Comedian Bill Maher appears to be in a generous mood now that the Democrats have been victorious on health care reform.
In his February comedy special, Maher accused the Tea Partiers of racism and suggested that “it’s kind of insulting to a lot of Americans” to long for the return of an era when they were excluded.
But when talk show host Jay Leno asked Maher about health care reform on Wednesday, Maher replied, “I thank the Tea Baggers. They’re the ones who got it passed,”
Maher acknowledged that the Tea Partiers might be confused by his gratitude. “I’m sure they’re saying, ‘What are you talking about Bill?'” he suggested. “‘I was so against the health care bill I marched on Washington with tea bags hanging from my hat, dressed up in my Founding Fathers costume, with a picture of Hitler, you know, and Obama’s face on him, screaming about his birth certificate.'”
“And America saw that,” Maher concluded, “and said, ‘What loons. We’re going with the calm black man. These idiots can’t even spell, ‘Go back to Kenya.'”
Maher also got in a well-received jab at Sarah Palin’s claims about “death panels,’ saying, “You know Sarah, if we were killing off useless people, you’d be the first to know.”
He went on, however, to insist that he could understand brick-throwing and death threats in response to the passage of health care reform. “You have to throw a little tantrum when freedom as we know it dies, because I know what it means to be a patriot. It’s to make sure that kids don’t get checkups.”
This video is from NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, broadcast March 31, 2010.