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Watch: Randy Rainbow Tuts Trump with Madge-tastic 'Border Lies'

by Kilian Melloy
Thursday Feb 21, 2019

Though his usual oeuvre lies more with Broadway show tunes revamped (emphasis on vamped) for political satire, Randy Rainbow has taken leave of the Great White Way for a foray into Material Girlhood with a version of the 1983 Madonna hit that's been rewritten to address a 2019 crisis: The president's plan to define the situation at the Southern border as a "national crisis" in order to wield extraordinary powers, override Congress, and use money set aside for other purposes to fund construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico.

In the new video — another of Rainbow's satirical mock interviews that combines news footage with custom made imagery of Rainbow posing as a reporter — the political parodist seems to be attending the press conference at the White House Rose Garden where President Trump outlines his plans for declaring a national emergency and describes his expectation that it will be necessary to fight legal challenges in the courts.

But before jumping into that relatively trivial morass, Rainbow has an even more pressing question for the president:

"Did you see the Grammys and, if so, what did you think of Jennifer Lopez's performance?" Rainbow asks, having donned his signature pink cat-eye style eyeglasses.

"Who?" Trump appears to respond.

"J. Lo?" prompts Rainbow.

"I don't know her."

"Thank you, and now my followup," Rainbow pivots. "Will you, in fact, declare a national emergency at the Southern border?"

"I'll sign the final papers as soon as I get into the oval office and we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the Ninth Circuit, even though it shouldn't be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we'll get another bad ruling..."

As Trump continues his litany in a sing-song manner, the musical maverick of mockery assumes a look of delight.

"...and then we'll end up in the Supreme Court," Trump sing-songs.

"I love this song," Rainbow appears to confide to someone standing just out of frame.

In fact, Trump's sing-song diatribe drew notice from more traditional news sources, including TIME Magazine, which featured Trump's litany in a story on his plans to declare a national emergency over his pet project.

As TIME noted, 16 states have already filed suit over the issue. Moreover, Democrats in both the Republican-led Senate and the Democrat-majority House have also denounced the plan, and House Democrats could very well file a suit of their own.

Moreover, private citizens whose land would be affected by the construction of the wall have also headed to court.

Trump, however, simply presumes that such lawsuits would eventually fail.

"...and then we'll get a fair shake, and we'll win at the Supreme Court," Trump continues in the Randy Rainbow video, seemingly expressing confidence that the bench — which now boasts a majority of conservative jurists, two of them appointed by Trump himself — will side with him. "Just like the ban," Trump continues, referencing another controversial and unilateral move by his administration, a denial entry into the country to people from certain Muslim-majority nations.

"Sweetie," Rainbow attempts to break in, as Trump's litany continues, going off-course and into the history of the Muslim ban. "Some say you're concocting this crisis to get money for your wall. Well, it was a wall; now it's a... fence? What's it today, some chicken wire and an ADT security detail?"

Finally, Rainbow jumps into the singing portion of the clip. "Some say that you're full of shit and others, well... agree," the satirist sings as an instrumental version of the bubblegum pop hit commences. "That you're just fomenting fear and hate with your hyperbole."

Trump interjects with, "Drugs and gangs and people — it's an invasion!"

Experts in the subject have disagreed with the president as to his claims that drugs and gang members are streaming unimpeded across the border from Mexico, noting that most of the illegal drugs coming into the country are crossing legal checkpoints while overall numbers for illegal immigration have fallen significantly in recent years. Journalists, too, have pointed out that both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have cited misleading numbers, seemingly attempting to portray the sum total of smugglers and other criminals intercepted at all points on the border as having tried to cross at the Southern border. A Washington Post article compiled a "broad debunking" of the administration's claims.

"Now push has come to shove," Rainbow sallies on, "you shut down the gov just to try and get your way."

"I didn't need to do this," Trump notes.

"Your only interest is in campaign promises," Rainbow croons. "Can we believe a word you say?"

"No," Trump appears to answer.

"Gurl," Rainbow continues. "You're at an impasse. "Now they['re gonna sue your ass. But you just keep pushing these —"

"You don't have a border? You don't have a country," Trump jumps in.

" — border lies!" Rainbow goes on. "Freaking us out while you dramatize all the stats you claim you've been shown backin' your border lies."

"Border lies!" a chorus of multiple Randy Rainbows, dressed identically in hot pink suits and ties, declare as they suddenly pop onto the screen.

"Border lies! Great for distracting from Russian ties," Rainbow steams ahead. After concluding the chorus, Rainbow reverts to spoken words: "Sir, you told us that Mexico will reimburse us for the border wall. Is it true that you will allow them to pay entirely with 20% off coupons from Bed Bath & Beyond?"

"Where the hell did that come from?" Trump demands.

"I have my sources," Rainbow replies, before sheepishly adding, "My mom posted it on Facebook."

In reality, the president has suggested that once his declaration of a national emergency has brushed aside legal challenges, he will be free to raid monies set aside for other purposes. USA Today listed some of those sources, which include funds for military construction. More funds are available for "drug interdiction," and could be accessed without the drastic step of declaring a Constitutionally dubious national emergency. Asset forfeiture could also provide a windfall for the project, USA Today reported.

View the parody video in its entirety below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


  • , 2019-02-21 11:24:13

    Worth a look and a laugh !!

  • , 2019-02-21 11:26:13

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