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Bill Maher & the Use of the “Tea Bag” Smear

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 10:00 am - April 26, 2009.
Filed under: Mean-spirited leftists,Tea Party

Until this post, I had not used the term all too many on the left are using to discredit the grassroots phenomenon of “Tea Parties” organized across the country to protest “out of control spending at all levels of government.”

At least 300,000 people (and that’s the most conservative estimate) attended these protests on Tax Day alone with more people joining ralies the following weekend and even this past weekend.  Clearly, something is afoot when nearly a half-million people who do not readily take to the streets to protest do so.

Some on the left, however, would rather smear this movement than understand our concerns.  I’ve blogged on this before, and more than once.  The latest to do so is Bill Maher who took to the Los Angeles Times to throw his tantrum.  Maybe he was trying to be funny, but he just ended up being mean.  Blogger Robert Stacy McCain takes his criticism apart so I don’t have to.

Maher claims he can’t find out why the “conservative base is absolutely apoplectic.”  Guess it’s because he hasn’t been trying to find out.  A good part of that base has been apoplectic for several years now, largely over the issue which drove many of us to the streets earlier this month:  government spending run amok.  (Bill could find that out by reading conservative blogs and talking to conservative citizens.)

Even a week after the protests, Maher claims he still doesn’t know “what those ‘tea bag’ protests were about.”  Doesn’t know or doesn’t want to know?  Or, maybe so conditioned is he to slurring them as “tea bag” protests that he used that as his google search term.  And came up only with posts and columns by his ideological confrères trying to slur them.

If he had merely typed in “Tax Day Tea Party” into google, his first hit would have an explanation (included as footnote*).  But, that’s the thing, he doesn’t want to call them what their organizers have called them.  He resorted to the childish slur to mock them.

Perhaps, Bill Maher is just trying to be funny.  But, his piece just dripped with contempt for his ideological adversaries.  And his use of the standard left-wing slur to describe the growing grassroots phenomenon shows he, like others who use it, have no interest in understanding why we took to the streets on April 15.  They’d rather attack conservatives than take seriously our concerns.**

* On April 15th, hundreds of thousands of citizens gathered in more than 800 cities to voice their opposition to out of control spending at all levels of government. Organized in all 50 states by Americans from all walks of life, these “tea parties” were a true grassroots protest of irresponsible fiscal policies and intrusive government.

**R.S. McCain: “Maher has made no serious effort to investigate the Tea Party movement, any more so than he has ever seriously engaged conservatism as a political philosophy.”

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18 Comments

  1. Bill Maher is positive that religion in an opiate and the believers are addicted and stupid. He is so positive that he made a “documentary” and has been on a regular high as he mocks the sheeple.

    It is not too far a stretch to understand that anything that Bill Maher, the self crowned king of reason and sanity, does not agree with is just more sheeple being stupid.

    Leftist elitism is rife with Bill Mahers. They are purveyors of snobbish, in your face rectitude which is grounded in their definition of correctness.

    Bill Maher is the Pied Piper of the pimple and botox sets. He lights his own flatulence for a living and he believes he is the second coming of Plato. In truth, he is a weak imitation of a gin soaked bantam rooster who can’t get a wave from the hen house.

    Comment by heliotrope — April 26, 2009 @ 10:38 am - April 26, 2009

  2. Atheism has nothing to do with not believing in God–atheism is about wanting to have sex with anybody you want without having to face any consequences, eternal or otherwise. I’ve never met an atheist who believes in lifelong sexual exclusivity.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — April 26, 2009 @ 4:29 pm - April 26, 2009

  3. The terms “Bill Maher” and “funny” should never be used in the same sentence, except in the case of exact opposition…

    Comment by Casey — April 27, 2009 @ 12:19 am - April 27, 2009

  4. Atheism has nothing to do with not believing in God–atheism is about wanting to have sex with anybody you want without having to face any consequences, eternal or otherwise. I’ve never met an atheist who believes in lifelong sexual exclusivity.

    Ashpenaz, that’s a new spin on atheism. I believe in God, but my decision to continue a lifelong sexually exclusive relationship has nothing to do with it. In other words, it’s not the existence of God that keeps me in line. In fact, there was a period of time when I was an atheist. And I didn’t have sex at all during that period.

    On the other hand, I am fairly certain that most people who don’t believe in lifelong sexual exclusivity believe in God.

    As for Bill Maher, I actually find him funny sometimes, but I have no illusions about him, including his biases. My partner, who is usually politically to the left of me doesn’t like him, because of his arrogance about atheism and other things.

    As I said before, Dan. I don’t understand the criticism that Maher and others have against the Tea Parties. If they really think that the Tea Parties are silly, then why not sit back quietly and enjoy them, while (as they believe) it helps their cause. Similarly, I don’t understand why you are focusing on those who criticize the Tea Parties. You obviously believe in the cause, and believe these critics are out of touch. So why not let them continue showing how out of touch they are?

    Comment by Pat — April 27, 2009 @ 6:38 am - April 27, 2009

  5. So why not let them continue showing how out of touch they are?

    No one except people like Dan are ever going to challenge them on how out of touch they are.

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2009 @ 7:21 am - April 27, 2009

  6. Belief in G-d doesn’t “keep me in line.” Belief in G-d means I am aware, as Rick Warren points out, that it’s not all about me. For an athiest like Maher, it is all about them–the human brain is the most complex part of the universe. There is nothing above it. Consequently, you can have sex with whoever that brain wants to have sex with. Which is all athiests really want.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — April 27, 2009 @ 9:33 am - April 27, 2009

  7. Ashpenaz, you may be right about Maher, but how do you know that all atheists are like that. Like I mentioned above, I went through an atheist period, and not only did I not have sex with anyone and everyone, I had sex with no one. And further, I NEVER thought that it was all about me.

    I don’t know too many open atheists. But the ones I’ve spoken to about their atheism focused on their lack of belief in God. They honestly don’t believe there is a God. Sure, I imagine some of them use that as an excuse to do bad things. But there are plenty of people who believe in God that do plenty of bad things.

    Let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, that we find out for sure that God does not exist. I know you believe that would never happen, but stay with me here. Does that mean you would change your core values. That you won’t seek a monogamous relationship, and instead, choose to be promiscuous and have open relationships? That you no longer would be aware that it’s not all about you?

    Comment by Pat — April 27, 2009 @ 10:13 am - April 27, 2009

  8. What I love about the “tea bag” innuendo (I wouldn’t call it a smear) is that it is self-refuting. It makes the speaker look like the trashy moron he or she is – Not the target. And the next step for the listener is to go, “Gee, I wonder what those protests were about? Maybe I should pay attention.”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 27, 2009 @ 1:01 pm - April 27, 2009

  9. Pat #4 and #7 – Good comments.

    I am fairly certain that most people who don’t believe in lifelong sexual exclusivity believe in God.

    Like, say, Christians. They generally believe in monogamy, but NOT lifelong sexual exclusivity, which is a different concept. (The traditional marriage ceremony was “Till death do us part”, meaning that if your spouse died, you could and probably should take a new spouse. Also, most mainline denominations give people ways to divorce, to one degree or another.)

    Similarly, I don’t understand why you [GPW] are focusing on those who criticize the Tea Parties. You obviously believe in the cause, and believe these critics are out of touch. So why not let them continue showing how out of touch they are?

    Oh, but he is. GPW isn’t trying to shut down the critics, that I know of. He is merely drawing attention to their silliness… which, in turn, fuels the fire or helps keep people talking about the Tea Parties.

    Let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, that we find out for sure that God does not exist. I know you [Ashpenaz] believe that would never happen, but stay with me here. Does that mean you would change your core values?

    You’ve asked Ash a rich question. I only have time to make a couple quick comments, which won’t do the subject justice. First, the key to God-existing-or-not is what you mean by the word “God”. Define a God that obviously exists, and He exists. Define a God that obviously doesn’t, shouldn’t and/or can’t exist, and He doesn’t exist. Second, morality arises from facts of reality, or to say it another way, is needed because we are subject to death and to free will and we need principles to help navigate better through life’s choices. While God may be the ultimate author of morality as He is the ultimate author of all, morality does not change or dissolve just because you ignore the God of somebody’s religion. Gotta go.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 27, 2009 @ 1:20 pm - April 27, 2009

  10. I can’t really argue here for the existence of God–obviously, people look at the evidence and make their own choices. What I am saying is that people choose to be atheists because it allows them to believe they can have sex with whoever they want, without consequences. They might do a lot of other nice things such as adopt highways and stock food pantries, but, ultimately, their atheism is rooted in their desire to have sex with whoever they want.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — April 27, 2009 @ 10:22 pm - April 27, 2009

  11. What I am saying is that people choose to be atheists because it allows them to believe they can have sex with whoever they want, without consequences.

    And others are telling you: No, that isn’t so.

    I know of a group of atheists who advocate a seriousness about sexual relationships that many consider puritanism. They still don’t advocate “lifelong sexual exclusivity”, but again, few among the religious advocate it either.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 27, 2009 @ 11:04 pm - April 27, 2009

  12. Personally, I’m an atheist because I choose to drive a white car.

    Comment by Bart M — April 28, 2009 @ 4:43 am - April 28, 2009

  13. I can’t really argue here for the existence of God–obviously, people look at the evidence and make their own choices.

    And I wasn’t asking you to, Ashpenaz. What I did ask is, for sake of argument, how your behavior and core values would change, if at all, if it was found that God did not exist? Is it only because of God that you have your values, especially regarding sex and relationships?

    And again, people have a lot of different reasons why they are atheist. Perhaps, for some, it is an excuse to have promiscuous sex. But one does not need to be atheist to do that. In fact, most promisuous people do believe in God. Part of it is because of the forgiveness inherent in many religions, including C-h-r-i-s-t-i-a-n-i-t-y.

    Anyway, I am curious to the question I posed above.

    Comment by Pat — April 28, 2009 @ 7:14 am - April 28, 2009

  14. ILC, excellent points. Have to get ready for work, so I’ll have to respond later.

    Comment by Pat — April 28, 2009 @ 7:15 am - April 28, 2009

  15. Like Nietzche, Camus, Sartre, and Dostoyesky have said clearly, if there is no God, then everything is permissible. So, yes, if there is not God, then I would be free to do whatever I want to do without restraint, as, say, Pol Pot and Stalin did. And Bill Maher. Woody Allen’s movies Crimes and Misdemeanors and Match Point show us a world without God. I would do anything I could get away with–why not? Why would I be concerned about anyone else since we are only randomly evolved meat machines whose sense of self is simply an epiphenomenon of a purely material process?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — April 28, 2009 @ 9:42 am - April 28, 2009

  16. I still chuckle when I hear Anderson Cooper’s famous epigram: “It’s hard to talk when you are tea-bagging.”

    And Miss Thang should know about that through his own experiences, no doubt.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 28, 2009 @ 10:45 am - April 28, 2009

  17. Thanks for your response, Ashpenaz. With all due respect to Nietzsche, Camus, Sartre, and Dostoyevsky, they are (if you accurately reflected their positions), IMHO, wrong. I am not free to do anything I want. There is a community and laws that I would be accountable, which is true whether or not I believe in God. And more importantly, I’m accountable to myself.

    Interesting that you mentioned those two Woody Allen movies. I think they are the only two Allen movies I’ve seen. They were pretty good, and had similar plots. What struck me was, especially in C&M was the murderer felt a need to “confess” his murder, and then he was able to move on with a clearer conscience. What wasn’t clear to me is whether the two murderers believed in God. I suspect they both did. Regardless, they did feel guilt about their actions.

    If we are bringing up movies and this issue, I’m reminded of Louis in Angels in America. He finds out that his partner has AIDS. There was no evidence that his partner cheated on him, and most likely he got it before they started dating. In other words, infidelity was not an issue. Louis wants to break up with him. But before he does so, he consults with a rabbi to see if the Bible or other dogma had anything to say about it. And I couldn’t help but think that he actually needed a religious authority to tell him he was a sh&t for doing so.

    Why would I be concerned about anyone else since we are only randomly evolved meat machines whose sense of self is simply an epiphenomenon of a purely material process?

    Whether God exists or not, that may be the case. It’s up to us to make our lives more meaningful than that.

    Comment by Pat — April 28, 2009 @ 12:01 pm - April 28, 2009

  18. Like, say, C-h-r-i-s-t-i-a-n-s. They generally believe in monogamy, but NOT lifelong sexual exclusivity, which is a different concept. (The traditional marriage ceremony was “Till death do us part”, meaning that if your spouse died, you could and probably should take a new spouse. Also, most mainline denominations give people ways to divorce, to one degree or another.) (dashes added, mine.)

    ILC, I did confuse the two issues. I guess I subscribe to the “till death do us part” of monogamy. But if my partner should leave me, I may decide to date others, and who knows? But I plan on being just as responsible as I have been.

    First, the key to God-existing-or-not is what you mean by the word “God”. Define a God that obviously exists, and He exists. Define a God that obviously doesn’t, shouldn’t and/or can’t exist, and He doesn’t exist.

    Excellent point. Further, the God I believe in is either a different one that Ashpenaz believes in, or the same God but with different perceptions. Actually, if you ask me, there are probably about 6.7 billion different perceptions and/or manifestations of God that exist today.

    Second, morality arises from facts of reality, or to say it another way, is needed because we are subject to death and to free will and we need principles to help navigate better through life’s choices.

    That’s true. At least for a few thousand years, it’s been.

    Oh, but he is. GPW isn’t trying to shut down the critics, that I know of. He is merely drawing attention to their silliness… which, in turn, fuels the fire or helps keep people talking about the Tea Parties.

    I agree that Dan is not trying to shut down the critics. And perhaps he is doing it for the reason you suggest. I believe that most people who participate in a protest really do so out of a principle. It’s just that the other stuff that comes with it, such as the critics, the goons with their own agenda, the numbers game (e.g., we had 1,000,000 people, no you only had 1,000 people) is just politics and gamesmanship.

    Comment by Pat — April 28, 2009 @ 5:36 pm - April 28, 2009

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