Stephen Colbert on Brett Kavanaugh Testimony: ‘Please Save Your Indignation’
Stephen Colbert extended his normal Late Show monologue on Thursday to analyze the heated Senate hearing with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The grueling and emotional event, which Colbert playfully called “the most divisive day in America since Laurel and Yanny,” allowed both speakers to present their respective testimony about an alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh on Ford at a teenage gathering in the 1980s.
The late-night host opened by breaking down Ford’s “believable and heartbreaking” testimony, noting that President Trump was reportedly “furious” that he wasn’t informed about “how credible Ford would seem.” The comedian mocked the commander-in-chief, saying, “‘Look, how come none of you told me it was possible to speak without embarrassing yourself?'”
Colbert summarized Ford’s vivid, scientific explanations of how she processed and stored memories of the alleged assault. “Just basic memory functions and also just the level of norepinephrine and epinephrine in the brain,” she said in a clip. “As you know, that neurotransmitter encodes memories into the hippocampus, so the trauma-related experience is kind of locked there whereas other details kind of drift.”
“What?!” Colbert replied. “Damn! What? Damn, Dr. Ford just dropped some knowledge and spit some neuroscience! Dr. F. just encoded a fresh-ass memory all up in their hippocampus! That is a hot shot of epinephrine, son!”
In recapping the Kavanaugh testimony, Colbert ranged from satirical to explosively angry – attacking the judge’s theory that Democratic push-back on his nomination was partly “revenge on behalf of the Clintons” and fueled with “pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election.”
“In conclusion, I will be an unbiased and impartial judge,” Colbert said, mocking Kavanaugh. “Just an umpire calling balls and strikes – secretly thrown by George Soros and Hillary Clinton.”
Colbert also blasted Kavanaugh’s repeated beer references and encouraged the judge to pursue the love of coaching he cited during in his testimony. “Go do that!” he said. “Follow your passion. You do you – maybe just you.”
The comedian unleashed at the end of the segment, responding to Kavanaugh’s grim warning that Democratic senators “sewed the wind” and the country “will reap the whirlwind.”
“You really need a better weatherman. Because let me tell you, brother, this is the whirlwind,” Colbert said. “And the wind was sewn when Donald Trump had 19 credible allegations of sexual assault against him, bragged about sexual assault on tape and your Republican buddies up on that committee said, ‘Yeah, but we want our guy on the Supreme Court.’ And that’s you, Brett. That doesn’t mean you’re guilty. But please save your indignation that finally someone is taking one woman’s accusation of sexual assault seriously.”
The Late Show also satirized the Republican senators’ strategy of using female prosecutor Rachel Mitchell ask questions to Ford. In a hilarious sketch, the show’s writers played oblivious senators who passed around a wig in order to disguise themselves as women and make their inquiry seem more even-handed.
“Now, just to be clear, I am not a Republican Senator. I am a woman the Republican senator asked to speak for him because women voters cant get mad if a woman asks this stuff,” one character noted. “Now Dr. Ford, is there any chance that during the time you allege this event occurred you were having ‘lady problems’? Ya know, with the plumbing? Like us girls do? And perhaps this clouded your memory? Another added, “Dr. Ford, is there chance you might have the ‘lady crazies’?”