Stephen Colbert used his entire monologue on Tuesday to bring viewers up to speed on the unconstitutional game of brinksmanship and sedition Republicans are playing with U.S.-Mexico border policies. During this discussion, Colbert digressed to talk about the 7th President, Andrew Jackson.
Stopping to note that Jackson literally wanted to hang his own vice president, Colbert quipped, “Trump has no original ideas.”
If you aren’t caught up on the mess, you can read more here, here, here and here. Long story short, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been illegally preventing federal border patrol agents from reaching a spot on the Texas border — apparently to enable unimaginably cruel behavior — in defiance of the Supreme Court. And now several Republican-controlled states have vowed to back Texas in what is at present merely posturing that, nevertheless, invokes the language found in Confederate articles of secession.
Meanwhile Republicans spent all of 2023 holding aid to Ukraine hostage to force the Biden administration to agree to right wing new border policies, only to back out after Biden obliged them and agreed to a new border bill, because Donald Trump wants the issue to remain salient for the 2024 campaign.
Colbert began by talking about the apparent collapse of that bill, and in the midst of describing the matter took some glee at poking fun at Oklahoma Senator James Lankford, bringing up a 14-year-old photo in which he had a truly atrocious haircut featuring jagged bangs. The first time the photo appeared onscreen, Colbert shouted “bangs!” and after promising not to use the photo again, continued to do so, dutifully shouting “bangs!” each time.
Lankford, a Republican, helped write the bill Republicans wanted, with his party’s full support, only to end up being censured by the Oklahoma legislature after the GOP backed out.
“He did what they asked, and then he got spanked for it. You can read all about it in the erotic thriller 50 Shades of bangs,” Colbert quipped. This brought him to the issue with Texas, where Colbert noted, Abbott’s actions are based on an “archaic idea called the compact theory and nullification.”
“That theory states that states can ignore any federal law as they choose, and was used to justify secession by the Confederacy,” Colbert explained. “It was originally championed in the 1830s by Vice Presiden… John C. Calhoun.”
Colbert explained that Calhoun opposed a new tariff that would have benefitted manufacturing in the north and that in defiance of his own president — he was Jackson’s veep — he convinced South Carolina “to pass a law nullifying the tariff in their state.”
“Jackson threatened to invade South Carolina,” Colbert continued. “So Calhoun backed down and the state repealed nullification. But Jackson never forgave his vice president. When asked about his time in office, Jackson replied, ‘I regret I was unable to hang John C. Calhoun.’ Hang his vice president? So, Trump has no original ideas.”
You can watch the whole monologue above now.