In Bill Maher's savaging of modern American politics there is a certain continuity of intense discontent that is strangely comforting. Which is to say, before Maher there was Mort Sahl, equally discontented, and before him Will Rogers, equally discontented, and before him Mark Twain, again, equally discontented.
[I]f I were a Washington pundit, I’d launch into some boring speech about how both sides are equally to blame, and then I’d call it a day and we’d all meet at Katherine Graham’s house for cocktails. Which is weird because Katherine Graham is dead. But this is why you never see us booking George Will and Peggy Noonan on my show (besides the fact that they wouldn’t do it): Because the same old Washington pundits haven’t said anything interesting since disco. Also because the idea that the blame for our government’s dysfunction is equally shared by the parties just is a giant, steaming mound of horseshit and anyone who has paid attention to politics over the last 20 years knows it.
It's that "anyone who has [been paying] attention" part that's most disturbing and least reminiscent of the Sahl-through-Twain eras, though. Then, politics was also a sport, much like today; but more folks (on average) had their head in the game, since there was less competition for their attention.