Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stephen Colbert's Iconic Influence

I've written before about Stephen Colbert's subversive brilliance.  In 2006, at the height of George W. Bush's popularity, Colbert literally spoke truth to power at the White House Correspondent's Dinner.  Staying in character, he courageously and hilariously skewered the President and mocked the all-too-compliant national press.

And this preposterous election season he has demonstrated like no one else the destructive consequences of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision by creating his own Super PAC without much trouble.  During his very brief run for the presidency, he gave up control of the Super PAC, on the air, legally transferring it to his close friend and Comedy Central cohort, Jon Stewart, and renaming it "The Definitely Not Coordinated with Stephen Colbert Super PAC."  Among other things, this bit of political theater demonstrated how the rules which prohibit coordination between the candidates and their Super PACS are so transparently ineffectual.

Last week, at the gala celebrating TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people, at which he was so honored as an "icon," he lit into David Koch, one of his co-nominees, as only Colbert can -- with biting irony laying bare the destructive influence of money in politics -- especially Koch Brothers money.
Of course, all of us should be honored to be listed on the TIME 100 alongside the two men who will be slugging it out in the fall:  President Obama, and the man who would defeat him, David Koch.
Give it up everybody.  David Koch.

Little known fact -- David, nice to see you again, sir.

Little known fact, David's brother Charles Koch is actually even more influential.  Charles pledged $40 million to defeat President Obama, David only $20 million.  That's kind of cheap, Dave.
Sure, he's all for buying the elections, but when the bill for democracy comes up, Dave's always in the men's room.  I'm sorry, I must have left Wisconsin in my other coat.

I was particularly excited to meet David Koch earlier tonight because I have a Super PAC, Colbert Super PAC, and I am -- thank you, thank you -- and I am happy to announce Mr. Koch has pledged $5 million to my Super PAC.  And the great thing is, thanks to federal election law, there's no way for you to ever know whether that's a joke.

By the way, if David Koch likes his waiter tonight, he will be your next congressman.
While the mainstream media focuses on the horse race -- who is ahead in the polls and whose rhetoric is scoring the most political points -- we have come to rely more and more on comedians like Colbert to bring to the fore meaningful issues that have real influence on our national well being.

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