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New Rule: Stop the Spiel | Real Time with Bill Maher | Transcript

There’s still nine months to go before the next election – can we please not make it even more tedious than it already is?
New Rule: Stop the Spiel | Real Time with Bill Maher

February 16, 2024

Bill Maher critiques the extreme rhetoric and hyperbolic statements prevalent in political discourse, particularly in the context of the US political landscape as the election approaches. He mocks both sides of the political spectrum for their exaggerated claims about the impact of Joe Biden’s presidency, ranging from economic issues to personal grievances, and highlights the absurdity of blaming him for virtually every problem. He then sarcastically addresses the notions of cancel culture, partisanship, and the comparison of political figures to historical villains, underscoring the tediousness and predictability of partisan arguments. Bill calls for a more measured approach to political discussion, lamenting the loss of nuance and the rise of mindless partisanship that has led to widespread disillusionment among the electorate, especially independents.

* * *

And finally, new rule: There’s still nine months to go before the election, and my nerves are already shot. So, everybody has to stop turning the hyperbole knob up to 11. Sean Hannity says things like,

“Every single thing you can think of is worse under Joe Biden.”

Oh, for sake, Kimberly, stop being such a drama queen or go change your pad… Right, the American dream is dead because Mars Bars used to cost a dollar, and now they cost $1.25. Yes, everything is worse under Biden: the flowers don’t smell as sweet, the WiFi is slower, IHOP tables are stickier, boners aren’t as stiff, and even the fentanyl doesn’t hit like it used to. You know, it’s just… it just gets so dull constantly hearing the same talking points, you know they would be making no matter how things were going. Congresswoman Nancy Mace said,

“To be honest, it’s been a complete show since Trump left the White House.”

So, the show came after the hand-to-hand combat inside the Capitol?

Now, would I choose Joe Biden as my partner in the Squid Games? No, but… but facts are facts. For months, we’ve been treated to a steady stream of very good economic news: unemployment is low, the stock market is high, we’re investing billions in a green energy economy, only minutes after it was too late… Uh, every single economist thought we’d be in a recession by now. No, job growth keeps going up; everyone who wants a job can find one, except Nikki Haley…

Uh, inflation is down to normal levels, home ownership is up, GDP way up. Our economy came back from the pandemic and outperformed all of our peer nations by margins that are not even close. Or, as the American Enterprise Institute says,

“Joe Biden and the FED have completely ruined the US economy.”

It’s boring. You’re boring me. I know what you hacks on both sides, yes, are going to say before you even say it.

“Biden has decimated the military.”

Yeah, like you said Obama did, and Clinton did. Even though Biden’s military spending went up from Trump’s, just as every military budget goes up under every president.

Senator Marsha Blackburn says,

“Joe Biden has destroyed US energy independence,”

apparently by producing record amounts of energy of all kinds and more than at any time under Trump. There are numbers for this stuff. Biden’s environmental left hates him because he auctioned off 73 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for drilling and approved the Willow project on the North Slope of Alaska. We pump more oil than Russia does now, more than Saudi Arabia. Or, as Lauren Boebert explains,

“Under Biden, we are back to being dependent on the Middle East again.”

With all due respect, Congresswoman, don’t jerk me off.

And is it really… is it really healthy to blame every problem in your life on Joe Biden?

“I can’t find a job in this historically low unemployment economy. Thanks a lot, Joe Biden. The price of milk in France has gone up. I blame Biden. My wife hasn’t had sex with me for months. Damn you, Joe Biden.”

You know, a record number of Americans identified now as Independents, making them the largest political block by far. And I think the reason for that is this kind of mindless partisanship, which isn’t just making it harder to get things done; it’s boring.

For a while, liberal media was full of headlines and quotes about how, not only was Ron DeSantis just as bad as Trump, he would be worse, more dangerous than Trump, who’s Hitler. Okay, okay. Donald Trump is not Adolf Hitler, just a big fan…

Does everything have to go to Defcon 1 right away? Can’t you just not like DeSantis but concede he’s not Trump? I think if he lost an election, he’d concede. He served in the military; he didn’t weasel his way out of it. He works with the other team when there’s a disaster, and when he does, he even signals his support for the gay community.

Look, this is going to be a long, grueling, and mostly pointless campaign since everyone already knows which of the two elderly candidates they prefer to barely tolerate: the one who can’t walk upstairs or the one who can’t walk down ramps… But that’s where we are. Can we please not make it even more tedious than it already is? I don’t want to hear anymore about how somehow Joe Biden has the energy to completely destroy America even though he can’t open a package of nuts with his teeth. And I also don’t want to hear about how detention centers on the border are concentration camps, or cancel culture isn’t real, or there’s a war on women. Okay, there is a war on women, but it’s in Afghanistan… Really, that doesn’t reach you? No, you’re right, that’s the thing we should be doing, weird crew. I… I blame you. And as for there being no such thing as cancel culture, tell that to the Jeopardy guy, The Bachelor guy, the Dilbert guy, Louis C.K., Garrison Keillor, Chris Hardwick, Chris Matthews, Ellen, Sharon Osbourne, Dr. Seuss, Kevin Spacey, and the actress from The Mandalorian, which I assume is a hotel. And you do know that Armie Hammer doesn’t actually eat people, right? If there were no such thing as cancel culture, I’d still be on ABC, Al Franken would still be in the Senate, The Conners would still be funny, and Colin Kaepernick would have just won the Super Bowl.

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