Baldwin's portrayal is the best thing to happen to Trump, no matter how much the president complains about it on Twitter, says Peter Canellos. "The sheer relentlessness of Trump’s disdain suggests that Baldwin’s impersonation must go beyond satire into something more subversive—that the 61-year-old actor is spewing poisonous propaganda against a duly elected leader," says Canellos. "But to look back over the full Baldwin/Trump oeuvre since 2016 is to realize just how tame it is—and, in an important way, what a favor it does the president. Baldwin’s Trump bears a closer resemblance to the befuddled governor on the old Benson sitcom than it does Dr. Strangelove or The Manchurian Candidate or any other of the darker historical figures to whom he’s been compared. In Baldwin’s hands he’s foolish and self-deluded, all right, but he also sometimes seems abashed by the reactions he provokes and the trouble he accidentally stirs up." Canellos says Trump is dead wrong if he thinks Baldwin's impersonation is politically damaging. "By giving Trump qualities he’s shown little evidence of in public—conscience, introspection, even regret— SNL does him an enormous favor," he says. "It offers a glimmer of sympathy about his motives, inviting the generous assumption that there’s a better and more self-aware man lurking behind the Twitter feed. In portraying the president as a beleaguered figure, it even allows the conclusion that the real threat to democracy isn’t Trump’s venomous rhetoric or disregard for constitutional norms, but the ruthlessness of the Washington system that confronts this blustering, fumbling uncle."