Bill Maher: Why Trump won’t be forced out of office

If you think Bill Maher is alt-right, have a listen to this clip in which he strongly denigrates Trump and the Republicans, but also argues that given Trump’s disdain for the law, there’s no way he will be impeached or forced out of office by criminal behavior. I’m not so sure that that’s the case: even if he can pardon himself, or have Pence do so, an indictment would surely mean an impeachment, and probably a successful one.

Bari Weiss is also on the panel, but the clip of her discussing stuff with Maher will have to wait until YouTube puts it up. They’ll undoubtedly have talked about the “Intellectual Dark Web.”

h/t: Enrico

66 Comments

  1. Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Regarding Weiss: I also thought they’d discuss the IDW when I saw she was a guest. Surprisingly it wasn’t brought up.

  2. Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Maher got one thing wrong. He said; “Republicans are fresh out of honor”. There’s nothing fresh about it. Same is true of the Democrats, though they have the added burden of being incompetent.

    We are well into the last days of our Republic.

  3. Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Who is saying Bill Maher is alt-right? That’s just crazy talk.

    Other than the discussion about Israel vs Palestine, Bari Weiss didn’t have anything notable to say as I remember it.

    I watched the whole show. Unfortunately, there is no “overtime” on YouTube as he announced at the end that he had to immediately catch a plane to Vegas for a stand-up show.

    • Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      I had the same question about Maher being alt-right; guess I never had heard that before. However, many of us concur that Teflon Don, the Orange Draft Dodger, will not be ousted from office. My money has long been on him resigning in a huff because of all of the witch hunts and the deep state impeding his MAGA [make TRump richer] agenda

      • Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        I agree with Maher on Trump not being impeached or, if he is, not being convicted. The GOP is disgustingly complicit for the most part and Trump’s disinformation war has been very successful. I doubt he’ll quit unless it seems to him that there’s no way out at all. He might quit the day before a sentence is to be given out but only if it is absolutely certain he will lose.

        • Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          And he will spin it so it looks like he left on his own terms.

          His supporters won’t care, and he will have made who-knows-how-much off of private business interests facilitated by his shady deals with… everyone. And he will never be held accountable for that, either.

    • Martin X
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      It’s a common tactic among the left to label anyone as alt-right who isn’t totally onboard with their ideology. e.g., Sam Harris, Steven Pinker.

      Of course, the right does the thing…if you aren’t a fascist, then you’re a socialist.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Bill Maher advocates free speech. He hosts conservatives and he can be affable toward them. And recently he did get into some hot water using the n-word in a joke. He is a bit of a comic, and comics instinctively use shock to get a laugh. But it backfired this time.

  4. davidintoronto
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    America seems too divided to support the high bar of impeachment/conviction. And even if that were to happen, I suspect that angry conservatives would rally around President Pence (who might actually get more of the Republican agenda accomplished) and possibly ensure a Pence election victory in 2020.

    At this point, it might be better to just wait out the remaining 2+ years and/or hope that Trump self-destructs and resigns.

  5. Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Maher is right. Talk of impeachment is the opiate of liberals. Republicans know he’s not going anywhere. The US is sunk, and it’s just a question of whether or how many other countries it can drag down with it. With 40+% of the US not seeing any problem, it’s already too late.

    • Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      I think that other countries have relied on the USA to keep them afloat for too long.

  6. Hempenstein
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Maher’s been wrong about vaccines, so he could make it a twofer.

    Meanwhile, an errant bit of atherosclerotic plaque could make the subject moot. But until then the USA needs a PFA.

    • Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Hemp-man – have you forgotten? Trump’s doc had only glowing things to say about the Orange One’s excellent health! [oh, minor details, he is overweight and taking Crestor and aspirin]. The doc also stretched DT’s height to 6’3″ as a hedge against his being seriously overweight – comparative pictures of Trump and others of know height show that he is 6’1″ at the most.

      • Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        So if he dies in office, it will be a liberal conspiracy must be investigated. His KKK/Nazi/conspiracy supporters like being in the limelight.

    • ploubere
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      I don’t recall Maher being anti-vax. He is dependably on the side of science.

      • Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t remember that either but it’s true. It’s mentioned on his Wikipedia page. Science is one of Maher’s weak areas. While he believes in anthropocentric global climate change, one shouldn’t quiz him too much on the underlying science.

      • tomh
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Maher is completely anti-science on the whole subject of Western medicine, especially vaccines.

      • Posted May 20, 2018 at 5:48 am | Permalink

        Yeah, that’s what I thought last this came up here. But then somebody posted video of him claiming you don’t need a flu jab (or it might even have been MMR) if you lead a healthy lifestyle. He is somewhat anti-vax.

        He is, however, right about Donald Trump. I think the left is far too optimistic about the chance of trump being removed from office. I see no evidence of enough wrong doing from him to get him impeached and then for him to lose the subsequent trial.

        There are three ways in which Trump will leave the White House

        1. By resigning or declining to run in 2020.

        2. In a wooden box (he’s over 70 and he doesn’t look that fit to me, so this is a possibility).

        3. Being booted by the voters.

        You can’t do anything about 1, trying to encourage 2 is very much illegal, so 3 is the only option. Trump’s approval rating is now around 42%. He’s converging on Reagan and and Truman at the same stage of their careers and they both got a second term.

        Unless the people who don’t want Trump realise that 3 is their only option and do something, he will get a second term.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I’ve said from the get-go that Trump will thrust this nation into its greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War, that he will stress-test our institutions and norms to their breaking points, but I cannot share Maher’s cynicism.

    I’ve given up hope on the Banana Republicans in congress ever to show any patriotism or backbone. But if the Democrats take the House of Representatives in a blue wave this Fall, if special counsel Mueller returns his report, and if the new congress next year undertakes televised public hearings on all the filthy Trump laundry Mueller’s report will no doubt reveal, then senate Republicans (at least 20 of whom are up for reelection in 2020, many in purple states) may see the light of their own political self-interest and run the dirty orange bastard out of office.

    In 1973, a year after the Watergate break-in, Richard Nixon (who months earlier had carried 49 states and won over 60% of the popular vote) looked like a lot longer shot to leave office than Trump does right now. Yet he was gone 14 months later.

    Oh, and anybody thinks Bill Maher is “alt-right,” has an IQ lower than an endurance athlete’s resting heart-rate.

    • Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Blue wave? It’ll be a ripple. At best.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        The magic number in the House is 24 seats. If the Dems can swing at least that many, they will gain the chairmanship of the committees, and the House can start conducting some honest hearings, instead of the national embarrassment that’s gone on in the first session of the 115th Congress.

        It may not be a wave, but the early signs — special election results, the generic ballot poll results, Trump’s underwater numbers, and the unusually high number of Republicans incumbents who’ve decided not to seek reelection — suggest that it may be more than a trickle.

        • Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          I agree the Repubs look to lose more than a few seats. But it all depends on who the Dems run. I am not following it closely (nor do I intend to), but I have little doubt the Dems will double down on the things that cost them the election.

          My prediction*; in order to gain control they will have to primary people who have to win in Republican districts and they will mostly field people who can’t win in republican districts. That’s the trap of our primary system – it’s works to bring forth the extremes in the parties and the Dems can’t seem to win with even middle of the road candidates.

          *I do fervently hope I am wrong.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

            If the Dems don’t swing the House, it will take a video of Trump abusing a furry little animal to remove him from office. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

            • Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

              That he’d just deny. But something more symbolic- say, ripping out the heart of a (white) baby from the crowd and eating it, wouldn’t that also fulfill biblical prophesy?
              Doesn’t his son own the 666 building? Jesus or Satan, I’ve read that either one works for the Evangelicals.

          • nicky
            Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

            You fervently hope you are wrong, but we all fear you might be right.

          • Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

            The Dems mostly need to avoid firing too early. Best to wait until a couple of months before the mid-term election and then make a big push. Who knows what the news and mood will be at that point?

            • rickflick
              Posted May 20, 2018 at 12:01 am | Permalink

              A lot depends on luck and timing. If the economy is very strong or a war breaks out, Trumpism will last another 2 years. A lot of people don’t care if Trump is an a-hole. They just want to keep their guns, and end welfare and abortion. The way I see it, the country can go either way the wind blows when it’s time to drop ballots.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted May 20, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

                Do we need a weatherman to know which way the winds blow?

        • Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          The school shootings will bring a lot of people out against Trump and the Republicans. There’s no sign of gun control legislation or the shootings stopping. The NRA has jumped the shark as many gun owners feel they were completely out of line with their reaction to the Parkland massacre. The kids are certainly energized. They won’t all forget about it by November.

          • rickflick
            Posted May 20, 2018 at 12:02 am | Permalink

            I’m guessing they WILL forget about it in 4 or 5 days.

            • Harrison
              Posted May 20, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

              Well the Parkland shooing was 3 months ago and the kids haven’t let it go yet.

              Maybe it’s possible that when they say they’re scared for their lives and aren’t letting this go, they mean it.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Since Nixon went 14 months beyond his one year anniversary, we should only have four more months to endure the Dirty Orange Bass Turd.

      • Posted May 20, 2018 at 5:52 am | Permalink

        Errr, that was in Nixon’s second term. You have four years and four months.

    • Historian
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      I am not as sanguine as you that Trump will be removed even if Mueller’s report is devastating to him. Some experts have started to hedge on whether there will be a blue wave in the House of Representatives. Even if the House impeaches, I so distrust the Republicans that I don’t take it as a given that the 18 to 20 votes needed to remove will be there. But, let’s say he is removed. Will he voluntarily leave office? Will he claim that somehow the impeachment process was illegitimate? Will the U.S. marshals have to forcibly remove him? And, most importantly, how will his cult followers react? Violence and civil war is not in the realm of fantasy, especially if Trump eggs it on. Yes, a constitutional crisis on the par with the Civil War may be brewing. Whatever the outcome, the country will never be the same. In 1865, the result of the war was a better country. This will probably not be the case here if Trump is removed.

      • Harrison
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        The issue is that if they lose the House then Don’s tenure in the Executive will effectively be worthless to them, because his only function to Republicans is rubber-stamping their agenda.

        This will put ALL the pressure on the Senate Republicans. Remember, Senators don’t get the luxury of gerrymandering. They’re voted on by the whole state and if they were the ONLY roadblock to throwing out this clown, they would quickly see their jobs in peril and enough of them might pre-emptively decide to switch sides and boot him out. Maher is right that they have no honor, but they do have self-preservation instincts.

        However the best case scenario is that the entire Republican party goes down with the clown.

        • Historian
          Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

          You may be right, but we have to remember that Senate Republicans up for re-election need to win their primaries. If they alienate the Trump base this will not happen. So, for many their strategy may be to win their primaries first and worry about the general election later.

          • Harrison
            Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

            Honestly the best thing that could happen to Republcians from the point of view of the rest of the country is if their self-selection process became so toxic that nobody electable could make it through the other side. That would be what causes them to implode into irrelevance the fastest.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          Aside from the wingnuts in the House’s 30-member strong “Freedom Caucus,” congressional Republicans secretly loath Trump, the vast majority of ’em anyway, I think. What keeps them in line is their fear of his ramped-up, volatile hardcore base, without which Republicans cannot win elections.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        The scenarios you hypothesize are among those I had in mind when I spoke of a “constitutional crisis.” Bad as Nixon was — and he was a political thug always to be found on the low road — he was enough of an institutionalist that there were some lines even he wouldn’t cross.

        Not so, Donald Trump. I can’t imagine any level too vile for Trump to sink below to forestall his morbid fear of being labeled a “loser.” The fate of the Republic could ultimately hinge on whether the Pentagon heeds a call to set up a perimeter on Pennsylvania Avenue.

        I fear we’re in for something worse than anything any of us has ever seen before.

      • Diane Garlick
        Posted May 21, 2018 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        “Will the U.S. marshals have to forcibly remove him? And, most importantly, how will his cult followers react? Violence and civil war is not in the realm of fantasy…”

        And conveniently they’re already very well armed.

    • jay
      Posted May 20, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      The Watergate scandal involved spying by the administration against a political opponent. Now that the NYT and WP have actually had to that an FBI informant was secretly placed in the Trump campaign, their spin is that ‘it was to protect him’. Yup.

      The DC corruption is very old, and very deep. Crosses party lines (I knew a guy some years back who was a House staffer for several Demmocratic reps. The parties huff and puff but it’s mostly just a show. Now someone has broken this out into the open–let the kicking and screaming begin.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 20, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Damn, dude, careful what kinda fever you’re contracting from the right-wing media swamp. An American academic living in England reported on conversations he had with Trump campaign apparatchiks George Papadopoulos and Carter Page about Russian efforts to help Trump. That’s it. The FBI didn’t place a mole in the Trump campaign. That’s a figment of the fever-swamp imagination.

      • Posted May 20, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Not even close. The FBI already had an open case they were investigating and obtained a warrant to do their “spying”, none of which is true of the Watergate burglars who obviously were not acting as law enforcement professionals. And, yes, I know that Republicans are investigating whether the FBI acted legally in obtaining the warrant. My guess is that they will find that they did as there is no “deep state”.

  8. Diana MacPherson
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Bari didn’t talk about the IDW but she did defend Israel and talk about the tactics of Hamas. I’m sure that will get her in trouble with the Left again.

  9. ploubere
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Maher is unfortunately right, the possibility of getting an impeachment through congress is nil.
    There also won’t be a blue wave, the numbers and the system are all against the dems, who are incapable of running strong, populist campaigns anyway. It’s all so depressing.

    • Harrison
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      The numbers were against Doug Jones as well. Every liberal I knew was ready to concede to the reality of Roy Moore in the Senate.

      The first thing liberals need to do is stop embracing defeatism and apathy.

      • Mikeyc
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Jones has no chance – zero nada zilch- in the next election. He only won the special election because Moore got the nom in a plurality in the Republican primary. Moore was too toxic for most Republicans and Jones barely beat him. Jones is a dead man walking.

        • Derek Freyberg
          Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          I’m not sure that’s so (Jones’s chance of re-election, not Moore’s creepieness and asshole-isness). I don’t know the local politics, but incumbency is a huge advantage in almost any election.

          • ploubere
            Posted May 19, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

            The republicans own the South, except for a few big cities. Jones stands no chance against a not-completely-tarnished republican.
            However, there is now a good chance of Phil Bredesen winning the Senate seat to replace Corker in Tennessee.

      • Posted May 20, 2018 at 5:59 am | Permalink

        Roy Moore had allegations of sex with minors and rape against him and Doug Jones barely beat him.

        I like your optimism.

  10. nicky
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Our only hope appears to be a very strong showing of the Dems later this year.
    The first thing is getting them out to vote, I guess.
    Mr Trumps approval ratings are still quite low, but ominously creeping up. And the Reps organised some gigantic funding.
    I disagree with mr Maher that House and Senate cannot get rid of Mr Trump. If the House is ‘blue’ (as yet a great if) and the Senate tight, there might just be enough Rep Senators who would like to get rid of, what they would also consider a clown, and if Mueller’s report is out, a traitor.

    • Posted May 20, 2018 at 1:44 am | Permalink

      It might also be that Trump will do something so stupid that he would bring himself down in some bizarre and unforeseen manner.

      • Posted May 20, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        It might though I can’t think of what it would be such that the GOP and his base would care. This is the one thing that scares me the most: the fear that there’s no stopping him. Can anyone name an event, other than a heart attack, that would bring him down in the eyes of his supporters and apologists?

      • Diane Garlick
        Posted May 21, 2018 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        How stupid can you get?

    • Posted May 20, 2018 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      Trump’s approval rating is in the same ballpark as that of Reagan, Truman and Obama at the same stage of their presidencies. All of them got second terms.

      trump is not going to get impeached and I wouldn’t bet against a second term.

  11. CAS
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Given past history, Maher is probably correct about Trump. If all else fails, I hope that he eventually gets prosecuted in NY state along with some of his minions. No presidential pardons to be had there!

  12. FA
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Charged with what? It looks more likely to me the Mueller probe will implode than Trump. I think there is very little evidence that there was any collusion. At best, you might have intent to collude by some Trump proxies, which, as far as I can tell, isn’t a crime. Stormy Daniels won’t amount to anything either, given democrats like John Edwards got away with something similar. It won’t affect him politically either, as no one should have been surprised that a thrice married man who cheated on his precious wives did so again. With Democrats doubling down on what cost the election, and Clinton continuously popping up to remind everyone how awful she is, I’m starting to doubt democrats retaking the House this year too.

    • Posted May 20, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      We always hear these claims that there’s “very little evidence that there was any collusion’. Please remember that Mueller and his team have released nothing so far. All we have besides partisan speculation are several indictments and guilty pleas. Truth is we don’t know if there was collusion yet.

    • Posted May 20, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      “I’m starting to doubt democrats retaking the House this year too.”

      From the emails I get from them, I doubt that they *want* to “retake” anything. However, if elected [fill-in-the-blank], will be happy to serve.

      Maybe.

  13. Posted May 20, 2018 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    Maher, incidentally also predicted that Trump would be gone by the end of the year. But the year he was referring to was 2017.

    One prediction was has come true was from David Frum — that the next line of defense would be “Well, is treason really all that bad?”

    • Posted May 20, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      David Frum, although he identifies as conservative, is a welcome voice of reason. I really like his writing.

  14. jay
    Posted May 20, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    To impeach successfully, you need to have an actual crime (meeting with Russians does not in itself constitute a crime–though one might question Kerry’s secret meetings with the Iranians). So far Mueller has come up with a bunch of hand waving but nothing concrete at all–including indicting a company that did not exist at the time. Since he got challenged in court (something not expected from overseas individuals), though, he’s now going to have to submit to discovery, which apparently he was not prepared to do.

    But now that the woodpile has been kicked, a whole lot of illegal behavior in the FBI has been uncoverd, including the handling of Hillary. Former FBI assistant director Kallstrom suggests that the previous administration coverup issue went ‘all the to the top’ while not explicitly naming Obama.

    DC has become a circular firing squad. The upcoming IG report will probably add a lot more to the fire, while Mueller is mostly smoke and mirrors.

  15. Posted May 20, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Smoke, mirrors, and a few guilty pleas so far.

    • tomh
      Posted May 21, 2018 at 1:40 am | Permalink

      Seventeen indictments and five guilty pleas is a lot of smoke and mirrors. And there’s a lot more to come.

  16. David Jorling
    Posted May 20, 2018 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I don’t want him impeached. Pence is a religious nut case. And I suspect if Trump were removed from office there would be an armed insurrection of some degree by some of his supporters. The election later this year is the most important one in our history, but it’s beginning to look like the Dems will not do as well as hoped. If they don’t take over majorities in both houses (and its very unlikely to happen in the Senate, anyway) the 2020 election will likely be a sham, and we will have our very own il Duce.


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