Thursday, August 11, 2011
Bill Maher and the Donner Party
Back in November 2008, when the election was over, I blogged about the frequent use of the Donner Party as a metaphor for the parlous state of national politics. Both liberal and conservative commentators have referred to the other side as a Donner Party ruthlessly savaging their companions in a desperate attempt to survive. One entrepreneur had even made up a Donner political party logo, available on t-shirts, canvas bags, mugs, etc., at zazzle.com.
Last week, humorist/political commentator Bill Maher took it up a notch. On August 5's Real Time, inspired by the recent Congressional debt ceiling debate, he proposed that, like the Republican's Tea Party, the Democrats should have their own radical party-within-a-party, the "Donner Party" -- "We will literally eat each other before we give an inch." He had a lot of fun with the concept, and one fan has even proposed himself as the Donner Party candidate for President. The segment has been posted on a variety of websites, including this this complete version, but caveat viewer: Maher's opinions and language will undoubtedly offend some people.
While I can appreciate the humor of the analogy, it's obvious that none of these people have any clue as to what the real Donner Party was actually about.