Sometimes, Bill Maher just nails it. OK, usually he just nails it. Friday on his almost-always funny HBO show, he did this bit about how the GOP, since it opposes everything Barack Obama says or does, has found its perfect candidate to run against him in 2012. (On his show last week, Maher made a disgusting sexual reference to Sarah Palin, calling her a really, really vulgar name. For that he should apologize and be ashamed. Not because Palin deserves any sympathy, but because it was awful and gross that he would call any woman that name.)
But I digress. Here’s Maher with the hilarious candidacy of Karab Omabo:
**You know, you can hear and read so much about what’s going on in Libya, and all over the Middle East right now, and sometimes after a while it just sounds like so much white noise. But then you see two minutes of video like this, and you remember these are all real people going through harrowing atrocities right now.
This is a Libyan woman named Eman al-Obeidy, bursting into a hotel that housed the foreign press in Libya, trying to tell the media that she’d been raped by Col. Gaddafi’s forces. Security tries to drag her away, but she bravely keeps trying to tell her story. It’s horrible and fascinating at once; the oppression is despicable, and this is one time where journalists were right to try to intervene.
**Geraldine Ferraro, who died over the weekend at 75, was the first politician I ever cared about. I was 8 when she was nominated in 1984 to be Walter Mondale’s running mate as vice president in the upcoming election. I had no idea who she was or what she stood for, but I just thought it was so cool and different that a woman could possibly be VP.
Some people, I learned as I got older, thought it was a Hail Mary from Mondale, picking a woman who could possibly help him beat Ronald Reagan in an election that wasn’t shaping up to be close. Maybe that’s right, maybe that’s why Mondale did do it.
It didn’t matter, as Mondale got crushed in November. But Ferraro did herself proud that year, and she put the first crack in the awfully-high glass ceiling for women in politics.
Maybe without Ferraro, Hillary Clinton would’ve had an even tougher road. Ferraro was a trailblazer and a pioneer, and deserves to be remembered fondly in American politics.
And somewhere in the world today, there’s a Mondale/Ferraro ’84 sign that used to be in our garage.