New Rule: President Obama must give up that awful habit that sets such a bad example for young people. I'm talking, of course ... about golf.
Golf, if you're not familiar, is a pastime where you basically walk outdoors with a bag, muttering and cursing. It's like being homeless in loud pants. Anyway, Time magazine is reporting that since he became president, Barack Obama has taken up golf with a passion, playing almost every weekend for the past few months -- and I feel betrayed. He campaigned as a basketball player. It said to us, "I'm urban and athletic and hip and a team player." Golf says, "I like Lipitor and white collar crime." And it's not just golf -- he's been purposefully eating a lot of hamburgers in public lately, to prove he loves meat. And he said that, unlike before he became president, he prays all the time now and that his Faith and Neighbor Initiatives Director sends him scripture on his Blackberry to start every day. Jesus, is there something about that house that turns people into assholes?
I kid the Commander in Chief, he's very far from an asshole, he's a cool dude, and I want to keep him that way! I don't want a regular guy running the country. We tried that for eight years and New Orleans still smells like mildew. Obama was different. He wasn't Joe Six-Pack. He had a six-pack. And when he gave a speech it didn't make English teachers cry. He wasn't some regular schmuck who spent five hours a weekend on the golf course. Why? Because he actually likes his family!
But Democrats have this bad habit of letting the Republicans scare them into acting more "regular guy" than they really are, and then they look inauthentic. Like Hillary drinking shooters. Like Dukakis in the tank. So I'm putting you on notice, Barack Obama: you're from Chicago, the day I see you in a duck blind, I'm taking my hope elsewhere.
So that's why I'm so worried when I see my president playing golf, because golf is a slippery slope. First comes the golf attire, then the golf stories and pretty soon you're telling black jokes. What's worse is that you know Obama doesn't really wanna be golfing, he's just doing it because he thinks it will relax the white people. "How could I be a socialist, I'm putting!" Well, I've got news for you, Mr. President, the people who think you want to kill their Great Aunt Millie aren't going to be swayed by a photo-op on the golf course. They see those photos, they're not thinking you're just like Tiger Woods, they're thinking, "Here comes the Angel of Death, and he's got a nine iron."
There is also a more serious side to this, because golf, hamburgers, and religion are all things that are incredibly bad for the environment. According to the U.N., in 15 years almost two billion people will be living in conditions of absolute water scarcity. And yet, a golf course in Palm Springs consumes as much water per day as an American family uses in four years. Golf courses in America consume over 114 million gallons of water a year on grass that doesn't even get you high. Golf courses also need large quantities of fertilizers and pesticides whose run-off pollutes the ground water for miles around.
This isn't just a third world problem -- there's a water shortage right now in the western United States. If I surpass my monthly water allotment here in Los Angeles, I'll get fined by the city. If I do it twice, they'll send 40,000 prisoners to live in my backyard.
But when it comes to bad for the environment, nothing -- literally -- compares with eating meat. The business of raising animals for food causes about 40 percent more global warming than all cars, trucks, and planes combined. If you care about the planet, it's actually better to eat a salad in a Hummer than a cheeseburger in a Prius.
There was a news story last week about the U.S. military warning America that the ripple effects from global warming inspired disasters could kill millions of people, but none of them can moonwalk, so nobody gave a shit. But if this "planet" problem is so dire the military is saying they're going to have to start dealing with it, maybe the president should set a better example about how we just can't live exactly as we always have and survive. I'm certainly not suggesting that we "take away" your golf or your hamburgers, but when it comes to being a role model on the environment, this president is out to lunch. With Joe Biden, eating greaseburgers.
Which is a shame, because he and his wife have demonstrated enormous power to lead by example. What they do, Americans want to do, because they're stars, and we're star-fuckers! And, like I said last week, we're not very bright, so we need direction -- if Obama grabbed Biden for lunch next week and ordered a veggie burger -- yes, Sean Hannity will call him a mincing fairy, like he did when Obama used mustard instead of ketchup -- like I ever knew one was more manly than the other. Stop caring what Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin will say about you. Be who you really are - a basketball playing, Jay-Z listening, city-dwelling hipster. The only sand trap I want to see you get out of is Afghanistan. And next time you have to get two guys over for a beer, smoke a little weed.
Bill Maher is the host of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Fridays at 10:00PM Eastern Time on HBO. Guests on this week's program include Brad Pitt, Dana Gould, Ashton Kutcher, General Anthony Zinni and Ross Douthat.