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Fetterman Discusses Political Shift On Maher Show

 June 9, 2024

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher and discussed his political shift since his election, asserting that progressivism "left him."

The interview aired on Friday, where Sen. Fetterman shared his political evolution with Maher, touching on his policy shifts and the influence of his near-death experience on his current stances, as Fox News reports.

Fetterman Acknowledges Political Evolution

During the show, Maher praised Fetterman for opposing the far-left wing of the Democratic Party.

Maher noted that Fetterman speaks freely, similar to politicians who are no longer in office. This freedom might be attributed to Fetterman’s recovery from his stroke in 2022.

Fetterman explained that his near-death experience brought a liberating feeling. He reaffirmed his stance from last year, clarifying that he is not a progressive but "just a regular Democrat."

Stance on Israel Creates Division

The discussion also delved into Fetterman’s stance on Israel. Fetterman highlighted that his views on Israel created a notable split in the Democratic Party, particularly in relation to progressivism. He explained that his alignment with Israel sets him apart from some of the more progressive members of the party.

Maher inquired why some people who consider themselves the most liberal have abandoned Israel, a previous liberal favorite, in favor of groups that oppose a two-state solution. Fetterman responded by pointing out the contradiction in progressive support for organizations like Hamas, which oppose women's and LGBTQ rights.

Contradictions Within Progressive Support

Fetterman elaborated on the contradictions within some progressive support systems. He mentioned that some of the most progressive sections of the Democratic Party align with organizations that do not support women's rights or LGBTQ rights.

Bringing a local example, Fetterman mentioned an incident in which Queers for Palestine blocked the Pride Parade in Philadelphia. He expressed his bewilderment at such actions, emphasizing how it contradicts the values of LGBTQ advocacy.

Fetterman’s Newfound Freedom in Speaking Out

Maher noted that Fetterman’s approach to politics has changed significantly, indicating that Fetterman speaks frankly and without fear of repercussions. This attitude, Maher suggested, is more commonly seen in politicians who are no longer in office, but Fetterman brings it to his current role.

Fetterman acknowledged the impact of his health scare on this newfound freedom. He expressed his desire to be authentic and true to what he believes in, regardless of potential backlash. This change, Fetterman explained, is why he feels more at liberty to discuss his genuine beliefs.

Impact of Near-Death Experience

Maher drew parallels to a famous line from the movie Batman, suggesting that overcoming near-death experiences can be very liberating. Fetterman agreed, admitting that his stroke had a profound impact on his perspective.

Fetterman reiterated that progressivism "left" him after the events of Oct. 7, when he realized the progressive stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict would create an irreversible division within the Democratic Party.

The Future of Democratic Party Alignments

Fetterman speculated on the future of the Democratic Party, considering the growing divide between progressives and more traditional Democrats. He suggested that the party might continue to see members align differently on issues like support for Israel.

The senator’s comments reflect a broader discussion happening within the Democratic Party, as members reconcile their different views on significant issues. Whether or not this divide will lead to a notable shift in policies and alignments remains to be seen.


In his appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher, Sen. John Fetterman openly discussed his political evolution and the factors influencing his current stance.

He attributed his shift away from progressivism to both his recovery from a 2022 stroke and a divisive stance on Israel. Fetterman’s interview highlighted a significant split in the Democratic Party and underscored the complexities of political alignments within the party.

This candid discussion sheds light on how personal experiences and major geopolitical issues can influence a politician’s beliefs and actions.