Stephen Colbert is not taking the always-inevitable Senate acquittal of President Donald Trump well.
“Folks I hope you’re sitting down, because I’ve got some terrible news,” the Late Show host said at the top of his monologue Wednesday night. “The news.”
“So there it is, it’s official,” Colbert added. “Nothing means anything. Right is wrong, up is down, Missouri is Kansas. Now we know that asking a foreign power to interfere in our elections is the new normal, the Democrats have no choice but to do the same thing.”
From there, Colbert pivoted to the Senate Republicans who defended their collective decision—Mitt Romney notwithstanding—to vote against removing Trump from office, because they believe he has been chastened. “The only lesson that Trump ever learns is that he gets away with everything,” he said. “Multiple bankruptcies, nothing. Multiple sexual-assault allegations, nothing. He’s in perfect health despite eating like a rat behind the Bob’s Big Boy! Nothing!”
Senators Joni Ernst, Lamar Alexander and Mike Braun and others have all made some version of that argument, but no one has done so more brazenly than Susan Collins, or as Colbert described her, “the senator who has most successfully talked herself into believing that she believes in something.” Before her vote, Collins predicted that Trump “will be much more cautious in the future.”
Imitating Collins’ vocal tremor, Colbert said, “In the future, he’ll be more cautious and not get caught. By the way, Mr. President, if you need help getting rid of a body, I’m your girl. The secret is removing the hands and teeth and killing the guy who sold you the shovel.” He added, as Collins, “I seem really folksy, but if you listen closely to what I’m justifying suddenly I seem like a skin-bag filled with writhing tentacles.”
But it gets worse. On Wednesday evening, after voting to acquit, Collins told Fox News that perhaps she shouldn’t have said she “believes” Trump has learned his lesson. “Well, I may not be correct on that,” she admitted. “It’s more aspirational on my part.” She also said that a better word than “believes” would have been “hopes.”
“Yes,” Colbert replied. “And a better word for Senator Susan Collins would be Former Senator Susan Collins.”
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