Stephen Colbert wants people to pay attention. He's trying to warn us.
"Now, the night Donald Trump was elected, you might recall I was somewhat emotional. I started drinking, and someday I plan to stop. What I was worried about deep down is that Trump is a dictator fanboy. He's a lifetime subscriber to Tiger Beat Down The Protesters," he said.
"Now we're teetering dangerously close to Trump making his dreams our nightmare. On Monday, just so Trump could hobble across the street for a photo op, military police and park rangers fired rubber bullets, tear gas, and flash grenades at peaceful protesters. It was like a little Tienanmen Square-- or in Trump's case, "tiny man square." And today, Trump went on the Fox News radio, where you can only hear him lying, and explained it wasn't really as bad as it really was."
"Remind me to never ask for Trump's help when I'm moving. 'Okay, Steve, I boxed up your wine glasses and your old DVDs. Now run like hell and shove a wet rag in your mouth, 'cause it is gas time. You promised me pizza, buddy.' No surprise, Trump blamed the protesters for everything."
"Really? Because it sounds like you're full of crap and bull and crap. Reportedly, Trump went medieval on the protesters in part because he was upset-- humiliated, really-- about the TV people revealing that he hid in a bunker over the weekend, but he said, nuh-uh."
TRUMP: Well, it was a false report. I wasn't down. I went down during the day, and I was there for a tiny, little short period of time. And it was much more for an inspection.
"So, just how crazy are things right now? An anonymous source in the administration felt the need to push back on reports that Trump wanted to use tanks against protesters, insisting that 'the president wasn't ordering tanks to roll down the streets, but was inquiring about the kind of hardware that could be used in military shows of force, and at one point Trump threw out the word 'tanks.''
"That's an interesting defense. 'Your honor, I didn't order nobody to kill Joey The Snake. I was just inquiring about the general nature of accidents, and then I just threw out the word 'wood chipper.'' The same official also floated the theory that instead of an order, Trump was just free associating, saying 'tank' is just one of the military words he knows."
Colbert went on to say that one of the hallmarks of American democracy is the U.S. armed forces' proud tradition of remaining out of politics to emphasize civilian control of the military.
"Yet, on the way to this photo op that-- again-- was preceded by attacking peaceful protesters, Esper and Milley walked with Trump across the street. It reminds me of the old joke: 'Why did the defense secretary and the chairman of the joint chiefs cross the road? Because the president is a chicken.'
"The condemnation of this is bipartisan. A Republican congressional aide, who's also a veteran, said that Esper and Milley 'have squandered the moral legitimacy of a nearly 245-year-old institution in a single farcical, late-spring promenade. They have no honor, and to hell with them both.' "
"Buddy, they work for Donald Trump. They're already in hell. Now, yesterday, Esper defended the indefensible, saying, 'I didn't know where I was going.' You're the secretary of defense, and your defense is that you didn't know where you were going?
'The rest of us could see exactly where you were going. It rhymes with yahtzee, though not as fun for the whole family."