The use of the word “literally” was literally abused on the Tuesday edition of CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as former Obama aides and the cast of Pod Save America joined the namesake host to say that the recent Schumer-Manchin agreement represents “literally the last chance to save the planet” and that Republicans want to “make life worse and shorter.”
After the quartet talked through their complicated feelings for the senior senator from West Virginia, former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau explained Manchin was persuaded “that this is the-- might be the last chance, literally the last chance to save the planet, and that he could help do that with a bill that was also good for the economy, good for West Virginia, and also good for his own politics.”
Considering we have literally been told for decades that this is literally our last chance to save the planet, one could be forgiven for rolling their eyes at such apocalyptic proclamations.
After Favreau criticized his fellow progressives who wanted to expel Manchin from the party and kick him off his committees, Colbert returned to the climate bill, “How good is this bill?”
Fellow former speechwriter Jon Lovett deemed the bill “surprisingly good,” which is why Republicans oppose it “it does it by investing in things that will cut a bunch of pollution and a bunch of terrible stuff that just makes life worse and shorter for a lot of people. And that's, obviously, anathema to the Republicans, that’s their midterm slogan: we’ll make life worse and shorter. End of thought.”
This segment was sponsored by Allstate.
Here is a transcript for the August 2 show:
CBS The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
12:14 AM ET
STEPHEN COLBERT: Democrats are feeling a bit of whiplash over their emotional attachment or lack thereof to Joe Manchin for—for—for-- a couple of years now, they weren't sure how to feel about him. And recently they thought “[bleep] that guy” because he killed the climate legislation forever. He said never going to do the Build Back Better and then, bang! He does it. You guys never doubted him, right?
JON FAVREAU: Never!
COLBERT: You guys never doubted Joe Manchin.
FAVREAU: We have been telling people for years that Joe Manchin would come through in the end. Years.
JON LOVETT: The man has the soul of a poet!
FAVREAU: I mean.
LOVETT: Sure! Sure, like, if you upset him, he will boil the oceans. But, Jon, you want to take this one?
FAVREAU: Yeah, no. Look, I think that he was persuaded that this is the-- might be the last chance, literally the last chance to save the planet, and that he could help do that with a bill that was also good for the economy, good for West Virginia, and also good for his own politics.
And I think it's a good lesson to, like, never give up on voting, never give up on organizing, never giving up on persuasion, because, like, 40-to-50,000 votes go the other way in Georgia, and we're not talking about this climate bill anymore. And now we are because Joe Manchin is there and we didn't give up on persuading him and fellow Democrats didn't give up on persuading him.
And, like, people wanted to, we were pretty angry with him. Some people wanted to, like, kick him out of the party, take away his committee assignments. If that happened, we wouldn't be talking about a climate bill right now. So like, at the end of the day, you have to never give up on trying to persuade someone.
COLBERT: How good is this bill?
LOVETT: So, I know we've been hurt by politics—
LOVETT: -- we're wounded birds—
LOVETT: -- So when I went and looked at the details I expected to find a [bleep]. You expect to find money for houseboats, you know that kind of thing.
LOVETT: It's surprisingly good. It's surprisingly forward-looking and really positive step on climate change. So, when President Biden-- President Biden-- set a goal and the goal was to reduce emissions by 50% of the amount we're emitting in 2005. It was an ambitious goal. It took a lot of activists to push Biden to take that position. He did it. The estimates from experts say this will get us 31% to 44% of that reduction. That's pretty impressive, and it does it by investing in things that will cut a bunch of pollution and a bunch of terrible stuff that just makes life worse and shorter for a lot of people. And that's, obviously, anathema to the Republicans, that’s their midterm slogan: we’ll make life worse and shorter. End of thought.