Late-night hosts Stephen Colbert got serious Wednesday after an angry, violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, where lawmakers had convened for what is normally the routine certification of the presidential election results. Colbert went “unexpectedly live,” addressing the Republican leaders he deems responsible for supporting President Trump’s desperate attempts to overturn Joe Biden’s victory as well as his inflammatory rhetoric.
Watch the monologue here [YouTube link]
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[Stephen] Hey, everybody. Welcome to an unexpectedly live “Late Show”.” I’m your host, Stephen Colbert. You know how you know it’s live? If it wasn’t live, they would have edited out all this dead space I’m giving you right now. I really want to do the show we’re about to do and I also don’t want to do the show we’re about to do because, lord have mercy– There are some dark subjects that we talk about on the show occasionally, but I’ve really been as upset as I am tonight. And I’m sure you are, too.
Hey, republicans who supported this president, especially the ones in the joint session of congress today, have you had enough? After five years of coddling this president’s fascist rhetoric, guess whose followers want to burn down the Reichstag? Because today, the U.S. Capitol was overrun for the first time since 1814, and a woman DIED. Who could have seen this coming? Everyone? Even dummies like me. This is the most shocking, most tragic, least-surprising thing I’ve ever seen. For years now, people have been telling you cowards that if you let the president lie about our democracy over and over and then join him in that lie and say he’s right when you know for a fact that he is not, there will be a terrible price to pay. But you just never thought you’d have to pay it, too.
I really do hope you’re enjoying those tax cuts. And those judges, because those judges are really going to be working hard. They’re going to be busy throwing these idiots in jail. And by “idiots” I include the republicans who let this happen, like you senator Josh Hawley, raising your stupid fist to the mob outside the Capitol. Look at that. It’s like black power but the opposite. There really should be a name for that. And, obviously, he has to keep his fist closed, because if he opened it, you would see all the blood on his hands.
Speaking of which, how about you, Fox News? You think maybe years of pedaling his conspiracy theories had anything to do with this? “Oh, but come on, man. You know we have our opinion side and our news side. Come on, we’re just trying to turn a coin for uncle rupee, sell a few lubricated catheters.” Like those lubricated catheters you know where you can stick your excuses and you can skip the lubrication.
I’m sure you already know up there what I’m talking about: it’s the thousands of MAGA protesters who stormed the Capitol building. It’s a horrifying day that will go down in U.S. History, however much longer that is. There is only one way to describe this…
[President Trump] Law and order.
[Stephen] nope, that’s not it.
[President Trump] American carnage.
[Stephen] That’s the one. Johnny, tell them what they won.
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A second civil war! And a Broyhill dining set. You’ll be eating in style in the smoldering after-scape. Back to you, Steve!
[Stephen] You see, today was the constitutionally mandated final step before a new president can get inaugurated. A joint session of congress to basically rubber stamp the electoral votes. Except this time, over 100 G.O.P. House members and at least 13 G.O.P. Senators decided to reject some states’ election results over alleged voter irregularities. Those same supposed voter irregularities that Rudy Giuliani failed to prove to a single judge, no matter how passionately he farted. Well, this morning, at a MAGA rally right outside the white house, the president incited the mob to march on the Capitol building.
[President Trump] We’re going to the Capitol, and we’re going to try and give the democrats are hopeless. They’re never voting for anything, not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help. We’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania avenue. We’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down… We’re going to walk down anyone you want, but I think right here, we’re going to walk down to the Capitol.
[Stephen] For the record, if I said that, I would be arrested for inciting a riot. But of course you can’t arrest the president… for 15 more days. And his followers did what he told them to do: behave in a way that’s– what’s the word? Deplorable. They marched down Pennsylvania avenue and stormed the barricades. Look at that. You still think walls work? Frightened hill staffers were told to evacuate the Madison building, as well as the Canon House office building with Capitol police going door by door, running down the hallways. That’s a very upsetting Paul Revere remix. “The red hats are coming! The red hats are coming!” [Sighs] staffers were told to go to underground tunnels and take escape hoods to protect them from inhailing anything dangerous. Well, that’s a bit of a surprise. From the look of those rioters, I would have guessed they were the ones wearing hoodz. After the mob swarmed inside the building, Capitol police released tear gas into the rotunda. Little late, fellas. That’s like closing the barn door after the cow has tried to violently overthrow the farm. A moo-de’ ta, if you will. And I hope you won’t.
Then these idiots broke into the senate chamber, including this guy, who stood at the podium. Remember this morning the news was all saying democrats now control the senate? I’m going to say that report was a little premature. “The Late Show”” is ready to project senate control has passed to majority leader shirtless freak in a Viking hat.
Now, again, congress was in a joint session to receive the electoral college votes, confirming that Joseph R. Biden would be the next president of these United States. But all of this republican-generated chaos led to an evacuation of the chambers. And legislators were hustled to secure locations to shelter in place. A question for the republican senators who helped foment this insurrection: why did you run away? I mean, these are your peeps. They love you. Why didn’t you hang out with your buddies, Marsha Blackburn, Kelly Loeffler, Ron Johnson, John “not that Kennedy” Kennedy. You can run all you want for the rest of your lives but you can never escape the responsibility of what you brought upon American democracy today.
And this was never some sort of peaceful protest. This was Charlottesville come home to roost on Capitol Hill. Look at these thugs. A guy in a QAnon t-shirt chasing a Capitol security officer up flight after flight of stairs. Nothing to see here, folks. Just a crowd of angry white people chasing a black man, remind me: are we great again yet? The justice department finally responded with a strong show of force– I’m sorry, no, Jim, that’s federal police tear gassing peaceful protesters so that the president could do a photo op. Jim, do we have the actual response, a photo? There you go. Nope, I’m sorry. No, that’s during the B.L.M. protests where troops were guarding a statue of Lincoln from black people.
Now, in case you were wondering what kind of Americans would try to violently overthrow the government, you guess it. It’s this kind. Is it just me or does that thing always seem to show up at only the worst events. You never read, “the confederate flag was seen today waving over free yoga in the park.
One of these domestic terrorists even broke into speaker Pelosi’s office and put his feet up on her desk. Another one took to the senate dais and reportedly ideal, “Trump won that election!” Ladies and gentlemen, I present the front-runners for the 2024 republican nomination.
Over at the house chamber, there was an armed standoff between police and rioters at the chamber door. Well, thank goodness it was just a white person with a gun out there. If it were a black guy with a can of iced tea, it might have escalated.
Now, an hour and a half after the Capitol had been stormed, president Jefferson doofus finally weighed in tweeting, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful.” Note the word “remain.” He didn’t say “leave.” He said stay there and remain “peaceful.” Peaceful like this? “I am calling for all of the toothpaste to quietly return to the tube peacefully.”
While he who started this could not bring himself to stop it, we heard a very different message from the president-elect who issued a challenge to the traitor in chief.
[Joe Biden] I call on president Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the constitution and demand an end to this siege.
[Stephen] That’s an interesting ploi– luring the president out of hiding with the promise of national tv is like putting a little piece of cheese in a trap for a rat. Although, you could probably catch the president with cheese, too.
Just a few moments after Biden stepped offstage, the violence-stoker in the white house did release a video where he was supposed to calm things down but instead, he… reiterated his false claim that the election was stolen from him several times, and ended by saying this to the the rioters:
[President Trump] So go home. We love you. You’re very special.
[Stephen] Boy, that is a really weird thing to say to rioters. And I’m guessing tough for Eric to hear. “Dad! I’m sorry I didn’t riot! Love me, too! I’m special.”
Hot tip for the rioters by the way: I know you guys don’t like to be told to wear masks, but those masks really would have come in handy when you’re getting your picture taken while you’re breaking the law! And you know the people you were doing all of this supposedly to help? Well, those folks are out of power now. They can’t protect you. As a matter of fact, they hid in the basement from you, and they will turn on you in a second, because they believe in nothing but themselves.
Speaking of believing in nothing, a reminder that the president said this to you:
[President Trump] We’re going to walk down– and I’ll be there with you– we’re going to walk down… [Cheering] we’re going to walk down anyone you want, but I think right here. We’re going to walk down to the Capitol.
[Stephen] He kept saying, “we,” but he didn’t go with you. He does not give a damn about you. He went home to watch it on tv. You’re just entertainment for him. And, of course, a steady stream of merchandise sales.
Anyway… This isn’t how any of this works. We don’t decide elections on who’s most upset. We decide them by who gets the most votes, portioned by state through a weird electoral college that was instituted to maintain the political power of slave states. It’s a long story. But the point is, the person who screams the loudest doesn’t get their way. That only works on family road trips and you end up having Baskin Robbins for dinner.
And, sadly, we should not be surprised by any of this. These people who stormed the Capitol today have eagerly swallowed divisive bullcrap at the president’s rallies for five years. They now live in an alternate universe that is now collapsing in on itself. It’s– it’s like a black hole of whiteness.
Now, I’ve said before, violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. And if the last four years has taught us anything, it’s that there are a lot of incompetent folks in our leadership. But I would invite all of these disgruntled Americans to take a page out of Stacey Abrams’ book. Don’t endanger our country’s greatest legacy, the peaceful transfer of power just because your guy lost. Get out there and focus on winning the next round. Come on, republicans. Don’t go up to Capitol Hill for a government handout. Pull yourselves up by your own bootstraps and just work a little harder.
And in 2022, when all of those republicans who — make no mistake — are responsible for what happened today and are running for reelection, let’s remember them for who they showed themselves to be today– cynical cowards who believe the voters should not get to choose who governs this country. Let’s hope the voters prove them all wrong.
We’ve got a great show for you tonight. I’ll be talking to senator Amy Klobuchar and republican congressman Adam Kinzinger. Stick around.
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