Welcome to an HBO podcast from the HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher. I kiss you all, but, you know is a virus. Thank you very much. Oh, what a crowd. Thank you. You're so good. Thank you. Thank you. You have my utmost appreciation for, you know, testing and all this stuff to. You must have nothing better to do. I really appreciate you doing this. I really do. And you're in a terrific mood.
Must be because it's Valentine's Day weekend.
Are you excited, everybody? Oh, my God. Everyone's in the mood. Armie Hammer told his girlfriend today I'd eat you all over again. It was.
But it's hard in lockdown, right?
Valentine's Day. It's hard to be romantic. I said just of the other day, let me get that refrigerator door for you.
I'm trying to be analytical, but I tell you, we have we're halfway through February. I still can't wait for last year to be over. What the fuck?
I thought this was going to be a better year. Valentine's Day, nothing gets you revved up for romance like a solid week of bloody insurrection videos, huh? You're watching the impeachment all week. It's just about ending. Yeah. Basically, the Democrats, of course, laid out a very powerful case that Trump incited a violent insurrection against his own government. And the Republicans laid out today a very powerful case that they don't give a shit.
That's that's. Yeah. And then they really don't. Have you seen their lawyers?
Whoever was I mean, it's pretty pathetic. One of them, though, is an observant Jew, although he thinks Trump is innocent. So not that observant. And and put some of that I mean, the video they were smart to just showed the video, let the tapes do the talking and there's some amazing stuff there, including a hero, that officer Eugene Goodman, the guy who, you know, he really saved Pelosi and and Mitt Romney. He turned around and got him going the right way.
And and Mike Pence, they were going to hang Mike Pence and he said, Quick, Mr. Pence, your people are revolting. And Pence said, no, they're just suffering economic anxiety.
All right, but what I love about this, Trump fans are still claiming that the people in the video, even though they're wearing Trump hats and Trump shirts and carrying Trump signs and beating on Trump targets with Trump flags reading Trump tweets are actually antifa. Really, that's their defense, it wasn't us, it's people dressed up like us, acting like us.
I tell you that Antifa school for the performing arts is one hell of a dramatic college day. And this is pretty, but it came out today that during the whole impeachment trial, really since Trump's been out of the White House, Melania has spent most of her time at the spa, her favorite relaxation passages, the silent treatment.
That's also it's the Chinese New Year. Oh. Why why are we so excited by the Chinese? OK, great. And listen, China. China is kicking our ass in every way and they have an unmanned Chinese spacecraft now that is orbiting Mars. Its mission is to land a rover on the surface and look for signs of ancient life and then cough on it and kill it.
And also, they're not the only ones.
I'll tell you, we're getting America for America. There's a spacecraft now from the United Arab Emirates. It's also entered the Mars orbit. And its goal was to make contact with intelligent alien life and make sure the women cover their faces. That's their goal.
And our friend, Marjorie Taylor Green, you know her, right? She's in the news. OK, now this is the from the Daily Mail. I'm only reporting what they're reporting. They're saying that she cheated. She was caught cheating on her husband. She used to at the gym. She used to run a gym. That was her job before she was in Congress. She ran a fucking gym in Alpharetta, Georgia, and one of the guys she apparently allegedly had an affair with was a polyamorous tantric sex guru.
Something tells me for retied tantric sex guru is any man who has heard of the clitoris.
I think that's what that means. I mean. Gleans tantric sex guru. You mean some guy you met on tend to fuck you on a yoga mat?
That's what they're talking. And but it's currently got a lot of trouble in the home that Marjorie Telegraaf, the husband, found out when she came home one night with Lub on her straight jacket. So that was bad. And that and then also The Daily Mail says she was having an affair not just with the tantric sex guru, but with the manager of the gym. And, you know, that's bad to have a love affair with the gym manager because you're all gung ho at first and then after a few weeks, you stop coming.
All right. We've got a great show. We have Steve Schmidt and Markos Moulitsas. And first up, he represents Illinois' 16th Congressional District. Wow. And he's on our show. He's the founder of the Country First PAC. Please welcome Adam Kinzinger.
Adam, how are you, sir? I'm good. How are you? Thank you for doing this show. I think we all know why you're here.
You are one of 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach. So it's interesting the way our country works now. We're so tribal. I bet you right now have a lot of new friends and a lot of new enemies.
Is that true? Yeah, that is true. And, you know, it's you're right. I think we're picking tribes. It's kind of like inability to make independent decisions now. And so when you're one of 10 people that voted to impeach the president and you cross him, you get a lot of the base mad. But you also see a lot of people that understand, you know, we need a Republican Party that maybe isn't crazy and can actually be a productive member of a government that has basically two parties.
When was the last time you think we had that? Not really, look, it's been a while, I think definitely since since President Trump, we haven't because but I think it's even really honestly, since I've been in politics, this is my 11th year. And if you think about it, we have learned and I can only speak as a Republican looking at the Republicans as we've learned, that you can get elected on a steady diet of fear. And so every fundraising email is send me five bucks to make sure that Nancy Pelosi doesn't destroy your family.
And it's everything is this diet of fear. And eventually there's no wonder there's real damage done to democracy. So that's what my whole idea of country first is all about, is A putting the country first before the party, but be having a little bit of optimism about the future of the greatest country in the world that knows no limits except our own imagination.
So. Oh, I can't get my solar turned on, so I'm not going to argue with you that I think we have a few more limits than that.
But anyway, you mentioned family. I know certain members of your own family. Did they not claim that you were now possessed by the devil? So I was I was over at my parents house in and out of nowhere, I got a registered letter to my parents house that same day and I read it. And it was just I mean, two handwritten pages, really tiny letters, really angry, a lot of caps. Just saying I'm now in the devil's army because I dared turned against President Trump.
And actually, I'll tell you, I got a second certified letter reiterating that, by the way, about two weeks ago. But the thing about that is I'm actually happy I got it because it really woke me up to the to the level of brainwashing in some people and the the understanding and they truly believe that they are fighting against the forces of evil just because, you know, the person that they thought was the second coming basically turned out to lose.
Do you believe there is such a thing as a double? I do, yeah, absolutely I do, and I think but I think when you well, look, you know, I was in there about brainwashing and, you know, I mean, if you believe that there's such a thing as the devil to begin with, aren't we halfway to nonsense right there?
Well, it's what you believe.
Listen, I'll tell you, I was sitting there on Insurrection Day, and I've got to tell you, I felt literally like pure evil coming into the capital. And I've talked to many of the officers, including Officer Phonon, who was the guy that was dragged down the stairs and told to kill him with his own gun. And he's like, man, I have never seen people like that. So I don't care if you call it evil or not.
It was something that was crazing these people to believe that if you go into the capital and destroy it, you're somehow doing a service for your country.
So I know you feel I'm glad you do. And I wish you the best with this project that you can reclaim the Republican Party. But I do I'm looking at the numbers, Congressman, and they're not you would need a swing of about 40 points. I mean, Trump wants to start his own party. Thirty three percent of Republicans are down with that right away. Another 37 percent say probably, maybe so. Only 30 percent are with Republican classic for you to reclaim the party.
Again, I think he would need a swing of about 40 percentage points. How can you really accomplish that? So it is Herculean and the thing I've looked at it is there has been no counter voice in the party to Donald Trump. Everybody's been scared.
And that's where I've finally decided just to be extremely bold about it is to say people need to hear the other side of this. They need to remember there is a really rich history of the Republican Party. We can be better. And and so I I basically just did a video, put it on Country First Dotcom with the one, by the way. But I did that with the intention of just saying what I wanted to say. And the reaction was twenty thousand, you know, email sign ups in twenty four hours.
And what it showed, it's not just disaffected Republicans, it's independents. And it's even some Democrats that are like, we just want a sane Republican Party. So I can do is put it all on the field. I may fail. That's OK. I'm at peace with trying, but somebody's got to do something.
You're willing to lose your job. I mean, isn't that true? That's I you got it. You say you've been in Congress 11 years. Right, I have you. OK, and you served overseas. I mean, you've been in worse places. I'm in Congress, right?
OK, tell me what is so great about this job that people are willing to sell their souls? Is it just because you get a staff, you're a celebrity? Is that it? Because these people like you don't need any skills to do the Congress. I'm not I'm not you. But I'm just saying it's one of the few jobs in America where there's no checks or you have to do is get people to vote for you. You can be the biggest moron in the world.
And I've interviewed some of them. And you can get all you need is a clip on tie and the votes and you're there. Why? Why? What is it? Is that really what it is? They just don't want to give up the job that gives them a kind of a celebrity. I think it is I think some of it is is it's just fear, but I think it's also you spend your whole life trying to get to Congress.
It's a big deal to get to Congress. And then all of a sudden, when you think that's your terminal job or you're going to go higher, you live in fear of anything you do.
But I'll tell you, Bill, what I've constantly said to people is this, you know, we as a military guy myself, the war is like if we're going to ask young people to be willing to give their life for the country, you know, how dare we not be willing to give our career for something that may not be just like warfare, but just as important.
OK. So, all right, so here's your toughest question you're going to get from me. I don't understand this 2016, you watched Trump run. You said, whoa. I'm a Republican, but I can't vote for this guy. You watched them for four years as president, you didn't vote for him in twenty sixteen, you voted for him in twenty twenty after you saw what he did as president. Explain that to me. And who did you vote for in 2016?
Twenty sixteen, I wrote somebody in, but looking 20, if I could go back in time, I wouldn't vote. I don't remember now actually.
So for how long I really was doing so well.
No, I wouldn't want to say anybody. Your wife, me. I wrote you and I wrote you.
OK, but listen in twenty twenty. I know you're ashamed of shoes, right? And but I am now.
Yes, but like in twenty twenty I'll tell you if I could go back in time now I would vote for, for Joe Biden in a heartbeat because. Well the thing that differentiate a lot for me is after the election and undermining the whole system of the election is you can even say crazy stuff as president. When you start to say that the election doesn't work, it's rigged. It's everything that is step one or step two and three of destroying a constitutional republic, right?
Oh, I couldn't agree more. So why? Why didn't Nancy Pelosi as you and Liz Cheney. Who also had the guts to stand up? Why didn't they ask you to be impeachment managers? Wouldn't that have been? I'm not saying it would have changed the verdict because, of course, he's not going to get convicted. But wouldn't that have been a much more compelling case for the country to watch with two Republicans as far as impeachment managers? I think in theory, it would be you would have taken I remember back even you would have done I maybe I don't know, probably maybe I don't look, I don't know.
I never even was asked. I never even thought about it and think it was a possibility. But listen, during the impeachment vote, you know, I wanted to go down and speak on it. And I asked for time from the Democrats and got a minute, you know, to their credit. But I always thought that would have made sense if they had given some Republicans some time to go down and make the case. And instead it was, you know, forty five second speeches.
But there's a lot of politics. I mean, everybody wants to have their say and there's limited time and all that.
What do you expect for your next primary fight if you do run again? He's going to be fine. I mean, you know, I've been through a lot of primaries and, you know, people always think they can beat me. And the truth is, you just pay attention to what people want and quit peddling and fear people actually react to optimism, fear when it's legit. I'm scared of covid and I'm scared of disunity in this country. I'm not scared of Democrats.
You know, they're just they're some that's not who you should be scared of. You should be scared of the Republicans to your right who are going to protest.
Right. Sometimes, you know. Yeah, right. That's what I'm saying.
What's going to go on in that? That's not going to be pretty for, you know, I think a lot of the time it's a paper tiger because quite honestly, I think Donald Trump becomes less and less relevant every day. If you go out there and you tell people the truth. I have I've had the right come against me in every primary and I win. Huge, huge. And and I think it's going to happen again this time.
I'm going to go out. I'm going to fight hard. And if I lose, I'm at peace, my friend.
All right, good. If you want me to campaign for you, I'm there. All right. Thank you. Adam Kissinger. We appreciate you being here. All right, it's been a while. He's the founder of the Daily Koz and co-host of the daily Ko's podcast, The Brief Marko's. This is back with us after two long.
And he is founder of Set Strategies and MSNBC contributor, our friend Steve Schmidt is over here. Steve, great to see you. OK, I'm just going to I'm not going to make a big deal about this every week, but we introduced this week, this is my days waiting for solar calendar. It's now up to one thousand eighty nine, showed the picture of my share. This took three years to build, three years to get the permits for that.
So I'll try to hold my area, my anger at the arrogance of this state and just give you the fun fact I read in the paper this week when the virus hit eBay, HBO. Is that how you pronounce that city in China? Anyway, this is soon after it was in Wuhan, China, erected entire towns of prefab housing and it started the next morning. Now, I'm not saying we're a dictatorship that can move that fast, but entire towns.
To quarantine people and three years for that shit. So I guess my first question is it just seems to me that all of our wounds, except for 9/11, which really wasn't mostly our fault, seem to be self-inflicted when you think about. Electing Trump and you think about Iraq war when you think about the financial meltdown in 2008. And stuff like this, we cripple ourselves. What is it about America that we are so inflicting our own wounds on ourselves?
Well, except for the solar or the other examples you cited were all Republican presidencies. So that's a common theme in a lot of these problems. And it always feels as a Democrat and obviously I'm a partisan liberal Democrat, we still are always cleaning up those messes, whether it's the Iraq war mess, whether it's the financial crisis mess and now by the covid and the almost destruction of our American democracy. So it is frustrating that once we sort of maybe bring a little bit normalcy back, Republicans then come back and order the American people come back and then elect another Republican.
Steve, are you still a Republican? I am a registered Democrat.
So, you know, you don't have to argue with what I have. But, you know, look, I was always I was always a moderate Republican.
But look, here's what the deal is. We have we have a real life, autocratic, fascistic movement in this country that has a floor 40 percent.
We have 140 members in the House, seven members of the Senate on January 6th after a violent insurrection to destabilize the country takes place. They voted, they stood up and voted in an act of Congress to nullify the results of certified state elections in a country where the states created the Congress and not the other way around, and in doing so, established a new Jim Crow caucus as they sought to wipe out millions of black votes just because to keep into power the person who lost the election, making him a dictator and ending the American republic.
That's what's happened to your to your point, though, on politics. My politics has evolved over the years, and I don't necessarily look at it, though I'm broadly sympathetic to your point of view on Republicans and presidencies and the disaster. I think we got a problem of big in this country every a big, big banks, big tech, big everything and everywhere you see big the little guys getting fucked and big government.
Big government. Look, Steve, I didn't hear you talk against big government for a lot of years. I mean, you couldn't have forgotten all that.
Look, it's not just the solar calendar. I mean, we built the Golden State Bridge and the Empire State Building in about nine months in the 1930s. I know you tried to do that today.
It would take until 15 years, three years for this.
You know, it's insane. So, OK, that was interesting what you just said, and I think I agree with all that. Let me read you what Joe Biden said about six weeks before the election. He said, The thing that will fundamentally change with Donald Trump out of the White House, not a joke. That's him saying that. A joke on me is you will see an epiphany occur among many of my Republican friends. How was that epiphany going?
No. Ten, I mean, one of them, yeah, one. Yeah, well, OK. But they don't do epiphanies. I feel like this is a problem with Democrats always hoping for something that, you know, it's the Charlie Brown with the football thing. You know, they it just never they never come around. You know, Susan Collins never does the right thing, you know?
Robert Mueller fucks it up right by and has learned, though, and he actually sounded a lot like people like me for the last ten years, where most Democrats, including Barack Obama, came in and either find bipartisanship as working with Mitch McConnell and Mitch McConnell could deny those votes and deny that veneer of bipartisanship. What Joe Biden has come in and said, it's not about, you know, McCain, it's not about McConnell or any of those other Republicans.
It's about the American people.
And the covid Relief Act that's going through Congress right now has the approval rating of 86 percent. That includes Republicans and independents. That is true bipartisanship. Mitch McConnell is it doesn't get to decide who should be at the high number that they want at the one point nine.
So do you think they did the impeachment the right way? Because I think you're always going down a false path when you try to link rhetoric, unless it's really explicit with actions. And of course, that's what the Republicans are making the case for today. I mean, it's a terrible case. And, of course, he is a criminal. But the crime was denying that he lost the election.
I, I feel like making it about the riot. Was sort of a distraction. I mean, you can always make similar cases where people and that's what the Republicans are doing on all week long on Fox News, all they show is the one time he said in his speech on January six, the word peaceful. OK, I just feel like that's a very hard case to make, whereas they had a tape of him with the guy from Georgia saying, find me 11000 new votes.
They had his voice on tape. That, to me, would have been a better if you want to try him again. I think I would rather have seen the Republicans defend that the guy on tape to find me eleven thousand new votes and I could win this thing. I can think of a more smoking gun than that.
Look, these these months, these these months that took place between Election Day and Inauguration Day are some of the most significant months in this nation's history. What happened between Election Day and the 6th is faith and belief in American democracy was poisoned, premeditated and deliberately. The president, by the cynical elites like Josh, Holly and Cruz, the paid liars like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, they poisoned it. And day by day, like an Exxon Valdez, like a BP Deepwater Horizon.
Wow. The numbers rose to 82 percent of Republicans said the fairest and freest election in American history was stolen. We've invented a lot of great things in this country. Airplanes, iPhones, ships that can land on the moon and return penicillin.
I say that for Trump, all of these, all of these, all of these, all of these things, the greatest thing we've ever, the greatest thing we've ever invented in this country, Bar none is the peaceful transition of power that was uninterrupted from 1797 until 2012 and separation of powers.
And that that that ended this process was bloodsoaked in the United States of America because of the incitement to violence and insurrection of Donald Trump.
And the and the reality is, is that the more clear it was, the more certain the outcome of that trial was, the greater the necessity, the greater the moral necessity for taking place, because what will be carved for the ages into the granite of the story of America or the men and women who betrayed their oaths, betrayed their oaths, betrayed their country, and allowing a president who sought to be a dictator walk out.
And make no mistake, Donald Trump runs the Republican Party. That party is an autocratic party. I love Congressman Kitzinger. His courage in standing up a requirement to be in Congress ought to be the willingness, Democrat or Republican, to lay down your seat on a matter of principle. But he is in the minority. The autocrats in that caucus are in the majority. And any time you have a coalition of convenience between conservatives and fascists, it is always the fascists who win.
And the first thing they do when they win is dispatch the naive conservatives who in coalition help bring them to power. And the idea that in 2020 you vote for Donald Trump after he has the blood of hundreds of thousands of Americans on his hands from his lying, his poisoning of our democracy. It is inexplicable. Inexplicable.
Yeah, that's what Kissinger did. I mean. I think it's I think it's it's just it's utterly inexplicable, you know? So you're saying that the party is beyond redemption.
There is no place to meet in the middle with fascist white supremacists whose nationalism have be brought to some.
But we can't go back to work but say we can magically wipe out the trump card. We need another party. Right. We can't have just the Democratic Party because that's what we have in California. And I can't get myself turned on.
That's the problem is we do need a loyal opposition.
I mean, we used to have a saying we do one.
And again, I'm a liberal Democrat and I loathe everything Republicans stand for. And I remember the times when John McCain was the devil and Mitt Romney. Holy shit, Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney wins. What's he going to do to America? But there was never the sense that if we have a low turnout election, that we're going to lose our democracy.
And that's where we are right now, because the next fascist that the Republicans nominate, it's going to be smarter than Donald Trump. Donald Trump with a fucking moron. He announced his plan. Everybody, I'm going to I'm going to destroy the Postal Service so you guys can't vote by mail. So as Democrats, we're like, OK, we're not going to vote by mail. And it was easy.
But he announced all these. And you get somebody smart, you get a puton like character. Right. And then we're in real trouble. And that's that's scary.
But all these guys are a lot shrewder than Donald Trump.
I've always been I've always been confused by this.
And I think this is part of the design flaw of progressivism, respectfully, which is that there's literally no person in America who goes in for a driver's license, a Social Security card to local government, county government, state government, federal government walks into that building and walks out and says, I want to put these people I just interacted in in charge of more stuff having to do in my life and give them more money to do with it. If you want government to deliver services and we do need government to deliver services, we should all demand as taxpayers that those services be delivered with ruthless efficiency.
If we're going to have an anti-poverty program that spends billions of dollars for poor kids, we better make it work.
We need accountability. We need metrics, we need smart government. And there's this idea that I think pervades Washington that it's inherently defensive to say because something costs a lot, there's injury by saying it doesn't work particularly well. And so we're so more progressive you are the greater the demand for efficiency should be. I keep saying this, but a lot of this is competence. You know, we wouldn't even be talking about the capital riot if they had guarded the capital.
I mean, they shouldn't have gotten in. I can't believe that these got these guys who got in must have been like the dog that caught the car.
You know, they're like, oh, fuck, we're in the building up. You know, they didn't think they were going to get it. But yet they talk about what if they'd gotten Romney? What if they had gotten Pelosi? Where have they gotten pens? What if they didn't get in at all? Yeah, you know, I think the most amazing thing about the whole thing is watching the video and on the Senate floor, there's a cop who's armed and a guy person, the Cuban uncharming, dressed like a Viking, and he basically talks to them.
I'm watch him shoot him, shoot him. Like if you burst into the United States, if he was dressed like bin Laden would have shot him.
Right. I mean, I just.
Yeah, you talk about competence. And that's a human nature thing, though. I mean, anybody walking to talk to Comcast and have a really good now you can go down a list of customers to be able. And of course, so it's you have a big institution. Obviously, you have issues like that. But are you going to doubt that Fosi and the CDC right now in three weeks of the Biden administration is not a million times more accomplished?
And, of course, there is a difference in competence.
So, of course, I'm glad you mentioned the shaman, because he this week was in the news. He has renounced Trump. A lot of these insurrectionist, though. It's true. He I mean, you have a picture of him.
I mean, he used to look really cool. I mean, that is cool. I mean, that is a cool look. Look what he looks like now. I think he was way better wearing the pelt. I mean, now he just looks like some asshole's boring. You telling you about how he brews his own beer.
You know, I mean, this is but when he was kind of hot with the shaman thing, I must say, I kind of felt, well, he was hot there in the shaman world. He opened Shaman where for men. I don't know if you know about that, but and I sent away a no no. And you can send away on Amazon. And, you know, when you send away for the knockoff stuff, I mean, I got this.
It's not. I got the spear, too. It's just I mean, it's like. It was so not as good as it's not quite like the Beatle wig of Shoman, where, you know, you don't really look like the Beatles. Anyway, he said he was wrong about Trump. We got to him. I said, what else are you wrong about? He gave us a little list. Would you like to hear what else he said he would do?
Said. He said, I was wrong to think you could microdots bath salts. He's wrong. He admitted he was wrong, but then he said I was wrong when they told me the insurrection was costume only. Not that I was wrong to use gorilla glue to keep the Viking hat on my head.
This guy. I was wrong to think the way to get respect in prison is to talk about my allergies. I was wrong to say all those things about Jews before I needed a lawyer. Oh, yeah. All right, now let's get back to serious subjects. It's my hair. Oh, oh. The rest of us, I read this week that the Georgia Senate election, which, of course, was the crucial one, but of course, I can't believe this number.
Eight hundred and thirty three billion dollars. That's almost what the entire national election in 2004, which you ran, right? Very Bush. Yeah, OK.
Eight hundred and thirty three billion dollars. There's a lot of money sloshing around in politics. I know you've had a rough week with this. You can say whatever you want here. I'm not here to prosecute you. AOC said Lincoln Project, that's your project, which ran a lot of great ads. Liberals love those ads.
She says you were in scam territory. I don't know, you know, I like the odds. Look, I I think I think that we built the most successful super PAC in American political history. We turned it into a movement. And I think we did tremendous damage to Donald Trump.
Well, then why didn't he take the fight to them? And if if that's true, why did he do six percentage points better with Republicans than when you when you look at he got ninety four percent of Republican votes and 88 percent the first time. Why are you making.
I think I think that, you know, sometimes you say things at the beginning and they take on the aura of gospel. We were trying to win the election. I really didn't give a shit how many Republicans voted for Trump or not. At the end of the day, one of the determinative groups which are concentration was most acute on was independent white men. And if you look at the delta between the people who voted for Biden and then return down ticket for Republicans, we play very heavily in that space.
Look, at the end of the day, I'm proud of the fact that we destroyed Donald Trump's and Mike Pence's relationship and took pants out of public life.
I'm proud. I'm proud of the fact that we decapitated his campaign manager from the campaign because of our ads.
When Donald Trump went out in Tulsa, he talked about for forty five minutes walking down a ramp and drinking water and acting insane. Since the election, we've helped lead a boycott of corporate America for those hundred and forty seven seditionists. Microsoft saying we're not going to give him any more money. I think there's two hundred million dollars of cash that corporate America is likely to take out of Republican organizations on the basis of the vote that disenfranchised millions of black votes.
Because every single company in America has made a statement about racial justice. Every company in America has black employees and black customers, and they can't ever say, well, I'm pro black lives matter, but I'm also for disenfranchising my black votes.
And one of the things that's happening in this country right now as we speak is a massive disenfranchisement legislative effort that seeks to pull as many votes out of the system before demographic changes can put more voters into it to make certain that the Republicans can get back into power on a minority basis. We have a real life in 2020, one Jim Crow movement that's playing out in Republican legislative states to deny the right to vote. And so when we look at the totality of what the Lincoln Project with the Lincoln Project did in this election, we accumulated billions of views.
We have more followers online than the RNC did. We built streaming services and podcast services and community and all the money went toward where it should and took the fight. So we out of eighty seven million dollars that was raised by the Lincoln Project, about sixty three to sixty six million of that money went to voter conduct contact into voter contact programs. The campaigns cost a lot of money. All of this stuff, every superPAC operates like this in the Lincoln Project did it for a specific reason where where they are and where the other money go.
The law required. The law requires that you make disclosures, but you don't have to disclose subcontractor payments, which is how you protect your staff and all sorts of vendors from the harassment of the Trump people.
I'm a guy who had FBI agents show up at his house to say your number 11 on the Trump bomber, Cesar SIOC hit list.
I was eight, but you might have been on the first bombing. I was going to be in the next batch, but they OK, but they call it OK. So is I want to protect our people infrastructure costs. But we spent seventy five, 80 percent of total money on voter contact.
So I'm glad you brought up Georgia because it's a really instructive case in a couple of ways. Just generally speaking, most, if not all television ads was pissed away money. None of that changed a single person's mind at the presidential level.
Who's going to see an ad and go, I was going to vote for Trump and now and that's why I stopped. It's up millions of dollars.
Now, here's a really interesting fact, right? Joe Biden outspent Donald Trump in every single battleground state except one. And that includes states like Iowa and Ohio that weren't even close. Trump won both easily. The one state where Trump outspent Biden was Georgia. Right. So this idea that money is a Terminator, but even more importantly, in 2016, Trump won Georgia by five point and then he added three hundred and sixty thousand votes in twenty twenty. So it's 18 percent increase.
So you think, well, he can't lose, right. So. Joe Biden went, how did they do that, 600000 new votes, that's over 30 percent increase. Six hundred thousand. And those weren't they weren't pulled out by television ads.
They were pulled out by organizations like Stacey Abrams New Georgia project that registered hundreds of thousands of voters.
And, you know, her budget is, you know, what, new Georgia project. But it was five million dollars. So you're talking about these hundreds of millions of dollars, millions of dollars spent in the election. She spent five million dollars and 20, 20 registered hundreds of thousands. That's why we won.
And in 2016, who spent all the money all pissed away? Hillary. Oh, she outspent Trump two to one.
That's what I'm saying.
I'm just saying, yes, money almost works against itself. I think people see the ad a million times and they go, I am so fucking sick of looking at this one ad. Think this person. I don't even care if I agree with them. I am not voting.
Which is which is why the point of the communication has to be to set a narrative.
If you look at if you look at what the Trump campaign released and said, this is why we lost covid all of these issues I remember watching before Lincoln Project started in December, Elizabeth, I think it was Elizabeth Warren came out of one of the Democratic debates and she she she remarked that it was a successful debate because no one talked about Trump.
And it terrified me, I believe, to the core of my being and will to the day I die. And I think I was right about this. The election was about one thing. It was about Trump. The number one issue was Trump.
The next 10 after that were Trump and the next three thousand.
After that, we took the fight to Donald Trump. We slugged them in the jaw. I think we instilled fighting spirit. And I think we were the first group that drew blood on this guy effectively.
Well, actually, I believe you stole one of my bits, almost beat for me. Which one? The ad about Trump being infirm and couldn't put a sentence together. You I'm glad you did.
I mean, but we did our most original work, right. Making that his infirmity. Actually, we were there. Do you think it's not the most obvious?
I mean, it's not it's not like it's a pretty obvious thing. Don't make me show both of them. We did.
Do we have that one? Can we show ours? Can we show? It's pretty funny. We did this and then you did yours about a month later. If you have a show it now. We don't have it. Like I said. But will you have it sometime in the next five minutes?
OK, well, you know, there's a virus going around where people are pissing away money on ads and you don't give I mean, I think liberals should definitely focus on those groups on the ground doing the registering in places like Arizona and Georgia and Texas, which is the next state that's going to turn blue. And believe it or not, people think I'm crazy when I say this, but Mississippi demographically should be a competitive state. But it has a black community that has been disenfranchised and has been kept down.
So this underground organizing can flip states like Georgia.
And we would agree, wouldn't we? I mean, I used to be able to book you two guys on the panel and have you argue, because this is a debate show, this is one of the few shows that still has people from both sides of the aisle or opinions you might not agree with. Maybe it's the only show left. I mean, MSNBC has conservatives like you, but you're only invited to bring the part of you that is going to say something that the audience already agrees with.
Would you agree with? That's the. For sure. Well, you're not going to bring your conservative credentials.
I've said I've sat I've sat on a lot of TV sets where you get a break and a lot of the reporters pick up their phone and they look at their Twitter feeds and the invisible mod mob police is right. What's OK to say to stay inside the lines?
And we have a profound problem, a crisis of cowardice in this country. I agree. Everywhere you look, cowardice. Now, the fact that you have someone who incited insurrection clear as day, can Republicans vote to impeach him, which is better than OK, we know about that.
All of that on everywhere, everywhere, everywhere you look.
OK, but isn't it also cowardice to not ever say anything on MSNBC that you really believe except the things that are going to make that audience go? Yes, I. I mean, I watched you and Michael Steele and Rick Wilson and Nicole Wallace for years. And you have you are saying conservatives. I didn't agree with a lot of what you said, but I appreciated that there was a dialogue.
Now you're just somewhere where you're you're not allowed to. Well, you only can confirm the one true opinion.
It's not just the on the media side. I mean, I had Chuck Todd on my podcast and he talked about how he's trying to get people to come on and defend Trump to show that side the side of the question. But they won't go there, right? They don't want to be challenge as much safer and Fox News land or Newsmax or CNN.
So it really, I think, cuts both ways. I think those shows at the very least, do want to show that ideological diversity.
But also the problem isn't partisanship. The problem is people that have given up on the truth. We can't even argue that the sky is blue anymore.
That's the real problem. It is blue, right? It is.
That's the point, right? Yes. And and at the end of the day, right.
We have we have two sides in American politics right now. There's a pro democracy side and there's an autocracy side. And I really don't want to debate tax rates when the question of democracy is on the line. Right. And so I think we've seen five years of batshit insanity. And I think on that network, it's been we I haven't been engaged in a policy discussion on American television since 2015, since he ran on any idea there. I did say some things.
They don't want to bring it up because they you might say something that audience does not agree with is I think there are more existential issues. There are. But it's not the only issue. They're on fucking 24/7, but it's also no Trump by the other things do come up. If you want to bring them up, they don't want to bring them up. There's crazy shit going on on the left. Would you not agree with them? Oh, absolutely.
Absolutely. Go on. Of course we do.
Listen, there is a strident, illiberal culture, autocratic on the on the left.
That's a mirror right on the on the trump. Right.
When you look at when you look when you look at the sewer of Twitter, for example, the angry, angry left, I don't either.
But they have a lot of power. Right. They don't have power.
They certainly have power to disappear. They they they do not run the Democratic Party. They do not they are they are not in power. But there is a liberalism in American society.
They don't run the Democratic Party. They affect the way the Democrats make decisions.
So in 2004, you may remember, it was a very close election.
George Bush won by the margin of Ohio and there was an entire conspiracy theory on the left that Diebold machines had flipped the vote. Sound familiar? And, you know, one of the conspiracy theories on the left, on the left pushing this was Alex Jones. And there wasn't a single person in authority or people like me in the activism world that took these people seriously. In fact, I kicked them out of my sight daily. Because they were a cancer on our site, I think that I think that's I think that's true from a matter of power and authority.
But it's also true, I think to Bill's point, that there is a illiberalism that exists on the far right, a fascist right.
There's an illiberalism that exists on the far left where they have lost touch with a core value of the enlightenment, of the notion of free speech, free thinking, free ideas, free debate. And this is culturally manifest itself, I think, most acutely in American universities. And I think we're turning out a generation of kids who have no grit, who have no attachment to reality, that are triggered, that are sensitive, that's all like that, that are not prepared in any conceivable way for life.
That's why I said to the congressman, you have a whole bunch of new friends and new enemies because no one's thinking anymore. It's just, oh, now he's on the blue team. Actually, I think it's more bleak than that.
I don't think he has any new friends. I don't think any Democrats are about, though.
He's getting a lot of attaboys. Yes. Think he could go to the AP in West Hollywood and be a hero tonight, but he shouldn't go to a conservative restaurant. OK, it's time for new rules.
Thank you, guys. That was very good.
Daryl, before we start sending mental health counselors to respond to nine nine eight seven nine 11 and nine one one nine one one calls instead of police, as many defund the police activists want, let's ensure their safety by giving them some form of protection, like a gun. And since they must respond in a timely manner, let's also give them a car with a siren and to make sure it's known to others that they have legal authority to resolve disturbances.
They probably should have a badge, but by all means, no more police.
They're now that Mike Pence is starting a podcast, it has to be sponsored by a dildo company.
Like Doc Johnson's signature Cox, because I want to hear Mike Pence go from railing about godlessness straight into Doc Johnson's signature cocks or the finest vibrating duel density, 12 inch anaconda's on the market. Use the code pense podcast and tell Doc Mike Sentier to receive 20 percent off your next signature call.
Someone must tell me why nobody has ever, ever has a near-death experience where they start to go to hell. It's always up to heaven. They're always floating toward a white light, never plunging toward a red flame. And yet hell is the more popular destination. That's why there's a stairway to heaven, but a highway to hell.
Here are the person who filed a lawsuit against Whole Foods because their honey graham crackers are supposed to have more honey than sugar, but were actually found to have more sugar than honey. That's to tell me how this became your life's crusade. Did you watch Erin Brockovich and think I'm going to do that, but with crackers?
What do you find out, your cookies aren't actually made by elves. Neuro don't serve fish with the head still on it. Nobody wants to think they're eating, watching them, eating it, and any guy will tell you it's after dinner when you want the head with eye contact.
Terrible, terrible. Please don't encourage me.
And finally, new rule, the next person during this pandemic who says we're all in it together must work a shift at GrubHub. Half the country is home in their comfy clothes ordering takeout, and the other half is out in the cold delivering it. So stop with the in it together bullshit.
We're in this together is the new thank you for your service. Just something to say to the people doing the dirty work so we can feel better about not doing it ourselves. And even before the pandemic hit, America was already well into being a gig economy, which sounds kind of hip, like you're in a rock band, except you're not in a rock band.
You're delivering hot chicken and it doesn't cover your rent.
Even side hustle sounds kind of cool, like you're a private eye who runs drugs, but really you're an Uber driver who also makes jewelry out of seashells.
You can call it remote work, but what's really remote is any chance of getting health insurance. What are Uber and Lyft really?
But Americanized rickshaws? It's not like it's what anyone wants to do. No one ever had a friend throw up in their back seat and said, gosh, I hope someday I can make a career out of this.
But in the gig economy, everyone is a freelancer in finding work is the virtual equivalent of hanging out in the parking lot at Home Depot.
Have a spare room.
You don't mind strangers fucking in rented on Airbnb, got some old Star Trek stuff from your childhood and sell it on eBay and ship it to some forty five year old guys. Mom's house. Even famous people are not above scrounging for cash on the site. Cameo, where you can get D list celebrities to wish you happy birthday or get well soon or tell you a joke.
And then there's only fans which last year swelled from 12 million users to 85 million, and now I'm sure there's some boomers out there saying, Bill, only fans, what the hell is that? Oh, don't worry. It's just a side hustle your daughter's using to pay off her college debt.
No, no, it's it's just a platform where you can share recipes or maybe your poetry.
Yeah, you can do that. But no one does. It's women showing their vaginas to a webcam so men can masturbate.
I'm sorry, I'm being crude.
What I meant was Only Fans is a social media site where over a million creators provide exclusive content to eighty five million subscribers who are masturbating.
Because apparently that's what our economy revolves around now, losers in their week old underwear, paying poor, desperate Web girlfriends to fake an orgasm while a toddler cries in the next room. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. According to the website strip chat, this kind of thing has become so routine that there's actually now a most popular time of day to take a break from your busy schedule and rub one out. And that's between 3:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon, what I call happy hour.
Jesus, forget Harriet Tubman. They ought to put this guy on the twenty. I mean, I'm looking forward to the day when only fans merges with Cambio to become only cameo.
Well, you can order those has been celebs to do freaky shit. That's when we'll know our economy has hit rock bottom when you can make Ian Ziering open a bottle of beer with his asshole.
And he does it because, hey, anything for a fan, I'm afraid Valentine's Day this year will just be another reminder of how brutal this lockdown has been for single people. Over half of 18 to 34 year olds don't have a steady romantic partner and they're losing precious dating time. Women's biological clock or ticking guys are balding. In the last 50 years, the share of Americans who live alone has doubled.
Which begs the question, if single people are such a large part of this country now, why do our political and economic policies always still revolve around families? Just once I'd like to hear a politician say, I'm Congressman Harry Spooner and I'm not for working families. I'm for people whose babies ended up in the reservoir tip.
Last week, Mitt Romney literally said this.
He said American families are facing greater financial strain. We have not reformed our family support system in nearly decade. Three decades in our changing economy has left millions of families behind. Now is the time to renew our commitment to families as they take on the most important work any of us will ever do, raising our society's children. Shut the fuck up. Is any. Does any politician ever get how insulting this is to such a large swath of people you like kids and family, great, you do you but for millions of others, getting a good night's sleep, not sharing the remote or changing dirty diapers, never having to have a relationship, talk or listen to a passive aggressive sigh.
Priceless. Happy Valentine's Day, everybody. Thank you very much. That's our show, I guess, for us next week. I want to thank Markos Moulitsas, Steve Schmidt and Representative Adam Kissinger. Yes, we are off next week. We'll find that tape. Thank you very much. Catch all new episodes of Real Time with Bill Maher every Friday night at 10:00. We'll watch him any time on HBO. On demand for more information, log on to HBO Dotcom.