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“Real Time” host Bill Maher was torn by President Biden’s anti-MAGA rhetoric that dominated political conversation last week.
“I have to say – Joe Biden is an old dog who can learn a new trick,” Maher began Friday. “He came to power – ‘I’m going to reconcile with the Republicans, the old Republican Party’ – he finally got it. No they’re not – you can’t negotiate with Holocaust deniers.”
“So 59% of people agree with him in this speech that MAGA is a threat to this country because they don’t believe in democracy. But 58% of people said this speech was source divisive. I understand that because I feel like it’s something analogous to Afghanistan. That they did it? I like. The way they did it? Not fine,” he continued.
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Maher later suggested he didn’t think people saw the speech because it wasn’t airing on major networks, which he said contributed to Biden’s “big mistake” of thinking the Americans can “appreciate the nuances”.
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“He wanted to separate the Republicans from the MAGA Republicans. And let me give you the four criteria he said to be a MAGA Republican: you reject election results, you support candidates who would reject election results – of which there are has plenty on the ballot this November, endorse the Jan 6 rioters, support the political use of violence. Alright, that’s who he was talking to. Nobody heard that!” Maher exclaimed. “They didn’t watch that speech. All they heard was that he attacked us. He attacked our side. That’s where his big mistake was. People are not not good enough to appreciate the nuances in this country.”
“They haven’t heard that. If he had given a speech that criticized the bangs on both sides, I think he would be in such a winning position. Of course, on MSNBC they would be like, ‘No, those are false equivalences. ‘ So what the fuck? Do you want to save the country or do you want to earn points? Maher asked, which drew cheers from his audience.
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He continued: “Yeah, there would be fake equivalencies. If he had made a speech to this middle country guy that we were talking about who is actually all over the country… If he had called the people that he did shouted, the MAGA side, but then said, “And the left, my party has a lot of crazy bullshit going on.” What if he said, “We don’t want people who don’t want fascism and who don’t want to lose the right to abortion, and who also don’t want their children to be indoctrinated when they go to school and call some of them that, I think that would have been such a great moment for the country.”
The HBO star then clashed with one of his guests, Reason magazine editor Matt Welch, who claimed “there’s a lot of election denial” within the Democratic Party, pointing singled out Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams for never formally conceding defeat in 2018.
“I don’t know why a smart guy like you would go there,” Maher reacted. “Please, Al Gore conceded the election. Hillary Clinton put on her purple suit, okay? no-election question. And the Democrats must own some other crazy bullshit where, you know, a bodega guy gets attacked and then he gets charged because he fought back. Make war on that!”
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“There’s something every day that Biden could have picked and said, ‘And my side went too far on that. And yes, it wouldn’t be equivalent, but the country could then – the people in the middle and the people who don’t want to feel like you’re just attacking my team would say, “Yeah, finally.” And then he wouldn’t have to run anymore,” he added.