Democrats are recalibrating their political strategy after the retirement announcement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a crucial swing vote on cases preserving abortion and gay rights. But as John Oliver bluntly informed the public on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, the entire party – and the future of many liberal policies – is screwed.
“There is no good news. Everything is terrible now,” Oliver said. “Barring some massive screw-up from Trump, the only thing anyone can do is vote. There are two key elections you should really try to vote in: one in 2016 and one in 2014 because that is what got us into this mess.”
The comedian highlighted two Democrat arguments that would let them “obstruct or delay” President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination. With the first, “They’ve appealed to Mitch McConnell’s sense of fairness and consistency by pointing out that he refused to confirm [President Obama’s nominee] Merrick Garland before a major election. The problem there is that McConell couldn’t give a flying fuck about fairness or consistency.”
For Plan B, they argued that Trump can’t select the new judge, given that he’s the subject of a criminal investigation that could end up before the Supreme Court. But this Trump argument likely won’t fly in a Republican-controlled Senate. Oliver was realistic about the Democrats’ bleak chances, and his solution was both practical and depressing.
“I want you to go find a medium-sized cardboard box right now,” Oliver advised. “Take a pen and write ‘Time Machine’ on the side of it. Not because it’ll take you back in time – it won’t. It’s a cardboard box. But what I want you to do is to scream into it – empty all the anger and frustration that you’re feeling right now into that box. And when you’re done, tape it up, go out, vote, knock no doors and take that box with you. And if you ever come across someone who’s thinking of sitting out an election because neither of the candidates quite do it for them and there’s not much difference between them anyway, open that box into their fucking face and let yourself from this week scream some sense into them.”