Late Night Whitehouse

Conservatism is about reinforcing and maintaining. While Comedy is about challenging and undermining. As those two things are diametrically opposed Late Night hosts tend to be left leaning. Late Night talk shows themselves form a function within the network news cycle, where after a day of ratcheting up high impact stories the very last thing you watch before going to sleep is the same information but with an added punchline. This Late Night domination of the news cycle might appear to be an advantage for the Democrats but it actually isn't. It's a weakness. Because it's hard to create a political narrative when your loudest spokespeople are a collection of clowns.

Stephen Colbert's recent elevation to the number one Late Night spot has been attributed directly to his overt attacks on the new administration. But so what? John Stewart was the highest paid of Late Night hosts ($30 million when he retired in 2015) and he was also successful, explicitly so, because he took on the GOP. But his slants didn't stop George W Bush from retaining the Oval Office in 2004. Pithy monologues are meaningless when you're staring down the barrel of intergenerational poverty. The DNC needs to appreciate why people elected the 45th. By mocking Trump for trivial things the Late Night gang don't undermine him, they just render those who support him even more bitter. Satirical observations delivered by multimillionaires in New York and LA won't make the the fly over states reject the one person (however orange their skin might be) who's actually bothered to pay them attention.

Even if Donny cannot bring back manufacturing at least he acknowledged that something very bad happened to millions of people. There has been almost no real wage growth in the US since the 1990s. All of the innovation and increases in productivity created on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley have been paid out in profits, not to working people. The DNC missed opportunities. Four POTUS terms yet they completely failed to create a more economically just society. Instead they allowed the great transfer of wealth upwards to roll on. Billy repealed Glass Steagall and Berry did nothing to prosecute those who defrauded the economy during the GFC. In short, Trump is not the cause of Democrats woes. He's the symptom of their failings. 

Comedians love making fun of the President's hairdo. The fact the Trump looks silly is so obvious that it almost needs not be remarked upon. But even that they get wrong. In his 2003 book How To Get Rich Donald Trump has a chapter called The Art of the Hair. In it he acknowledges that some people think he looks odd. But he doesn't care because it's part of his brand and therefor it gives him power. We know now that it helped him win the 2016 election. Because it afforded his opposition the permission to dismiss him. The grotesquely cut suits and ridiculously long ties acted like an invisibility cloak, allowing him to walk right under the noses of the traditional gatekeepers and into the White House.

Republican establishment discounted him in the primaries. Wrong. Clinton assumed she'd be given the election by default. Huge wrong. And now people are just assuming that he'll lose in 2020, if he isn't impeached beforehand. That's ignorant. Donald Trump is a big bad bastard with an uncanny ability to win at long odds. And right now he's on track to serve two terms. If the middle class left actually want to see Trump lose they will need to take him on politically. The DNC need a policy driven story to convince disenfranchised voters with. And importantly that story cannot be a comedy. It must be a drama. 

trump letterman.jpg