Real Time with Bill Maher's overtime was much livelier than the main program. The following exchange with a Conservative who slammed Trump and most of the rank and file Republican establishment was epic.
Conservative MSNBC contributor Bret Stephens did not pull any punches about what he thought about Trump and the current crop Republicans.
Conservative former Republican Bret Stephens hits the party
Bill Maher's guests included author Salman Rushdie, author Fran Lebowitz, and MSNBC Contributor Bret Stephens. Maher stated that historians would be perplexed about the rationale for Clinton polarization. The discussion changed directions when Stephens shocked Maher with his disdain for Republicans and for saying he would vote for Clinton over many current Republicans. And he did not hold back on Mike Pence.
" I think future historians will be just so puzzled why so many people in America found Hillary Clinton to be this polarizing," Bill Maher said. "I mean I could see why you wouldn't vote for her. You wouldn't vote for unless it was Donald Trump. Right? You I mean you in this situation you wouldn't have. You know McCain or Mitt Romney I mean there's nobody else in the Republican Party practically you could probably think of."
"No on the contrary," said Bret Stephens. "I could never have voted for a guy like Mike Pence."
"You would vote for Hillary over Mike Pence?" Maher asked.
"Yeah probably," Stephens replied.
"You are my hero," Maher said.
"The difference between Trump and Pence is that Trump is an authentic fraud, right?" Stephens said. "And Pence is in a sense exactly the opposite. He is a fraudulent authentic. And when Pence sort of attests to Donald's goodness as a man, and you know he doesn't believe a word of it. But he's saying this with this kind of pious oleaginous fake sincerity. It's terrible because you know he knew. With Trump, you never know that he knows that he's lying. Because there's always the interface of the manic personality disorders. But Pence is a man in his right mind."
"And that's why he's preferable," Maher replied. I've seen Mike Pence before. You're right he's a typical arch-conservative Christian hypocrite. And we've seen them before and to use your phrase; it's a survivable event. Is there anybody else you think among the right, who you would prefer Hillary Clinton to?"
"Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee," Stephens replied.
"Mike Huckabee?" an astonished Maher replied. "Wow."
"I don't like this hyper piousness in Republican politics. I mean the Republican Party at its best, in a dream world the Republican Party would stand for aspiration opportunity and inclusion."
"That's the Democratic Party," replied Fran Lebowitz.
"Especially on the aspirational front," Stephens continued. "It is a right to rise party. Now we can have an argument, perfectly sensible whether their solutions are right. But it's aspirational. It means going from lower middle class to upper class, from Joni Ernst to Senator, for example. Shoving someone else's Christian piety done my Jewish throat is not kosher."
Bret Stephen said he is no longer a Republican. And that is a problem. The people who should be rebuilding the party are no longer Republicans thus leaving a vacuum that is getting filled with Right Wing extremists and worse.
Also published on Medium.