Grammy Award-winning stand-up comedian Lewis Black, who performs at the Cobb Energy Centre on Saturday, is not pleased with the state of American politics.
Black, who spoke with the Marietta Daily Journal on Wednesday, said he will be sharing his thoughts during his show.
“Basically, a chunk of it will be about how stupid do we want to get?” Black said. “At what point is there a red line on stupidity, so it will be a lot about all the characters involved in that, and some of the stuff that’s been said and done. I mean, it’s just beyond belief. The Democrats are talking about they’re being held hostage. We’re being held hostage. Nothing is happening to those people except TV time. I could use that TV time.”
Black places the majority of the blame at the feet of the tea party and he’s not pleased with Republicans “kowtowing to them.”
“You know, they call it ‘the establishment,’” Black said. “When I was a kid we called it the establishment, and in a lot of ways that’s true to a point.”
But it’s also known as moderation or the middle of the road, he said.
“You don’t get to have an inordinate amount of power because you’re a minority voice, OK?” he said. “You get to have some input, and then we go, ‘hey, shut up. You don’t get it.’ They have more power than is vested in them in terms of their size. Same way for the left in the Sixties.”
Black explained why he believes the tea party movement is more popular in the South than in other regions.
“I think information and facts,” he said. “Seriously, facts. And the problem is the Democrats hold a lot to blame because they are literally talking as if they’ve got a bowl of cereal in their (expletive) mouth.”
Told Democrat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi isn’t too popular in conservative Cobb County, Black said, “She shouldn’t be too popular and neither should that Eric Cantor or that Harry Reid (expletive) or that John Boehner (expletive).”
Of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Black said, “Send him out in an Ichabod Crane outfit.”
Not that he’s impressed with President Obama’s second term in office, either.
“I think he’s done what I expected, which is not much,” Black said. “Apparently, he’s not interested in talking to people directly, he likes to be the podium.”
Obamacare: Democrats can’t explain it
Black said it’s misguided to refer to the Affordable Care Act as Obamacare, which was a term coined by opponents who needed something inflammatory to use against the health care law.
“And then the Democrats ,to show that they’re idiots, they started calling it that as if, ‘Oh see, it’s Obamacare. He came up with it,’ like that would attract people, and then the president started calling it that, and it’s not. It’s health care. Do we want to deal with the problem we have, which is the rising cost of health care, or don’t we? And look, the big mistake was always that from the very beginning, we made health care a profit-making institution. Well, that game’s over, OK? So I don’t care how we deal with it, it’s got to be dealt with.”
The resistance to the healthcare law, Black said, is “because, once again, the Democrats don’t know how to explain what they came up with, and the Republicans are basically afraid that it might work.”
Black was candid in describing his own political camp.
“I’ll tell you what’s really sick, I’m a socialist,” he said. “So when your readers read that and panic you just tell them I have no effect because my party doesn’t exist, OK? It’s what I believe in. There’s nobody around for me to talk to. Nobody cares. And the reason I like socialism is it’s enforced Christianity, it makes people kind of put up or shut up. You don’t get to make a gazillion dollars. You actually have to help other people the way Christ kind of wanted to do it, ha, ha.”
Hope after all?
Despite the government dysfunction, Black believes there is hope for the country.
“Yeah, because the people are smarter than the people they elect,” he said. “And you know why they’re smarter than the people they elect? Because they’re not running. Because they’re bright enough not to run. And most of them don’t have a messianic complex.”
Black said he’s excited to be returning to metro Atlanta, which will be his third time performing here.
“And I can’t wait to get there and get on that highway system to hell so that I feel better about walking,” he said. “You guys, your city, like many others, are perfect examples of why you kind of want rapid intercity transit. But just continue to kind of do what you’re doing. It’s really fun to watch. Atlanta is fun, it’s a good mix of folks, and it’s always nice to be down South and see what you guys are thinking this week.”
Born in Washington D.C. as a colicky baby, Black writes on his website it seemed he was destined to be angry and easily irritated.
He rose to prominence on The Daily Show and lives in Manhattan and Chapel Hill, N.C., home of his alma mater, the University of North Carolina.
Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon says this will be his third time seeing Black perform at the Energy Centre.
“Whenever he comes to town, I automatically get my tickets,” Bacon said. “He just says stuff that I think all of us want to say. I think the last time I was there, I was with my sister, and she said I started laughing before I even got in there before he came on. I laughed the whole time.”