Bill Maher, back on HBO Friday night after a month-long hiatus, seems like he hasn’t recovered from the constant negative drum beat from the man who currently sits in the White House, President Donald Trump.
During his New Rules segment, the usually cutting comedian was simplistic and dull. His advice for the Democratic presidential contenders was unimaginative and soft. After running down a list of Trump awfulness that happened while the comedian was away, saying how tiresome it has become, Maher talked about voters suffering from “Trump fatigue.”
Maher discussed how that fatigue can be positive for the Democrats running for president. He backed his premise using the President’s low approval rating, while pointing out how good unemployment numbers are and how well the economy is doing overall.
Maher then pivoted to lecturing the Democratic candidates about who they should direct their message to, and what that message should be: “The voters that Democrats need to win moderates — who have Trump fatigue will vote against a good economy, I think — just to get back to normalcy. But they won’t trade it away for left-wing extremism. You say you want a revolution? Well, you know, you gotta get elected first.”
Maher went on to say that because of “Trump fatigue,” Democrats should run on a platform of, “Elect me and we can stop talking about him.” He added, “All Democrats have to do to win, is to come off less crazy than Trump. And, of course, they are blowing it.”
Then Maher made an ignorant joke that the Democratic contenders are “coming across as unserious people who are going to take away all your money so migrants from Honduras can go to college for free and get a major in America sucks.”
Maher continued, saying he’s sick of hearing that Democrats need to excite their base, yelling, “Trump excites the base!” He then went back to his original point saying, “It’s the fatigue, stupid,” basically making an argument for staying out of the way, laying low, and letting Trump lose the election himself.
This take and advice seems more of a reflection of where Maher is now. In the past, Maher blasted Democrats for not standing up to Republicans and not advocating for issues that are popular with most Americans. And now he’s categorizing those issues as “left-wing extremism” that will lead to defeat? In 2016, he lectured Democrats about being “too nice” and then in 2018, he pointed out how Hillary Clinton’s backtracking on comments she made about coal workers during the 2016 campaign was a mistake and came across as weak.
Like him or not, Maher consistently blasts the Democrats for not taking the fight to Republicans, whether about climate change or social programs that most Americans support. But on Friday, Maher seemed afraid and veered in a different direction. Maher is apparently the one suffering from “Trump fatigue,” and his tired advice should not be heeded.