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Stephen Colbert Makes A Mockery Out of You—And Maybe Me

January 19, 2012

More than any so-called advocate’ today Stephen Colbert’ has illuminated flaws and inconsistencies in the U.S. electoral process—and provided a few laughs along the way. Corbert’s journey to showcase the worst of our regulation system doesn’t seem to have a clear end in sight; in light of that I’m going to be doing periodic updates on his journey to become President (of South Carolina) and beyond.

To set the scene for this series (and to update those who might be completely out of the loop) I’m doing a bit of history lesson on how the parody began and what might come next.

Part One: Colbert Explains PACs 101

In late March 2011 announced on the Colbert Report that he’d be forming a PAC or political action committee to influence the 2012 elections. Like television pundits Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee before him the comedian determined that “If you wanna be a political playa in 2012, you need a PAC,”

Most of the past year has been spent educating his viewers first hand on the seemingly unlimited powers he’s been granted first as the owner f the Colbert PAC and then as the owner of the Colbert super PAC.  Through the show Colbert’s exposed many of the dangers that lax campaign finance laws create; secret  contributions by small groups of big money donors, coordination between campaigns and ‘independent’ supporter groups, media exemptions that allow unequal time.

In the lead up to a Presidential election year Colbert’s lessons have begun playing out in real time. The Romney campaign and the American Crossroads super PAC associated with conservative strategist Karl Rove have garnered headlines for actions that while slightly unseemly are completely legal in a post Citizens United World.

What started as a parody of the system may lead to it’s eventual change as watchdog groups Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center argue that Colbert’s actions are an example of how regulation loopholes can be interpreted by candidates. In a way Colbert may prove his super Pac right and help make ‘a better tomorrow, tomorrow.’

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3 Comments leave one →
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    • Brittani Haywood permalink*
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