Comedian Bill Maher is sorely disappointed.
In an interview with Fareed Zakaria on his eponymous CNN program Sunday, the HBO star bemoaned what he saw as the legislative failures and disunity of Democrats, and laid into President Barack Obama for coming across as what he described as “wimpy and wussy … and whatever word you want to ascribe to it.”
Obama, he opined, hasn’t ardently fought for the principles on which he sought office.
“Where this administration really went off kilter was the public option, with the healthcare debate,” Maher said, referring to a plan where the government would create its own healthcare plan to compete with private insurers.
“That was his big issue, that’s what he staked his administration on,” Maher continued. “That debate should have started from: we’re the Democrats, we’re the party of the people, we want a single payer plan. Of course that would never pass, but that should have been their position. The Republicans would be: no, our healthcare plan is called drop dead, or if they maybe would have improved it, ‘Go screw yourself plus.'”
“The public option was polling at 70 percent popularity when the debate started,” Maher averred.
“How do you think he’s responded to the shellacking so far?” Zakaria asked.
“He looks beaten down,” Maher replied. “That’s what disturbs me.”
“I thought, when we elected the first black president, as a comedian, I thought two years in, I’d be making jokes about what a gangsta he was, you know?” Maher said. “And not that he’s President Wayne Brady, but I thought we were getting Chuck Knight.”
“For him to be talking about compromising with the Republicans on the Bush tax cuts, where — where are they going to draw a line in the sand? When are they going to remember who they are?”
“I’m so disappointed,” Maher added. “And I still like him and still think there’s hope he could get it yet, but I’m so disappointed that he just seems to be another in a long line of Democrats that come across as wimpy and wussy and whatever word you want to ascribe to it, of not standing up for what they believe in enough.”
“The Republicans seem to continually stake out a position further and further to the right and demand that Democrats meet them in the middle,” he continued. “Except that that’s not the middle anymore.”
“Republicans are much better at sticking by what the believe in. They all get on the same page.”
The following video is from CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” broadcast Sunday Dec. 6, 2010.