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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

On Christmas Day, Face The Nation broadcast John Dickerson’s annual interview with Stephen Colbert — an amusing and very thoughtful look backward at a troubled year and forward into a new era of uncertainty.

The Late Show host tries to find a brighter side as the nation approaches inauguration 2017. He explains the simple secret of writing jokes about Donald Trump. And he offers a reading list for the president-elect  — including the U.S. Constitution and Trump’s own book The Art of the Deal, implying that Trump has read neither — while confessing that he strains to remain respectful of the man as well as the office.

As a realist, Colbert keeps that reading list short — indeed, his final recommendation is very short: only four words.

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President Joe Biden

Photo by The White House

Two tiresome realities about being president of the United States: first, everybody blames you for things over which you have little or no control: such as the worldwide price of oil, and international shipping schedules. Should there be too few electronic gee-gaws on store shelves to pacify American teenagers this Christmas, it will be Joe Biden’s fault.

Second, everybody gives you advice, whether you ask for it or not. Everywhere you look, Democrats and Democratically-inclined pundits are tempted to panic. “The cold reality for Biden,” writes New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait “is that his presidency is on the brink of failure.” A return to Trumpism, and essentially the end of American democracy, strikes Chait as altogether likely.

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