Maher began the show’s panel discussion by pointing out that Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe “should walk away with it” since President Biden won Virginia by 10 points and McAuliffe previously served as the commonwealth’s governor, 2014-2018.
Instead, Maher noted, the race is “neck and neck,” with GOP challenger Glenn Youngkin over an issue that Maher reminded viewers he previously warned about.
“I said this months and months ago that the issue in coming elections is going to be what’s going on in the schools,” Maher said. “Parents vote and they don’t like what’s going in schools. They feel like they are losing control and this became the issue in this election.”
“Parents vote and they don’t like what’s going in schools. They feel like they are losing control.”
“Trust me, this is going to be a huge barometer-kind of election because if Terry McAuliffe loses, people are gonna understand, ‘Yes. Oh, that’s right. It is going to be about that,'” Maher continued.
The HBO star then tore into McAuliffe for his infamous debate remark when the Democrat said, “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions. I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Maher called the McAuliffe comment an “applause line” for teachers but not for parents.
“Just on a political level, f—ing- excuse me,” Maher said before curbing his language for his guest, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del. “Very stupid, right? Very stupid.”
Maher later stressed, “We have to start defining what ‘critical race theory’ means because it means something to everybody when they hear it.”
The Atlantic staff writer Caitlan Flanagan responded by arguing the ideology of critical race theory can be taught but “what you cannot do” is “set school policy by the findings of critical race theory.”
“You can’t rewrite a curriculum because of it and you really cannot treat children in a way that you’re pulling them out by race and giving them different messages. And that’s what you cannot do. It’s happening,” Flanagan explained.
“You really cannot treat children in a way that you’re pulling them out by race and giving them different messages.”
“If that’s what critical race theory means, if it means separating 5-year-olds by race and telling some you’re oppressors and the others you’re the oppressed and giving up on a colorblind society and resegregation and racism is the essence of America- then I’m out. I’m out on that,” Maher said. “But I’m in on Toni Morrison, I’m in on acknowledging racism still persist.”
Flanagan, who stressed that she’s a “Democrat,” railed against McAuliffe as a “hack politician” who is “siding with the teachers union” because “that’s where his bread is buttered.”
“He’s a rich man who sent all his kids to private schools and he’s never in his life had someone tell him ‘We’re gonna tell your 8-year-old child something you don’t want her to know and we’re going to keep her for seven hours to do it and you have no control over that,'” Flanagan said. “So it’s a big issue and if he loses it, then Democrats are gonna lose. Learn! Run some progressive candidates, run some people who stand for progressive ideas!”