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- Sen. Ernst appeared on the Senate floor to critique President Biden, saying Biden only was listening to Democrats living on “Liberal Fantasy Island.”
- Points on a visual aid said this liberal fantasy land included ending the filibuster, passing the Green New Deal, abolishing I.C.E, defunding the police, increasing taxes, and expanding the courts.
- A comedian on Twitter changed some of her talking points to “sex blimps,” “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” only letting gay people eat at restaurants, and abolishing lasagna.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, appeared on the Senate floor on Wednesday, April 28, saying President Biden was not uniting the nation and that he should listen to Republican voices.
"Frankly, the president only seems to be listening to the far left progressives within the Democratic Party, who live on their own fantasy island," Ernst said, pulling out a poster board.
On the visual aid was an image of an island with the phrases "expand the court," "tax increase," "defund the police," "end the filibuster now," "Green New Deal," and "Abolish I.C.E." meant to represent priorities on the left to which Ernst argued Biden was catering to.
That afternoon, a doctored image of Ernst’s poster was posted on Twitter with the message, "wtf even are some of these???????" The post came from Keaton Patti, a comedy writer and actor who has contributed to The New Yorker, Funny or Die and the satirical McSweeney’s, and The Onion.
The image showed Ernst next to a poster with the same title, "Liberal Fantasy Island," but some of Ernst’s original talking points had been replaced. Her note on tax increases was replaced with "sex blimps." Defund the police was replaced with "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," end the filibuster was replaced with "only gay people get to go to restaurants," and abolish I.C.E. was replaced with "abolish lasagna."
Some users caught onto the joke, but others in Twitter replies sought clarification on whether or not the image Patti shared was real.
Patti has garnered internet attention before for satirical work. In 2020, he published a book of scripts, essays, and advertisements that he wrote and marketed as if they came from robots that had consumed a certain genre of material and were attempting to rewrite it themselves. The book was inspired by Tweets he published in the same format.
Though abolishing lasagna was not one of the liberal fantasies on Ernst’s presentation, the senator has claimed the left is engaged in a "War on Meat."
On April 13 she introduced a bill that would prohibit federal agencies from establishing policies that prohibit eating meat in their dining facilities. The Daily Iowan previously reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a newsletter in 2012 encouraging government employees not to eat meat once a week, although the USDA did not impose a ban on meat consumption in its facilities. No action has been taken on the bill since it was introduced.
By the way, Ernst weighed in on the joke on Twitter later in the day.
"For the record: I’m pro-lasagna," she wrote.
The image circling on Twitter was edited by a comedian to make a joke. None of Ernst’s talking points included sex blimps, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, only letting gay people eat at restaurants, or abolishing lasagna.
Like so many things on the internet, this started as satire but has been misinterpreted by some people who believe it’s real. If you’re wondering whether Ernst talked about liberals wanting to ban lasagna, she didn’t. We rate that Pants on Fire!
Joni Ernst speech, April 28, 2021
Keaton Patti tweet, April 28, 2021
Andrew McMeel Publishing, I Forced a Bot to Write This Book
The Daily Iowan, "‘It makes me sizzle:’ Joni Ernst proposes bill to prevent ‘Meatless Monday’ initiative in government agencies," April 13, 2021
Joni Ernst tweet, April 28, 2020
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