Maher & Dan Savage: Dems Should 'Fight Dirty' & 'Cheat Like Republicans'

On Friday's Real Time on HBO, far-left columnist and gay activist Dan Savage -- known for making attacks on conservatives that are beyond inflammatory --  joined left-wing comedian Bill Maher in demonizing Republicans as the two agreed that Democrats should start "fighting dirty" and begin "cheating like Republicans."

Maher also questioned whether the recent Georgia special election was stolen, and Savage wrongly claimed that Democrats won the House elections popular vote by a million votes even though Republicans, in fact, won by three million votes.

In the opening monologue, host Maher likened the Senate Republican health care plan to a "serial killer." After recalling that President Donald Trump was successful in implementing his travel ban to prevent terrorists from entering the country, Maher added:

Donald Trump says he will not have foreign nationals coming here and killing innocent Americans. That's what the health care plan is for. Oh, yes, there's that one, too: repealing Obamacare. I mean, the Democrats are all excited that this is stalled now in the Senate except it's not dead. It's like the slasher movie when the baby sitter thinks she's killed the serial killer, but we can see he's getting up behind her. 

A bit later, Maher brought aboard Savage to discuss what Democrats should do to win elections in the future. The liberal columnist soon suggested cheating:

Bernie said -- and you've said this a lot -- that Democrats have to start fighting like Republicans -- which may include cheating like Republicans. Republicans win when Republicans cheat.

After Maher injected, "They do cheat, yes," Savage complained about gerrymandering as the two continued:

SAVAGE: Democrats -- Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.

MAHER: So did Al Gore.

SAVAGE: So did Al Gore, but that was, I think, a theft. But Democratic candidates took a million more votes in House races. But for gerrymandering, Democrats would have the majority in the House. The system is rigged like Bernie Sanders said, but it's rigged against Democrats.

in fact, Republicans beat Democrats in the House popular vote by more than three million votes in 2016. Savage is apparently still citing the numbers from 2012.

Moments later, the two likened the Republican party to a "prison gang," and Savage recommended that Democrats "fight dirty" as he added:

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Republicans have brass knuckles on, and Democrats don't. And Democrats need to pick up the brass knuckles and play the game that's actually being played. So many Democrats think that they're in Washington to set a good example for the GOP. And we need to start fighting like the GOP fights, and even fighting as dirty as the GOP fights.

Maher approvingly responded: "Okay. I'm glad you feel that way."

A bit later, Savage derided voters in red states as "knuckle drag America" as he recalled:

Democrats have to do a better job of turning those people out and stop chasing voters they're never going to get. Sending John Kerry out with a gun to shoot something right before the election didn't win him any votes in "knuckle drag America." 

Maher then claimed that, unlike Democrats, Republicans meet in an "underground lair" and plot strategy to do things like making up accusations of liberals being violent:

They meet in their underground lair, their volcano, and they say, "Okay, tomorrow we are all going to say that the Left is unhinged and violent," even though it's crazy. And somebody goes, "Wait, the Left is not violent." "Yeah, but we're going to say that -- we're all going to say that." And then it's going to become true to at least half the country. Democrats need to do that, don't you think?

Later in the show, after he brought aboard former counterterrorism official Richard Clarke to discuss Russian efforts to influence elections, Maher suggested that he believed the Georgia special election was somehow stolen by Republicans as he fretted:

Are you confident those elections will be on the up and up? Because I'm not even sure about that Georgia election we just had because he was ahead in the polls. Once again, they're ahead in the polls, and then I guess something happened.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Saturday, June 30, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO:

10:06 p.m. ET
BILL MAHER: His stupid travel ban went into effect. As of last night, people from the Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iran can forget about that dream vacation to Dollywood. Yet, Saudi Arabians, on the other hand, are free to board any plane and fly into a building of their choice. 

Donald Trump says he will not have foreign nationals coming here and killing innocent Americans. That's what the health care plan is for. Oh, yes, there's that one, too: repealing Obamacare. I mean, the Democrats are all excited that this is stalled now in the Senate except it's not dead. It's like the slasher movie when the baby sitter thinks she's killed the serial killer, but we can see he's getting up behind her. 

(...)

10:12 p.m. ET
DAN SAVAGE, COLUMNIST: Bernie said -- and you've said this a lot -- that Democrats have to start fighting like Republicans -- which may include cheating like Republicans. Republicans win when Republicans cheat.

MAHER: They do cheat, yes.

SAVAGE: Democrats -- Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.

MAHER: So did Al Gore.

SAVAGE: So did Al Gore, but that was, I think, a theft. But Democratic candidates took a million more votes in House races. But for gerrymandering, Democrats would have the majority in the House. The system is rigged like Bernie Sanders said, but it's rigged against Democrats.

(...)

10:13 p.m. ET
SAVAGE: Republicans are a gang.

MAHER: Right. Like a prison gang.

SAVAGE: Like a prison gang.

MAHER: And that's where our politics are, yeah.

SAVAGE: Right. Republicans have brass knuckles on, and Democrats don't. And Democrats need to pick up the brass knuckles and play the game that's actually being played. So many Democrats think that they're in Washington to set a good example for the GOP. And we need to start fighting like the GOP fights, and even fighting as dirty as the GOP fights.

MAHER: Okay. I'm glad you feel that way.

(...)

10:15 p.m. ET
SAVAGE: If more people turned out in the cities to vote, in all of the cities to vote, Democrats would not have won the election. Democrats have to do a better job of turning those people out and stop chasing voters they're never going to get. Sending John Kerry out with a gun to shoot something right before the election didn't win him any votes in "knuckle drag America." 

(...)

10:17 p.m. ET
MAHER: It also shows that when they want to get on a page, they -- that's what the Democrats don't do. They meet in their underground lair, their volcano, and they say, "Okay, tomorrow we are all going to say that the Left is unhinged and violent," even though it's crazy. And somebody goes, "Wait, the Left is not violent." "Yeah, but we're going to say that -- we're all going to say that." And then it's going to become true to at least half the country. Democrats need to do that, don't you think?

SAVAGE: Absolutely.

MAHER: They need to have an underground lair where they come up with -- and they all say it. They never do that. They never all say the same thing.

(...)

10:34 p.m. ET
MAHER: The election of 2018, the election of 2020, are you confident that they will be --

RICHARD CLARKE, FORMER ABC NEWS COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: They'll be back.

MAHER: The Russians will be back? I'm saying: Are you confident those elections will be on the up and up? Because I'm not even sure about that Georgia election we just had because he was ahead in the polls. Once again, they're ahead in the polls, and then I guess something happened.

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