It’s been nice to see Stephen Colbert step out of character in order to host The Late Show. That’s mainly because, as the host, he doesn’t have to make everything a gag. He’s now allowed to get out of the way of the joke when the joke makes itself. And that’s what he’s done with Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh‘s “Dad Scandal,” the disclosure that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee racked up a massive credit card debt buying season tickets to the Washington Nationals.
“That is … yawn. That scandal is so boring we’re calling it nothing. We didn’t even come up with a thing,” Colbert said. “Baseball tickets and home improvement. I’d say this belongs in the suburban dad scandal hall of fame. Right next to Dave Shneiderman forging tickets for Steely Dan’s 2007 Holy Rollers Tour.”
With a different administration, Colbert likely would have wanted to dwell on the flap and mock Kavanaugh for, at minimum, being a die-hard support of a perennially disappointing and frustrating team. But in the context of the Trump administration’s other scandals, a bit of credit card debt doesn’t really rise to the level of concern. More to the point, the fact that it stands out on Kavanaugh’s record seems like an indication that the man is — regardless of how one sees his jurisprudence — not a crook.
The concept of a “Dad Scandal” is a Stephen Colbert original. Best as we can figure, it refers to the sort of actions that might lead a grown man to be dragged in front of a committee of hastily assembled and disappointed family members, presumably in the kitchen. This falls significantly below collusion and corruption on the list of Washington offenses.