Ever since his White House Correspondents’ Dinner performance in 2011, we’ve known that Seth Meyers was highly capable of zinging one Donald J. Trump and zinging him hard. His “A Closer Look” segments have only bolstered that impression. Meyers and his team at Late Night have made so many jokes about Trump that it’s easy to forget how consistently strong they are across the board, so it’s always refreshing when Meyers sets his sights on other politicians.
The majority of Thursday’s “A Closer Look” segment wasn’t dedicated to poking fun at Trump but going after Republican senators who finally unveiled their cruel master plan to screwe over lower- and middle-class Americans by taking away their health care in service of providing tax cuts for the rich. Or, as card-carrying Turtle Club member and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put it, to provide Americans with the better care they deserve while freeing them from Obamacare, which is “teeter[ing] on the edge of collapse.”
Meyers pointed out that many Republican senators didn’t even know what was in the proposed health care bill because McConnell essentially wrote it behind closed doors. “No one’s ever doing anything good behind closed doors,” Meyers said. “If your teenage son was locked in his bedroom this long, you wouldn’t say ‘Hey buddy! Are you doing extra credit homework in there?’ ”
Nevertheless, Meyers didn’t those senators use their ignorance as a shield against charges of complicity. “If you’re genuinely appalled by this bill and the process used to write it, you need to actually do something about it,” Meyers said.
The segment really took a turn when Meyers started to go after McConnell. Meyers played a clip of Sen. Chuck Schumer’s fruitless pleading with McConnell to allow bipartisan deliberation before the bill was put to a vote, and juxtaposed it with McConnell’s now obviously hypocritical statements from 2009 and 2010 about how the passage of the Affordable Care Act—which was far lengthier and more open than the process of crafting the American Health Care Act—was rushed and secretive.
“What we’re seeing right now is a breathtakingly cynical process to produce a breathtakingly cruel bill.” Meyers said.
Thursday night’s “A Closer Look” had a Jon Stewart–esque quality to it, albeit slightly cheerier. Meyers’ jokes went hard, but he has yet to really take the gloves off. However, if the Republicans’ health care bill that is projected to take health care away from so many Americans actually does pass, we could probably expect to see a side of Meyers that we haven’t seen before, one that’s angrier and more relentlessly savage.