After a couple of "licking" jokes: (about Michael Douglas and some guy with tacos), Bill Maher devoted his final "New Rule" to (dare I say) eviscerating the sacred cult of Ronald Reagan.
Starting with the now familiar refrain (most recently by Bob Dole) that Reagan would not be welcome in today's Republican party, Maher brilliantly introduced the counter-narrative: That despite myth, Reagan originated and raised to doctrine most of the teabaggers ideas, including:
RacismMaher "tipped" the Reagan Sacred Cow, like no one I've seen aside from here on liberal blogs. It was like "Somebody had to say this."Lies about a mythical welfare queen in Chicago making six figures and having a dozen credit cardsDemonizing government:
States rights as code for raceMedicare and Medicaid are socialismFostering inequality:
The most terrifying words in English are "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." (Maher didn't say it but I am)Destroying unionsHostility to the environment: ("We already have enough trees.")
Lowering taxes on the wealthiest
He reserved special words for Democrats who admire Reagan, (including Obama). Republicans, he said, have to worship him, because everything is a religion to them. But Democrats should know better.
One of his panel was Ana Navarro -- Republican consultant (who all night was disagreeing the Republicans about immigration and other issues, prompting Maher to ask why she was a Republican). But when Maher began to take apart Saint Ronnie, you could see Navarro starting to seethe. It was unlike most of the final new rules on other shows, even those going after Republicans, when you see the Republicans on the panel laughing. Not Navarro (and probably not the other guy, double-breasted leather jacketed pompous guy, Kevin Williamson, recently thrown out of a dinner theater for grabbing someone's cell phone). This was heresy! treason! blasphemy!
There's no question that the grotesque inequality we have began with Reagan (Nixon cynically used race and was a paranoid, but he didn't try to kill the New Deal). Destroying the Reagan myth is a good start on revealing the war on the middle class that he initiated.
Thanks to Bill and his writers.