Bill Maher: Is Ass, Gets Spanked
Bill Maher was the extra special guest on Chris Cuomo's show last night because someone at CNN thinks Maher knows what he's talking about and that we should listen to him. They're wrong. What men like Maher resent most about Donald Trump is that he was so awful he forced them to vote for Hillary Clinton. It's been almost two years and these guys won't stop complaining about her. It's like they passed a kidney stone in a pantsuit.
Maher repeated the lie that Clinton was a "terrible candidate." Clinton won the popular vote and the Democratic primary overwhelmingly. If our next nominee is equally as "terrible," but without the Russian propaganda and a yappy FBI director, we're golden. Cuomo insisted Clinton had only herself to blame for the media's obsession with her emails. We guess she was "asking for it." Maher then weighed in with all his non-existent legal expertise.
MAHER: [Clinton] committed obstruction of justice. Trump did, I think, in worse fashion, but, you know, I mean, smashing up your phones and your hard drives... but they over-covered it.
If Barack Obama's secretary of State committed obstruction of justice, we don't think the media could "over-cover" that story. It's a pretty big deal. What is Maher even talking about? Obstruction of justice isn't like a steak where Clinton's was medium rare and Trump's was burned to a crisp. This isn't about degrees. James Comey scolded Clinton publicly but he said her actions were "extremely careless" (they weren't), not criminal. Robert Mueller on the other hand catalogued a greatest hits collection of obstruction and basically said the only reason Trump wasn't in custody was because you can't indict a sitting president. Candidate Clinton had no such luxury. Every asshole shouting "Lock her up!" would've loved to see Comey do just that but there was no case.
Just a few seconds earlier, Maher claimed the 2020 election would prove the "dirtiest campaign" ever. Trump will "swift boat" whoever his eventual opponent is. Meanwhile, Maher is shoveling shit on our last nominee. He's also normalizing Trump's gross abuse of power by even comparing it to Clinton's email server maintenance. It's not in the same fucking ball park. O. Henry couldn't match the irony of Maher lamenting that media disinformation might help re-elect Trump while glibly spreading false narratives.
But maybe Maher was just recovering from the rhetorical ass whooping he received from Rep. Katie Porter on Friday. Porter was a guest on Maher's "Real Time," and the topic turned to Joe Biden's late term epiphany about the Hyde Amendment.
PORTER: I'm the only person sitting at this table who's had to face these kinds of health care decisions.
Yeah, what's that about? Book more women on your stupid show. It'll instantly be less stupid.
PORTER: Joe Biden is simply trying to make a political decision here, and failing still to recognize that this is a personal decision.
Porter hilariously imitated Biden's unease with even the word "abortion," which we'd contrast with Elizabeth Warren's direct and emotionally compelling thoughts on the subject. Proving further that we really need women to lead this discussion, Maher revealed he was personally "squishy" on women's bodily autonomy because a doctor had advised his mother after the "difficult birth" of his older sister that she shouldn't have another child. This obligated Porter to explain the concept of "choice" to Maher like he was a small, dumb child. Amusingly, Porter's new Twitter profile pic comes from the exact moment when she decides to take Maher to the woodshed.
MAHER: I could've been on the cutting room floor ... but I get it. As long as it's still in you ...
PORTER: Your mom made her choice. We're all here with the consequences of that choice. God bless her for having you. I'm sure it wasn't easy. But the point is she ... made her choice.
Maher had devoted the first part of his show to Vaudeville-fresh jokes at the expense of the generation he thinks are millennials, so it was a true joy to see Porter's zinger melt him like the snowflake he truly is. Maher thought Porter's torching was unfair because he was basically agreeing with her. But he wasn't. He was actually repeating tired anti-choice talking points that lament the "lost potential" from every abortion. If you have sex while on the pill or don't have sex at all or just rub one out in the shower, you've also potentially "deprived" the world of the next Bill Maher. But no one wants to get all existential about every choice we make unless it's regarding a woman's body.
We personally find it vile for Maher to even subtly guilt women who terminate pregnancies because there are serious health risks. Maher can certainly feel grateful for his mother's choice but that doesn't mean the government should force every woman to make the same one. This shouldn't be that hard.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).