THE BEST POLITICAL SPEECH OF THE 21ST CENTURY
A Man with Balls
One of the greatest -- and saddest -- things about the United States is that our comedians are currently the ones delivering the most honest, no-holds-barred commentary on our current political situation.
At the top of the list is Stephen Colbert, who currently has the funniest show on television (now that Arrested Development has been cancelled). Sadly, his audience seems to be limited to those too lazy to switch channels after The Daily Show is over. The upshot of his limited exposure is that many of the Republican Congresspersons that Colbert interviews don't seem to understand that he's mocking their politics and goading them into making outrageous statements.
But on Saturday night, Colbert had the rare opportunity to unleash his subversive satire upon his very targets, as he was the featured entertainer at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner. Among those attending were President Bush, Laura Bush, Justice Scalia, Senator John McCain, Valerie Plame, Mayor Ray Nagin, Drew Lachey (?), Ludacris (!), Anna Kournikova (?!?), and the entire White House Press Corps.
Whoever booked Stephen Colbert to "entertain" President Bush deserves an award for subversiveness, if not outright sedition.
But Colbert himself seized this rare opportunity and knocked it out of the park. He delivered not only a hilarious routine, but one of the most ballsy, shocking, and stinging rebukes of the Bush Administration ... while standing a few feet from the Commander in Chief. Every word was protest nonpareil and one of the bravest acts of political dissent this side of the millennium.
Colbert's arsenal of jokes were largely culled from his show, but to see him deliver the assault in front of his prey was, literally, porn on CSPAN. It's not often we get to see someone tell the Emperor that he's buck nekkid.
Although I am still giggling with giddiness, Colbert's actual audience was a tough crowd. But what do you expect when the spectators -- politicians and press -- are the butt of the jokes?
I uploaded a video of his brilliant performance here. Watch for the jaws dropping.
You can also read the highlights below:
CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING...
STEPHEN COLBERT: ... My name is Stephen Colbert and tonight it's my privilege to celebrate this president. We're not so different, he and I. We get it. We're not brainiacs on the nerd patrol. We're not members of the factinista. We go straight from the gut, right sir? ...
I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the "No Fact Zone." Fox News, I hold a copyright on that term. ...
I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq. ...
And though I am a committed Christian, I believe that everyone has the right to their own religion, be you Hindu, Jewish or Muslim. I believe there are infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.
I mean, it's like the movie "Rocky." All right. The president in this case is Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed is -- everything else in the world. It's the tenth round. He's bloodied. His corner man, Mick, who in this case I guess would be the vice president, he's yelling, "Cut me, Dick, cut me!," and every time he falls everyone says, "Stay down! Stay down!" Does he stay down? No. Like Rocky, he gets back up, and in the end he -- actually, he loses in the first movie. OK. Doesn't matter.
The point is it is the heart-warming story of a man who was repeatedly punched in the face. So don't pay attention to the approval ratings that say 68% of Americans disapprove of the job this man is doing. I ask you this, does that not also logically mean that 68% approve of the job he's not doing? Think about it. I haven't.
I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound -- with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world. ...
As excited as I am to be here with the president, I am appalled to be surrounded by the liberal media that is destroying America, with the exception of Fox News. Fox News gives you both sides of every story: the president's side, and the vice president's side.
But the rest of you, what are you thinking, reporting on NSA wiretapping or secret prisons in eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very important reason: they're super-depressing. And if that's your goal, well, misery accomplished. Over the last five years you people were so good -- over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew. ...
But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction! ...
Everybody asks for personnel changes. So the White House has personnel changes. Then you write, "Oh, they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg! ...
Justice Scalia is here. Welcome, sir. May I be the first to say, you look fantastic. How are you? [After each sentence, Colbert makes a hand gesture, an allusion to Scalia's recent use of an obscene Sicilian hand gesture in speaking to a reporter about Scalia's critics. Scalia is seen laughing hysterically.] Just talking some Sicilian with my paisan.
John McCain is here. John McCain, John McCain, what a maverick! Somebody find out what fork he used on his salad, because I guarantee you it wasn't a salad fork. This guy could have used a spoon! There's no predicting him. By the way, Senator McCain, it's so wonderful to see you coming back into the Republican fold. I have a summer house in South Carolina; look me up when you go to speak at Bob Jones University. So glad you've seen the light, sir.
Mayor Nagin! Mayor Nagin is here from New Orleans, the chocolate city! Yeah, give it up. Mayor Nagin, I'd like to welcome you to Washington, D.C., the chocolate city with a marshmallow center. And a graham cracker crust of corruption. It's a Mallomar, I guess is what I'm describing, a seasonal cookie.
Joe Wilson is here, Joe Wilson right down here in front, the most famous husband since Desi Arnaz. And of course he brought along his lovely wife Valerie Plame. Oh, my god! Oh, what have I said? [looks horrified] I am sorry, Mr. President, I meant to say he brought along his lovely wife Joe Wilson's wife. Patrick Fitzgerald is not here tonight? OK. Dodged a bullet.
And, of course, we can't forget the man of the hour, new press secretary, Tony Snow. Secret Service name, "Snow Job." Toughest job. What a hero! Took the second toughest job in government, next to, of course, the ambassador to Iraq.
(Credit for the transcript: DailyKos)