Seth Meyers devoted Thursday’s monologue to the folly of seeking bipartisan compromise, as Joe Biden reached yet another impasse in talks with Republican Senators for his $1tn infrastructure plan. From infrastructure to voting rights, the Biden administration has introduced several concrete measures, yet “Republicans are too concerned about culture stuff,” said Meyers.
“This is why it’s absurd to contemplate bipartisan cooperation with the Republican party, and yet for some reason Joe Biden, and certain members of the Democratic party, like Joe Manchin, still seem obsessed with it.”
After talks with one GOP group over the infrastructure bill collapsed this week, Biden struck up a second round of negotiations with a bipartisan group of lawmakers considered more “moderate,” though Meyers saw this as negligible shades of difference. “I’m sorry, which group of Republicans do you think you’re going to find common ground with? The group that thinks the forest service has the power to alter the earth’s orbit or the group that thinks the election was hacked by Italian satellites?” he said, referring to two conspiracy theories propagated by Republican lawmakers.
“There’s a downside to humoring Republicans, and that’s time,” Meyers continued. “Every day wasted on bipartisan talks that will inevitably go nowhere is a day that could’ve been spent passing much-needed legislation on everything from climate change to voting rights. That’s Mitch McConnell’s goal: to run out the clock.”
McConnell, the Senate minority leader, told reporters this week “without even a hint of self-awareness”, according to Meyers, that “as you look to what the majority leader has in mind for June, it’s pretty clear the era of bipartisanship is over”.
“Oh man, I wonder who’s fault that is?” Meyers deadpanned. “If this had been the case Mare of Easttown was investigating, she would’ve solved it in the first five minutes.”
In his final show from a storage closet in the Ed Sullivan Theatre before returning to a live audience next week, Stephen Colbert discussed Biden’s trip to Europe, his first overseas as president. In London, Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced what is billed as a “renewal” of the Atlantic charter. “Oh, they’re renewing their vows!” Colbert mocked. “It’s going to be a small ceremony on the beaches of Normandy, only our closest allies. Please RSVP soon and let us know whether you want chicken, fish, or the lingering ravages of colonialism.”
The charter reaffirms that “the democratic model is the right and the just and the best” for confronting the world’s challenges. “Yes, every once in awhile you need to remind yourself of the things that seem obvious: democracy is good. Pizza is tasty. Uptown Funk’s gonna give it to you,” Colbert responded.
Biden also met with US troops stationed in the UK, who cheered his promise to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin “to let him know what I want him to know”.
“Turns out the troops enjoy having a commander in chief who’s fighting on their side,” Colbert quipped.
Biden outlined the stakes of his meeting with Putin, since “we have to discredit those who believe that the age of democracy is over”.
“I agree, so stop trying to negotiate with them on an infrastructure bill!” Colbert retorted.
“Thanks to America’s successful vaccine campaign, millions of Americans are finally getting back to doing the things they used to do before the pandemic,” said Trevor Noah on the Daily Show, “like going to restaurants, seeing friends, and then shit-talking those friends to another group of friends”.
But the return to normal has not been smooth for many people. From sports arenas to retail stores, bad behavior has abounded as people are either unaccustomed or indifferent to social norms.
One of the most egregious bad behavior trends, Noah explained, is passengers lashing out on airplanes. “After a year of staying at home, you would think that people would be happy to just get on a plane, eat their pretzels, and take the world’s most painful nap,” Noah said. “But instead, people are turning airplanes into their own personal rage rooms.”
Violent incidents are on the rise in airports and in the air – 2,500 cases already this year, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which usually handles 150 incidents annually. In response, American Airlines discontinued alcohol service on some flights except for first-class passengers. “If they really want to stop fights, they shouldn’t get rid of alcohol, they should make you drink until you pass out for the rest of the flight,” Noah joked. “You either get zero shots or 14, there’s no in-between.
“But the real issue is that people are getting into fights on airplanes,” Noah added. “Guys, this is the last place in the world that you should be fighting. And given how tight space is in economy? I’m even surprised that it’s possible.”