Bill Maher has recently received a lot of attention for his criticisms of the left. His shockingly honest assessments about how his party has gone off the rails have been a refreshing departure from other left-wing commentators who consistently push their compatriots further out to the fringe.
Now, Maher has given an honest assessment of Donald Trump that reflects what I’ve been saying for months: he could win 2024 easily if he let go of the 2020 election.
“And I just thought, you know, if Trump could just let go of the election, which he can’t, he can win this so easy because he can win just on Drag Queen Story Hour,” Maher said Friday night on Real Time With Bill Maher. “Again, if he could just let go of the election, but at this point, you know, he’s just like a hotel room that smells; at some point, you just want a new room, you know what I mean? And DeSantis, I mean, he’s just more, is more vibrant, if you like people who don’t lose elections and, you know,” Maher said.
“And he’s also not plagued by scandal the way that Trump is,” guest panelist Katie Herzog told him. “He’s a much stronger candidate. The Jan. 6 hearings have been very compelling to watch, but a little part of me thinks this might actually be bad for the Democrats, because if Trump is too weak to win the Republican nomination, it’s going to be DeSantis, and DeSantis could beat Biden.”
“Anybody could beat Biden,” Maher insisted. “Trump might be the one guy who can lose to Biden. With DeSantis, you’re right, because he’s a winner. He runs the third-largest state. Trump is a hotel greeter who lost. His insurrection failed.”
Maher is wrong on this point. Most 2024 match-ups show Trump beating Biden. However, I agree that Trump must stop making 2024 about 2020. I say that as someone who believes as much as Trump that there was fraud in the 2020 election. I’ve written about it plenty, and I’ve seen how the mainstream media has tried to cover up anything that casts doubt on the integrity of the 2020 election. But the best thing we can do now is to look forward, not back. That doesn’t mean pretending the 2020 election was on the level; it means identifying the problems and fixing them so all Americans can have faith in the integrity of future elections.
Earlier this year, Trump rescinded his endorsement of Mo Brooks because, he claimed, Brooks “made a horrible mistake recently when he went ‘woke’ and stated, referring to the 2020 Presidential Election Scam, ‘Put that behind you, put that behind you,’ despite the fact that the election was rife with fraud and irregularities.”
But Mo Brooks didn’t deny election integrity problems occurred in 2020. Brooks clearly believes we need to secure our elections. In February, he co-sponsored an election integrity bill to prevent non-citizens from voting. Unfortunately, Trump doesn’t seem to get that moving on from the 2020 election doesn’t mean abandoning election integrity. And Republicans need to be able to talk about election integrity without dwelling on the 2020 election. Trump takes 2020 very personally, and I understand that. Many of us are still angry, too. But we can’t change the 2020 election now, and we have to look forward, not back. And Trump needs to get over his issues with Mike Pence and stop pretending that Pence had any power to prevent the Electoral College vote certification.
There is bipartisan support for true election integrity. Still, if we’re constantly linking the issue to the 2020 election, we risk politicizing the issue to the point where we no longer have consensus.
Despite his hatred of Trump, even Bill Maher recognizes that he could easily win the 2024 election if he lets go of 2020. I agree with Maher, though I’m sure we disagree over what it means to “let go” of the election. From where I sit, I want Trump to be able to talk about election integrity without making it all about him.