When I first watched it I didn’t find this Saturday Night Live spoof of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett at all amusing. In fact, as I let it sink in I became more and more angry that their writers minimized in mockery the conviction with which I believe this lying sack of jurisprudence holds her belief that the life of the pre-born, aka any collection of cells from the moment of conception to birth is a person. Watch the video and tell us what you think.
In this particular skit I think SNL writers should have focused on her being a glassy eye and dangerous true believer as they, the writers, pushed the limits of being intolerant of someone with what are apparently deeply held religious convictions. I am far from a comedy writer but I think there are ways they could have done this.
I think that there is a place of satirical attacks and using the concept of reductio ad absurdum to demonstrate how a position would play out in the real world. In this sketch the writers chose to play her as a dimwit with the simply wait nine months and just pop it out and if you don’t want it leave it at a fire station or on a Ferris wheel and it can be given to a lesbian couple who will be very grateful theme
My reaction comes in part because I was struck by a few parts of what I found to be a very depressing article in Salon by Chauncey DeVega yesterday about how mocking Trump probably did and still does more harm than it did and does good:
In all, Donald Trump remains the most dangerous person in the United States. Instead of consistently sounding the alarm, America's mainstream news media and the larger political class insist on depicting him as a buffoon, a dotard or a harmless curiosity. In the long battle to save American democracy from the neofascist movement, underestimating the enemy is a grave miscalculation.
DeVega concludes as follows:
Too many people laughed at Donald Trump — and then he won the 2016 presidential election. During his term in office, too many people continued to laugh at Trump as he and his Republican-fascist movement began to demolish American democracy in earnest. Too many Americans continued to laugh at Trump as he plotted and carried out a coup attempt in January of 2021, which came perilously close to succeeding.
Too many people laughed at Trump for fumbling J.D. Vance's name. Does that seem funny now? What good did it do you in the struggle to protect American democracy from final collapse?
When we, meaning both progressives and anti-Trumpism Republicans, attempt to turn these dangerous people into clowns we sit in the metaphorical mezzanine watching the circus and we laugh at the more uproarious depictions of these despicable people from Donald Trump to another exemplar of an Australopithecus who never made it up the evolutionary ladder to Homo Erectus let alone Homo sapiens. Marjorie Taylor Greene. There’s even more evidence today that Donald Trump, Jr. is on an even lower rung. And then there’s Louie Gohmert who proves that one can get a law degree from Baylor and still be barely able to walk upright.
Uh-oh, I think I just engaged in a bit of snarky mockery here too. Making it was therapeutic for me.
There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with reveling in the political comic renderings of the late night TV hosts when they skewer the idiocy of these MAGA characters. However, this is not a modern version of the Mel Brooks movie “The Producers” about an attempt to make a Broadway musical sure to fail called Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp With Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden. In the movie the play got rave reviews because it was thought to be a satire so the scheme to make a money losing show failed.
“The Producers” came out 23 years after the end of World War II so some viewers and reviewers were offended about the “bad taste and insensitivity of devising a broad comedy about two Jews conspiring to cheat theatrical investors by devising a designed-to-fail tasteless Broadway musical about Hitler only 23 years after the end of World War II.” Wikipedia Not everybody appreciated the fact that despite the toll of the war and the Holocaust Hitler eventually lost and committed suicide so making fun of him was acceptable.
Now we have no way to know who will win the war of democracy against MAGA. Years from now if the MAGA’s go down in defeat, depending on the cost to democracy and human life, it may be possible to make a show like “The Producers.” Only time will tell.
Until they are relegated to the garbage dump of failed despots, dictators, and fascists and we have a firmly established resilient democracy in the United States, parodies of the magical and maniacal machinations of the MAGAs may seem decidedly unfunny to us. Unfortunately while they are consolidating their power comics who make us feel good also provide fodder for Trump and his minions to say they are being victimized and cancelled out by the dreadful cult of late night liberal comics.