Last Night's Debate Felt a Little Too Similar to Veep for Julia Louis-Dreyfus

I didn’t watch last night’s debate (sue me), but I have seen all seven seasons of the incredible Julia Louis Dreyfus-vehicle Veep, and isn’t that enough? Louis-Dreyfus, apparently, couldn’t watch all of it either—the whole thing felt too close to the show’s depiction of the toxic narcissism and pettiness of Washington, D.C.

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“I’ve learned a lot about politics, and I’ve got a sense of the true anxiety that probably a lot of these people feel, going in and trying sell themselves, as a candidate, as a brand, and make a stamp—as themselves but quickly,” she says. (The lines between art and life were further blurred when Marianne Williamson plugged the Elaine Benes catchphrase “yada, yada” in one of her responses.)

But that’s actually a pretty good summation of what this year’s Democratic primary debates have been like. (I did watch the first one and the ones last month, okay?) Because there’s roughly eleven billion people on stage, they each get about five seconds to really sell their candidacy. It’s a faulty system, and while it may be one notch above having the candidates arm wrestle while simultaneously trying to roast each other, it often feels, well, exactly like that.

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Which is awful! Even Louis-Dreyfus couldn’t watch the whole thing: “As I was watching the debate tonight, it gave me a lot of anxiety, I had to kind of turn away.” When Kimmel asks if D.C. is really like Veep, Louis-Dreyfus gleefully mock-whispers: “It is.”

Either she’s just saying to keep my conspiracy theories about how awful politicians are alive (and thus, keep nurturing my love of her show), or she’s telling the truth. I hope it’s the latter, but if it’s the former, that’s some Selina Meyer-level thinking, and I’d respect that too.

Senior Writer, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

mike-mckinnon
Chairman Kaga

Talking to three of coworkers this morning, all mid-20s, all true blue progressive liberals, none white... The consensus among them was screw all of them except Bernie and Liz, I’m not going to vote if it’s not one of them, let it all burn down and maybe once it’s collapsed we can salvage something. As a typical Gen X’er I thought I was cynical and disillusioned re: politics and society at large... man.

So is this a thing? Is the rebellion going to be withdrawal from the process and a blase eff you to the majority of society? It sometimes feels that’s the way, and part of me (the part that doesn’t fret constantly about the condition of the world because I have children) kind of agrees with it. It’s clear few are really listening or intend to foment the drastic shifts required to save society, so just let it go. Save what you love, let the rest go feral.