When John Oliver kicked off Sunday’s installment of Last Week Tonight, he knew what was on everyone’s mind: “Yes, yes,” he said, “Steve Bannon is gone—presumably to spend more time sucking his own cock. But he leaves behind a legacy defined by quasi-constitutional xenophobia, unfulfilled campaign promises, and a definitive answer to the question, ‘What would happen if Martin Sheen ate nothing besides sea salt for a thousand years?’“
Although the former White House chief strategist’s ouster feels like a big moment, to Oliver, it’s hardly satisfying. “Because yes: one panderer to white nationalists has left the White House. The problem is, the one he was working for is still very much there.” Rather than a turning point, Oliver argued, this just feels like yet another “big” moment that will ultimately prove to be relatively inconsequential. But perhaps most frustrating, the comedian noted, is the relative silence on the part of most Republicans in Congress—even in the wake of Donald Trump’s horrifying response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The majority of Republicans in Congress have failed to condemn the president by name for equating white supremacist protestors with anti-racist counter-protestors—and some conservative pundits, like Fox News’s Melissa Francis, still seem especially committed to defending Trump, despite the emotional toll of doing so. Oliver’s response: “If you’re getting emotionally overwhelmed and feeling judged for defending Trump in his Nazi sympathizer phase, stop fucking doing it! It’s that simple. No one is making you do it.”
As for congressmen like Paul Ryan, who refuse to name-check the president in their critiques, Oliver was similarly unimpressed: “Come on, you can mention him. He’s not Voldemort. He’s just a terrifying entity who viciously attacks his enemies and judges people based on their birthright.”
The point is, when—by Oliver’s count—only around 54 out of 292 Republican members of Congress deigned to call out the president by name, it implied that Trump is “somehow not a key part of the problem here. In the words of the poet Beyoncé,” Oliver said, “say his name . . . go right onto Fox News, say, ‘Donald, I condemn you,’ if you ain’t runnin’ game.’”
As much as Oliver would love to call this week, Bannon’s ouster, and all the backlash Trump has faced some kind of turning point, “I really don’t see it,” he concluded. “Because every day has felt like a turning point. We’re not so much turning anymore as spinning. We are basically on a carousel that will not stop. We’ve vomited so much there’s nothing left to throw up, and there’s just no way to get off because an unstable, race-baiting carnie is operating the controls. And we are probably going to go through a lot more before Republicans ever decide to do anything, because the hard truth here is that nothing is really going to change in the White House until [Trump] finally gets shown the fucking door.”
This News Credit Goes To >> Source link