Bill Maher’s long been the living embodiment of the uber-Leftist you love to hate. Rude, crude, disgusting, obnoxious — and rather misogynist, lest we forget his remarks about Sarah Palin, which feminists had to be forced to take notice of — he’s notorious for going out of his way to be, in a word, a jerk — to the delight of an HBO studio audience who regularly personifies mindless groupthink. (The late lamented Andrew Breitbart noted that he strongly suspected that Maher himself has no real love/respect for those people.)
There’s an element of sadness in this, to be honest. There was a time when Maher was a champion in the fight against Political Correctness in general — back when he did his old show on ABC. Recently watching online an old episode of Politically Incorrect (where he had on, among others, the lovely and endearing Shelley Long of Cheers fame) I could only shake my head at how far he’s fallen, from a guy willing to take on the race card and other PC-garbage from modern society. He may have been a big Lefty back then, but an honest big Lefty. Needless to say, that honesty’s long since been abandoned. I’ll give him credit for the occasional guest like Ann Coulter, and the aforementioned Breitbart — but that does little to assuage his constant belittling of the Tea Party, or Conservatives in general — meanwhile dropping disgusting terminology for which a Right-winger would have been excoriated by the Left, and excommunicated by the Right.
(The Left, recall, has an infuriating tendency to shrug off such things — with the excuse of, “Oh, well, we know so-and-so is not a racist/sexist/homophobe/hate-monger/bigot, because they’re on our side!” Meanwhile, MSNBC is of the impression that any Conservative bringing up Obama’s Chicago background — or his golf game — must be a racist!)
Now … this past year, Maher’s been giving some indication that his old self is not necessarily gone for good — he stood up for Rush Limbaugh during the Sandra Fluke thing, noting that refusing the apology only hurts the Left. Good for him — though naturally, not doing so would’ve only caused even more of an outcry from the Right about, again, how the feminists on the Left had ignored his disgraceful comments about Sarah Palin.
And so, when he goes on record in his HBO show —Rachel Maddow bearing witness — and in addition to discussing the successes of the Iraq War and complaining about over-regulation a la Bloomberg, complains against the high taxes he now has to pay (state and federal) … when he announces that the “fair share” and “those-who-can-afford-it” argument may be going a bit too far … when he states for the record, in short and in all seriousness, “Liberals, you could actually lose me” — how should we take it?
Look, I think you can understand how reluctant I’d be to accept him making a big switch — an announcement that he was leaving the Left and embracing the Right. I mean — “After all you put us through, Bill — all the abuse you levied against us, all the taunts and smears, all the dropping of garbage terms like ‘Tea-baggers’ … you expect us to welcome you with open arms — just like that? Just—like—THAT?!?”
Well, you know, the Left accepted The Traitor Saruman (aka David Brock of Media Matters), “just like that” — though there are some, like Bob Beckel, who denounce him as so much slime. But all Brock notably did when he was with us, really, was brand Anita Hill as a fraud. One big (alleged) smear, as opposed to years of them ….
But back to Maher. Let’s be honest — what would a dramatic switch on his part mean for the Right? Well — some nice marketing for us, I can tell you, him denouncing the Leftist smear machine like mad. A new and improved Politically Incorrect — like the old days, but better, now seeing things in proper perspective. Maybe have him team up with the great Adam Carolla, or Dennis Miller — or maybe John Lovitz, who memorably destroyed Obama’s “fair share” argument in his famous outburst. The possibilities are endless.
Before that, however … he really needs to atone. I mean really atone. Final episode of Real Time —a massive mea culpa, where he comes clean and apologizes to all the people he’s smeared — sincerely. Then, maybe a visit to CPAC.
Hope springs eternal.