Bill Maher spouted his usual anti-conservative and anti-Fox News
rhetoric on Monday's Situation Room on CNN, attacking the Tea Party
movement as "teabaggers [who] are all carrying the banner...of corporatist America" and accusing CNN's competitor of "filling people with misinformation." Maher also labeled Republican voters "far right" and a "fringe group of people who are very forceful."
The left-wing HBO host appeared for two segments starting at the bottom
of the 5 pm Eastern hour. Anchor Wolf Blitzer began with an
election-related question: "Let's talk a little bit about what's going
to happen tomorrow. A lot of Democrats are worried. They're sitting on a
potential political disaster tomorrow. Here's the question to you: why?
Maher actually first blamed the Democrats: "Well- I mean, partly, it is
the Democrats' fault. They don't do very good at bragging about their
achievements. This Congress, which I'm sure is going to be tarred as a
do-nothing Congress, actually was one of the more successful congresses
in recent memory, probably not since Lyndon Johnson in 1965 has a
Congress achieved so much." The guest predictably cited health care
"reform" and financial reforms as his examples.
Blitzer followed-up by asking, "So is it just a matter of communications?" Maher launched his attack on Fox News in his reply:
MAHER: Well, that's part of it. Also, it's- part of the problem, of course, is your competitor over there at Fox News, filling people with misinformation.
Somehow, people have not gotten the message, for example, that Obama
gave you a tax cut. All they hear is that the stimulus bill was some
sort of socialist program to run up the debt. Almost half the stimulus
program was tax cuts, and people just don't seem to be able to get this
information in their head.
The CNN anchor responded to this answer with praise for President
Obama. Maher came back with more praise of Democratic legislation, along
with a predictable vulgar attack on the Tea Party movement:
BLITZER: But he's such a good communicator- the President.
MAHER: I'm sorry?
BLITZER: I said the President- you know, got into office
because he's such a powerful communicator and he delivered a message
that clearly resonated back in 2008.
MAHER: Well, he seems to have forgotten some of those communication skills. That's true. We cannot blame it all on Fox News.
He should have been out there more telling people, bragging about what
he and his administration and the Democratic Congress have done for
them. They did things that actually made their lives better- health
care, credit card reform, things like this. The banks can't get in the
middle now if you get a student loan. That's $90 billion that was saved.
You know, you can kind of go on and on down the list of the way
people's lives are practically made better by a Democratic government
that actually fights for people, as opposed to corporations. But
somehow, that idea doesn't carry the day. The teabaggers are all
carrying the banner, really, of corporatist America. We talked about it
on our show Friday. Somehow, their agenda, as a populist organization,
is the exact same agenda as billionaires like Steve Forbes.
Blitzer also touched briefly on the radical left's criticism of the
President before moving on to his next major topic, Christine O'Donnell.
As you might expect, Maher thought Obama wasn't being liberal enough:
BLITZER: Some on the left think the President went too far
towards Wall Street- didn't go far enough towards the- what we call
these progressive ideas- ideas that you like. Are you among them who
thinks (sic) the President wasn't progressive enough?
MAHER: Oh, absolutely- and, by the way, when we define 'progressive,' please remember that we're defining that by the parameters of 2010, when actually, what is centrist today- really, if you look at- like 1994, when Bob Dole presented his health care plan-
okay, that I assume was considered a centrist plan, or maybe even a
little to the right, since it was Bob Dole, the leader of the Republican
party. That's essentially the health care plan that we got in 2010 from the Obama administration. But somehow, that became socialism.
Near the end of the first segment, the CNN anchor asked his guest about
O'Donnell. Not only did he insult the Republican candidate (Maher
actually claimed at one point that he liked O'Donnell), but launched
another attack on the "teabaggers:"
BLITZER: Let's talk a little bit about Christine O'Donnell, a woman you
helped make rather famous on 'Real-Time with Bill Maher.' She's way
down in the polls in Delaware, as you probably know. If she doesn't win
tomorrow, what do you think is next for her? You've known her a lot
longer than we have.
MAHER: Unemployment is next for her. (laughs) She will
go from whence she came. She didn't have a job before, and she probably
will not have a job after- although, maybe, she'll get a job at Fox News or something like that.
But no, she will not be dabbling in statecraft, it looks like, because I
don't think she's going to win that election. So- you know, I like Christine-
BLITZER: Because a lot of people think she might have a future- she
might have a future as a TV pundit out there. I wouldn't be surprised if
she signs with Fox or some other network. Would you be surprised?
MAHER: I'm surprised that we ascribe the word 'pundit' to
someone who knows so little. She couldn't name a Supreme Court case. She
was shocked to find out that the First Amendment included the First
Amendment. So- boy, the word 'pundit'- (unintelligible) take a trip downhill-
She did beat Mike Castle- congressman, former governor of Delaware,
someone who had been elected and elected numerous times in the state- in
a Republican primary. She obviously had something going for her with
these Republican voters out there.
MAHER: Yes, Republican voters, which is basically the far
right. It's a fringe group of people who are very forceful, even though
they don't have a lot of numbers, because they have enthusiasm. But let's not forget that people like Christine O'Donnell- and there's going to be a lot of these teabaggers who are sweeping into the country-
into the state houses, into the Congress, rather, next year- and
somehow, they sell us on the idea that because they haven't been to
Washington before, they're pure and that they will come into town and
change the culture. That's not going to happen. They're not pure. They're just more naive.
They're not going to change the way business is done in Washington or
change human nature. Deals are still going to be made the way they've
always been made, and these people will just have to catch up.