On this week's "New Rules" segment on "Real Time with Bill Maher," host Bill Maher warned that today's whack job Republicans might be bad, but let's not make the mistake of thinking old Republicans were better. Former Pres. Ronald Reagan, said Maher, was "the original teabagger."
"New rule," Maher said, "When Bob Dole, a guy so hardcore Republican his adult diaper has a flag pin, when he says his party has become a bunch of idea-free ideologues who obstruct too much, people should listen."
But, he continued, they also should kid themselves, as Dole apparently does, that Ronald Reagan couldn't "make it" in today's Republican Party.
"This has become kind of a conventional wisdom," he said, "that the Republican Party has gone so far to the right, Reagan himself wouldn't fit in. But I'm here tonight to call bullshit on that."
"Ronald Reagan was an anti-government, union-busting, race-baiting, anti-abortion, anti-gay anti-intellectual who cut rich people's taxes in half, had an incurable case of the military-industrial complex and said Medicare was socialism that would destroy our freedom. Sounds to me like he would fit in just fine."
And that while Reagan may have done "a few things" that modern Republicans wouldn't like, said Maher, he basically "wrote the playbook for them on every issue of consequence."
This is why, Maher explained, it's particularly galling to hear President Barack Obama talking about Reagan as if he's his "brother from another mother."
Both sides, he said, "need to drop the Reagan worship once and for all."
In the final analysis, Maher said, Reagan “was Patient Zero for everything you’re fighting against now. He was the original teabagger. Stop agreeing he was a saint, especially when his two miracles were turning water into polluted water and walking on the poor.”
Watch the video, embedded below via Mediaite: