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Elizabeth Warren talks Trump's racial slurs, sex scandals, and the GOP tax scam on The Late Show

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Screenshot: CBS)

Monday’s The Late Show With Stephen Colbert saw the host kick off what’s already another goddamned week of petulant presidential lunacy, fresh allegations of sexual harassment, and a pending Republican tax plan that promises that whole “trickle down” idea is totally going to work this time despite never, ever holding true, ever, with a double-sized dose of reason and fiery determination. Inviting Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) onto the program to address those thorny and dispiriting issues and more, Colbert kicked off the appearance (and Warren’s signature fighting spirit) by producing a blowup of a tweet from Donald Trump in which he used his go-to racial slur, “Pocahontas,” to describe her. Calling out the remedial middle school bully in the White House, Warren asserted to sustained applause that Trump’s racist rhetoric, intended to shut her up, “hasn’t worked in the past, and it’s not going to work in the future.”

Speaking of the future, Warren was characteristically focused and politic in response to Colbert’s questions. Referring to the substance (so called) of Trump’s tweet, Colbert pressed Warren on her recent assertion that the 2016 Democratic primaries were “rigged” in favor of Hillary Clinton, a statement that Warren later walked back. The senator gave a half-admission to that, noting that the DNC is “putting new rules in place” so that the Democrats can continue to be “the party of the people, so we can fight forward.” “Forward” was also key to Warren’s answers to Colbert’s questions about the sexual harassment/abuse scandals of Al Franken and Roy Moore as well. As for Franken, Warren was unequivocal in saying she’s “enormously disappointed” in the Minnesota Democrat, but put off Colbert’s question of whether Franken should resign from the Senate until after the full investigation of the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee. Regarding the even more horrible accusations of sexual abuse of minors by Alabama Republican senate candidate Roy Moore, Warren, again, demurred, although for a different reason. Responding to Colbert’s question of whether the senate should expel Moore should the undeniable bigot and alleged pedophile get elected, Warren, addressing Colbert’s audience, said, “We’re not there yet,” and urged Alabamians to get out to the polls and make sure Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, takes the seat.

That call to action was Warren’s overall vibe, as she exhorted people to take heart from the overwhelming Democratic victories of a few weeks ago and work together—as they did to defeat the GOP’s plan to kick 25 million of them off of their healthcare—to not only defeat Moore, effect profound change in the culture of sexual harassment in every workplace, and to defeat the Republicans’ current plan to give more than a trillion dollars in tax breaks to corporations, billionaires, and the GOP donors who are, as Colbert put it, expecting “a return on their investment.” (Oh, the proposed tax bill would not only raise taxes on middle class and poor people, but also kick millions of people off of their healthcare, as that is apparently the only thing that Republican lawmakers care about more than cash.) As with the grassroots uprising of Americans who made damn sure the multiple GOP healthcare plans went down in a sustained barrage of voter outrage, Warren said it’s time to strap in once again, calling for “millions of people out there tweeting and posting and protesting, taking to the streets, and saying no.”


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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.