But the skit, despite its impeccable humor, does a huge disservice to Republicans, subtly mocking them for holding firm to their views on tax increases. It also depicts their position inaccurately, something that the average viewer might miss — especially since many Americans are uninformed about the realities of the fiscal cliff.
In the cold open of NBC‘s “Saturday Night Live,” President Barack Obama, played by Jay Pharoah, and Speaker of the House John Boehner, played by Bill Hader, hold a joint press conference to announce the outcomes of the fiscal cliff negotiations.
Fake Obama tells the press he and Boehner have reached an agreement in which there would be no tax increases, even though the President won the election and had leverage.
The reason? “I felt sorry for this man,” fake Obama says.
He says other Republicans have been picking on Boehner, forcing the Speaker to eat by himself in the Congressional lunch room. Boehner’s fellow Republicans even took his milk and threw it in the garbage and placed a rubber snake in his desk. The SNL Obama stressed that despite the fact that Boehner is “extremely conservative” and “hard to deal with” the President has never considered putting a snake in the Speaker’s desk. The Republicans also pushed Boehner into the women’s restroom, naked from the waist down.
The Boehner hate-fest from Republicans is simply because there was a hint of raising taxes under his watch, according to Obama. Fake Obama even proposed a deal that would include a 1 percent tax increase on only the top two Americans in exchange for dissolving Social Security. But the Republicans shot down this plan, inviting Boehner to a fake pizza party where they instead pelted him with rotten eggs. At this point, fake Boehner breaks down crying during the press conference as Obama pats his shoulder and comrforts him.
“You leave this poor, orange man alone!” Obama demands of the Republicans.
The cold open is funny, but it paints Republicans as stubbornly irrational in their stance against raising taxes. It also misrepresents their views on Social Security, something they want to reform, not abolish. But then, despite the ‘Fire Boehner’ movement, it is also doubtful that they would push the Speaker into the ladies’ restroom without his pants.