During the “New Rules” segment of Friday’s episode of “Real Time,” Bill Maher urged voters to turn out in such huge numbers in November, that it will be difficult for Trump to steal the election — and he took a moment to call out Green Party voters for their role in spoiling the 2016 election.
Or as he put it, when explaining how the 2016 election handed Republicans three Supreme Court picks, “I hope you enjoy carrying your rape baby to term. You can name it Jill Stein.”
“New rule: power is like owning rabbits. The more you have, the easier it is to get a lot more,” Maher said at the top of the bit.
Maher’s point was that “power begets power,” and when people lose it, “you’ve not only lost that fight, you made it harder to win the next one. That’s how power works.”
Maher noted how Democratic election losses have translated to a huge number of right-wing judicial appointments. “Trump has appointed a quarter of the entire federal bench, and unlike his wives, that’s for life. In Florida, the people voted to restore voting rights to ex-felons, but that’s not really gonna happen because Trump appointed five of the six appeals judges who found a way to undo that, and as is so often the case, make it harder for Democrats to vote. Which means more Republican senators who appoint more conservative judges. Power is a perpetuating cycle, like when terminators build more robots.”
Maher also mocked Democrats who, in response to the rush by Republicans to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg despite their assertions in 2016 that it is wrong to name Supreme Court nominees in an election year, have called out Republicans for their hypocrisy. “‘They said one thing when it was Obama, now they’re saying the complete opposite, how do they sleep at night?’ I’ll tell you how: like a baby. Because like a baby, they have no morals,” Maher said.
“The only rule Republicans play by … is the people who win make the rules. Power talks, losers walk,” he continued.
Maher then expressed his concern that Democrats don’t really have any options left to stop Republicans from replacing RBG, and that, as a result, if Trump contests the election result and it goes to the Supreme Court, he’ll be able to stay in office even if he loses the election.
That’s when Maher got to the matter of third party voters in 2016. “How different it all could have been. Not to relitigate old wounds, but all the Hillary equivocators from 2016, the people who said she was racist, not really that different from Trump. The ones who voted third party, the ones who stayed home because, you know, the lesser of two evils. Sorry, but you all have to eat it one more time,” he said.
Brief sidenote: Trump lost the popular vote by nearly three million in 2016. And the election turned on extremely narrow results in three key swing states — Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — where, in each case, Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s vote total was larger than Trump’s very narrow margin of victory over Clinton. Ever since, critics have contended that Stein spoiled that election, and as evidence, they note how in 2016 Stein campaigned largely against Clinton specifically, asserting without evidence that Hillary was actually to Trump’s right, while her supporters argued that a Trump victory would be better in the long term for left-wing interests. Of course, the Green Party’s most frequent line of attack was to complain that voting for a Democrat is settling for “the lesser of two evils.”
Back to Maher:
“Because oh how I would love me some of that Hillary evil right now. You know, the evil where liberals would currently have a six-to-three majority on the court,” Maher continued. “The evil where people wouldn’t be facing having their health care taken away or their right to vote, or where America wasn’t sliding into autocracy … Let’s look at the alternative universe if a few more people in 2016 had told themselves, ‘Yeah, she’s not my favorite but you only get two choices in our system. It’s probably better to make sure this sane, competent person gets in as opposed to a malignant narcissist.’”
“In that universe, we’re still in the Paris Climate Accord, and Iran’s nuclear program is still frozen and maybe so is Greenland,” Maher added. “There have been none of the rollbacks on clean air and water. Dreamers don’t have to worry about getting tossed out of the only country they’ve ever known. William Barr is just a right-wing crank self-publishing a book on our moral decline. And Brett Kavanaugh is drinking from home.”
“It’s a wonderful world, this world. People hearing the words ‘pee tape’ only think of R. Kelly,” Maher joked.
Maher went on, noting that in that alternate universe, now-iconic symbols of the Trump era like so-called “pussy hats” don’t exist and that when it comes to the response to COVID-19, “I think Hillary would have done a little better than, ‘Let them drink bleach.’”
“The Supreme Court hears oral arguments to overturn Obamacare on November 10. Once this new justice is seated, Obamacare is likely gone, and after that, Roe v. Wade. So I hope you enjoy carrying your rape baby to term. You can name it Jill Stein,” Maher said as he wound the bit up. “Yes, Joe Biden is far from a perfect candidate and I have serious doubts they’ll ever let him take office. But giving him a vote total so huge it will be hard to ignore is the very last Hail Mary pass we have.”