Saturday, November 11, 2006

Where To Now?

So, yeah, I'm in a good mood. In fact, I'd say 52% of the country is in a good mood (and if you believe all of the voter suppression stories, the number's a lot higher than that.)

But having won the election, pushing the venal and corrupt out of positions of power, we have to look to the future. It's not enough to mock and ridicule the policies and tactics of the government of the past.

We have to figure out how to mock the policies and tactics of the government of the future.

I'm thinking, specifically, of The Daily Show. Yeah, it's been on the air since 1996, when Clinton was still president, but we all know it didn't really take-off until 2002-3, when, between domination of Congress, the Iraq War, and the upcoming 2004 election, the Republican's provided Jon Stewart with a steady stream of inane or hateful rhetoric, shameless pork barrelling and barely hidden corruption, desperate, insane pandering to a looney conservative base, and ass backward hunting accidents.

With a Congress that won't rush through Bush's latest crazy bill written by his corporate or evangelical masters, WILL investigate Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo (and the secret prisons. And the wire-tapping... And...), won't make a national case out of personal, family tragedy, WILL react to a national emergency BEFORE it makes landfall, and maybe, maybe, maybe, actually looks at the facts and evidence before deciding policy, rather than seeing what the policy is before deciding what the facts are...

won't Jon Stewart's job be a lot harder?

Sure, The Daily Show will still have their biggest target, W, to kick around for the next two years, and their second biggest target, the cable news networks, will still be around after that, but man, the Republicans sure did provide a lot of grist for the mill for six years there. I'm sure the Democrats will still provide some much needed crazy (and I'd rather have good government and bad comedy than vice versa), but it just won't be the same.

And as hard as it will be for Jon Stewart, how much harder will it be for (noted genre geek) Stephen Colbert? Stewart acts as himself, a topical comedian, his targets are always those in power, regardless of ideology. Colbert, however, has a more specific target in mind, the conservatives and their media machine. His character, "Stephen Colbert," is a mouthpiece for the Republican administration, a repeater and "unintentional" inverter of RNC talking points. If Hastert and Frist are not setting the agenda on the Hill, controlling both the timing of debates and the terms and conditions, where will "Colbert" get his marching orders from (and Colbert his punchlines)?

It would be funny, and actually in character for "Colbert," whose massive self-centeredness masks crushingly low-self esteem and a need to ride the coattails of those more popular, if he suddenly turned into a talking head for the left. He couldn't do it right away, with Bush still in the White House providing better crazy, he might not do it for a few years, but it'd be great if on November 5, 2008, when [insert your Democratic candidate of choice here] declares victory, "Colbert" cheers loudly that it's a victory for him personally, since he's been a long time supporter of liberal causes.

So how do you make fun of the Democrats? Wait, let me amend that. How do you intelligently make fun of the Democrats? I've heard most of the jokes, "cowards," "bumbling," "corrupt," "immoral." But lets face it, there was one party composed of draft dodgers, one who let Iraq fall into a civil war, North Korea to get a nuclear bomb, and watch an American city wash away, one party that was funded by a massive bribery campaign, one party that protected a pedophile because they were worried about losing his seat in congress,

and it wasn't the Democrats.

So what CAN we make fun of the Democrats for? Or should we let history decide?


SallyP said...

Yes, it may be a little harder for Jon Stewart now, but that is definitely a risk I am willing to take. BTW isn't it a hoot how Bush is suddenly sucking up to Pelosi and such? And STILL trying to sneak the eavesdropping bill through and get John Bolton comfirmed at the UN! He is, and will always be...utterly shameless.

Ragnell said...

Am I the only one who remembers Clinton's Presidency? None of these late night comics were lacking for jokes even before Monica.

As for Stewart himself, he made his share of intern jokes for at least a year and he had a great time at everyone's expense during both the 2000 and 2004 elections.

Already this week he made a height joke, and a bit which quoted The Vagina Monologues about Pelosi. He's steadily made fun of Hillary Clinton, and as you said, there's still the President.

Steven said...

Am I the only one who remembers Clinton's Presidency? None of these late night comics were lacking for jokes even before Monica.

Yeah, but those were the standard issue, "politicians are liars and scumbags" jokes. They had nothing on this summary of the Marriage debate.

It's just a different level of crazy. I'd be surprised (and deeply disappointed with the world) if we ever saw its like again.