On the way back from the beach last night, in humid, 90 plus degree weather, I almost expected to see snow flakes. I figured it was as likely as the reference I heard on the radio to Bill Maher’s latest words of praise for President Bush. Maher has spent the past six years as completely absorbed in his hatred of Bush as he accused his conservative guests of being obsessed with Clinton hatred during the nineties. I don’t get HBO, so when his ABC show was cancelled my main exposure to Maher came from appearances he made on Fox News or on ads for his appearances on Larry King, so maybe I have missed some things. The only other nice thing I recall hearing Maher say about Bush, though, was to defend his 2000 election. After the media sponsored recount results were reported, Maher declared the issue of a stolen election to be put to rest. That was the only nice thing I remembered hearing him say about Bush until I read this last night:
…watching George Bush talk about Israel the last week has reminded me of a feeling that I hadn’t felt in so long I forgot what it felt like: the feeling of pride when your president says what you want your president to say, especially in a matter that chokes you up a bit. I surrender my credentials as Bush exposer – from the very beginning – to no man, but on Israel, I love it that a U.S. president doesn’t pretend Arab-Israeli conflict is an even-steven proposition. Lots of ethnic peoples, probably most, have at one time or another lost some territory; nobody’s ever completely happy with their borders; people move and get moved, which is why the 20th century saw the movement of tens if not hundreds of millions of refugees in countries around the world. There was no entity of Arabs called “Palestine” before Israel made the desert bloom. If those 600,000 original Palestinian refugees had been handled with maturity by their Arab brethren, who had nothing but space to put them, they could have moved on — the way Germans, Czechs, Poles, Chinese and everybody else has, including, of course, the Jews.
But I digress. I really wanted to say that, for all those who accuse the likes of myself and the birthday girl of being unpatriotic, or hating America first, the feeling I’ve had watching Israel defend herself and a US president defend Israel (a country that is held to a standard for “restraint” that no other country ever is asked to meet, but that’s another story) just reminds me how wrong that is. I LOVE being on the side of my president, and mouthing “You go, boy” when he gets it right. He just, outside of this, almost never does.Okay, so he tempers it and qualifies his praise by stating that everything else Bush has ever done is wrong. It still caught me by surprise. Now if only the other Bush haters would just admit it when the President does something they agree with, maybe I could take them a little more seriously.