This is Bill Maher asking Rep. Keith Ellison, why don’t Democrats come out against the Second Amendment? With Ellison responding, “I sure wish they would,” and that ostensibly being a confirmation of something Democrats are loathe to confirm, that they are secret gun prohibitionists. And by extension, Un-American! Cue the outrage.
I watched the tape, that’s not what I’m hearing.
Remember when Maher had a show on ABC called Politically Incorrect, and he never said anything politically incorrect (except to question whether suicide bombers and plane hijackers could actually be cowardly by definition)?… But he never put liberal sacred cows in harm’s way, or skewered them.
To be sure, on Real Time here Maher is speaking candidly, with reality as the context. That reality being, that the Democrats are prohibitionists when it comes to guns, and that they’d prefer there were no enumerated right to them conferred to civilians.
Insofar as Ellison says “I sure wish they would,” I’m not confident at all that he’s responding to that Maher question in particular. There are a few people talking then, and Ellison himself is mid-effort in completing a pro-forma talking point script he uses on the subject of guns. The talking point script itself, with its focus on ‘sensible gun safety’ or whatever, is the argument Democrats make specifically to counter the charge that they are gun prohibitionists.
So it’s a hard for me to see where Ellison is the one caught speaking candidly.
To answer Maher’s question: They don’t come out against it because it’s an electoral loser. That doesn’t mean Democrats aren’t prohibitionists. It just means there’s a necessity to posture. Or ‘bullshit’, as he says at one point during the clip.