By Bill Maher
Recently on Overtime, National Review writer Jim Geraghty was asked to name something President Obama had done that he didn't disapprove of. Was there anything he could think of with Obama's taint on it that he, as a member of the Republican Party, didn't automatically hate? And Geraghty said that yes, in fact there was. Except it wasn't a policy at all. It was a speech. And not even a big speech about war or the economy or race. Nope. It was just a speech Obama gave to inner city children where he told them they had to work hard, and that they weren't likely to have careers as professional sports stars or entertainers.
Yup, that was it.
Now, this speech may sound like rote political fare to you. Because it is. But to conservatives this is an stunning refutation of everything they imagine liberals believe, even though they don't - that hard work is for suckers 'cause Uncle Sam's printing lazychecks, y'all!
Can you believe Obama told kids that wasn’t true?
Hillary Clinton really should take note of this. Because in my history of speaking with conservatives, Jim is hardly alone. Republicans, by and large, are convinced that liberals not only don't appreciate the value of hard work, but also believe that one of the primary functions of government is to give people benefits so that they don't have to work. This is such a widespread belief on the right you'd think Obama came out at the convention to "Bang the Drum All Day" by Todd Rundgren and every one of the delegates was lying on their back smoking pot, not even cheering. Just nodding approvingly and saying, "Right on" as Obama laid out his plan for the 9-hour workweek.
It wouldn't matter how many times we told our conservative friends to trust us, we also believe that work is a good thing. This is something that's baked into the conservative DNA – they're the hard work, bootstraps party, while the Democrats are the food stamp, unemployment, and disability party.
I'm telling you, Hillary. All you have to do to win over conservative Democrats, and some moderate Republicans, is to issue some empty proclamation about the importance of hard work in the debates – that in Hillary Clinton's America, people have to work for their money. "We'll give you a hand up, but the days of handouts are over!" Some shit like that.
You won't have to change the policy even a little bit. You just have to say it and they’ll applaud and swoon.