Real Time With Bill Maher returned to HBO after it’s mid season break, and Maher had a special message for the Tea Party. He said, “Now I want you Teabaggers out there to understand one thing. While you idolize the Founding Fathers and dress up like them and smell like them, I think it’s pretty clear that the Founding Fathers would have hated your guts.”
Here is the video:
Maher said, “Now that they’ve finished reading the Constitution out loud, the Teabaggers must call out that group of elitist liberals whose values are so antithetical to theirs. I’m talking of course about the Founding Fathers, who the Teabaggers believe are just like them, but aren’t. One is a group of exclusively white men who live in a bygone century, have bad teeth, and think of blacks as 3/5 of a person, and the other are the Founding Fathers.”
The Real Time host explained why the Founders and the Tea Party would have hated each other, “Now I want you Teabaggers out there to understand one thing. While you idolize the Founding Fathers and dress up like them and smell like them, I think it’s pretty clear that the Founding Fathers would have hated your guts, and what’s more you would have hated them. They were everything you despise. They studied science, read Plato, hung out in Paris, and thought the Bible was mostly bullshit, and yet here is a popular paining in wing nut America. Yes, that’s Jesus with the Founding Fathers behind him presenting the Constitution to America. Either that, or it’s a settlement offer for that boy after he sued the rectory.”
Maher continued, “Super religious guy Glenn Beck likes to play dress up as Thomas Paine. Thomas Paine, an atheist who said churches were human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind. John Adams said this would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it, which is not to say the Founders didn’t have a moral code, of course they did. They just didn’t get it from the Bible, well except for the part about it’s cool to own slaves. It’s in there folks. I didn’t make it up.”
He also took on the right’s idea of anti-intellectual leadership, “The Founders disagreed amongst themselves about that and most issues, but the one thing they never argued about was that political power should stay in the hands of the smartest people and out of the hands of the dumbest loudmouth slowing down the checkout line at Home Depot, and yet Sarah Palin once said of Obama we need a commander in chief not a professor of law standing at a lectern. How gay is that? Well I hate to break it to you, but Thomas Jefferson lawyer, Alexander Hamilton constitutional lawyer, James Madison lawyer, John Adams constitutional lawyer. They were not the common man of their day.”
Maher concluded, “Ben Franklin studied scientific phenomenon like lightning and the Aurora Borealis, and were he alive today, he could probably explain to Bill O’Reilly why the tides go in and out. James Madison was fluent in Greek and Latin and could translate Virgil and Cicero. John Boehner can’t translate Freed Zakaria, and Thomas Jefferson was an astronomer and a physicist who founded the University of Virginia, played the violin, and spoke six languages, or as Palin would say, all of them.”
Bill Maher really knocked this one out of the park. The main difference between the Founding Fathers and today’s far right, which the Tea Party ignores, is that the Founders were intellectuals, while the far right has spent decades on American anti-intellectualism jihad. They doubt and distrust science because it conflicts with their religion. They have developed and ability to reject formerly agreed upon facts for new ones that support their political and/or religious ideology.
These people are the exact opposite of the Founding Fathers, yet they have managed to coopt their image and warp their words and legacies to further their corporatist agenda by covering it in a disguise of Revolutionary War era patriotism. Someday we will find out that some expensive Republican consultants and PR firms after doing exhaustive research determined that the figures most likely to sell their latest incarnation to the far right Republican base were the Founding Fathers.
Glenn Beck is the revisionist historian in chief who sells this revised, edited, and falsely molded image of the Founding Fathers. The loyal disciples of Beck have already branded Bill Maher a liar and a socialist. It doesn’t matter to them that Maher is speaking the truth, and that they are being sold a group of Founders that bear little resemblance to the real men themselves. No, the right likes to feel patriotic all of the time, so they choose to live in a history that never existed, which seems perfectly fitting for a movement whose grassroots themselves are strictly an illusion.