It certainly was no surprise after what happened in Pakistan last Sunday that HBO's Bill Maher was going to spend much of his "Real Time" program fawning over Barack Obama.
Having done precisely that for approaching an hour, Maher ended Friday's show by calling members of the GOP paranoid, greedy racists (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL MAHER: 30 percent of this country will always vote Republican. I'm just asking why? Yes, paranoia, greed, and racism are fun, but it's, it's like when you see someone driving a Mercury, you think, you think, “Did that person really wake up one day thinking, ‘You know what car I want to drive, a Mercury Mariner.’” No. No. You assume he knows someone who sells them or he was molested by a Kia dealer as a child.
And I know this all sounds like harsh truth but Republicans are supposed to be the party of harsh truths like there's no such thing as a free lunch - and speaking of lunch, I think Obama just ate yours.
Most interesting about this concluding segment was that earlier in the program, former Bush speechwriter David Frum several times stated that one of the great revelations from Sunday's raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan was that a large part of the mechanisms enabling the mission were indeed put in place by the previous White House resident.
In Frum's, Obama took the ball from his predecessor and ran with it.
The point he was making, contrary to protestations by other panelists, wasn't that Bush necessarily deserved credit for something that happened over two years after he left office, but that the current White House resident was utilizing a counter terrorism and intelligence structure created by the previous president thereby giving the mission and its success a distinctly bipartisan flavor.
In a nation rife with hyperpartisanship and political sniping, Frum viewed this as an entree to a more civil national discussion. One thing necessary for this to happen was the nation's radio and TV talkers would need to tone down their rhetoric.
Maher must not have been listening, for minutes later he called Republicans paranoid, greedy racists.
Ironically, folks like Maher and others in the media constantly complain about the caustic tone in this country without ever considering the part they play in fanning the fires of acrimonious discontent. In their distorted world view, only a conservative can be a polemicist.
Someone should sit the "Real Time" host down and force him to watch this installment over and over until a light bulb goes on over his head - or am I kidding myself on a Saturday morning?