Everyone of a certain age will remember Bill Clinton’s famous “Sister Souljah” moment in the 1992 campaign, when he called out, in front of Jesse Jackson, black racism in rap music and au courant circles of black culture. (Sister Souljah had said, “if black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?”) Clinton had been looking for an opportunity to repudiate Jackson since the mid-1980s, when he told reporter Peter Brown that Democrats didn’t need to just criticize Jackson—they needed to disagree with him. The Sister Souljah moment was of a piece with Clinton’s successful strategy to brand himself as a “New Democrat,” not beholden to the older leftist notions that had delivered landslide after landslide to Republicans in the 1980s. Never mind that Clinton was lying; the point is, the man knew how to win elections.
The Old (hard leftist) Democrats of the 1960s are back, and one wonders whether any sensible Democrats are going to stand up to wokery the way Clinton did to black radicalism in 1992. Wokery and cancel culture are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party, as liberals dominate all of the major institutions (especially universities) where this destructive creed has been going through gain-of-function refinements as surely as a virus in a Chinese lab. Conservatives do not have the institutional strength to halt this. Only liberals do. I have gathered enough off-the-record anecdotes to make up a data set of center-left Democrats who deplore what is going on, but who refuse to speak up or do anything about it, surely out of fear that they will get canceled for doing so. Don’t expect another Sister Souljah moment any time soon.
Hence, the most prominent public figure on the left who has been calling out wokery remains comedian Bill Maher. Here’s his latest from Friday night, with remarkably fewer four-letter words and gratuitous swipes at Republicans than usual. In fact there are notably fewer quips in this set piece. Apparently Maher is getting flamed on Twitter from the progressive left, which is demanding that HBO—wait for it—cancel his show. Point: old fashioned Democratic Party liberalism is in deep trouble when your leading spokesman for common sense is an aging, nearly washed-up comedian: