Culture Trips

Stephen Colbert: ‘The only GOP purity test is loyalty to Mayor McTreason’ | Late-night TV roundup

Stephen Colbert

After a week away, Stephen Colbert returned to The Late Show to discuss “the GOP’s purge of anyone who dares question the former president”, such as Liz Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in the House and staunch conservative now facing calls for resignation after she refused to back Donald Trump’s election fraud lies.

Cheney’s detractors include the House minority leader and Trump lackey Kevin McCarthy, who was caught on a hot mic last week saying he’d “had it” with Cheney, the daughter of George W Bush’s vice-president, Dick Cheney.

“What has happened to the GOP?” Colbert wondered. “Back in Liz Cheney’s father’s day, if you had a problem with a fellow Republican, you didn’t stab them in the back, you shot him in the face on a hunting trip, then you made them go on TV and apologize to you.”

“So now, the only GOP purity test is loyalty to Mayor McTreason,” Colbert concluded. And “nowhere is the GOP’s complete retreat from reality worse than their so-called election audit in Maricopa county, Arizona.” The county already had two official audits after the 2020 election – “both of which revealed exactly zero shenanigans”, Colbert explained – but Republican state senators authorized a third by a private security firm called Cyber Ninjas, which has zero experience in election audits and is owned by the Trump conspiracy theorist Doug Logan.

“Because of the two official audits finding no fraud, the cyber ninjas are thinking outside the box and the brain,” Colbert explained, such as examining ballots using microscopes and ultraviolet light in a hunt for “bamboo particles” as part of a baseless conspiracy that the ballots were planted by China.

“That’s insane – bamboo literally grows everywhere in the world,” said Colbert. “If you want to prove the ballots were from China, you’ve got to look for little bits of panda fur or traces of Ivanka handbags.”

Seth Meyers

While “most political parties would move on and engage in some level of introspection and self-assessment after being repeatedly rejected by a majority of voters and losing power entirely”, said Seth Meyers on Monday’s Late Night, Republicans are only “intensifying their devotion to Trump”, as exemplified by the push to oust Rep Cheney.

“As I’ve said many times now, I did not want to side with Liz Cheney,” Meyers said. “She is not a hero. She’s a pro-war torture apologist who stood by Trump in 2016 and during his first impeachment and helped build the modern GOP into what it is today. She’s as much to blame for the rise of Trumpism as anyone else in Republican leadership. I don’t want to support her.

“It’s just that now, she’s being purged for simply stating the reality that Trump lost and there was no widespread fraud,” Meyers explained, noting that the likely pick to replace Cheney’s leadership role would be the New York representative Elize Stefanik, who recently appeared on Steve Bannon’s podcast to support the baseless Arizona election audit because, as she said, “we need to fix these election security issues going into the future.”

“What election security issues?” Meyers fumed. “Strands of bamboo on ballots smuggled in from Asia? What’s next? ‘We’re also using a 5k camera to look for microscopic marinara stains to make sure no ballots were secretly smuggled in from Italy – I personally witnessed an antifa fraudster sneak into the accounting room with a calzone stuffed with pepperoni and fraudulent ballots.’”

Trevor Noah

On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah recapped the wind-up to California’s recall election for Governor Gavin Newsom, which is “essentially a way for voters to express their anger toward an elective official without storming the Capitol and trying to kill Mike Pence”.

And with a low barrier for entry, there are “more people on this ballot than there are people sliding into Melinda Gates’s DMs”, Noah joked.

To run in the state’s gubernatorial recall, one only needs to be a US citizen, not have a bribery conviction, acquire 65 signatures and pay a fee less than $4,000 (waived if one gathers over 7,000 signatures). “Why do I feel like it’s easier to run in California than it is to vote in Georgia?” Noah wondered.

The highest-profile entry in the race is Caitlyn Jenner, former Olympic athlete and one of the most prominent trans Americans, who has drawn ire for running as a Republican and reversing her position on trans youth participation in sports, calling it “unfair”.

“If you ask me, I actually think it’s inspiring – she’s showing the world that a trans person can be just as opportunistic as any other politician,” Noah deadpanned. “That’s progress.

“But still, this must be a big letdown for the trans community,” Noah added. “I mean, you expect that if someone has lived your experience, they’ll be in your corner. It’s like if Biden got elected and then suddenly banned grandpas from finding a quarter behind your ear – that’s a betrayal.”

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