There’s a great moment in Woody Allen’s Manhattan where Woody’s character Isaac chats with socialites at a cocktail party and he brings up a Nazi march coming to New Jersey. Isaac suggests that those at the party “get some guys together, get some bricks and baseball bats and really … explain things to them.” A partygoer responds that there was a devastating satirical piece on the march in the Op-Ed section of the New York Times. Another argues that “biting satire is always better than physical force.” Finally, Woody retorts that physical force is always better with Nazis, “because it’s hard to satirize a guy in shiny boots.”
I thought about that scene on Sunday night, when John Oliver went on TV to propose a solution to Trump’s domination of the GOP primary: #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain. Since actually calling out Trump for his pandering and lies achieves absolutely nothing, since he can and will say anything with the knowledge that he has a reputation for speaking the truth among those voting for him, Oliver proposed taking away his last name — a word which evokes triumph and trump cards, not to mention decades of mostly effective branding — and replacing it with Drumpf.