Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Stephen Colbert
Screenshot: The Late Show

When California Demcratic Congresswoman, former first female House Speaker, and go-to Republican avatar of all evil Nancy Pelosi appeared on The Late Show on Tuesday, she immediately made Stephen Colbert nervous. Asked about the Democrats’ chances of taking back control of the House, Senate, major governorships, and other offices with which American democracy can hold back Donald Trump and his GOP enablers and sycophants’ increasingly authoritarian bigotry, Pelosi first said that, last week, she was feeling good about next Tuesday’s election. “What changed?,” asked a visibly blanching Colbert, to which that wily Pelosi pulled one of her signature “San Francisco liberal” fakeouts, replying that, today, she feels even better. Psych.

Still, Colbert wasn’t reassured, asking if Pelosi wanted to make her predictions “on Hillary Clinton’s fireworks barge,” before the congresswoman went even further, claiming Tuesday is going to represent “a great night for America.” “I feel like I should sacrifice a goat or something,” joked(?) Colbert, echoing a whole lot of people sweating out an election where, as Pelosi said, the very concept of checks and balances against a president daily enacting reckless, racist policy and (as of yesterday) proposing taking a big, Moscow hotel room-sized whiz on the Constitution. (The whiz metaphor is not Pelosi’s, to be clear.) As to Trump’s lunatic claim that he has the authority to do away with the 14th Amendment to the Constitution with a stroke of his big-boy signing pen, Pelosi scoffed at Trump’s oath-violating bluster, proclaiming his words have “no relationship to what his authority is, but of course that is not unusual.”

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Colbert asked the congresswoman about her status as Republican candidates’ designated campaign ad boogeywoman, noting that, at some 130,000 appearances in GOP attack ads, her name has been used to frighten the children even more than Donald Trump’s. Tossing some San Francisco shade, Pelosi responded that Republicans are using her as a “cudgel” because they (of the 1 percenters’ tax cut, war on healthcare, Medicare, Medicaid, civil rights, and the environment), “don’t have anything to offer.” She also noted that Republicans’ personal attacks bounce right off her “thick skin,” something she said Trump clearly doesn’t possess. (Proving her point, she concluded by good-naturedly watching a clip of her animated self grinningly fail to connect with a West Virginia voter rally on the Colbert-produced Our Cartoon President, which has a one-hour Election Night special coming up.)

Coming back to that whole “vote to save American democracy” issue, Pelosi restated her optimism, while Colbert warned his appreciative audience, “No matter what she says, it’s not a done deal.” Agreed. Check your voting status (which Republicans in many states are throwing into jeopardy), and find out everything you need to vote here.