Before I get into the weeds on today’s Madison Cawthorn nightmarish story, I want to recommend something. I suggest that anyone seeking to understand today’s Republican party in-depth view an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The episode I refer to is called “Assaulting reality.” I will explain why this episode is so important in a minute.
Cawthorn, who is doing his best to be hated by everybody, spoke out on the House Floor this week. The subject was abortion. The speaker, Cawthorn, had some thoughts on this matter. They were pretty barbaric: “Eternal souls woven into earthen vessels sanctified by almighty God and endowed with the miracle of life are denied their birth.”
The backlash was immediate. I could list hundreds of responses but will not do that. Instead, I will say this: I am not an “earthen vessel.” And this country is not the Republic of Gilead. The Handmaid’s Tale is fiction, Mr. Cawthorn — or it was until soulless people like you decided to bring it to life.
I don’t doubt that Cawthron meant what he said. I also don’t doubt he wanted publicity. Republican politics is nothing but a flashy and blinding reality TV show. The elected members — most of them — exist to hear and see their toxic words and insane diatribes flickering from entertainment shows everywhere. These stunts bring them attention and notoriety, which is all they care about besides money.
And now back to the Law & Order episode “Assaulting Reality.” I am a big fan of this series and have watched this episode many times. The central plot involves a reality show contestant who claims to have been raped on set. Benson and her team started investigating and learned more than they ever wanted to know about the reality business.
And it is a business — making countless people rich. This episode gives us a better understanding of the ins and outs of reality television, and with that comes a deeper understanding of the GOP. It is well worth watching.
Given no spoilers, I will say, the show makes clear the one way to solve the problem. Expose the reality show industry for what it is — scripted and divisive garbage. So let’s follow Olivia Benson’s lead and aim to do just that.