Day At The Improv

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Stephen Colbert is a funny guy. Granted, his program is a comedic shiv in the conservative movement’s kidneys, but a good joke is still a good joke.

Colbert is a rare breed amongst lefties, a comedian who is actually funny. Compared to lowbrow liberal court jesters like Mike Malloy, Colbert is funnier than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promising to whip the Marine Corps in a game of “catch the cruise missile.”

However, Colbert should stick to Comedy Central. What we saw him do last week while “testifying” in front of Congress wasn’t funny, it was… weirdly captivating, like watching a car wreck, or Bill Clinton sitting down for an interview with Pat Robertson on The 700 Club.

There’s a time and a place for comedy; and testifying in front of the U.S. House of Representatives is neither. The goings-on in the people’s house are already funny enough. But don’t pin the blame for Colbert’s standup set entirely on Colbert. He was invited to do his schtick by subcommittee chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Outer Space). I would suggest Colbert should have known better. It’s not as if I’m expecting Lofgren to know, well, much.

Lofgren extended the invitation to Colbert to testify on the issue of immigrant workers. Why the eight-term incumbent from California’s 16th would settle on a stand-up/sit down comedian to render expert testimony on such a monumentally important issue might cause some to scratch their heads, but I suspect:

  1. Lofgren is a 62-year-old lawyer and former congressional aide of Swedish descent. She’s about as hip as parachute pants, but represents a demographically diverse Silicon Valley-area district. Inviting Colbert to make the kiddies laugh was an attempt to jack up her “skreet kred.”
  2. Lofgren, like most liberals who’ve been in Washington since before even parachute pants were cool, is so completely disassociated from the 300 million taxpayers who are legally in this country that she thought Colbert was an actual expert on migrant workers.
  3. Lofgren was trying to distract the public from not only the seriousness of the immigration issue at a time when the Democrat ruling elite is being seen by more and more Americans as more disconnected from normalcy than Lindsay Lohan on the back end of a five-day bender; but also from the disastrous events of earlier in the week when a Democrat legislative ploy fell flatter than a Bill Maher punch line.

The third answer is the one which should raise your eyebrows. The Lofgren/Colbert comedy hour took place on Friday. Three days prior, Senate Democrats had tried to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants by attempting to bootleg the DREAM ACT across the legislative border under the blanket of the National Defense Reauthorization Act. The GOP spotted the subterfuge and filibustered, forcing the Democrats to turn to their trusty mainstream media for response, breathlessly pointing out that a repeal of the Clinton-era Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was also pinned to the tail of the NDRA donkey.

Despite headlines decrying alleged GOP-sponsored discrimination, the story went toes-up fairly quickly, its demise hastened by Colbert’s dog-and-pony show Friday morning. But hidden behind Friday’s fracas was the real story: The Democrats tried to pull a fast one, failed; turned out the mainstream media to cover them, failed; and then brought in a comedian to divert attention from their profligate elitism, and failed. By late Friday, even Democrats were claiming Lofgren’s stunt was an outrageous ploy by a rogue representative.

What they weren’t doing was acknowledging that they’d tried to pull a fast one and then bumbled helplessly until Colbert mercifully, albeit (hopefully) unwittingly, rescued them with his antics.

The influx of illegal immigrants is a serious issue, one which deserves serious response. The Democrats have attacked (the Department of Justice v Arizona), defamed (throwing the race card at anyone who stands against amnesty), and dishonored the nation (including AZ1070 in a human rights report to the United Nations). Now, with the Lofgren/Colbert report, they’re simply mocking not only the contentious issue of immigration reform, but also the overwhelming majority of Americans who contend the issue bears consideration.

As for the Democrat attempts as distraction, I maintain that distracting Congress from legislating is like distracting a dog from chewing on the furniture — or chewing on your kids.

But the Colbert disaster was a good look at the general tenor of the Democrat Party, 2010: Confronted by major economic, foreign policy and immigration predicaments of their own creation, they’re doing improv shows during business hours.

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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