Hey Bill Maher, shut up!
I can’t imagine any positive use for information about who Donald Trump is sleeping with, apart from the obvious and effective appetite suppressant such an image would make. But it briefly became an obsession with Bill Maher, when it featured on his latest “New Rule” shtick. He spent the whole eight minutes of the segment ruminating on arguably the world’s most disgusting subject.
It was also a particularly trivial and irrelevant subject for Maher in light of his “New Rule” segment from the previous week called “Democracy’s deathbed.” In that one he spent a full seven minutes essentially chastising Democrats for bothering to vote. Bill Maher was there to pronounce Democracy’s final epitaph and you were a fool if you couldn’t see the hand-wringing on the wall — as it were — courtesy of Mr. Maher.
But in lieu of an apology after his “prediction” went spectacularly wrong, Maher instead decided to speculate on Donald Trump’s sex life. Did he think planting sickening images in our heads would distract us from the colossal belly flop of his previous week’s prediction? If he did it didn’t work with me.
I therefore think it’s time that Mr. Maher takes a long, introspective look at himself and asks what in the hell he thinks he’s doing. Because if getting it wrong were an Olympic event, Maher would be a heavy favourite for gold.
“Ben Franklin said our country was a Republic if we can keep it,” Maher intoned dolefully before the midterms, “Well we can’t. And unless a miracle happens on Tuesday we didn’t. Democracy is on the ballot and unfortunately it’s going to lose.”
No it didn’t. I said the opposite in my article “Democrats United” on November 7. I believed Tuesday was going to be our finest hour, and so it has turned out, thus far. As I write this, the announcement just came through that we won the Senate. But however things transpire, we don’t need naysayers like Bill Maher, who predict doom and gloom and are ready to pat themselves on the back whenever they accidentally turn out to be right.
A friend of mine messaged me before the election and asked, “Did you see Bill Maher’s Eulogy to Democracy?” She was genuinely terrified by Maher’s message. I told her I saw it and I thought it was shameful what Maher said. I further told her I had written a refutation, which was duly published later that day.
But the shame for Mr. Maher doesn’t stop there. He’s spent the last several months excoriating Democrats for “wokeness.” He claims it’s because of wokeness that Republicans have a legitimate gripe with us. He equates wokeness with a kind of virtue signalling. Once again Maher is wrong.
What Maher is really doing is playing the Republican handbook by pretending (or actually believing?) that all of wokeness is represented by its most extreme and ridiculous and rare instances. Wokeness is nothing more than an attempt to redress imbalances created by centuries of the hegemony of elite white males. It’s our attempt to make up for racism, discrimination and sexism. As one wag put it, Republicans complain about our being woke because they can’t spell “enlightened.” I have never been offended or inconvenienced by wokeness in its usual form and neither has Bill Maher. He’s full of crap.
True, wokeness is a common complaint of Republicans. So what? It’s just one more thing for them to moan about so they don’t have to come up with any positive ideas of their own. It’s just a part of their whataboutisms arsenal. If it weren’t wokeness it would be something else. It’s little wonder that Fox News loves occasionally to quote Bill Maher.
For the past year or so, Maher has become increasingly stupid and increasingly hostile. But then, protracted marijuana use makes you stupid and hostile. Maher is part of the obnoxious new fad proclaiming pot as the new salvation for the human race. Personally, I think excessive recreational pot use is for losers.
We live in a world where global warming is now an extinction level event, where Russia is threatening the use of nukes in Ukraine and the rights of women are being stolen by fascistic Republican old men. Stoned or otherwise, Mr. Maher needs to pick his battles more carefully. His quarrel with wokeness and the Democratic Party is a stupid and hostile choice. Shame on him. I’ll say it out loud: It’s time to shut up, Bill Maher. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.