Holidays were much on the mind of Real Time host Bill Maher on Friday. He talked about the Super Bowl, Election Day, and Valentine’s Day during the course of the show, starting right at the top by acknowledging this weekend’s big game.
“The game is in Arizona, so don’t be shocked if Republicans don’t accept the results,” he quipped, adding, “The game is on Fox, with aerial coverage by China.”
Maher quickly shifted back into his wheelhouse of politics, noting this weeks’s State of the Union address. “The state of our union is uncivil,” he claimed. “Republicans acted like it was a bachelorette party at a comedy club.”
Maher’s panel discussion with Kristen Soltis Anderson, pollster and host of SiriusXM’s “The Trendline with Kristen Soltis Anderson,” and Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor Paul Begala dove into the question of who will be the presidential nominees for 2024.
“We do have voters that are this mad and hate the options,” said Anderson of the prospects of another Trump-Biden confrontation. “There’s a little bit of chaos that could come out of it,” adding, “I think you should not assume that Trump will get the nomination.”
Maher noted that Joe Biden is just nine months older than Mick Jagger, and “Mick Jagger is still touring.”
Biden won the battle of the ad-libs in his contentious back and forth with Republicans at the State of the Union, Maher said, which the host claimed was because the GOP replicated “The Maury Povich Show” in the chamber.
Begala stayed largely on Democratic talking points about crime, and at one point brought up a bad example tying abortion to the rise in crime, which drew a rebuke from Maher.
One thing that was agreed was that Ron DeSantis faces a tough task getting the Republican nod, since he’s already facing Trump attacks, including one calling him “a groomer.”
“Running against Trump is like running into a woodchipper,” Anderson said. But she said that DeSantis has his moment now, and despite Maher’s contention that the Florida governor should wait, she insisted, “He’d be foolish to take a pass on (the nomination battle).”
The panel also explored Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ post-State of the Union rebuttal, where she claimed the coming battle was not between left and right, but between normal and crazy. The problem, the panel decided, is that both political parties claim the mantle of “normal,” demonizing the other.
Maher’s “New Rules” editorial saluted next week’s Valentine’s Day celebration. The host insisted that apps and phones have stolen the romance out of the holiday, and that women have been suckered into a system where men have an electronic harem in easy reach.
Noting the games being played where singles are resorting to trips to Home Depot in hopes of meeting someone, Maher said men need to man up if they want to win a woman’s heart.
“Here’s a life tip for men,” Maher said. “Try this trick: talk to her in-person.” The phone ruined dating, and porn ruined sex, he insisted.
The phone took away the need for swagger, courage, and communication, which women want, Maher said, as noted by the proliferation of TV shows like “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette,” “Farmer Wants a Wife,” and “the other thousand shows where women want the roses, romance – they don’t want an eggplant,” Maher said. “They want someone to compliment their hair, notice what they’re wearing, and hear about their day. I know, it’s a f***ing nightmare. Still, it’s better than the incel life.”
Maher opened his interviews with a one-on-one with Malcolm Nance, a counterterrorism expert and New York Times best-selling author of They Want to Kill Americans: The Militias, Terrorists, and Deranged Ideology of the Trump Insurgency. Nance, whom Maher called “a great patriot,” just returned from fighting on the front lines in Ukraine at age 60.
“The Ukrainians have something,” Nance said. “These people have heart. They don’t want to fight. They don’t’ have the hatred of the men in front of them. They are fighting for their existence. And that’s why I joined them.”