Real Time host Bill Maher called for what he called a “Page 1 rewrite” of parts of the Constitution on Friday, arguing that the country’s founding fathers intended for it.
“The Constitution, contrary to the beliefs of so many Tea Baggers, was not brought to us directly by Jesus,” Maher told his panel. “And actually, the founding fathers understood that we need to amend it. They wanted us to do it. Yes, so much of it does need a Page 1 rewrite, including that bullshit about the Senate and the Second Amendment. Both of them should go.”
When Daily Blaze news anchor Amy Davis retorted by using Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) argument that the Senate was a “cooling saucer,” Maher shot back, “It’s not the cooling saucer — it’s where progress goes to die.”
With 60 votes being the threshold for passing laws in the Senate thanks to the overuse of the filibuster, Maher argued, that mucks up the works of democracy, as does the rule of equal representation for all 50 states in the Senate.
“The founding fathers could not have foreseen AK-47s, they also could not have foreseen Wyoming, and Montana,” Maher told his panelists. “They could not have foreseen 50 states where we have this horrible situation where there are two senators representing like a thousand people — there’s more than that in the mall here in California.”
“This is precisely the kind of conversation that is scaring people in North Dakota, and making it more difficult to actually make progress on gun control” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof interjected.
“Why do we need two Dakotas to begin with?” Maher shot back. “Wouldn’t one be enough? Maybe we could only have one state that has half a million people.”
Kristof argued that a broader approach to gun safety legislation should be replaced by arguments for more incremental changes, which would be easier to get across.
“Only if you have cowardly politicians,” replied the third panelist, author Salman Rushdie.
The fact that the word “primary” (as in elections) became a verb, Maher said, constituted a third obstacle to progress.
“It used to be that, if you were a Republican, at one point, you could be moderate, and that went away,” he said. “You have to be a serious right-winger. Now you have to be an absolute caveman, or else you will be ‘primaried.’ They will find some knuckle-dragger to the right of you.”
Even the National Rifle Association, Maher said, worries about primary challenges.
“There are gun groups out there who are more radical than the NRA, who feel the NRA is too moderate,” he continued. “Which is one reason why the NRA can never get behind any common sense legislation.”
Watch video of the discussion, posted by Mediaite, below.