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tv   The Late Show With Stephen Colbert  CBS  January 15, 2021 11:35pm-12:37am PST

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him decorate the card. whatever lifts your spirits. >> particle. captioning sponsored by cbs >> disneyland is going to serve as the first super-covid-19 vaccination site in orange county, california. the county says the site will be able to vaccinate thousands of residents each day, and it will open later this week. >> are you a new york resident? you need to get vaccinated? then come on down to coney island for your covid inoculation. our frontline carneys will guess your weight while they jab you with a needle. or get a simultaneous tattoo and vaccination. be free of the virus while sporting a demon goat head. or simply inoculate yourself by rolling around on the beach. coney island will also help build your immunity by exposing you to a vast variety of diseases, including subway lung,
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welcome to a rare friday "late show"." i am your host, stephen colbert. this is arguably one of the most challenging times in american history. the pandemic continues to rage. fascist mobs have declared war on our democracy, aided and abetted by the president of the united states and his stooges in congress. but i do have a bit of a spring in my step, because yesterday, there were moving trucks at the white house! i have never found a moving truck so moving. and then there's some interesting stuff exiting the building as well, like this bust of abraham lincoln and a taxidermied bird. movers also tried to wheel out this taxidermied wilbur ross, until they realized he just looks like that. the signs that the president is leaving are everywhere. on thursday, workers even hung bunting across from the north portico that says "2021 biden-harris inauguration" that was visible from the president's third-story residence.
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and even harder for him, he also had a view of the giant hour glass counting down his immunity. the president is in no mood to linger at the white house. reportedly, he is going to head out early in the morning, but before he goes, the potus has asked for a major send-off. oh, yeah. something really festive. i'd be happy to help them release a flock of birds. ( laughter ) now, the president's last days in office haven't been exactly the cheerest. things have gotten so bad that inside the white house, there has been casual discussion about a possible resignation. i love the idea of the aides trying to bring it up "casually." like a boyfriend bringing up a threesome as a joke, just to see how it lands. "wouldn't it be so funny if you resigned? i mean, not really, but it's kind of fun to think who would escort you out. what about your friend trish from yoga? or, you know, the army? or... or maybe trish from yoga?"
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but-- it's crazy, forget it. call trish. see what she's up to. but the president says he will never resign because he does not want to invite comparisons to one particular individual. he has banned the mere mention of president richard nixon. and he explodes at nixon comparisons. of course, the comparison is incredibly unfair. for starters, unlike the current president, nixon had no trouble stepping down. so, the president does not like to be compared to richard nixon. for a rebuttal, please welcome the ghost of richard nixon. >> ooooh! i am not a spook! >> stephen: thank you for being here, sir. how do you feel that the current president doesn't want with that clown show. if i was anything like him, they would kick me out of heaven-- which is where i definitely am, heaven. >> stephen: well, i'll take your word for it. but you have to admit, both of
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you did leave the office in disgrace. >> i have nothing in common with that orange bag full of rotten cucumbers. unlike him, in world war ii, i fought against the nazis. i created the e.p.a.! i ended the draft! i signed the equal rights amendment! i could name all my kids without looking at flash cards. plus, i never paid anyone to spank me. the american people did that for free. mr. president, i served with richard nixon. i knew richard nixon. richard nixon was me. sir, you are no richard nixon. but you are a dick. niou! >> stephen: the ghost of richard nixon, everyone! the president might be choppering off to mar-a-lago, but the maga menace isn't going away. case in point: some democrats in congress are worried their colleagues might kill them. okay. boy, i read that casually.
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( laughter ) that took me by surprise, and i knew it was coming. it means it's time to play the murder mystery game "clue... klux klan instigators." and they're all guilty. and they're all mr. white. more specifically, democrats think some of their colleagues aided the rioters before and during the attack on the capitol. so this week, more than 30 democratic house members signed a letter demanding that authorities investigate "suspicious" visitors at the capitol that could only have gained entry with the help of a member of congress. democratic congresswoman and former navy pilot mikie sherrill said that she saw lawmakers giving groups "reconnaissance" tours of the capitol one day before the riots. "okay, everybody, on your left is nancy pelosi's beautifully steal-able podium-- and there's a blind spot t can't see how many zip ties your mommy packed for you. over here is a handy alcove where you can poop, and a lovely mural depicting the drafting of the constitution for you to okd we're rioting, and
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we're rioting." and we're rioting." the letter claims that the suspicious visitors appeared to be associated with the rally at the white house the following day and that the rioters seemed to have an unusually detailed knowledge of the layout of the capitol complex. good lord, not only will they endanger members of congress. they'll discover the secret location of george washington's golden sarcophagus! someone secure the map on the back of the emancipation proclamation, have nicholas cage bathed and lowered into a suit. it's clear that the mob did have some intel. take a look at this newly released video of the rioters. >> what's the floor plan? >> hey, guys, i've been in the other room, listen to me. in the other room, on the other side of this door, right here where these feet are standing, there is a glass that somebody-- if it's broken, you can drop down into a room underneath it. there's also two doors in the other room, one in the rear and
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one to the right when you go in. so people should probably coordinate together if you're gonna take this building. >> stephen: pro tip: when committing sedition, maybe don't do it on camera, with a megaphone. "the squirrel is in the basket. the crow flies at midnight. meet me under the docks tonight to plan 'operation keep it quiet'-- just between you, me, the cameraman, and the guy operating the sound boom. remember, snitches get stitches. shhhhhh!" ( laughter ) audio department loves it when i use this thing. ( laughter ) you're welcome, peter. so far, no g.o.p. members of congress have been accused by name-- mo brooks-- and there's no proof of collaboration with the rioters. but democrats have reasons to be suspicious. take the behavior of qanon representative and woman insisting you do like what you
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see, lauren boebert. during the siege, boebert kept tweeting out the location of members. "we were locked in the house chambers," and "the speaker has been removed from the chambers." she's the reverse paul revere: "hey, british! the americans are hiding! the americans are hiding! they went thataway!" get them! okay. why is there a delay? hello? i don't understand. i don't know. can we edit this part out janope. >> stephen: or is this the best part so far? ( laughter ) no surprise, there are a lot workplace trust issues in the capitol right now, as alexandria ocasio-cortez explains. >> i, myself, did not even feel safe going to that extraction point, because there were qanon and white supremacist sympathizers and, frankly, white supremacist members of congress in that extraction point who i
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know, and who i had felt would disclose my location and allow me to-- who would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, et cetera. and so, i didn't even feel safe among other members of congress. >> stephen: i think that could be safely called a "hostile" work environment. in fact, someone had to post this note in the office fridge: "deb's yogurt. do not eat. also, do not reveal deb's location to the murderous goons." another troubling detail is when the staff of democratic representative ayana pressley, they discovered her office's panic buttons had been torn out before the capitol riot. that is deeply disturbing. what would you even call that? mitch mcconnell? >> it's a trap! >> stephen: today, speaker nancy pelosi laid out the stakes. >> if, in fact, it is found that members of congress were accomplices to this
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insurrection, if they aided and abetted crime, there may have to be actions taken beyond the congress, and in terms of prosecution for that. >> stephen: i think the phrase you're looking for, madam speaker, is, "lock them up"? but any seditionist congresspeople, here's a pro tip: when you get to prison, here's what you do: walk up to the biggest guy in the yard and say, "hello, mr. president." luckily the current administration is only the current administration for another five days, because next wednesday, the keys to the country will be handed over to president-elect joe biden, seen here remembering the end of "marley and me." last night, biden announced his comprehensive stimulus program, the "american rescue plan." boy, that is some sweet three-word combo. "american," "rescue," and
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"plan." i mean, that's up there with "free chocolate puppy" and "meat lover's orgasm." and this plan is huge. it's a $1.9 trillion package to combat the economic downturn and the covid-19 crisis. he wants to fix the pandemic and the economy at the same time. but that's no surprise. biden is famously good at double fisting. in his speech announcing the plan, biden laid out just what that $1.9 trillion will be used for. >> direct cash payments, extended unemployment insurance, rent relief, food assistance, keeping essential frontline workers on the job, aid to small businesses. there's no time to waste. we have to act, and we have to act now. this is what economists are telling us. more importantly, it's what the values we hold dear in our hearts as americans are telling us. >> stephen: amen. in fact, americaearts released this statement: "it's time to act now. but, first, stop eating cheese! you're not hungry!
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you're just bored. oh, god, here comes the cheddar! aaghghglaghglagh." then biden did something i had forgotten a leader could do: show humility. >> but even with all these bold steps, it's going to take time to get where we need to be. there will be stumbles, but i will always be honest with you. >> stephen: is that it? is that what he-- is that what he said? i'm sorry, but after a president says, "i will always be honest with you," i've gotten used to them saying, "in fact, many people say i am the most honest person of all time. a big strong firefighter came up to me crying-- a guy never cries-- big guy, not a crier, saying, "sir, you the most honest president ever in the history of this beautiful country, and my 401k is so big, my wife has sex with me now." ( laughter ) i've got grate show for you tonight. my guests are from showtime's "the circus," alex wagner, jennifer palmieri, john heilemann, mark mckinnon. but when we come back,
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: oh, hey. welcome back, everybody. let's say hello to mr. jon batiste. hello, jon! ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: hey! jon batiste, everybody. thank you, jon! >> jon: yeah, baby!
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>> stephen: you know, i spend a lot of time tanning the finest leather from the most topical cattle, meticulously dip-dyeing it in a solution of the day's biggest stories, then hand cutting and stitching it into the must-have louis vuitton handbag that is my monologue. but once in a while, i scour my backyard for a damp stick, tie a blood-stained bandana i got from a biker named barracuda to it, and fill it with trinkets, a can of beans, and what might be a human thumb to create the foul hobo bindle of news that is my segment: "quarantine-while!" q-while: the navy's new uss "ford" is having some problems. apparently, the "most expensive aircraft carrier ever built cannot launch fighter jets." let me fix that headline for you. "navy launches $13 billion house boat." they've been trying to get it to work for years, but "the testers said the trouble was with the uss 'ford's' new high-tech aircraft takeoff and landing systems," an "electromagnetic
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catapult and catch system that keeps breaking." i got to say, even if you do get this thing up and running, that's going to be tough sell to the pilots. "alpha 6-tango, you have permission to land your 50,000- pound jet on the electromagnetic plane catcher thingy that snaps every so often. but it's all good now, so come on in at angle oh-niner-- aand he ejected." okay, thank you. i don't know why they talk into their hands. ( laughter ) quarantine-while, "philips has a new smart toothbrush that adapts as you brush," the "philips sonicare 9900 prestige with sense iq uses artificial intelligence to detect how muchssu'rexerting, and then will adst t ticaan "works with the phili ca real-time guidance on "pressure, motion, position, duration, and frequency." or you could brush your teeth.
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quarantine-while, mercedes-benz announced that it will introduce an electric sedan with a mammoth, pillar-to-pillar, 56-inch touchscreen, which mercedes calls the "hyperscreen." because the term "collision generator 9000" was already taken. when it debuts in late 2021, drivers will be looking at a screen nearly five feet across that provides "various infotainment, comfort, and vehicle functions." hey, you know what's super compelling infotainment to watch while you're driving? the road. it may start slow, but true fans of watching the road know that if you stick with it-- spoiler-- you don't die. and it's in 3d! quarantine-while, the hippest thing on tiktok right now is sea i called this last year, as i said last night! jon, are you aware that 2021 is the year of the sea shanty? i've been telling people this. i told my whole family this over the christmas break. they were like, "dad, you're
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crazy. get off the grog and come back to port. no one is going to listen to sea shanties." and now they're blowing up online. now, before i go on with this vital story, parents, a warning. sea shanties are a gateway to more dangerous online, marine-influenced behavior, like wearing cable knit sweaters and carving scrimshaw penis pics. for those of you not up on the young folks' lingo, sea shanties are old whalers and merchant vessel folk songs, and since tiktok allows users to layer on each other's videos, you get awesome stuff like this: ♪ she had not been two weeks from shore ♪ when down on her a right whale bore ♪ the captain called all hands and swore ♪ he'd take that whale in tow soon may the wellerman come ♪ to bring us sugar and tea and rum ♪ one day, when the tonguin' is done ♪ we'll take our leave and go ♪ >> stephen: hey!
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♪ my ears are blessed with a tiktok meme ♪ a sailor's song this is my dream ♪ the kids are doing some internet stuff ♪ i finally understand soon may another meme come ♪ a staffer will show me and i'll say "um... ♪ what is that? it's making me mad." ♪ they'll say whatever, daaaad ♪ we'll be right back with the co-hosts of showtime's "the co-hosts of showtime's "the circus," alex wagner, john heilemann, and mark mckinnon. arrrr! ♪ soon may the wellerman come to bring us sugar and tea and rum ♪ that came from me. really. my first idea was “in one quarter of an hour, your savings will tower... over you. figuratively speaking." but that's not catchy, is it? that's not going to swim about in your brain. so i thought, what about... 15 minutes. 15 percent.
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: hey, welcome back, everybody. my guests tonight are the co-hosts of showtime's "the circus." please welcome, john heilemann,
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mark mckinnon, and alex wagner. hi you three, thanks for being here. >> thank you, we're kicking it, kicking it hard. >> stephen: you guys, the last time we talked together was election night, at the end of which, we really did not know exactly what was going on. now we know exactly what's going on. and it's extraordinarily harrowing. i know you guys were-- all three of you were in d.c. this week. what is it like to be there with 15,000 national guard troops on the streets? >> i mean, i'll tell you, as someone who grew up in washington, d.c., i have never, ever seen the town like that. i have traveled to places, you know, on the chad sudan border and the thai-burma border to places with very unstable governments and it turns out ours is just the same. i mean, it really feels like the stability that we have once known as a country in terms of our government is gone. i-- i do really think that, like a lot of the security measures you see now, some of them are
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going to be permanent. i remember walking down pennsylvania avenue, driving down pennsylvania avenue in front of the white house when i was growing up, that is no longer happening. and in the same way i would imagine that the capitol is going change a lot in terms of accessibility and what we expect in terms of precautions and danger in and around the nation's capitol. >> that's a great point, alex. it's just, you know, one of the things-- i didn't grow up there, but since i've been there, the thing you love about it is it's so accessible. you can go anywhere. you can go right up by the white house. you can go right up to the capitol. you couldn't even get to the lincoln monument yesterday. >> stephen: the closest thing to compare this to in terms of a show of military force is after 9/11. how would you compare to what washington felt like after 9/11? >> well, by then, i had fled to new york city. but i still have family living in the district. and there's-- you know, i don't mean to be heavy handed about it, but there's a real sense of
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a loss of innocence. you know, you think back to those days, and we took for granted, i think, our sense of safety and our sense of, you know, our place in the world and our leadership in the world and our invincibility as americans. and i absolutely think the same thing has happened now. it's really an a, b, c, d, moment for the country in terms of what we can expect from american governance. >> i would say even if you compare to both washington and new york in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, you know, new york was relatively back to normal within a month of 9/11. i mean, i remember, like-- by the time-- a month after 9/11, like, u2 came to town and played the first big gig at madison square garden. you might remember that. it was a big deal. it never felt like the city was locked down. if you were midtown, upper west side, east side, you didn't feel a heavy military presence, and that was true in washington, too. there were changes after 9/11,
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but you never felt like the green zone which is what it feels like in washington right now. literally, the things that got announced today, the securing of the perimeter and how wide it is going to be and the militarization of it. it literally is a green zone people are noting that in the coverage, this really is like a rock. i have never seen people in the district as on edge about what might happen over the coming days between now and next wednesday. i've never seen people more on edge, and that includes after 9/11. >> well, the big difference, too, is, you know, it was chilling at that time, but we were worried about people over there doing something to us. now we're worried about people right here doing something to us. us. >> stephen: mark, i know you attended the president's rally at the eclipse before they marched over. that was the-- what was the feeling nacrowd? you know, tell me what it was like to be there while the speeches were being made? >> well, it was incredible, stephen. i mean, it felt like being in a sea of human nitroglycerin.
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i have been at a lot of trump rallies. this was different. people were not only animated. they were angry and on edge. all it took was somebody to shake and combust this thing and the president came out and did exactly that. i would have been surprised if people hadn't gone and done something violent and break the law or create the kind of catastrophe and tragedy that we saw. you know, the fact is you think about how diabolical this whole thing was, and how unsurprising the outcome was. you said before the election, you said, if i win, great, if i don't, it was stolen. that was the message he sowed to all these people who showed up at the capitol and he said very clearly, let's go to the capitol. and if you want your country back, don't show weakness." what the hell did you expect? i was not surprised. i was shocked at what they did. but i couldn't communicate with any of my colleagues because it was like being at a huge concert, so we couldn't get any cell phone coverage out. and i was worried as everybody went to the capitol. i was worried about where my
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colleagues were. and i discovered heilemann was pretty close to it. >> stephen: we have a clip here, john. i don't know if you're sure what we're about to run. you can set this up? >> yeah, i had been-- i had been at a comfortable distance thinking that, you know, we knew that there was going to be the joint session of congress, which was going to be kind of a farcical attempt at a coup. we knew there were going to be these objections to the electoral college certification, ted cruz, josh hawley, there would be these debates, there would be these votes, they would get vote down. and i was over in georgetown watching on television expecting to cover it that way. and then when the riots started, i got in a cart my crew and drove up to the-- that side of the capitol where the supreme court is and got out of the car and then went straight in. >> stephen: jim, let's roll this clip. ♪ ♪ >> this is a sad, pathetic aftermath of this utter
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( bleep ) show. >> four more years! ( explosion ). >> stephen: john, what was it like to be in that crowd? >> disconcerting. and, i mean, we had gone around the side of the capitol at that point to where the biggest crowd on the outside was still gathered. and as mark said, the height of the riot had ended at that point, but the capitol was not secure at that point so a lot of riot police were just arriving. as everybody knows, the national guard were very late to the scene, and a lot of those people were loitering around. soe of the people who had been inside were on the outside, and some of the people on the outside were still trying to get in. in that crowd, one of the things
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about, we all know having covered various trump rallies over the years, there is not just a lot of hostility towards the media, they're very tuned in to seeing people with cameras. there's a lot of immediate like, "who are you with? are you fake news? what are you saying?" if i'm trying to do what i do and do a running commentary going through the crowd and making observations i'm also constantly looking around to make sure when people are leaning in to listen to what i'm saying that i'm not saying something that will lead down a bad path. i was trying to do the journalistic thing and report on it is but try to make sure my crew and i didn't get into a melee, and the tighter the crowd is, the more you realized if they turn on you there might not be a way out. we were very attuned to all of that. that shot or flashbang went off-- i still don't know what it was. it didn't sound in the end like a gunshot. i think it was a flashbang thrown by riot police but at the moment you don't know and as you can see, i shuddered there and
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got out as quick as i could. as you could see on my face as i walked up, there's so much to say about what we've been experiencing the last week or so and the story gets worse and worse by the day, by the hour, the more we know about this, about the possibility of collaboration, republicans who might have been-- the conventional wisdom among a lot of democrats and some republicans that this was an inside job. just the extent of the violence, the degree-- the reporting now we know the rioters were there to kidnap, kill, assassinate political leaders. even in the moment before i knew any of that, it was heartbreaking to see this happen to the capitol, a place i have been, you know, visiting and covering since 1980-- i wonder on cpitol hill when i first got out of college, 1987. to see that spectacle there, i was on the-- the brig tears for most of the session as we walked around, and in a lot of ways i feel like that right now. >> stephen: we have to take a break. we'll be right back with more
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: hey, everybody. we're back with the co-hosts of showtime's "the circus," alex wagner, john heilemann, and mark mckinnon. alex, let's talk about some of the people who went up to capitol hill. i know that in october, you
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talked to a militia group-- whatever that necessarily means. self-style militia group. that are called the iii%. and i understand some of them went to the riot that day. what did you talk away from that conversation? what is motivating these people? >> a sense of grave injustice. they were saying in october if joe biden wins the election it's fraudulent. if donald trump does, it's not. that deifies logic but that was weeks before the election. they said they were ready for the next civil war. there was a very unified sense of person. there was urgency. there was anger, and there was a sense of, i would say, misplaced patriotism in all of this. those are really intoxicating things, right? like this group of self-styled guys had banded together. they had assigned each other quasi-military designations. one of them was a sergeant.
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one of them was a general. and there was a real senses of belonging. and that's actually central to trumpism, right. part of the reason he has been so-- it's been impossible to break the fever of his rhetoric and his-- well, his administration is because people are tied to him in a very deeply emotional, personal way. and that was the feeling they got from the militia. they were explicit about, you know, arms, weaponry. they were doing basic training on their own. they were preparing for insurrection. and violence has been so long part of the donald trump d.n.a., it was really a violent rhetoric, i should say, that it was hard to distinguish, as the f.b.i. later said this week, it's hard to distinguish, like, the bravado of language from the intention to act. and in the aftermath of that interview, i sort of thought, my god, like, you know, maybe we should report this to the f.b.i. because, you know, once you think, okay, they're just saying
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these things. and as we see, it is painfully obvious, that they had every intention of carrying out a bloody mission to overthrow democracy. disploo now, there are a lot of comparisons-- a lot of people talk about the civil war when they talk about this particular insurrectionist uprising, and sort of a shadowy movement across the united states to be in resistance of the new government. i find that comparison a little facile because however evil the south's intentions were-- which was to maintain an economic system based upon enslaving other people-- they had a system, and they had an intention. this would be as if abraham lincoln, you know, had threatened to take away the south's unicorns. it is based upon a fantasy as opposed to a warring idea over what should be the economic engine for half of the country. >> yeah, well, listen, the south was also still tied to the world
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of facts and reality. they may have had a corrupt agenda, but at the end of the day, there were agreed upon realities. that is not the case in this. the militia groups-- you know, fox news miefn their gateway drug, but they are existing in a world of paranoid conspiracy. and, by the way, it has affected and infected most republican voters at this point. i mean, there is really an altreality that they live in. >> alex makes a great point, stephen, particularly the patriotic thread of the madness. think about the inverse craziness of this. these people are being encouraged by a president to preserve democracy by overthrowing it. they are actually preserving democracy by overturning a lawful election and somehow-- believe me, that's the code they got at that rally. they just said, "listen, if you want your country back, go to the capitol." and what do you think they thought he meant when he said, don't show weakness." that's like a mob boss saying i
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didn't say pull the trigger. i was ready to get a pitch fork. >> stephen: you have to fight like you never fought before. >> i will say this stephen-- i find thinking about it this way even more disconcerting. in 1995, in april of 1995, i woke up on an april morning and heard that the murrah building in oklahoma city had been blown up and got on a plane and covered that. and timothy mcvay, and the first time i heard the term michigan militia was 25 years ago. you draw a direct line between that. this has been out there in the dark corners of american political culture for last 25 years, least, and further back. but, you know, donald trump is nothing but a more potent version of pat buchanan. and the fact that it's now come out, i raise it all to say this: i think, you know, donald trump's going to be gone next wednesday, and we're either going to convict him it's senate
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is either going to convict him or not and he will be able to run for office again or not. but none of those things are going to change the reality that this kind of hatred and the antigovernment sentiments that, incoherent though they are, that have animated these people, it's a growing part of the republican party, as alex said. and donald trump is the ultimate accelerant for it. in the absence of donald trump it will still be there and it's why i worry we're on the precipice of a period of time in the country in which if not civil war, political violence is going t become an increasingly regular and routine thing in our lives. >> stephen: "the circus" airs sundays on showtime. >> stephen: "the circus" airs sundays on showtime. john the sun is incredible.on, alex wagner, and we'll be right back with a performance by the war on drugs. lipton is a proud sponsor of the american heart association's life is why campaign.
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> thanks, stephen. >> stephen: thanks, guys. their new album is "live drugs." the war on drugs, everybody. we'll ♪ ♪ ♪ digital transformation has failed to take off. because it hasn't removed the endless mundane work we all hate.
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late show," everybody. join us next week when we will be live following the
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inauguration of president-elect joseph r. biden and vice president-elect kamala harris. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs aptioned by media access group at wgbh captioning sponsored by cbs ♪ the late late show, oh, oh the late late show, ooh ♪ the late late show, oh, oh the late late show ♪ oh, oh


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