Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Voting champion Stacey Abrams tells Stephen Colbert to bet blue in tomorrow's Georgia runoff

Stephen Colbert, Stacey Abrams
Stephen Colbert, Stacey Abrams
Screenshot: The Late Show

Hey, if you live in Georgia, go vote tomorrow. That’s because, as Stephen Colbert’s first guest Stacey Abrams noted, basically the entirety of Joe Biden’s next four year term in the office of President hinges on whether obstructionist mummy Mitch McConnell is still Senate Majority Leader/democracy’s hatchet-man. We’re paraphrasing, but only a bit, as the ever-unflappable Abrams told Colbert on Monday, when it comes to both undoing the various horrors of a Trump administration and actually passing laws that help people and the world, kicking McConnell’s anti-democratic ass to the curb is a necessity. (Kentucky voters kept him in office, presumably because they love racism and self-flagellation, but electing Georgia Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff would tie the Senate 50-50, leaving Vice President Kamala Harris to break any inevitable partisan ties and wipe that leering death-grin off of McConnell’s face.)

Again, that’s paraphrased, but for the take-no-prisoners Abrams, there was plenty of shade being thrown all around. For Donald Trump’s caught-on-tape extortion attempt to have the election in her home state of Georgia illegally gifted to him (and where he told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger that Abrams is “laughing at you”), the busy Abrams deadpanned, “I think it’s a bit of an overstatement to think that I’m thinking about them.” As to the embattled Raffensperger himself, Abrams scoffed at the idea that the Georgia Republican is any kind of voting rights champion, noting that he’s currently “working hand in hand with Republicans” to continue the Georgia GOP legacy of racist voter suppression in the next election. Colbert called Raffensperger’s willingness to stand up to Trump’s mob boss bullshit “ass covering,” while Abrams said it’s essentially the career politician’s desire “to not become a laughingstock” over an election he ran. “Even a broken clock is right twice a day,” noted Abrams about a GOP election official doing the bare minimum of his job and getting underserved praise for it.

Abrams and Colbert did spar themselves on some pressing issues of the day. Colbert’s South Carolina does produce more peaches than Abrams’ so-called “Peach State,” which Abrams conceded was just some canny marketing on Georgia’s part. And Colbert did unsuccessfully press the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate (and, but for GOP voter suppression fuckery, likely governor) if she’s planning to unseat Brian Kemp in 2022. Noting that she and her organization Fair Fight have been focused on nothing but flipping Georgia’s two Senate seats blue since Election Day (or Months, or whatever), Abrams wouldn’t rise even to Colbert penciling in her answer as a “yes” on one of his little blue interviewer’s cards.

And she has, indeed, been busy as hell, with Georgia already having smashed early voting records for a runoff election, some 100 thousand people who didn’t vote in November having done so, unprecedented money raised for Warnock and Ossoff’s campaigns, and proportionally significant increased turnout from both young and Black Georgia voters. It’s almost like a real candidate who loses an election can, instead of whining, lying, extorting, and attempting to destroy the democratic system, get down to work to make damn sure the playing field is fairer next time. As noted Star Trek nerd Abrams noted, selecting as her favorite Captain Janeway’s seemingly impossible success in bringing Voyager home decades ahead of schedule, it’s all about keeping your eyes on the prize and working for the greater good.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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