Alabama Democrats are scrambling. This Saturday night they have a fundraising event that, at least at one time, featured Bill Maher. Democrats could come to hear Bill Maher spew his brand of comedy for the low, low price of only $100.00 per donor. Now, this has them in a good, old fashioned, southern conundrum. Bill Maher has a reputation for unapologetic misogyny.
He has called women, public and private citizens, even children names that would make Sandra Fluke blush. But on Super “Deep South” Tuesday, as Alabamians were enjoying their historic opportunity to engage in the National spotlight of the Presidential Primaries, Bill Maher called it “Toothless Tuesday.” Thus establishing himself as not only misogynistic, but also anti-southerner. This does not bode well with wealthy Dixiecrats who usually attend Party related fundraising events, such as the one Maher was to grace Saturday evening.
This left Democrats scratching their heads, scrambling to say the event was off, then on, then scrubbed of Maher but still taking place, then to pointing fingers at Republicans saying that they made the whole event up. But there was the flyer on the Alabama Democratic Party website that proved it was a genuine Democrat funder, at least at one time. And there were those boldly proclaiming that they were proud to stand with Bill Maher.
Then came a cadre of strong-minded southern women (they decided Alabama needed to know the truth). Women from across Alabama joined together, led by American Federated Republican Women and Concerned Women for America to bring a little sunshine to the shadows, as steel magnolias are prone to do. This only confused the Democrat Party more.
Now you can find officials on every side of the issue. Some say he is coming to a reception, others say he simply happens to be in town, but that it has nothing to do with the Democratic Party. Still, others claim he is coming, it is a fundraiser for the Democrat Chairman, and they are proud to use it as an opportunity to find "like-minded" Alabamians.
Republican women sent a message, too. They said they are done with those who like Maher, belittle and insult the south. They said Maher’s hatred of women makes a bold statement about the platform of the Democrat Party. They called on Alabama Democrats to raise a higher standard. Twenty minutes before the Republican Women’s press conference representing 24 conservative womens’ groups was to commence, Democrats released a memo saying that Bill Maher would not appear at their event. Republican women apprehensively applauded the “decision” (which was later rescinded, again).
Libertarians did what they do best and screamed at their conservative counterparts in a resounding round of circular fire. They said Republican women were trying to “squelch free speech, and trample First Amendment rights.” Republican women contended that they had a First Amendment right to say that they find the free speech of Bill Maher unbefitting the glory that the leadership of the Democrat party was granting him. They said they would feel that way about any party.
The Democrats pointed to Limbaugh, who has done funders for members of the GOP, nationally. The Republican ladies said, "Maher hasn't apologized for even one of his vile comments or insults to Southerners." They called for a level of civility in public discourse, and pointed to Bill Maher as “Exhibit A” of what is uncivil about politics today. Most women in Alabama seem to agree on one thing: This is not the tone that public leaders should be taking, and it is altogether “unsouthern” to glorify such misogyny and insults to the people of the south.
Something’s awry in Dixie, and that sweet southern charm is due to get a dose of Maher on Saturday night.
One question remains--if Bill Maher comes, will he be tossed to “Toothless Tuesday” by the Ladies of the south? That remains to be seen.
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