May 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm EDT | by Robert Turner
Bill Maher’s racist Obama remark goes unnoticed

Last weekend, the all-around general asshat Bill Maher offered up the quote, “How exactly does President Sanford and Son think he got elected — by CB radio? The campaign was based on the Internet.”

That was a response to President Obama, who recently, while giving the graduation address at Hampton College, an HBCU school, criticized high-tech consumer items, such as the iPod, iPad and other gadgets, saying they “are distractions that put new strains on democracy.”

Although this was clearly an “out-of-touch-with-reality” moment for the president, I am waiting to hear the cries of racism and general condemnation toward the uber-liberal Maher from the usual suspects.

Where are the press releases from the NAACP? Where are the televised outrages and vows of boycotts from our resident poverty pimps, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?

With the exception of a few blog posts, there is a universal silence that permeates the Interwebs from the political left. It is eerily similar to that same silence that pervaded back in the 1990s during President Bill Clinton’s tenure in office.

While those on the left were quick to castigate Republican senators with even the hint of being a womanizer (Oregon senator and pro-choice advocate Bob Packwood comes to mind), there is always an “enjoy the silence” moment when it comes to one of their own. California Sen. Barbara Boxer, who was central to the expulsion of Packwood, never uttered a word regarding President Clinton and his allegations.

In the past 16 months, any conservative advocate, pundit or organization who has criticized the Obama administration has been called pedantic and even racist. But when it comes from the political left, not a word.

Should we be surprised at this duplicitous reaction or non-action? Not in the least. As I said, we’ve seen this before.

What should occur is a real and honest debate about the policies that this administration is espousing. One can be civil while debating the pros and cons about the need for the federal government’s takeover of the health care system, national banks and auto companies, or protecting our borders and balancing our budgets.

What serves no purpose, outside of a virulent combative nature, is the obtuse myopic reference of a my-way-or-the-highway mentality; a pathological sublimation of what is good and honest policy versus that which is political in nature.

As a right-of-center politico, I will be the first to say that I disagree with most of the policies this administration has offered. But it is not enough to simply say that he is wrong and I am right. Moreover, as a right-of-center LGBT politico, it is my duty to judge any president’s action as to how it relates toward our community as a whole.

I have said on these pages that our community has not seen real progress in the last 16 months. We’ve seen platitudes and lip service, to be sure. It’s time we take off our marching shoes, put down our placards, stop handcuffing ourselves to the White House fence and actually do something. Throw the bums out!

There are many candidates — both Democratic and Republican — who will actually listen to our concerns and help work toward a solution. There are more than the media and some of our major national organizations would have you believe.

Five months ago I said that as we were beginning the second session of the 111th Congress, and we must ask ourselves if we’ve been had. That answer is becoming more and more apparent. But while we debate and discuss ways to alter this reality, we must remember that hyperbole and name-calling is not the answer. Casting aspersions does not propel one’s views or positions. Reason, votes and money do.

Robert Turner is president of the D.C. chapter of Log Cabin Republicans. Reach him at

  • Maybe he was referring to the error made by some newspaper (Washington Times? NY Post?) in some lame article they had about aging presidents and they had before and after pictures of Clinton, Bush and Obama and the after picture of Obama was of Sanford and Sons. That’s how I interpreted it.

  • First – did you start out writing about one thing and then change your mind for the second half? I’m not sure how Bill Maher’s remark relates to throwing the bums out. By the way, Maher has asserted that he believes it’s equally racist to ignore a person’s race, and I tend to agree.

    Second – nice try. “There are many candidates — both Democratic and Republican — who will actually listen to our concerns and help work toward a solution.” Obama was one of those… Why do you think the others wpuld be different or better? Or are you just pandering to the impatient dissatisfaction of those who accept nothing less than instant gratification to to further an agenda of a party that has been traditionally anti-LGBTQ?

  • Sorry for the typos. I’m commenting from my phone.

  • One more question for you… If he had compared Clinton or Bush to Archie Bunker, would you have considered it to be racist?

  • The joke was concerning is bewilderment over technology. You must have thrown your back out stretching for a racism argument there.

  • This whole thing is really overblown about the Sanford and Son joke. Back when the Clintons got elected, SNL showed a clip of the Beverly Hillbillies moving from Arkansas to Washington DC. Pretty funny. I think people can evoke Sanford and Son from Obama in regards to technology…

  • Regardless Maher was stupid and he was called out on it. And if you don’t want racism If you don’t start nothing there will be nothing.

    Actions only brings re-actions

  • oh wow! this article is pathetic. I’m black and I understood the joke. it has no racial connotations. if anything Bill Maher was making fun of Obama for trying to act like he’s anti-technology. you should try to find some other stuff to blame the “liberals”. this one is just a lame attempt.

  • Thanks for this article pointing out the obvious double standard. I’m black and old enough to recognize a racially loaded remark when I hear one. And, sadly, I’m not surprised at those who would give Maher a pass. They’re the same people who looked the other way when we all learned about the racist hate speech spewed by Rev. Wright that was funded and supported by Barak and Michelle Obama for 20 years! At least Oprah Winfrey, who disassociated herself from Rev. Wright’s church after just two years, had the good sense to recognize the harm being done to the young people in his congregation being infected by Wright’s bigoted rants.

  • Just because you joke about black people does not make you a racist. I’m black and I love when someone of another race shows the cohones to joke about my people. We are all different. There’s nothing racist about that. What is racist is the undertones in a lot of these jokes and statements being made in general, when the disdain you attempt to hide for another race shows. Or when it becomes obvious that your jokes toward said race are just the surface of a belief that we are either inferior or the source of the problems in this country. Talking about Sanford and Son had no racial connotations IMO…..Making statements such as this are racist… “I’m American but Obama hangs with the ‘community organizers’, he’s not a ‘real’ American like you me”. As carefully as you concoct those words and try to put what you’re really saying in “codes” one can only draw the conclusion that there’s being a distinction made between real Americans and blacks. Call it like it is……..

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