Maher took the Trump years off from doing the one thing that made him famous and beloved, mocking political correctness, because his audience had been poisoned to believe they were living in an existential crisis. Maher wasn’t safe to be himself at the height of the left’s moral panic and wrongthink witch-hunt. He assimilated into the tiresome anti-Trump drone of late-night comedy. Orange Man did one of two things to intelligent liberals with bite, not to mention comedians: he either sent them running to his side, as a man of similar constitution, or exposed them as pussies and spineless sellouts. The only difference between Maher and someone like Stephen Colbert is Maher is now attempting to dust himself off and crawl back.
Never forget that Maher helped get these people elected knowing exactly who they were. Seeing the writing on the wall for the 2022 midterms, now he wants to ensure they stay elected by helping them not be better, but sound better.
Perhaps it’s generational. When you’ve carried an identity, like “liberal,” your whole life, it’s a hard thing to shake. Maher is incapable of acknowledging how the political paradigm has shifted. Liberals are no longer the fun-loving, pot-stirring counterculture Maher clearly associates with himself. Their dominance and glut in American culture has turned them tyrannical and they’re not going back until we have full socialism or a race war. He’s still, perhaps gladly, unable to recognize the endgame of liberalism. But we’re seeing it now, just as the other side becomes the leave-me-the-hell-alone, free speech, free-inquiry crowd. Hell, they even want to legalize weed now.