On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” “Obama’s America” producer Dinesh D’Souza and host Bill Maher debated whether characterizations of President Barack Obama as angry and vindictive are legitimate, with D’Souza saying that the president harbors “a different kind of rage — sublimated — and you see it in actions.”
Though Maher argued that the anger lampooned in Clint Eastwood’s Republican National Convention speech wasn’t publicly evident, D’Souza countered that it was visible in the 2009-10 ObamaCare debate as an example.
“There’s Clint Eastwood rage, ‘Dirty Harry,’ but there’s Charles Bronson rage — vigilante rage. It’s a different kind of rage — sublimated — and you see it in actions,” he said. “Let’s look at an example: health care. Obama had a plan and the Republicans had a summit and they offered a lot of ideas. Obama could have taken one or two Republican ideas and he would have had a bipartisan plan.”
But the “Real Time” host said if that were true, Democrats and liberals could have expected more out of the chief executive and the plan he put forth.
“The whole thing is a Republican idea, are you kidding?” Maher replied. “You know what — the whole thing is a Republican plan. It’s the old Bob Dole plan from the ‘90s. A Democrat idea would be at least a public option. But, really, a liberal idea would be a single-payer plan. This is a business-friendly plan that does not take over the health care system, that uses business, and it’s a big blow job to the insurance companies is what it is. So how can you say it has no Republican ideas?”
D’Souza argued that still wasn’t true because the president could have gotten Republican votes, but didn’t.
“Going back to the 1950s, we have not had a major social program that did not get a single vote from the other party,” D’Souza said. “Now you can just say it’s the bad Republican Party … Obama’s plan go not a single Republican vote. So I’m saying Obama could have gotten some votes, but he didn’t care because to him the Republicans are the bad guys.”
And therefore, D’Souza charged, the themes Obama set forth in his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech and in his 2008 presidential campaign were never realized.
“So that’s what I mean: He campaigned as a healer, as a bipartisan guy, but he hasn’t governed that way,” D’Souza said.
Maher protested, once again blaming the GOP and noting that from the beginning, it was the aim of Republicans on Capitol Hill to unseat Obama.