'What he needs in his personality, is a little George Bush'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2009, 3:35pm PT  


While I couldn't care less about Bill Maher's 'Obama being on TV too much' schtick here, as seen on last night's Real Time on HBO, his scathing criticism of Obama which follows it is dead on the money.

Some highlights:

Sorry folks, but this President is not fighting for real health care reform. It's nibbling that leaves insurance companies still running the show. And the banks, the banks that brought us to financial ruin and then got bailout money, are laughing at us about how easy it was to get back to 'business as usual.' And scientists keep saying that if we want to keep living, you know, on Earth, it's kind of essential we reduce carbon dioxide by 40% in the next ten years. Obama's bill calls for 4%.

This is not getting the job done, and this is not what I voted for.

Maher continues by arguing that "if you can't shove some real reform down [Republican] throats now, then when?" before adding: "I never thought I'd say this, but what he needs in his personality is a little George Bush. He needs to stop worrying about being loved, and bring out that smug, insufferable swagger that says, 'Suck on it, America!'"

"I'm glad Obama is President," Maher concludes, "but the 'Audicity of Hope' part is over. Right now, I'm hoping for a little more audacity..."

UPDATE 6/20/09: Maher follows up this monologue with another, equally as scathing, the following week. Details and video here...

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Video of this week's scathing monologue is above right, the complete text transcript follows below...

Sorry folks, but this President is not fighting for real health care reform. It's nibbling that leaves insurance companies still running the show. And the banks, the banks that brought us to financial ruin and then got bailout money, are laughing at us about how easy it was to get back to 'business as usual.' And scientists keep saying that if we want to keep living, you know, on Earth, it's kind of essential we reduce carbon dioxide by 40% in the next ten years. Obama's bill calls for 4%.

This is not getting the job done, and this is not what I voted for.

This why I don't want my President to be a TV star. Because TV stars are too worried about being popular and too concerned about getting renewed.

Oh, you can relax about that one, Mr. President. The party is doing everything it can to ensure you'll get re-elected...the Republican party.

Speaking of the Republicans, if you can't shove some real reform down their throats now, then when? Folks, Barack Obama needs to start putting it on the line in fights against the banks, the energy companies and the health care industry.

I never thought I'd say this, but what he needs in his personality, is a little George Bush. ... He needs to stop worrying about being loved, and bring out that smug, insufferable swagger that says 'Suck on it, America!'

George Bush had horrible ideas --- torture, deregulation, pre-emptive wars, tax cuts for the rich --- but he pushed them through in their full measure. Never mind the Congress or the Constitution...the Geneva Convention...Magna Carta...Hammurabi's Code...the point is, he didn't care if it made him unpopular with every human on the planet not named Cletus or Fred Barnes. Which it did.

And what we need to do, is to marry the good ideas that Barack Obama has, with a little bit of that Bush attitude, that certitude. I'd love it if Obama came out one day and said "Jesus told me to fix healthcare!".

In concluclusion, Bush was bad. But he never cared if he was seen out in a restaurant having a burger with Dick Cheney. If he wanted a burger, he picked up the telephone and said "I'm the President, bring me a burger!" ... And they would say, "Sir, this is NORAD. Would you please stop ordering burgers into the red phone?"

I'm glad Obama is President, but the 'Audicity of Hope' part is over. Right now, I'm hoping for a little more audacity...