Janet Van Ham/HBO via AP
The host of HBO’s “Real Time” isn’t likely to become a board member of the National Rifle Association any time soon. However, he does claim to be a gun owner. The left-leaning host is the kind of guy who is usually saying things that will infuriate the average Bearing Arms reader when he pontificates on whatever.
However, Maher had a piece of advice to Democrats battling for the presidential nomination, and it’s one that a lot of Dems aren’t going to want to hear.
“Real Time” host Bill Maher cautioned Democrats not to make gun control a prominent issue in the 2020 election, urging them not to “die on this hill” if it means losing to President Trump.
During his panel discussion Friday night, Maher listed several issues on which Democrats’ stands poll better than Republicans,’ such as the environment, education and health care. But he noted that Republicans hold a narrow lead over Democrats on gun policy.
Maher then mentioned President Trump’s recent sit-down with British TV personality Pierce Morgan, where the president mentioned that some people own guns for recreational use.
“I don’t like guns. Have some, don’t like them, have it for [an] emergency, like an antibiotic,” Maher told the panel, “but some people do. Lots of people do and their view is, ‘Yes there is a violence problem with guns, but not me. And you’re going after me.’”
Maher added he had doubts whether solutions proposed by Democrats “would solve the gun problem,” and that “to die on this hill and lose an election” was a real possibility because “we’ve lost elections before on this issue, which is not a winning issue for Democrats.”
Maher also argued that Democrats need to learn more about guns.
Honestly, there’s not much to disagree with there with regard to the Second Amendment. It’s not a winning strategy.
Unfortunately, Democrats feel empowered after their midterm election wins. They’re convinced that those gains mean the American people are behind them.
I’ve argued since then that the gains were, at best, modest. They gained ground in the House, but not nearly as much as they should have with an allegedly unpopular president and his party holding both chambers of Congress. They should have gained a lot more ground. Further, they lost ground in the Senate, mostly due to the Democratic shenanigans during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, but their stance on guns likely didn’t help them with rural voters in most states.
In other words, guns control wasn’t a winning issue. A case could be made that they would have gained even more ground had they stopped pushing gun regulations.
Maher’s warning is probably very accurate. If Democrats want to win, they need to drop the anti-gun rhetoric. They need to drop the ghoulish reaction to mass shootings. They need to recognize that despite their fervent desires, the Second Amendment isn’t going anywhere.
If Democrats like Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker–I’m not lumping Rep. Eric “Nuke ’em All” Swalwell in this group because I’m pretty sure I have a better shot at the nomination than he does–need to drop the anti-gun rhetoric and stop making it such a key focus of their campaigns. Yes, the Democratic base loves it.
However, the Democratic base isn’t enough to elect them to office. They have to campaign to the American people as a whole, and the American public isn’t nearly as interested in gun control as anti-gunners like to believe.
In fact, as Maher points out, many of those are going to feel personally attacked by the anti-gun rhetoric.
Too bad for the Democrats that they’re not going to listen, though.