Bill Maher thinks he understands why, exactly, the Republicans support a candidate like Herschel Walker, asking the question: “How in a supposedly sophisticated country a person with his resume could ever be elected to office?”
The answer: It’s a message to Democrats just how much Republicans don’t like what they’re selling.
On Friday night’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” on HBO, the comedian poo-poos the notion that standing behind a guy like Walker means they’ve lost all sense of integrity. “Really? Just now? Integrity died a long time ago after a long battle with tribalism. Integrity is survived by hypocrisy and fear of the other party,” he said.
Maher brought his audience up to date on the Georgia Senate race, which has Republican Walker — a former football player — competing with Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock. And along with that update of the race comes an update on everything Walker has said, has done and has been revealed about him in the past month.
“Well, first of all, he’s just an idiot on a scale almost impossible to parody,” Maher began. “Although we did once present his book called ‘Hershel Walker: Science Talker,’ because he says things like, ‘If man descended from apes, why are there still apes?’ Then there’s the lying and the crazy and the violence.”
That column marked “lies” is runneth over, Mahers points out. “He claimed to be a cop; he wasn’t. Claimed to be an FBI agent; wasn’t. Claimed to be valedictorian of his high school; wasn’t. Claimed to graduate in the top 1% of his class; never graduated; Claimed to have once supervised six hospitals, which is amazing given the job he had with the FBI.”
And then there’s that whole abortion scandal that came up earlier in the week. Maher explains: “He’s 100% against abortion, no exceptions. But his girlfriend has proof he paid for hers. Then he got her pregnant again and tried to get her to abort that one. His campaign slogan is ‘Stop me before I kill again.’”
So, Maher asked, why do Republicans stand by him now?
“The easy answer is they’re deplorables, ignorant and bad. Yes, there is some of that, but I’m sorry if I’m going to stay in America and America’s going to stay America, I can’t write off half the country that easily. Also, I talk to deplorables, so let me try to translate, not endorse, but translate for Liberal America,” Maher said.
“Part of the appeal of a Herschel Walker or a Donald Trump or any number of egregious a–holes Republicans have backed is, in their mind, the worse a candidate is, the more it says to Democrats, ‘Do you see how much we don’t like what you are selling? All that socialism and identity politics and victimhood and oversensitivity and cancel culture and white self-loathing and forcing complicated ideas about race and sex on kids too young to understand it. Literally anything would be better than that.’ That’s their view.”
“This is a clear difference between the parties — Democrats also think the other side is an existential threat, but their response is not to nominate sickos to make a point,” Maher added.
“Anyone can do absolutely anything in the name of wokeness and the left will never stop them. And that’s when Republicans say, ‘Well then we’ll have to no matter who we have to elect to do it,” he said. “The fact that Republicans have no shame in their game and will vote for any monster with an R by his name is their way of signaling how serious they are about blocking this.”