When President Obama told David Remnick last week that he "would not let [his] son play pro football," conservatives jumped at the chance to fit that reluctance to let children play violent sports into their narrative that Obama is a weak president and a weak man afraid to engage in the kind of messy, violent acts men should take part in.
On Friday's "Real Time," Bill Maher found this whole idea very odd. "I don't know where Republicans get the weird delusion that they're the party of manliness," he said.
He pointed out that Republicans, who count their own fair share of "non-serving chickenhawks," are often more likely to push for war, and often silence critics by painting them as ineffectual and feminine.
But he did not let Democrats off the hook for buying into Republicans' tactics. "Democrats have to start being the party that redefines toughness into restraint," he said.
"It's not toughness Republicans love, it's bullying," he continued. The governor of New Jersey was one example of such a Republican, according to Maher. "Somehow we've gone from Teddy Roosevelt's 'speak softly and carry a big stick,' to Chris Christie's 'speak loudly and be a big dick.'"
As for Obama, Maher did not understand why his less hawkish stances on war than his predecessors was painted as negative in the new memoir by former defense secretary Robert Gates.
"Gates said George W. Bush was a good president, because he had no second thoughts about Iraq," Maher said. "That's because to have second thoughts, you have to have first thoughts."
Check out Maher's full New Rules clip above (the manliness bit stars around 2:25). Also, follow @HuffingtonPost's Twitter feed during the State of the Union on Tuesday, where Maher will take over our account to livetweet jokes during the speech.