her.
“Oh, for Christ sake. Can’t it just be funny? Can’t we just sit in a movie theater, unclench our a**holes for two hours, and laugh at what it is, instead of dissecting it for what it’s not?” he cried. “Movie reviews … they’re not even reviews anymore. ‘How come you made the movie you made, and not the one I would have made … if I had talent, which I don’t.’”