John Oliver is back on Last Week Tonight, taking a look at the Democratic National Convention in an episode aired Sunday night. Oliver continued on from last week’s look at the Republican National Convention (RNC), as politicians gear up for the November presidential election. “Or as it’s commonly known, a horrifying look at Satan’s Pinterest board 2016,” he said.
The controversy-fueled RNC set the bar low for the DNC, but even then it didn’t start well. An email hack shook the DNC before it could even get off the ground, with the resignation of chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz dominating the news cycle. “All they had to do was not appear like a complete disaster, and yet somehow…,” Oliver said.
After shaky beginnings for the DNC, Oliver highlighted barnstorming speeches from top Democratic politicians. Michelle Obama gave a moving speech about the country’s foundations, but Oliver criticized audience members for clapping when she said that the White House was built by slaves.
“On Wednesday, Joe Biden spoke, assuming the role of America’s motivational cattle prod,” said Oliver.
Vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine was described by Oliver as “a human sweater vest” and “a portrait of a vice president that came with the frame.” The Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, stood before the nation in a white outfit that Oliver described as “full Pitbull cosplay.”
But one of the most memorable speeches at the DNC was when Khizr Khan took to the stage. Khan’s Muslim son was killed in combat serving in the United States military in 2004, and he attacked Trump for not sacrificing anything for his country like his son had. Trump’s reaction to the speech sparked outrage when he chose to focus on the fact that Khan’s wife did not speak.
Oliver noted the disparity between the RNC and DNC, as the latter appeared to have more party grandees willing to support their candidate. Neither of the living Bush presidents gave speeches at the RNC, and speeches seemed to be aimed at reinforcing the idea that Trump is going to make America great again.
The RNC’s repeated idea that America is currently not great right now left the field open for the DNC to seize the mantle of patriotism. The party of Reagan, who ran on a campaign of optimism, in recent times appears to act more pessimistic in its message to the nation. This, combined with the lack of party bigwigs, made the RNC feel like a very different convention than previous years.
“The Republican Party doesn’t seem to currently exist,” Oliver said.
Last Week Tonight airs Sunday nights on HBO.