War on Drugs

Bill Maher Does Great, Infuriating Interview with the Director of the New Anti-Drug War Documentary The House I Live In


On last Friday's Real Time, host Bill Maher sat down with Eugene Jarecki, the director of the forthcoming anti-drug war documentary The House I Live In. The conversation is great; it's a serious discussion of the drug war's disastrous effects, particularly on minority communities. Maher even makes a great, withering point about the prison guard unions' vested interest in keeping the war going by dismissing the need for employment as an excuse. Says Maher, boohoo, those guards should "get a new fucking job, find something else to do."

And Jarecki adds that he met the head of the Office of Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, and that the don't-call-him-a-drug-czar reminded Jarecki of the cruel joke that is the Obama administration's new take on things: if you change the name, it's supposed to be different. It, as frequently pointed out by this website and anyone paying attention, is not different. 

Throughout the exchange, we can see the Maher who is supposed to be at least halfway on the side of libertarians. After all, he knows the drug war is a serious, top tier issue, he makes great points about it, and he has a great guest in Jarecki. Maher, not for the first time, has some harsh words for Obama on this issue, calling him an "unrelenting asshole, breaker of promises, imprisoner of people…." 

All of this makes the fact of Maher's $1 million donation to the Obama reelection campaign the more infuriating. Maher is free to do what he likes with his own money, but here we have a public figure who cares passionately about drug policy, saying it is a serious issue. But once again, he doesn't care quite enough to, oh, support Gary Johnson, write in Ron Paul, or not vote at all; anything that wouldn't fund the policies Maher claims to despise. Hell, Maher, won't even say that drug warrior and Attorney General Eric Holder is bad. With anti-drug war friends like Maher, prohibition may just stay forever.