Friday, December 14, 2012

A Silly Senate?

The retirement of South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint has prompted speculation about whom SC Gov. Nikki Haley will appoint to fill his seat until a special election next year.

Among those requesting consideration is comedian Stephen Colbert (pronounced "Col-bear" now, but "Col-burt" when he was an undergraduate at the Beacon of Truth and Enlightenment of the Known Universe, Northwestern University in Evanston, IL).

Now the initial response might be to dismiss Colbert's request out of hand. His qualifications for the office seem at this point to be that he has created a character mocking loudmouth talk show host Bill O'Reilly, a man whose picture is next to the definition of "self-parody" in the dictionary and who also defines, in this case, the phrase "easy target." When Colbert wanted to testify before Congress about immigration, he did so in character and embarrassed the committee that had invited him. Actually handing over the resources of a Senate office to a fellow who might, just might be tempted to use them in unserious ways is not the best of ideas.

On the other hand, it's not like there aren't already a lot of clowns in the U.S. Senate whom no one takes seriously. And if Colbert were selected, that would be the end of his boring television show, because Comedy Central would have to report it as an in-kind campaign contribution and South Carolinians might expect their Senator to be somewhere near the Capitol building instead of in makeup getting ready to go on set.

That's a temptation that could get out of hand, though. Governors everywhere might decide to help out the television viewing public by appointing the members of the all-heat, no-light brigade to serve out unfinished legislative terms. Senator O'Reilly. Representative Matthews. Representative Sharpton. Senator O'Donnell. Senator Hannity. Lieutenant Governor Olbermann (because seriously, there are some folks even the U.S. Senate shouldn't take). Commissioner of Waste Disposal Behar (a lifetime appointment!) Insurance Commissioner Penn (because I think Spicoli was less of an act than he'd like us to believe and because it would be fun watching the numbers make his widdle eyes scrunch up in confusion).

There are hundreds of offices that could be filled by people whom we would then never have to listen to again. You may say that this would create chaos in state and federal government as all of these underqualified dunderheads were put in positions for which they are in no way qualified and in which they are unlikely to succeed. To which I say, how would we notice?

(For those who might wonder why such a post on a day where we have seen evil made real in Connecticut, I have found the internet to be full of ignorant opinions on that subject and do not believe it needs mine).

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