On Friday night, Real Time host Bill Maher took a too hard, too soon shot at Republicans during his opening monologue when he joked that Congressional Republicans are acting like children, and "someone needs to leave them in a hot car."
Maher was referring to the legislative shitshow that unfolded over the past two days, as House Republicans tried to pass a bill that would have, among other things, prevented President Obama from taking unilateral action on immigration, then when they failed to pass their own bill, complained that President Obama wasn't taking unilateral action. The punchline, of course, was a reference to the horrifying death of Cooper Harris, who was left in a sweltering car by his father, Justin Ross Harris.
The remainder of Maher's monologue was fairly good, with a funny-because-it's-true shot at Sarah Palin reacting to the Ebola outbreak, and another edgy shot at the House Republicans' lawsuit, which Maher said was destined to fail:
"Try to find a Republican who'll be willing to be seen serving a black man."
While Maher is known for his edgy humor, and Republicans are a ripe target, using the death of a baby as a punchline is too heavy a lift for any comic. In a standup comedy routine, this would just be unfunny and in poor taste, but Bill Maher has chosen to position himself as a political pundit, as well. He should use his influence a little more wisely.