Friday, May 05, 2006
Colbert and nastiness
You have to understand, people have been calling Colbert a nasty, rude person, saying he's not funny, and calling him a bully. What a big, terrible meanie, he was, to say such nasty things to Bush.
And what big, terrible, nasty things did he say?
Well... he said that this is a President who proudly admits he's no big braniac, he's a man who leads from the gut.
And... what? Doesn't Bush make that claim? Don't his supporters say such things?
Well... yes. But Colbert made it sound *stupid*. Like, maybe you want someone who doesn't just "lead from the gut".
It goes on, and on, like that, and it's hilariously funny. You have to understand, Colbert plays a role; his schtick is that he's a rightwing commentator who fully supports the President, who says the exact same things other supporters do, and just gets them subtly wrong.
So, when he blasted the press for claiming Bush's personnel changes were like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, he responded, no, this administration is not sinking! It's soaring! If anything, he's rearranging deck chairs on the Hindenberg, not the Titanic!
Why do I think Colbert's routine was so deeply wounding to many on the right, and why do I think it sounds so mean, and rude, and bullying to people?
Because a good chunk of Bush's success in the polls has come from people saying the exact same things Colbert has said. And he made it look like it is really stupid to support someone for that reason.
And it is.
One of the biggest problems about honest debate in this country is that a large number of people think that anyone who criticizes Bush is doing so out of some personal animosity. Like, I don't really care about the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people, I don't really care about the large scale kidnapping and torture of people, I don't really think that blowing hundreds of billions of dollars in the Iraq war was a stupid idea, and I don't really think that it's wrong for a President to disobey the law... no, I'm just saying that to set people against George W. Bush.
Well, frankly, George W. Bush wasn't even on my radar until he decided he wanted to influence my life, and once he did, I judged him by his actions, and was appalled at many of his defenders sticking up for him in the face of his actions. I've been furious to see people swayed by Colbert-like arguments for years now.
Now, I'll grant, some of his supporters have better arguments to use to support him... but the fact of the matter is, in both elections he's faced, a difference of a tiny percentage of voters would have completely changed the outcome. So George W. Bush is President because of the voters who could be swayed by Colbert-style arguments. And Colbert just showed how empty they are, and how ugly they look.
It's about bloody time someone has.