Celebs Tweet-down the Shutdown: Blame GOP, Tea Party, Birth Control

Surprise! Actors, musicians call conservatives “Osama Bin Laden”

Celebrities – is there anything they can’t do? For instance, to cram all the arrogance, insularity, vapidity and uninformed reactionary liberalism of their opinions into 140-character tweets takes real talent. And during the government shutdown, their Twitter acumen has been on glorious display. 

Between Bette Midler blaming “right wing extremists” (aka the new “Osama Ben Laden”) and Bill Maher accusing conservatives of enjoying the showdown, Twitter was rife with celebrity leftism. To emphasize disapproval, Rainn Wilson resorted to all caps, while stars like Joe Rogan and Olivia Wilde used “clusterfuck” and “shitbag” to describe the shutdown. And, well (surprise, surprise), not one found fault with the left. 

Beginning the tirade, (former?) actress Bette Midler blamed “Tea Party Patriots, Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, funded by Kochs” for the shutdown. Or, in her other words, began “The New Normal: USA held hostage by right wing extremists,” which “Osama Ben Laden couldn't have done it better.” But maybe he could have done it faster, extinguishing Americans with a few more of those airplane-turned-missiles.

As solutions, Midler suggested “exercise” (“Glad that Congress' health club is still open. Apparently they can exercise their bodies but can't exercise their brains”) and more women (“This shutdown is just like menopause -- tempers flaring, emotions out of control -- maybe the GOP just needs more estrogen”). She did a poor job of proving her last point.

With classy eloquence, Midler concluded her outburst by calling Ted Cruz an “asshole,” the Tea Party “ignorant,” and a “Congress that votes against gun control, and shuts down the gov't over affordable healthcare” “fucked up.”

Never one to refrain from bashing conservatives, “comedian” Bill Maher joined Midler. He began by commenting on the recent space exploration film, “Gravity,” saying, “#TedCruz says watching govt workers die makes it the feel good movie of the fall.” Maher went on to define the shutdown as, “Govt by autoerotic asphyxiation Rep.s get rush from pushing us to brink of collapse #matureasalways.” But Maher recognized one silver lining: “salmonella is doing great!” 

Actress Sophia Bush expressed a truly novel take on the shutdown, tweeting, “The GOP is shutting the government down over birth control.” She deemed conservatives’ actions, “Aberrational behavior by a political party that is willing to take extreme&potentially damaging action to get its way.” 

Apparently, contraception is never farm from the minds of some liberal female celebrities. Model and Esquire contributor Melissa Stetten warned, “If this fucks up my $10 co-pay birth control pills there will be some serious bodies piling up.” Wow. 

Other female stars voiced fury, with actress Olivia Wilde calling the shutdown a “sore loser clusterfuck” and Alicia Keys tweeted out an article in which she condemned “The crazy decision” that damages “our most vulnerable,” such as single mothers and children.

“Girls’” Lena Dunham and singer John Legend took credit for the shutdown – or, at least, the future “fixing” of it. “I go to France for one day and the government shuts down? It's like I have to do everything,” Dunham joked. Legend similarly tweeted, “i leave the country for a couple weeks and all hell breaks loose.” Theat wasn’t as insightful as a previous tweet in which legend  wrote, “F the shutdown.” What would America do without these superheroes? 

Actor Rainn Wilson flashed some humor, deciding that “No Canadian has done more damage to America since @Nickelback” than Senator Ted Cruz. Rainn continued with a more serious (shouting) note to comment “IF YOU HATE A LAW, SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT & DON'T GIVE AN INCH!!!!! (unless the polls show that it's unpopular & then start capitulating).” 

While “Anchorman’s” Adam McKay called the GOP a “buzz saw” and “craven lunatics,” he at least gleaned one “shutdown tactic” from it: “When wife won't let me watch porn I turn electricity off in house.” “Thanks GOP!” he added.

Def Jam’s Russell Simmons demanded, “The Tea Party needs to take a seat!!” Actress Kate Flannery proposed, "Lets loosen up the dudes who gave us this #governmentshutdown Drink up & fix it!"  Comic Joe Rogan called out “our shitbag government,” while noted political scientist and drag queen RuPaul commanded, "Y'all betta get yo ass back to work!” 

A myriad of other stars chimed in on the debate, including Jimmy Kimmel, Tom Arnold, John Hodgman, Michael Ian Black, Mo Rocca, Katy Perry, Seth MacFarlane, Mario Lopez, Estelle and Tim Siedell

But then, celebrities are no strangers to “tweeting” their minds on controversial topics – such as pushing for Obamacare. Technology really is a blessing when we can receive the political moral, social and guidance of our celebrity betters, 140 characters at a time.


— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.