“Doesn’t Bernie deserve this?” That was the question Bill Maher asked his panel on Friday night’s episode of Real Time when the discussion turned to Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who has turned what seemed like it would be a months-long coronation of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president, upside down.
Maher’s argument, which centered on 2016 already having been proven to be the year that “anything can happen,” citing Donald Trump’s ascendence and staying power at the top of the Republican primary as the ultimate evidence, was further enforced when MSNBC host and reporter Alex Wagner asked him if he feels that Sanders “is on the level we need for him to be” regarding foreign policy.
“F*ck yeah,” responded Maher forcefully to the delight of the studio audience.
“We have never had anyone do this,” Maher continued while spelling out key points of Sanders’ economic policy. Saying that “we don’t know how many leftists have sat out election after election because they though the two parties are too alike,” he reinforced his original point that while we may believe we know the eventual end game for the Sanders campaign, we really don’t at all “because this is the year with no rules.”
Wagner and fellow guest, author and former Rolling Stone columnist, P.J. O’Rourke, were somewhat skeptical. Wagner asked Maher, “with what congress?” when the host listed some of Sanders’ economic goals, such as making college free. And O’Rourke pointed out that we’ll likely at least begin to get the answer as to how many leftists really are out there and prepared to go to the polls at Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.
Still, Maher’s claim that Sanders, formerly a frequent guest on Real Time, has proven as good a bet as anyone at this point, made plenty of sense.