On Friday's Real Time show on HBO, far-left comedian Bill Maher made plenty of room for crass and hyperbolic attacks on President Donald Trump. The show featured everything from incest jokes about Ivanka Trump to offering a serious warning that President Trump might follow Adolf Hitler's lead in bringing "fascism" to America after a terrorist attack reminiscent of the burning of the Germany Reichstag building in the 1930s.
During the show's opening monologue, the HBO host made his first crack about incest as he recalled:
Here's our real descent into the banana republic. Ivanka -- you know Ivanka Trump, his beautiful daughter-wife, Ivanka. (pauses for audience laughter) This week, she was given an office right there in the West Wing and security clearance to see classified information. She will not be paid a salary. Because she's a woman.
As the panel discussion began, Maher read a statement from Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu calling for the "entire Trump agenda" to be "paused" because he might be an "illegitimate President," and then went to guest Max Brooks of the Modern War Institute. Brooks raised his voice and hyperbolically compared Republicans to "America's Hamas." Brooks:
I think he's speaking to a bigger point, is: When are we going to get -- as liberals, as Democrats -- when are we going to get our FDR balls back? And when are we gonna fight? Because trying to negotiate and hug it out is not working, and it doesn't work because we're not trying to negotiate with people like us, we're negotiating with America's Hamas. And they respect strength and power and force. And that's it.
Smiling, Maher replied: "Wow. And that's how we begin the panel discussion."
A bit later, the HBO host brought up Trump's son, Donald Jr., and explained why he "hates" him as the HBO host again compared him to the sons of dictators like Saddam Hussein. Maher:
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And Don Jr., you know, I think has always wanted to say, "Look, I'm not just Uday or Kusay Hussein. (pauses for audience laughter) I'm not just Baby Doc Duvalier. I'm not Kim Jung Un -- Kim Jong Duh, whatever, you know. I'm my own person. Don't hate me for being Donald Trump's son." And I don't. I hate him because he shoots f***ing lions.
Maher then read out made-up quotes from Donald Jr., and made his second crass incest joke aimed at Ivanka. Maher:
If Dad and Putin were just wrestling, why did they act so weird when I walked in? My dad's jokes always make me laugh because I want him to leave me money when he dies. If Dad and Ivanka were just wrestling -- (pauses for audience laughter and moves on to next fake quote)
Later in the panel segment, Maher brought aboard Yale Professor Timothy Snyder to warn the audience of how Trump could follow Hitler's lead to become a despot:
BILL MAHER: And Hitler gets elected in 1933 -- elected
PROFESSOR TIMOTHY SNYDER, YALE UNIVERSITY: Right. So you're elected -- you don't necessarily have policies that are popular. After the election, there's a mysterious terrorist attack. You use that as the occasion to-
MAHER: Hitler burned -- Hitler's henchmen burned down the Reichstag, which was their parliament.
SNYDER: We don't know who burned it down.
MAHER: And they blamed it on the Mexicans.
SNYDER: No, it was the Muslims. But the point is -- the serious point is that when the terrorist attack comes, you will not necessarily know who did it, but what you can know is that certain kinds of leaders will use that moment to suspend your rights. So when that moment comes, despite your fear and your grief, during your fear and your grief, you have to mobilize and protest for your own rights because the Reichstag fire is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book.We cannot let that trick be played.
MAHER: Okay. I'm glad you said that.