Editor’s Note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show” and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Follow him @DeanObeidallah. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion articles on CNN.
“Saturday Night Live’s” opening sketch last night reflected a reality of today’s Republican leaders: They just don’t get women.
We saw this play out when President Donald Trump (the real one, not Alec Baldwin) declared on Air Force One last night that recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was “squeaky clean” and that, in his view, Kavanaugh’s biggest supporters were the women of America.
Trump claimed women “were in many ways stronger than men in his favor.” At that point, he should’ve just added, “And live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”
Trump’s remarks would’ve been a perfect fit for “SNL’s” cold open last night, which focused on how the GOP is obliviously out of touch with women, or simply doesn’t care about them. The sketch featured impersonations of Republican senators celebrating the confirmation of Kavanaugh by partying in a locker room.
The hilarious Kate McKinnon, back as GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, comedically touched on how little concern some GOP men have for women in general. McKinnon’s Graham stated, “We made a lot of women real worried today,” adding, “but I’m not getting pregnant, so I don’t care!”
And then her Graham gave us a comment about how the men of the GOP, like Trump, simply don’t understand or care about the concerns of so many women today. “Seriously, this one is about the fans,” McKinnon/Graham said. “They’ve been there for us all week, cheering and screaming outside of our offices.”
When CNN correspondent Dana Bash, played by “SNL’s” Heidi Gardner, responded in shock, “I’m sorry, you think those were fans?” Graham yelled, “Oh yeah, for sure. And I know they agree with us because they’re shouting out ‘Me Too!’”
One of the best comedic lines of the sketch was delivered by “Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell,” played hilariously by SNL’s Beck Bennett, who declared, “Republicans read the mood of the country. We could tell that people really wanted Kavanaugh. Everyone is pumped, from white men over 60 to white men over 70.”
At least he acknowledged who the GOP truly wanted to please with Kavanaugh.
Fittingly, Trump’s remarks Saturday on women supporting Kavanaugh came around the same time “SNL” aired this sketch. In fact, when a reporter asked Trump, “What is your message today to the women across this country who are feeling devastated, feeling like the message that’s been sent here–” Trump interrupted to declare how much women love themselves some Kavanaugh.
“I think, actually, that … you look at the biggest fans, and I can tell you the people that spoke to me most, in the strongest of terms in his favor, were women.”
Of course, recent polls make it clear that Trump is absolutely wrong. A Marist poll released earlier this week asked Americans which person – Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford – they think is “telling the truth about what happened at the party in high school?” The results were that 52% of all women believed Ford. In contrast, only 27% of women believed Kavanaugh.
And stunningly, among white women with college degrees (many of whom are the “suburban women” pundits say could decide close elections this year) a whopping 66% believed Ford.
Now, it’s true that recent polls found that 70 to 80% of Republican women support Kavanaugh. But the November elections aren’t a race for the GOP nomination – they are the midterm elections. This means that GOP candidates in competitive races should be concerned to see that 54% of independent women oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination and may be inclined to vote for Democratic candidates.
Indeed, a recent Morning Consult/Politico poll found that independent voters overall are 23% “much less likely” to support a candidate who backed Kavanaugh –compared to only 10% who said they would be more likely to support such a candidate.
You might think these poll numbers would be concerning to Trump and the GOP, but once again “SNL” and Trump lined up last night on this very issue.
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Trump has said he thinks “the Republicans are going to do incredibly well” in the midterm elections. Meanwhile, over on “SNL” a jubilant McKinnon/Graham declared, “Now listen everyone, let’s keep this horny male energy going ‘til the midterms!”
Different words, same flippant sentiment. Both capture how oblivious Trump and the GOP are to the mood of women beyond their base – or indicate that they simply don’t care about them.
But only one of the two – the GOP in the real world – is staring at a possible “pink wave” of women voting against Republicans come Election Day.