Maher acknowledged that Reagan “did a few things today’s GOP would not like,” but aside from that, he basically wrote the playbook for the modern Republican party. He said Reagan was very much in line with the tea party on racial issues, always talking about the hypothetical “Chicago Woman,” declaring, “Reagan just made shit up.”
Maher brought up a Reagan quote: “A tree’s a tree, how many more do you need to look at?” He called Reagan the “original pitchman for batshit” who spewed the same anti-socialist rhetoric that tea partiers do today. And “worst of all,” Maher said that Reagan “inspired a whole generation of people who hate government to get into government.”
However, while the Republican worship of Reagan is understandable (“they’re the religious party, worship is in their DNA”), Maher couldn’t understand what Obama talks about Reagan like he’s a “brother from another mother.” He said, “When you mainstream Reagan, the far right becomes the new middle,” and declared that both sides need to drop the Reagan worship once and for all.
“He 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 below, courtesy of HBO: