If John Kasich can’t stand up to Stephen Colbert, how is he going to stand up to Putin?

Last night, Kasich brought his “Why can’t we be friends?” schtick to The Late Show and it started out well enough, I guess. Kasich held his own when Colbert teased him about winning New Hampshire by finishing second, and his complaints about the Republican debates felt like a peek behind the curtain: “The debates are the dumbest thing going,” Kasich said. “It’s sort of like, ‘Explain your life story in 30 seconds.’”

But when the subject of Anton Scalia’s replacement came up, Kasich was completely incoherent, revealing both the limitations of the argument that we should wait eleven months to nominate a new Supreme Court justice and Kasich’s central pitch that he’ll stop the division in Washington. Kasich’s stammering response to Colbert’s questioning revealed that both arguments are pure bluster, calculated for political effect. His argument for why the next president should nominate Scalia’s replacement, for instance, boiled down to a nonsensical hypothetical: “I think it will be less political than it is now.” The audience booed.