Thursday, October 18, 2007

Stephen Colbert for President

The traditional path to the presidency is to write a book and then announce you are a candidate on a television chat show. (It used to be fight in a war and then marry a rich woman but John Kerry proved that formula doesn't work any longer.) Stephen Colbert has announced he is running for president (in South Carolina). Stephen (can I call you Stephen?) is not the first comedian to run for president. Some will note that the only way to understand the Bush presidency is to assume it is all just a comedy routine (It's not?).

In 1940, Gracie Allen of the team of Burns and Allen (If you only know George Burns as a solo act you missed the best half of his career.) ran for president on the Surprise Party ticket. She made a whistle-stop tour of all of the hit radio shows of the time. Her campaign platform included taking pride in the National Debt (It's the largest in the world!) and putting Congress on a commission system, whenever the nation prospers Congress gets ten percent of the take.

Earlier (1928), Will Rogers ran for president against Herbert Hoover (He would have made the Depression fun) as the Anti-Bunk Party ticket. Prohibition was the law of the land them. His campaign promises include, "wine for the rich, beer for the poor and moonshine for the prohibitionists."
Make every speaker, as soon as he tells all he knows, sit down. That will shorten your speeches so much you will be out of here by lunch every day. ~ after attending the Democratic National Convention

Of course, Pat Paulsen (motto: If elected, I will win.) is the only thing that made the 1968 election (Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, good times!) tolerable. A regular on the irreverent Smothers Brothers television show, he brought the only small sense of reality to an election where Richard Nixon was the peace candidate.
Paulsen on gun control: "Let us not be ledmess by those who would mislead us. Let no man take away our liberties. Stand up and be counted...Let's preserve our freedom to kill."
Paulsen on poverty: "You can't just give poor people money. The poor people will just go out and buy food and clothes and pay rent and junk like that."
Paulsen on corruption: "Let's all remember that we have a government 'of the people...for the people...and by the people...' and there are very few people in our government that you can't buy."

Stephen, make us proud.

3 comments:

PoliShifter said...

I think I would be more intrigued if Steven were truly running for President of the U.S. and not just South Carolina Favorite Son status.

Correct me if I am wrong, but if Colbert was really running, wouldn't he have to quit his TV show?

Ol' Fred had to sign off of Law&Order and reruns with him won't be broadcast while he is campaigning.

Unless I don't understand the rules...

KnightErrant said...

As I understand it, and I can be really wrong about this, equal time rules apply to broadcast media using the public airways. The government has no standing to regulate cable-only programming.

will said...

I love this post