“Well, here we are,” Seth Meyers said Thursday night. “We’re less than a hundred days from the presidential election, the economy just had its largest contraction in history, there were more than a million jobless claims for the 19th week in a row, states are recording increases in deaths from an out-of-control pandemic, and a lawless, aspiring autocrat who I guess also believes in demon sperm is sending secret police to American cities to round up protesters while gutting the post office to delay mail-in voting, ignoring Supreme Court decisions, signaling that he’ll refuse to accept the outcome of the election, and now calling for that election to be delayed even though he obviously doesn’t have the power to do that.”
It’s been a long week.
The Late Night host expectedly dedicated the bulk of his last “A Closer Look” segment of the week to the president’s threat to “delay” the presidential election or at least deligitamize it.
“Oh great, so not only is he casually suggesting incinerating American democracy, he’s doing it like he’s offering hors d'oeuvres at a party,” Meyers joked. After clearly stating that the Constitution “gives Congress and only Congress” the power to set the election date, he stressed that simple “fact-checks” are not enough to address this brewing crisis.
That’s because “the craven husks around Trump are already laying the groundwork for Trump to do exactly what he wants to do, law be damned.”
From Attorney General William Barr to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to numerous Republican lawmakers, Meyers hammered the president’s strongest allies for “solemnly furrowing their brows and then ducking behind plants and into elevators like they always do.”
The GOP response that clearly enraged him the most came from Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), who told reporters, “I think that if you guys take the bait he’ll be the happiest guy in town. I read it. I laughed. I thought my gosh, this is going to consume a lot of people, except real people. And it was clever.”
“Trump isn’t clever and he certainly doesn’t joke,” Meyers shot back. “He floats things and then sees if he can get away with it and only if everyone freaks out he suddenly claims it’s a joke.”
The host also called out the media for holding up comments from Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said the election will happen on time. “Stop giving them credit for that,” he said. “That’s not a courageous stand, it’s just the bare minimum. Just because the bar is all the way on the floor doesn’t mean we have to give him credit for stepping over it.”
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