HBO’s Bill Maher: ‘The Only Way The Republicans Win Is They Cheat’

Bill Maher and his guest MSNBC’s Krystal Ball spent the June 13 edition of Real Time With Bill Maher whining that conservatives and liberals are physically and culturally separating themselves in deep red pockets of the country while these “polarizing extremes” lead to political “gridlock” that keep moderates from voting. If they voted, the liberal talk show hosts – who live in the vaunted purple battlegrounds of New York City and Los Angeles, respectively – agreed, “this country would look so different.”

Not to be outdone in left-wing rhetoric, Maher claimed, “Let’s be honest, the only way the Republicans win is they cheat.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

Ball began the segment by reading off “startling” data from the newest Pew Poll. With statistics like “75 percent of conservatives want bigger houses further away from cities”and “ethnic diversity important to...only 20 percent of conservatives,” The Cycle co-host did her best to spin conservatives as racist country bumpkins. Ball, who in 2010 ran for Congress in a rural-to-exurban district in Virginia, seemed to take pleasure in how Cracker Barrel was the preferred restaurant of conservatives, while liberals like to do their grocery shopping at premium organic food retailer Whole Foods.

Ball determined that the best option for the American people to reach out to moderate voters would be to enact  mandatory voting laws much like that in Australia. [Did she not get the memo that the current PM of Australia is quite conservative and, leftists might charge, a “climate denier”?]

Yes, Maher conceded, Republicans would not be able to “cheat” their way into office by “stop(ping) people from voting.” According to Maher, no voter should be forced to go all the way to a polling center on a weekday, and should rather be able to vote “from the phone.”

Apparently in this new era of bipartisan liberality, voter fraud will be a nonissue. As will political discourse once conservatives realize the error of their ways and stop being so “polarized.”

See transcript below:

HBO
Real Time with Bill Maher
June 16, 2014
10:41 p.m. Eastern
2 minutes and 50 seconds

BILL MAHER: But speaking of him being a Jew, now there are no non-Christian Republicans. This is, this is an amazing fact. There were 278 Republicans in Congress. They are now all Christian and all white except for one black Senator who was appointed. So this is an entirely Christian, white party and I saw on your show this week that -- you were talking about this Pew Pole where America is becoming more self-segregated. Like Democrats and Republicans don't believe anything that the other one says. They think the other one actually is --

KRYSTAL BALL: Dangerous.

MAHER: Dangerous. Which is half true.

BALL: It’s true on one side.

MAHER: But also that they are physically separating. 75 percent of conservatives want bigger houses further away from cities. 77 percent of liberals want smaller houses or they're willing to put up with that if they're closer living in the city. Ethnic diversity important to 76 percent of liberals, only 20 percent of conservatives. Live near to someone who shares my religion. Important to 57 percent of conservatives, only 17 percent of liberals. It’s funny, you know the people at Cliven Bundy's ranch, you know the ones who were, they're so afraid that Obama and his Negro army was going to put them in FEMA camps. They're actually rounding themselves up. They’re moving, and you know what, go ahead. Enjoy. I'll give you the chicken wire to put around us. It’s to keep us out. That's why we're going to -- isn't that scary that we're segregating like that or is it good?

BALL: I don’t think it’s good I think it’s scary. And there's even been research about how we eat as different restaurants. Cracker Barrels are where the conservatives tend be, we’ve got Whole Foods--

MAHER: Paula Deen

BALL: Paula Deen, etc. But it’s also about the fact, that it's not just the polarizing extremes, which are the people most involved in our politics and part of why our politics is so gridlocked. But it's also the fact that the center doesn't participate so you only have action at the extremes. I mean, I personally think we should have compulsory voting and I know that's not a popular idea.

MAHER: I do too. No, I do too.

BALL: Australia has it. It changes, not only does it change the voter participation, its changes the range of issues people focus on. It limits negative attack ads.

MAHER: Let’s be honest, the only way the Republicans win is they cheat. I mean, they stop people from voting.

BALL: That's right.

MAHER: I mean, if you're voting on a Tuesday, it’s a work day, a horrible day to vote. Why can't we do it on our phone? It's such an anachronism that we have to actually go to a place on a work day. That’s ridiculous, we bank with our phone I mean  If you made it easy, this country would look so different.

Laura Flint
Laura Flint is a 2014 summer intern for the MRC's News Analysis Division.