On Friday’s episode of “The Late Show,” host Stephen Colbert took a moment to celebrate some unexpected good news for liberals this week that was overshadowed a tad: Democrats have taken control of the Senate. But Colbert also offered up a subtle feminist critique of the situation — in the form of a pretty funny joke.
To briefly recap, back in November, both of Georgia’s seats in the U.S. Senate were up for grabs on election night but none of the candidates on each side managed to get more than 50% of the vote. As a result, the top two candidates in each race — Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue and Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock — advanced to a special runoff election which, by weird coincidence, was scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 5, one day before the joint session of Congress was to certify Joe Biden’s election victory.
As it happens, the two Democrats won. The race was called for Warnock on Tuesday night — he’ll be Georgia’s first Black Senator ever, btw — and although the race wasn’t called for Ossoff until Thursday, the numbers looked inevitable enough that he all but declared victory on Tuesday. The result: Democrats and Republicans will each have 50 seats in the Senate, but because Vice President Kamala Harris will provide tie-breaking votes, Democrats will have control.
Obviously, that’s pretty good news if you’re a Democrat, but all that got overshadowed because the very next day, a seditious mob incited by Donald Trump ransacked the Capitol, and that’s pretty much all we’ve been able to talk about since.
But now it’s Friday, things have calmed down, and Colbert had a chance to talk about the Senate being run by Democrats. Obviously, if you’ve watched his show you know he’s in favor of it. So he joked for a bit about how current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is going to feel sad at losing his position. Then he noted how Kamala Harris fits into the whole thing.
“So essentially, Harris is still gonna be a senator,” Colbert joked. “Pretty on-brand for America to elect their first woman Vice President and then make her do her old job too. And only pay her for one of them.” Zing!
There’s plenty more from the monologue, which you can watch above. The bit about the Senate kicks in about 5 minutes in.