Satirists love to hone in on a politician’s weak spot.
For President Bill Clinton, that meant an endless array of sexual addiction gags. President George W. Bush endured “dumb” joke after “dumb” joke.
Chevy Chase rose to fame on “Saturday Night Live” by playing up President two of Gerald Ford’s well-publicized stumbles, even though the 38th president was only 62 and a former athlete.
President Joe Biden offers two obvious weak spots, one far more devastating than the other.
Biden is the oldest man to ever serve as president, and he makes that known with every old-timey reference and foot shuffle. It’s an easy way to poke fun at the commander in chief, and a toothless one at that.
We all have older loved ones in our lives, and their cultural miscues are innocent, nothing more.
The president also appears to be in physical and mental decline. Biden’s various missteps are so commonplace his team now makes him wear tennis shoes, not dress shoes. He also boards Air Force One courtesy of a shorter set of stairs.
Those measures may help, but his mental decline is getting impossible to hide.
Which brings us to “Saturday Night Live.” Again.
The venerable series will return in the coming weeks, its Fall debut delayed by the writers strike. The show once mocked both political parties with alacrity. Now? “SNL” expends 90-plus percent of its satirical fire power against conservative targets.
Maybe 95 percent.
- President Donald Trump
- Tucker Carlson
- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
- Sen. Ted Cruz
The show has mostly avoided mocking Biden for three years, and no sketch has laid a finger on Vice President Kamala Harris.
It’s not for lack of material.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 13, 2023
Kamala Harris with another word salad, this time about equity:
“Equity says you take into account those disparities in the way that you were thinking about whether the outcome will actually allow for equal opportunity — including equal opportunity to live…" pic.twitter.com/7V2AmaShp3
— Conservative War Machine (@WarMachineRR) September 26, 2023
The show will continue to avoid VP Harris at all costs. That’s set in stone. What might change is its approach to the Commander in Chief.
Democrats are increasingly worried that Biden is too frail and mentally compromised to keep the White House in 2024. Beltway icon David Ignatius hinted as much in a recent op-ed imploring Biden to step aside for the good of the country.
The Axios report on how Team Biden is protecting the president from Father Time is similarly noteworthy. The media has mostly avoided the topic, even though it routinely excoriated a younger, more mentally sharp President Donald Trump during his term in office.
— Mark DeMain (@DemainMark81361) September 21, 2023
Many conservative pundits think the Democrats are preparing to dump Biden and find a more suitable replacement, like California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
If that’s the case, “SNL” will get the signal that it’s time to mock President Biden … finally. After all, that’s what “SNL” should’ve been doing since his first days in office.
Satirists speak truth to power. They mock the mighty, bringing them down to size with every gag. It’s an American institution, and a healthy one at that.
The first new “SNL” episode of the season will torch Trump, of course. Expect a sketch built around Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert and her rude behavior during a production of “Beetlejuice.”
— New York Post (@nypost) September 19, 2023
You might just see a sketch where Biden bumbles his way through an ordinary speech along the way. And it might be followed by similar sketches in the coming weeks.
If so, it’ll be the biggest sign Biden won’t be the Democratic nominee in 2024.