“Last night the devil came down to Georgia, he was looking for a vote to steal,” said Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday evening, the night two runoff elections in Georgia determined control of the US Senate. Donald Trump visited the state for a rally, ostensibly in support of the Republican candidates, incumbent senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, “but really he was just there to be truthless to the toothless”, Kimmel explained.
Kimmel timed how long into his speech it took Trump to mention, baselessly, that the Georgia election was rigged against him: seven seconds, which is “four seconds longer than he lasted with Stormy Daniels,” Kimmel joked, “so that’s something.”
Trump’s attempt to subvert democracy continued on Wednesday, when a “million moron march” planned for the Capitol would coincide with Congress’s symbolic vote certifying the election results. Twelve GOP senators, including Loeffler, pledged to object to the electoral college vote, backing Trump’s evidence-less claims of election fraud. “It’s a move that will certainly fail,” Kimmel explained, “the only question now is: what is Mike Pence going to do about it?”
As vice-president, Pence is technically the president of the Senate, a largely symbolic role that has no bearing on the election’s certification. Nevertheless, “boss baby is pressuring Pence to say he’s the winner,” Kimmel said, “which makes no sense. By that logic, Al Gore could’ve declared himself to be president.”
Trump’s pressure has forced Pence into a no-win situation: do his job and displease Trump, or futilely violate the constitution and still probably anger Trump. “Can you imagine how sweet it’s going to be when after years of Mike Pence kissing the president’s Kentucky fried ass like a rottweiler licks a roast beef, Trump turns on him in the last minute?” Kimmel wondered. “Poor Mike Pence, he hasn’t been this stressed out since the time he saw a woman in short sleeves.”
On the Late Show, Stephen Colbert also poked fun at Pence’s unforced error of a bind. Despite Trump’s claims to the contrary, “Pence’s role as president of the Senate is a purely ceremonial job,” Colbert explained, akin to an Oscars presenter opening the envelope to announce the winner for best picture.
“Of course, the president doesn’t know how to take ceremonial for an answer,” as he tweeted on Tuesday, inaccurately, that “the vice-president has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.”
“No he doesn’t!” Colbert retorted. “The vice-president can’t arbitrarily decide who’s the next president. Otherwise, in 2001, I’m gonna guess Al Gore would’ve picked Al Gore. The constitution clearly states: the vice-president’s primary power is having no power.
“This has got to be a painful moment for Pence,” Colbert continued, “having to choose between the country he loves and the man he’s pledged to help destroy it.” The certification vote on Wednesday was reportedly “gut-wrenching” for Pence, according to aides – “almost as gut-wrenching as the time he accidentally ate a salted cracker”, Colbert quipped.
And on Late Night, Seth Meyers blasted congressional Republicans’ response to the recording, released Sunday, of Trump’s phone call with Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, in which he demanded Raffensperger “find” enough votes to overturn the election in his favor. “It was already sedition when Republicans were attempting to overturn a free and fair election before Trump’s call,” Meyers said, “but to get on board after the call is just shocking in its brazenness. I mean, the guy may have committed a crime by basically admitting he was trying to steal the election and Republicans were like, ‘sign me up!’”
“They’re shoving it in our faces,” he added. “They’re like suspects in a police lineup raising their hands and saying ‘it was me! I did it! Can I go now?’”
Some Republicans have attempted to thread a needle’s eye, backing Trump while distancing themselves from the call itself, such as the Tennessee senator Marsha Blackburn, who called it “not a helpful call”.
“Oh, I’m so sorry the president wasn’t helpful to your attempt to steal the election by blurting out what you were trying to do the whole time,” Meyers responded. “Republicans think they’re slick members of an elite heist squad trying to rob a precious jewel from a museum, rappeling down into a vault on a rope, dodging lasers, and Trump’s the guy who just walks up to a security guard with a hammer and says, ‘I’m here to steal the fancy diamond! Oh, thank you, a map. And, excuse me, how does this map know I’m here?’”
Meyers also touched on Pence’s reportedly “gut-wrenching” dilemma before his symbolic participation in Congress’s certification of the election results. “Spare a thought for Mike Pence’s gut,” he said, “because it’s really been through the wringer these past few years, and now he has to choose between the constitution and a sleazy mafia don cold-calling election officials illegally, begging for votes like a telemarketer.”