When this clip from SNL started making the rounds on social media on Sunday evening, I was briefly confused. By chance, a group of friends and I actually watched this past weekend's edition of the show, live, from start to finish -- and I didn't remember seeing this memorable and funny Feinstein bit. It turns out that's because it didn't air. Every week, Saturday Night Live's team writes and produces more sketches than can fit into the show's 90-minute window, some of which inevitably end up on the proverbial cutting room floor. It's unclear whether this fake ad was dropped due to time constraints (Weekend Update seemed to go longer than planned, as two cast members couldn't stop laughing during a bit about selling meat), or simply got the weekly axe, but the Cecily Strong-starring piece was released online as a web exclusive.
The premise is a damage control-style ad in the wake of a video that went viral last month, in which Feinstein became somewhat exasperated and dismissive over pro-'Green New Deal' lobbying efforts from young children. In the SNL bit, Feinstein tries to reset her public relations on the matter, but ends up needing multiple "do overs" as her anger once again boils over in amusing ways. Watch:
This is so good. SNL on Feinstein. pic.twitter.com/As9bI4Vyoq— Yashar Ali ?? (@yashar) March 3, 2019
I chuckled several times throughout the video, but a few things made me laugh out loud. First, Feinstein's frequent use of the term "D.O." after her temper flares up, requiring a softer, gentler 'do over'. It's something I can somehow picture Feinstein herself saying, employing wonderfully outdated slang as her frustration gets the better of her. Second, and best, is her "game" in which she covers her eyes and asks the children to literally hand her $93 trillion to pay for the program they're demanding she support (from a conservative messaging perspective, it's helpful that SNL repeated the results of this analysis estimating the GND's price tag). Also, her campaign "donation" to one of the adults is a delightful surprise. Real-life Feinstein is far too liberal for my taste, and her disgraceful handling of Dr. Ford's allegation during the Kavanaugh mess remains unforgivable. But it has admittedly been entertaining to watch the old guard of the Democratic Party throw cold water on the socialist-leaning young guns' most unrealistic policy fantasies. If Feinstein channeled Strong's version more often, she'd have the inside track on becoming my favorite Democratic Senator.
Then again, the split isn't entirely generational. Septuagenarian Bernie Sanders is part of the vanguard of fantastical thinking, drawing huge crowds as he launches his second presidential bid. And yes, much like some of his much younger rivals (and other colleagues), he's committed to eliminating the private healthcare of 177 million Americans, massively raising taxes across the board to pay for it:
After admitting that he would “raise your taxes,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said, “that’s gone,” when referring to private health insurance. pic.twitter.com/R01mGOf6pO— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 4, 2019
I'll leave you with this nugget from a new NBC/WSJ poll: Of the characteristics voters are least excited about in 2020 presidential candidates, the bottom two are someone over the age of 75, and a socialist. Insurmountable for Bernie? Or is his base devoted and organized enough to maintain his status as one of the favorites, especially in a fractured field?