Lewis Black Tells Maddow Today's Republicans Are Like Yesterday's Communist Party

God-bashing comedian Lewis Black was honored on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC Friday night. Black found great similarities between today's Republicans and yesterday's Communist Party USA: "It's a new Republican Party....I mean, I think of it like if you were in the Communist Party, toe the line."

Black is promoting a new TV special called "In God We Rust." (It's not the right season for his book "I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas.") This sourness toward religion makes him a natural for Maddow and MSNBC:

MADDOW: So, President Obama in 1990 said that he wanted to move -- wanted to work toward a world, country, that was less mean-spirited, and more generous. The right says that means he hates America. I think it sounds like I want a kinder and gentler America, which is what George H.W. Bush said.

BLACK: That's then. That language doesn't apply anymore. That is a different Republican Party because we have moved on, there is a new Republican Party, and they seem to have -- that language doesn't work for them.

It's a new Republican Party. It's -- there is a -- it's like -- I mean, I think of it like if you were in the Communist Party, toe the line, here`s what they think, that`s the deal, screw him, that`s the deal, you can't -- are you going to use those words, or those words don`t work? Whatever words he uses, don't work for them.

MADDOW: But do you think we're at the point some were some -- I mean, I feel like it's not that weird. It wouldn't be that much of a joke for a Republican candidate to come out and say, actually, we need a less gentle, meaner country because we need to be because that's what --

BLACK: Well, in a way, when Eric Cantor, he's the one that really gets to me. When Cantor said, we're going to help -- we`re not sending money to help Vermont after the hurricane --

MADDOW: Oh, yes.

BLACK: -- until we take, until we reduce the budget. That isn't the way we work. America works exactly -- you know, we kind of have to remember that. You know, because even if the government forgets it, whatever they do, when something horrible happens, all these people get in their cars and drive there to help other people. It's astonishing!

These two were so astonished that they once again played Make Believe, as in "let's make believe the Republicans started the fight over how the government should fully subsidize contraceptives." They are shocked the Republicans "started talking about contraception," as if Obama did nothing on this policy front:

MADDOW: The social conservative thing took a surprising step to the front of the stage. Nobody thought this was going to be the economy election. But even before the economy looked for sure like it was getting better, which it kind of looks like now, they started talking about contraception and all the abortion stuff that`s going on in the states. I mean, they are running with this stuff like no time since Roe versus Wade. I don`t know why this stuff has come up for them now. I can't -- the political calculus for why to run with this doesn`t make sense. So, it`s got to be something else.

BLACK: I think it's -- some people have acid flashbacks, and they're having a flashback to what they consider to be a better time before, before everything got out of control, and people, you know, and women became empowered. Now we've got -- you know, and what they're doing, I mean, what I don't understand, and I think it's a great thing, is they're literally -- you know, there was the point that women reached, and now what they do is up in the Pandora's box again, ha, ha, ha, good luck now.

Good luck that you`re coming up with this stuff now? It`s like, we can't go back? It's done with. This is stuff -- I've been through this for the last 40 years of my life. We`re not doing it again. I`m not going through this again.

MADDOW: Yes, so, how does this end, though? I mean, I keep thinking, it's over. They've woken up to fact that they've gone too far, but you open up the paper, it`s a new thing every day. In Arizona, a new law on its way to the governor that will force you to tell your boss what you`re using contraception for, by state law.

BLACK: No.

MADDOW: This is an idea.

BLACK: It`s not passed.

MADDOW: Your job -- it`s passed one house of the legislature in Arizona, it's Republican controlled, and the other house, it's a Republican governor. Your boss has the right to know.

BLACK: Well, there maybe -- it`s possible there is a God in heaven and they do pass it, and that building will be struck down. There will be a thunderbolt. You can't do that!

So Black constantly insists "nothing's sacred" and mocks the idea of God, but when Republicans turn to social issues, suddenly he's calling on God to destroy government buildings in Phoenix?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis