Stephen Colbert kicked off his “The Late Show” monologue on Wednesday by talking about the various ways Republicans are holding the U.S. economy hostage. And he joked that those things need to be postponed so that there’s time for the other impending disasters America is facing.
So brief background: It’s complicated but basically, Republicans are blocking a new government spending bill and a raise in the debt ceiling as part of their efforts to stop the Biden administration’s agenda. The filibuster has been blocked by two right-leaning Democrats, which has made it difficult for Democrats to resolve this problem.
Constitutional questions aside — the constitution literally says that the validity of public debt “shall not be questioned” — if Republicans succeed, there could be a government shutdown by Thursday, and in mid-October the U.S. could default on its debts for the first time in history, potentially causing economic catastrophe. You think it’s funny?
Colbert was the one who began his monologue by talking about this. In particular, he noted “it would be what one economist called ‘financial Armageddon.’” Yikes!
“That’s bad news. And even worse timing,” Colbert said, “because America has already scheduled a plague Armageddon, a climate Armageddon, and a democracy Armageddon.” Zing!
“Can we pencil that in for next Wednesday,” Colbert continued holding up a datebook. “Maybe a ‘lunch-mageddon’?”
That’s when Colbert debuted a new segment called “Apocalypse Dow: Countdown to Shutdown: Wanted: Debt or Alive.”
That segment was basically Colbert breaking down all the ways Republicans are doing what they’re doing in order to stop the broadly popular Build Back Better-branded bills Democrats and Biden are trying to pass using the budget reconciliation process. Also, the problems in the Democratic caucus and other procedural articles. Amid all of this, Colbert did a parody of “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” that explained the budget reconciliation process.
It’s fun, for a definition of “fun” that includes being terrified. You can see the entire monologue here.