Samantha Bee took a look Trump’s voter suppression expert Kris Kobach on Wednesday, and it should surprise no one to discover that his past is a little icky, even before he joined the war on the Fifteenth Amendment. As Bee lays it out, Kobach may as well have spent his pre-Trump years offering drunks a dime for every quarter they can balance on its edge. His grift worked like this:
- Kobach sold small-town governments on the idea of drafting harsh anti-immigration laws.
- Kobach and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) helped them write these laws.
- When the laws were inevitably challenged in court—immigration policy being in no way the purview of small-town governments—Kobach defended them, for a fee. (One of the marks, the town of Farmers Branch, Texas, spent more than $6 million on one of these doomed battles.)
- When the laws were inevitably defeated, Kobach moved on, presumably by outrunning enraged townspeople and jumping onto a passing boxcar.
It’s such obvious flimflam that Samantha Bee decided to stage it like The Music Man, singing a “Ya Got Trouble”-inspired number selling pre-World War I townspeople on the idea of embarrassing themselves in court at great expense in the name of racism. As a memorable explanation of this sorry little scam, “Kris Kobach’s Racist Music Man” works very well. As a specific parody of The Music Man, Meredith Willson can rest easy, although naming the town “Beckyville” and inscribing “Oh. My. God.” on the statue in the town square is pretty inspired. Getting Hamilton’s Javier Muñoz to appear is a nice touch, too, even if the joke is that Bee keeps cutting him off. But Full Frontal With Samantha Bee has a long ways to go before it offers any real challenge to the longtime world champion: “Porcupine Racetrack,” from The State. You won’t learn anything about Kris Kobach from it, but, come on, do you really want to know what he’s been up to lately?