Jimmy Kimmel returned to his show after a week’s absence on Monday night, and he brought his adorable son Billy with him. His son’s heart condition was the impetus for Kimmel’s abrupt plunge into the national conversation about health care this spring, and his follow-up segments detailing exactly what was so vile about Republican plans for health care did a lot to help kill the disastrous Graham-Cassidy bill. Kimmel was gone last week because Billy was having heart surgery again—he’s fine, as his appearance on the show makes clear—but once more, his son’s fragile health has gotten the late night host concerned about the health of children who aren’t fortunate enough to have a television star for a father.
Kimmel’s empathy and compassion are, of course, completely alien to the modern Republican party, which has failed to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in favor of working on their big, dumb tax cut. So Kimmel patiently walks his audience through exactly what congress is doing (letting kids, including kids with life-threatening conditions, lose access to health care) and why they’re doing it (they’re too busy making rich people richer to find the time). It’s a moving segment, not least because his love of his son is visible in every frame. Then he moved on to Roy Moore:
Again, a great, funny way of making the point that Roy Moore is unfit to serve as a mall security guard, much less a United States Senator. But let’s recap. Kimmel makes two moral propositions here:
- It’s wrong to let children die so rich people can get richer.
- It’s wrong to give more power to a man who is credibly accused of preying on teenage girls.
One would think that these would be pretty uncontroversial positions. Instead, we’re at a point where a TV host who says these things out loud is hailed by half the country as the nation’s conscience, and reviled by the other half for being too political. It’s a brave new world.