On Real Time last night Bill Maher ran a two for one special where he managed to take down both the worship of Tim Tebow, and the Republican Party’s love of faith based know nothings like Herman Cain.
Here’s the video:
Since all Republican voters really want in a candidate is one a devout Christian who doesn’t know s**t from Shinola, and two is proud of that, and three isn’t named Mitt, they should just go ahead and nominate Tim Tebow. That’s right, take Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, the fan favorite Christian who’s in over his head on the football field and put him somewhere where fan favorite Christians who are in over their head are welcome, the Republican presidential race.
Now if you haven’t heard of Tim Tebow, he’s the college quarterback slash religious nut that the Broncos signed last year despite the fact that he has one problem. He throws like a girl. I’m sorry, I take that back. Lots of girls throw. Naomi Campbell has a more impressive completion rate with cell phones, but that doesn’t matter to the faithful, because Tim Tebow is so cuckoo for Christianity that he used to write Bible verses in the charcoal under his eyes. Creepy to some, but for redneck America, they couldn’t love this guy more if he was sculpted out of bacon. The words man crush don’t begin to describe it. It is full on gay…
But last Sunday, Tim learned that although Jesus saves, he can’t read NFL defenses and he’s terrible at throwing into coverage. A Yahoo Sports article on Tebow’s performance used words like atrocious, terrible, not even close to ready, and oh, my God, and I thought funny, those are the same things I’ve been thinking about Herman Cain. The difference being in over your head is an asset in today’s Republican politics. Their base doesn’t care that Cain thinks presidents sign constitutional amendments, or that Michele Bachmann believes slavery was settled by the Founders. Because knowing things is seen as an affront to the all-knowing, and there’s nothing they hate more than secular edheads trying to fix problems like poverty and healthcare. Honestly, doesn’t a lot of the tea party philosophy boil down to who needs the government when you have Jesus?
Today’s Republican Party doesn’t want a smart, experienced, problem solver. They want a motivational speaker with a background in pizza. Both Cain and Rick Perry have attacked Mitt Romney for having a tax plan that did not fit on the back of an index card. Yes, there’s a growing, gnawing, dark suspicion among Republicans that Mitt Romney is, cover your ears, children, smart. I’m not saying it’s true. I’m just saying there’s no proof it isn’t. Meanwhile three of the Republican candidates have said God called them to run for president. But seriously, if God really did call all three to run for president, isn’t he just f**king with two of them?
Maher closed by pointing out that none of this matters because Mitt Romney wants this more than the other candidates do, and he will do or say anything to get the votes.
Bill Maher’s criticism of the Golden Tebow Child was right on the money. Everyone knew about Tebow’s football deficiencies before he was drafted, but then head man Josh McDaniels and the Broncos were charmed by Tebow’s athleticism, and the money they could make by selling the quarterback to the built in Christian fan base that he would bring with him to whatever franchise selected him. While I don’t think Tebow will ever be a great quarterback, it is far too early to proclaim him the worst thing since New Coke.
There have already been rumors going back to Tebow’s days in Florida that Republican politics may be in his future, so Maher’s comparison of the quarterback to the Republican presidential candidates might not be all that far off. Tebow may not be getting it done on the football field, but he would be the ideal candidate for many evangelical Republicans.
Back in 2010 a Florida sports columnist wrote a piece comparing Tim Tebow to Ronald Reagan, and he predicted that Tebow would someday be elected president. To evangelical Republicans, Tebow is a rock star whose popularity would easily transfer into votes among a Republican base that is obsessed with faith over substance.
The Tebow worship is a kissing cousin of the same affliction that has consumed the Republican Party. Faith is the only thing that matters. The Republican Party has gone through bouts of anti-intellectualism before, but today’s GOP has taken it to a new level by adding a faith based litmus test to their anti-intellectualism.
Tim Tebow would excel in GOP politics for the same reason that Herman Cain is a frontrunner. To faith based Republican voters it doesn’t matter what you know or don’t know. All that matters is what a candidate believes. The right beliefs (Herman Cain and Tim Tebow) make you popular and successful. The wrong beliefs (Mitt Romney) mean that the best you can hope for is skeptical mistrust.
For both Tebow and Cain, faith based fandom may be their only path to success.