It was a week full of news, from the looming Donald Trump indictment through the Nashville school shooting. Or as Bill Maher put it on Friday’s Real Time, “March came in like a lion, and went out with Trump on the lam.”
Maher was obviously delighted that Trump, one of his favorite targets, had a real bad week. He noted the irony of “the most boastful man in history is indicted by a man named Bragg.” Also ironic: “He spent his whole life stiffing people, and the one time he pays them….”
Maher was ready to spar Friday, and for once, he had panelists ready to push back. The show started with Republican Governor of New Hampshire Chris Sununu, who admitted that the Trump indictment is “an absolute circus.” Sununu, although a loyal Republican, voiced that he didn’t think Trump will be the GOP nominee in 2024, saying that he “can’t win” the general election.
However, he pushed back on Maher’s advocacy for downgrading Trump because of Jan. 6 and the Trump insistence that it wasn’t a fair election. Sununu agreed that Jan. 6 was one of the worst days in US history, but pointed out the ensuing Democrat failures including “losing energy independence”
Sununu noted that he lived in San Francisco for three years, and challenged Maher to defend the deterioration in that city. “You tell me the Democrats are winning (there),” he said, calling it “a humanitarian crisis.”
The guest did tiptoe around the possibility that he would enter the GOP presidential primaries, but wouldn’t commit until things play out more.
The panel discussion featured journalist and author James Kirchick, and Winsome Sears, the latter the first woman to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and first woman of color and Jamaican-born American to hold statewide office in Virginia’s history.
After some back and forth on Trump, the talk turned to the school shooting in Nashville and its ties to the proliferation of guns.
Sears said she was a Marine, and had no problem admitting she would use a gun if someone broke into her home. She said Black women were the fastest-rising demo that’s arming themselves.
“I don’t like guns,” Maher admitted. “But I’m glad they exist.” He noted that his slight stature is akin to some women, and that a gun “levels the playing field.”
Maher did say it was not unreasonable to make guns harder to obtain. But he claimed that opposition to that was a conservative tactic used against the crazier liberals. “You want to be crazy? I’ll be crazy too. And I have bullets.”
Maher’s usual mid-show break played a segment of the new J6 Choir song with Trump saying the Pledge of Allegiance. The usual path of a hit song followed by an album is likely, Maher said, holding up a mock album cover of “Appetite for Insurrection,” featuring such tracks as “I Guess That’s Why They Call It Fake News,” “The Kids are Alt-Right,” and “Midnight Call to Georgia.”
The panel wrapped with a discussion of the tricky issue of the trans shooter in Nashville and deadnaming issues.
Kirchick noted that the trans community is seeking “equality, dignity and respect,” and is already covered in those areas by an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and that most of the controversies surround children. “This is where the conflict is coming from.”
Maher said that trans activism “sometimes seems like a power game with them.”
Sears said that she wants to control all aspects of her children’s lives, and doesn’t want a drag queen giving them a lap dance at school.
“We need to come back to a place of sensibility,” she said. “You want to live a certain way, and I’ll do what I’m doing. Let’s be okay with that.”
Maher’s “New Rules” editorial talked of the need for a special holiday for atheists. See the monologue above.