“I couldn’t sleep nights. The photographs in my head – the pictures of the children being ripped out of the arms of their parents,” she explained on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.
People voting often “don’t know the specifics, but they kind of sense whether you are for real,” Maher described. “Not everybody, even in my own audience, agrees with me on stuff. But the bond is that they know I’m never pulling a punch. I’m always being straight with them. … It’s very powerful. And when you’re like that, you can be friends with other side.”
Maher noted that Streisand recently got a call from 1996 GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole — who, Maher confessed, he did not realize was still alive.
They talked about working across the aisle when Dole headed the Senate, Streisand reported. She gave a nod to a recent Fareed Zakaria program in whichtwo secretaries of state, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell were his guests, demonstrating “sane people can agree to disagree in a very civil conversation.”
Politics looms too large in our lives, Maher insisted.
“When I was a kid it was like something that was almost impolite to talk about. You didn’t talk about religion or politics,” he said, calling it “our way back to sanity.”
“People say you’ve got to talk to the other side but what they mean is, “You’ve got to convince them.’ You’re never going to convince them. Just don’t talk about that shit,” Maher argued.
The HBO late-night host noted the right fears Streisand, “but they go to your concerts.”
At a concert in Washington D.C., when she asked how many people in the audience were Republicans, “a lot of people raised their hand,” Streisand reminded, reporting she shot back, “Sure, you’re the ones who could afford these tickets!”
“I love that,” Streisand beamed.
“Yes because arts cuts through it,” Maher offered, suggesting the right opposes her because she is effective.
“I was on Nixon’s enemies list, which I was very proud to be, and I still am very proud to be,” Streisand enthused.
Maher did her one better, revealing he was “kind of gratified this week when I found out I was on the bomber’s list.”
“You don’t want to be left out,” Maher joked.
News outlets reported early this week that Cesar Sayoc, the man arrested on charges he’d send the pipe bombs to prominent critics of President Donald Trump, had a target list with hundreds of names on it.
“That’s little more scary,” Streisand acknowledged.
But, getting back to why she frightens conservatives, Streisand noted that, in the mid 80’s, she performed a concert to raise money or a number of Dem senators who went on to win their races, flipping the Senate from Republican to Democrat.
“So that twas very powerful,” she acknowledged, also giving credit to her opening act Robin Williams and her duet parnter Barry Gibb.
“He said about you, ‘There are the 10 greatest singers in the world, and then there is Barbra Streisand’,” Maher reported of Gibb.
Asked how she keeps thinking all day about Donald Trump, “because I’ve never known a president who was more in our heads,” Streisand offered some simple tips:
“First of all, I eat a lot. I eat sweets, like coffee ice cream, that counterbalances the bitterness that he’s throwing at us.”
“Also, I have to play games, literally, before I go to sleep. To get him out of your head…you have to play gin,” she joked.
“I find I’m watching in-season basketball,” Maher confessed.
Then they fretted about some more about Trump, including his war on the environment, his climate change denial, and his game of Hide the Tax Returns.
“What is he hiding?” Streisand wondered, ticking off her list of other questions: “Why is he abusing this power he has: Why is he living with these conflicts of interest? Why do other Republican let him get away with it?”
As Maher wrapped the interview, she said she had one more.
“Why do we allow the media to keep showing him on TV? Why are we covering his rallies? He’s got 71 rallies!”
Money, Maher explained:
“There is money in it…The media used to be a loss leader, they didn’t care if covering the news made money. Now it has to report to the stock room like everybody else.”
“Don’t cover him!” Barbra Streisand told the media.