Just often enough to catch your attention, loose-cannon lefty comic Bill Maher demonstrates why conservatives still remain in his audience.
One of the guests on his HBO show Friday night, veteran Clinton apologist/Democrat consultant Paul Begala made a claim about Republicans so insipid that Maher -- who enjoys nothing more than bashing the GOP -- immediately challenged.
Maher and Begala, along with guests Michael Steele, former Republican National Committee chairman, and Daily Beast political reporter Betsy Woodruff, were discussing Donald Trump's call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants to the U.S. --
BEGALA: It's bizarre and stupid to try and ban every Muslim from coming to America.
MAHER: I agree ...
BEGALA: It's insane ...
MAHER: ... but it's not wr-, but his point was also not wrong. I mean, I hear a lot of talk today about xenophobia and is it really phobia if you have something to be afraid of? Fifty-two percent of British Muslims think being gay should be illegal.
BEGALA: What percentage of American Republicans believe that? (tepid laughter from audience). Can we deport them?
STEELE (inexplicably): Not just American Republicans.
MAHER (demonstrating that he's more Republican than Steele): Not many.
MAHER (incredulously): They think it should be illegal?!
MAHER: No, I don't, that's bulls**t, Paul, that's bull.
STEELE (belatedly remembering his party affiliation): Paul, stop it.
MAHER (echoing Steele): Stop it. Just stop it.
BEGALA (over crosstalk): ... until a few years ago.
MAHER: There certainly is a hard right-wing in this country, but they have no power.
A question that should have been asked of Begala -- name one. Take your time answering, Paul, you'll need plenty of it.