For Maher and Hollywood and Leftist elites like him, President Bush represents a father figure who they resent and feel unable to please. They project their own hatred for their father or parents on who the Left traditionally sees as parents--the government. And unless they see themselves in the president (as they did Bill Clinton), their malevolence overwhelms any shred of decency or reason in the process. They resent him because he represents values they cannot match, and they're jealous of him because the American people embrace him and have given him power.
I agree with the substance of Tammy's point, but I want to amplify the bit about "father-figures". Here is the comment I left on her blog:
I don't think it is their father that most MalNars have a problem with but, rather, their Father. My evidence is admittedly circumstantial and anecdotal, but in my many conversations with such people, I find that if you let them talk they will pretty quickly turn the conversation to religion, long before the most zealous evangelist could have hoped to do so. Their objections seem to be:
1) They wish God didn't exist,
2) They are angry at God for not existing,
3) They are angry at God for not solving their personal problems, and
4) They wish God would just leave them alone.
Rational? No. But these points all come up often enough that the pattern is pretty predictable.
They often do have issues with their parents as well, but I find that they never have really good explanations for why. No specificity is what I mean. Just general "MyparentsdidnotunderstandmeandwerealwaystryingtoteachmeaboutGod" mumbo-jumbo.
I recognize that some people have legitimate and sincere questions about God and that not all atheists or agnostics fall into the MalNar mind-set. But it almost always does work the other way around.
NOTE: After reading Tammy's post and submitting that comment, I actually watched the video, and both she and O'Reilly bring up the religion angle.