Saturday, May 6, 2017

Bill Maher's New Rule Is Worthy of a Partial Indulgence

Bill Maher is no Hillary lover, and that's fine. You don't have to "love us, love our Hillary" for us to be conversant with you.  What we will not tolerate are unfair attacks on Hillary, and in this 2017 season, Maher has been guilty of that.

His worst offense this season came after Hillary spoke to California business women on myriad issues challenging working women from family leave, to discriminatory barriers, unfair hiring practices, and workplace bullying. During that speech in late March, Hillary briefly addressed two recent incidents where professional women, Representative Maxine Waters and journalist April Ryan, had been insulted. That part of her presentation occupied up to two minutes in a 55 minute speech.  Because of those particular remarks, Bill Maher attacked Hillary, suggesting that these comments were thin-skinned, were all she had to say, and ordered her to "stay in the woods."

Hillary had far more to say than the comments he cited.  It was offensive, sexist, and unfair of Maher in the same way Sean Spicer's treatment of April Ryan and Mitch McConnell's silencing of Elizabeth Warren during the Jeff Sessions confirmation hearings were. Interestingly, Hillary referred to the McConnell incident in that same speech, and Maher did not include that reference in his scolding.

Former candidates have every right to speak out.  Anti-Trump Republicans turned to former candidate Mitt Romney in their shock at their own 2016  nomination. I do not hear anyone telling Bernie Sanders to relinquish the talking stick. Why should Hillary?

Well, Maher earned a partial indulgence last night with one of his "new rules."

He would probably have to walk on his knees from California to Chappaqua before he would earn a plenary indulgence, but this is fine. Other media personalities certainly were more offensive and inflicted more damage.  We'll hold off on a final judgment until he gets through the whole season without again suggesting that Hillary should "stifle."

Perhaps he now gets it that silencing women - especially in a week when a woman was convicted of laughing during those same Sessions hearings might put you on the wrong side of history. Convicted of laughing - never imagined I would ever write such a phrase - not even in Duvalieriste Haiti.

We need every voice, especially Hillary's, because she is the one with all the plans.  She knows how to get things done.  Maher is too smart a guy to play the Archie Bunker card.  It was good to see him roll it back enough to break our hearts again with what she would and would not be doing.  We will be watching to make sure he continues to refrain from bashing her. She deserves our thanks and support.