Sen. Katie Britt

Sen. Katie Britt (R-Ala.) delivers the GOP's response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address on March 7, 2023.

(Photo: PBS/Screengrab)

'Handmaid's Tale Coming to Life': Katie Britt's SOTU Response Sparks Alarm

"As someone who covers the far-right and the Christian nationalist movement, Sen. Katie Britt's speech was the closest thing to porn they'll consume," wrote one journalist.

Republican Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama delivered her party's official response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union on Thursday night and offered viewers a horrifying glimpse of the far-right Christian nationalism now embedded in the GOP, which has succumbed fully to Donald Trump's fascist vision for the country.

Speaking in hushed tones and intermittently flashing a menacing smile, Britt—the former CEO of an Alabama corporate lobbying organization and the wife of a lobbyist—said from the comfort of her posh kitchen inside her 6,000-square-foot mansion that she understands and sympathizes with "what real families are facing."

Britt, who has been floated as a possible 2024 running mate for former President Donald Trump, characterized the GOP as the "party of hardworking parents and families"—neglecting to mention the trillions of dollars in tax breaks the party has funneled to the rich and large corporations in recent years while opposing programs such as the expanded child tax credit, which briefly slashed U.S. child poverty in half.

"Growing up sweeping the floor at my dad's hardware store and cleaning the bathroom at my mom's dance studio, I never could have imagined what my story would entail," said Britt. "To think what the American Dream can do across just one generation, in just one lifetime, is truly breathtaking. But right now, the American Dream has turned into a nightmare for so many families."

The 42-year-old freshman senator devoted much of her speech to fearmongering over the "crisis at our southern border" that Biden has purportedly "invited," recounting gruesome stories of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants and cartels. Trump and other far-right Republicans frequently use such stories to broadly demonize immigrants and justify inhumane crackdowns on asylum seekers.

"As someone who covers the far-right and the Christian nationalist movement, Sen. Katie Britt's speech was the closest thing to porn they'll consume," wrote photojournalist Zach D. Roberts. "It wasn't for you, or me. That said, I highly recommend that you watch it, as detestable as it was."

The Republican senator's theatrical, and sometimes comically bizarre, performance drew widespread mockery on social media.

At one point in Britt's speech, someone edited her Wikipedia page to say she is "a member of The Handmaid's Tale and not one of the good ones"—a reference to the dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood that inspired the popular television series by the same name.

Many compared Britt to Serena Waterford, the novel and show's leading female villain.

"Seriously, the Katie Britt response is scary as shit. This is like a sci-fi movie," wroteDaily Beast columnist David Rothkopf. "This is Handmaid's Tale coming to life."

As New York magazine's Ed Kilgore noted, the substance of Britt's speech "was right from the Donald Trump American Carnage repertoire, treating the condition of the country as a vast hellscape of rampaging immigrants, blighted communities, and terrified, impoverished families."

Britt's claim that she and other Republicans are "fighting for" a "brighter" future for such communities and families is belied by the party's commitment to environmental degradation, privatized healthcare and education, Social Security cuts, and draconian rollbacks of fundamental freedoms, including abortion rights.

As The 19th's Mel Leonor Barclay reported in the wake of Britt's speech, the senator—an outspoken abortion opponent—"ran as a Christian conservative and during her campaign supported Alabama's version of Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill, arguing that 'we need to get God back in our classrooms.'"

"She is part of a cadre of young Republicans closely aligned with Trump—he called Britt a 'fearless America First Warrior,'" Barclay added. "Britt is one of dozens of Republicans who didn't respond to a request for comment and repeated follow-ups from The 19th sent to every sitting member of Congress about where they stood on childcare policy."

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