Comedian Bill Maher made the argument Friday that an extreme focus on certain issues has made Democrats “toxic” to half of the country.
Maher raised the question on Friday’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” asking why an election that was advertised as a repudiation of Republicans turned out to only be a repudiation for President Donald Trump. (RELATED: ‘You Look At Me Like I’m Making This Up’: Bill Maher Fires Back When Former CNN Journalist Downplays Violence)
“With two Senate seats in Georgia still possible, seats that will make the difference between gridlock and progress, Democrats must figure out why so many voters still say to them, ‘You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, but doggone it, we don’t like you,'” Maher explained.
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) November 14, 2020
Maher noted that while Democrats were projected to win the White House, they had failed to take convincing control of the Senate or flip a single state legislature — and they had lost seats in the House, diminishing their majority by double digits.
“Democrats kept saying in the campaign, ‘You can’t possibly think Trump is preferable to what we’re selling,'” Maher continued. “And many voters keep saying, ‘Yes, we can. In fact, our primary reason voting for him is to create a bulwark against you. Because your side thinks silence is violence and looting is not.'”
He went on to quote several Democrats who had challenged the prevailing rhetoric, arguing that the heavy focus on progressive issues like defunding the police had not done them any favors, particularly in swing districts.
Democratic Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who eked out a second-term victory after a tough race, challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim of a “mandate” and warned that if the party qualified the 2020 elections as a “success” with regard to Congress, they would be “f**king torn apart in 2022.”
House Majority Whip James Clyburn also called on his party to stop “sloganeering,” saying that catch-phrases like “Defund the Police” damaged candidates like Jamie Harrison, the Democrat who challenged Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Maher concluded by saying that Democrats needed to listen to former President Barack Obama, who said, “This idea of purity and you’re never compromised, and you’re always politically woke and all that stuff — you should get over that quickly.”