On his HBO program Real Time host Bill Maher took on the Tea Party’s demonization of First Lady Michelle Obama for her childhood obesity campaign. Maher said, “If you think Michelle Obama is after your freedom because she merely suggests that our kids should exercise more and eat a little broccoli with their lard, you don’t deserve a place in the free market of ideas…”
Here is the video:
Maher said, “If you think Michelle Obama is after your freedom because she merely suggests that our kids should exercise more and eat a little broccoli with their lard, you don’t deserve a place in the free market of ideas, you belong at the cheesecake factory. She’s not Stalin because she notices your kids sweat Mountain Dew. Now, this is bigger than America’s ass. I know that’s hard to believe so indulge me. This is about the Teabaggers fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between freedom, and the freedom to never be told anything. Like avoid food served in a bucket.”
He talked about the tradition of First Ladies and their efforts, “It’s just a tradition that First Ladies get to pick some mundane up until now non-controversial cause to promote. Lady Bird Johnson beautifying America, Barbara Bush had literacy. Betty Ford’s was no hard liquor before 10 AM. Our last First Lady Laura Bush worked tirelessly against illiteracy, so between her efforts and her husband’s, it was a tie. Hillary Clinton did pioneering work in looking the other way…”
Maher moved on to the right wing media’s fear campaign about food, “Now when I look at a Moon Pie, I just see sugar and trans fats, not my constitutional freedoms, but Sarah Palin recently brought sugar cookies to a school as a protest against the government telling the school what to eat, which of course, it wasn’t doing. Sean Hannity warned that we’d soon be paying fines for eating salt, which isn’t a problem for Hannity who mostly eats boogers.”
Maher asked, “When did the right wing become Joe Pesci over every little thing? You sayin’ I use too much salt? What am I salty to you? Fuck you, I use too much salt. Here take some salt right down your throat. I mean 40 years ago when Lady Bird Johnson suggested we plant wild flowers to beautify the highways, the reaction was it sounds like a neat idea, not don’t tell me what I can plant, bitch. Matt Drudge promoted a story saying pedestrian deaths were way up because The Evil One, Michelle Obama had encouraged people to walk more…..directly into traffic. Those were her exact words. Walk into traffic.”
He continued, “Now I’m not saying the right objects to Mrs. Obama’s efforts because the Teabaggers are stupid, or because they’re hysterical, or because they hate black people, though all of that is true, but what does it say about America that even a First Lady’s suggestion has to be controversial? Especially when she picked one no one could disagree with. Maybe we should our kids outside to play? Well, you know who else liked to send people places? Hitler.”
Maher concluded by taking on Rush Limbaugh, “I mean Rush Limbaugh makes a crack about this every week, because who better to get your health advice from than a drug addicted fat man. Rush, I have proof that no one in the government is forcing you to eat right and exercise. YOU!”
Bill Maher hit this one dead center. The Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of the right wing terror brigade, are like children who believe that freedom means that they can live in their own reality, and under their own facts. No one is telling the right what they can eat, or what they can’t eat. Frankly, the rest of us don’t care if they all fall over dead tomorrow with Fox News on their television and a handful of Pringles in their mouths, but it takes a very warped set of minds to turn an anti-childhood obesity campaign into a Stalinist plot.
Trying to encourage children to put down the PS3 and go play on the swing set is not the same as Joseph Stalin killing 7 million Russians from 1932-1933 by a forced famine. Rational people can see the difference. The right wing can’t, or won’t. Conservative politics are currently governed by two emotions, anger and fear.
The voices on the right who can most effectively tap into these emotions are the most successful. Maher is right. It does say something very disturbing about the state of America’s political discourse when ideas like children should be healthy, go outside and get fresh air can’t be agreed upon by all.
The right has suffered a collective psychotic break with reality, and while this is good for careers of the Bill Maher’s of the world, it is bad for the rest of who just want sanity restored to our country.