Actor Alec Baldwin has achieved a newfound relevance by playing President Trump on Saturday Night Live, the most popular sketch comedy show on network TV. And apparently, the aging actor (whose long history of public tantrums would make for some interesting oppo fodder in 2020) is entertaining ambitions of becoming the second NBC celebrity to lock up the American presidency.
Or why else would Baldwin, who has long been a vocal political activist, leave immediately after the Saturday taping of his latest SNL bit to schlep all the way up to Manchester, New Hampshire to speak before a crowd of 700 Democratic donors? And lest the press miss what appeared to be his first step toward a 2020 bid, the actor made sure to sprinkle his speech with controversial comments, virtually ensuring that reporters would allot him some richly deserved attention.
Adding to a stream of increasingly threatening comments by leftist politicians and commentators, Baldwin said during his speech that responsible US citizens must band together and "overthrow the government of Donald Trump," rhetoric that bears distinct echoes of Karl Marx, before clarifying that Americans must do so "in an orderly and lawful way."
"We have a method for changing governments here in the United States," Baldwin said. "We must in an orderly and lawful way overthrow the government of Donald Trump."
"Let’s 'Make America Great Again' by making Donald Trump a failed casino operator again," Baldwin said in a mic-drop-moment ending to his speech.
While Baldwin probably sees himself as one of the president's preeminent critics thanks to his work on SNL, the content of his speech is the latest example of how even Trump's political enemies have started to emulate him. Perhaps the best example of this trend is Michael Avenatti, the LA lawyer who made his name representing Stormy Daniels in her quest to share intimate details about Trump's "mushroom penis" with the world. Avenatti has established himself as a contender for the Democratic nomination in 2020 by relying on the same attention-seeking affinity for bombast that helped Trump cement his grip on the nomination back in 2016.
Even if Baldwin's star were to fade before primary season, it wouldn't change the fact that traditional politicians like Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand are facing an uphill battle as Americans have developed an appetite for "non-politician" political leaders, a trend that will only benefit fringe contenders like Oprah Winfrey, Avenatti and Baldwin.
Alec Baldwin: "We need to overthrow the government of the United States under Donald Trump." pic.twitter.com/J332cZA7rf— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 15, 2018
After his speech, Baldwin reiterated to reporters that his call for the "overthrow of the Trump government" was intended to be a nonviolent call for voters to vote. However, the trend toward violent rhetoric is difficult to miss. After all, Baldwin's remarks followed Hillary Clinton's warning last week that Democrats "cannot be civil" towards the GOP, and former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder’s rallying cry that "When they go low–we kick ’em!".
Ahead of Baldwin's remarks, New Hampshire GOP Chairman Wayne MacDonald released a statement asking "surely, with a Democrat field as talented for 2020 as the Democrats claim, a better, less controversial, speaker could have been arranged."
And while that's probably true, what's one more speech from Corey Booker when you can listen to the eldest Baldwin Brother rage about the need for an armed insurrection? We imagine it made for a more exciting keynote address at the NH Democratic Party's fall fundraiser dinner, a typically staid affair.