HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher ripped into activists who followed Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) into a bathroom last week at Arizona State University where she teaches and harassed her over her opposition to a massive spending bill that most of her party backs.
In addition, Maher also lashed out at Democrat progressives, blaming them for holding up a $1.5 trillion infrastructure spending bill as hostage while demanding that they first pass a $3.5 trillion spending bill that Sinema and fellow moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., also opposes.
“I think this is outrageous,” Maher said of the intrusion into Sinema’s privacy on his Friday evening show. “You may not like the politics, but when this s**t starts to happen, I don’t know where the safe space is in America. And I don’t know where it ends.”
In response, panelist Michael Render, who is known as the rapper “Killer Mike,” said while he “doesn’t think it’s right” for people to follow politicians into bathrooms and accost them, he nevertheless pushed Democrats, telling them they “need to bring something home” in terms of spending measures that are currently opposed by nearly all Republicans in Congress.
“Your base is angry with you,” the rapper said in a warning to Democrats, claiming they aren’t moving quickly enough to pass those bills.
“But one reason they’re not bringing anything home — they could have that $1 trillion infrastructure bill. And, by the way, $1 trillion – still to some people, is a lot of money,” Maher replied. “It’s a lot of jobs, building bridges and roads and all kinds of stuff. That’s being held up, Mike, by people who are saying what you’re saying. ‘We want everything and we want it now. And if we don’t get it, then you don’t get anything.’ And sometimes when you ask for the whole loaf, you get none!”
Render pushed back, however, saying, “And sometimes you get more when you push for more.”
“Not in Washington,” Maher fired back. “Not very often in Washington.”
A second panelist, Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, co-author of the new book “Peril” with Bob Woodward, said that Democrats are warring with each other over the cost of spending bills while “democracy in this country is on the brink” and is “being tested in every single state.”
During his show last week, Maher stood up for Sinema and Manchin, both of whom have said they can’t support the $3.5 trillion package because they believe it is too expensive. Manchin has offered to support a smaller $1.5 trillion bill, but that was quickly rejected by other Democrats and most especially the party’s progressive faction.
“I know this budget sh*t is boring and wonky, but what is going on in this country?” Maher asked. “We need to talk about it, let’s spice it up by thinking about it this way, you know when they do surveys of married couples or even couples in relationships when they always find out that the number one thing that people fight about, no close second, is money.”
“People fight about money and that’s what the Democrats are doing, mommy and daddy are fighting about money,” he said.
“They have two bills, they’ve passed neither one, one they could pass right now, that’s $1.2 trillion, that’s just for infrastructure,” he added, which is “actually building roads and bridges and stuff like that.”
“A couple of years ago, I think we’d have been very happy to just have that,” he said. “Then they have this other $3.5 trillion bill that’s for lots of other stuff like child care, community college, universal pre-k, Medicare expansion, paid family and medical leave, a lot of… (audience claps) free stuff, always popular.
“Here’s my question. Does spending more money make you a better person? Or a bigger moderate? And maybe these two, Sinema and Manchin, do they have their thumb more on the pulse on the average Democrat in the country?” Maher asked.
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