A riddle: Which conservative said, “I am for overturning this ban,” referring to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s idiotic proscription on the sale and consumption of sugary beverages over 16 ounces, which was shot down last week by a state judge?
The answer is none. The words were uttered on Friday by Bill Maher, liberal host of the HBO conservative-bashing talk show “Real Time.” Real Clear Politics notes that Maher — whose comments generally gravitate toward such high-brow topics as whether the “c”-word is the most apt four-letter characterization of former GOP running mate Sarah Palin — also said, “This is what makes liberals look like elitist bullies who think they know everything and can tell people what to do.” He added:
Of course childhood obesity, in general obesity is a problem, but this is a very lazy way to handle it, to ban sodas over 16 ounces. Does anyone disagree with that?
His guests, which included economist Jared Bernstein and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, mostly did. Bernstein, for example, conceded that the move was too “big brotherly” before going on to argue that “it does raise the costs of healthcare through the society.”
Yet, Maher, continuing to sound curiously reasonable, countered:
But everybody does something. This is what I objected to. Yes, if you’re a cigarette smoker, if you drink a lot of booze, those things are legal. People do coke; that’s not legal [but] they do it. They ride motorcycles. They have too much stress! You never get laid. There’s a lot of reasons why you could get sick….
There is something wrong about the seventh richest person in the world, lying in bed at night saying, ‘You know what people shouldn’t do? Drink too much Sprite. And I’m going to make that a law.’…
Again, it is what makes liberals look bad. They never met a regulation they didn’t like. Of course, we should do something about this problem, but what if I want to have that one Big Gulp once a week? I should be able to.
Maher’s brush with conservative points of view was not limited to the problems with over- regulation. As Noel Sheppard noted yesterday, he addressed the topic of excessive taxation during the same broadcast:
I just saw these statistics. I mean, something like 70 percent. And here in California, I just want to say liberals — you could actually lose me. It’s outrageous what we’re paying — over 50 percent. I’m willing to pay my share, but yeah, it’s ridiculous.
Could we be witnessing the rebirth of Bill Maher as a sane person? Time will tell.
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