Steny Hoyer: Hey, maybe letting Colbert testify in character was inappropriate

posted at 1:35 pm on September 26, 2010 by Allahpundit

Via Gateway Pundit. Just kidding about the headline, by the way: Hoyer didn’t say that the decision to let Colbert testify was inappropriate. What he said was that the testimony itself was inappropriate and an “embarrassment” — to Colbert. The Democratic leadership is, as always, apparently blameless.

John Podhoretz calls it a landmark in the history of unforced errors:

Colbert, playing his blowhard-conservative-pseudo-O’Reilly character, was screamingly funny (you can watch him here). Among other things, he attempted to introduce the results of his colonoscopy into the Congressional Record. The members of Congress were screamingly funny too, only unintentionally. There were expressions of surprise, motions to get Colbert off the stage, pained stabs at making jokes alongside a professional, and so on…

This may have been the single biggest pointless blunder in American political history, and I am not kidding. With an election only five weeks from now in which Democrats are poised for major losses, this morning’s depiction of Congress as ludicrous dupes of a TV personality — which will be replayed for weeks — will make the analogistic point that the majority is unfit to be running things.

Will it? In a sane world, perhaps, but letting Colby testify as a goof is also a way for Democrats to remind young voters — whom they desperately need to turn out — of how hip and youthful and, well, just darned chill they are. To the extent there was a political strategy to all this, I assume that was it. And it’s not half bad: Older voters may mutter under their breath when they see the clips of Colbert, but they’re already paying attention to the election for other reasons. Younger voters whose interest in politics has declined since 2008 may, however, see it and put two and two together with that Stewart/Colbert rally scheduled for next month and conclude that it’s time to start re-engaging. It’s a longshot, but longshots are all the left has at this point.

Exit question: Hoyer’s opinion of Colbert here is notably at odds with Madam Speaker’s. Is this the first tiny push towards a “Steny for minority leader” campaign?

Update: Greenroomer (and young voter) Patrick Ishmael takes gentle exception to the idea that Colbert’s hipness will switch anyone’s vote from R to D. I agree; didn’t mean to suggest that it would. What I’m suggesting is that (a) young voters skew Democratic and (b) as is true of all demographics, some of them do follow politics day to day and some don’t. The former group won’t care what Colbert does, but the key to ramping up turnout is to get the latter group interested again. Colbert’s testimony and next month’s rally is a way to get their attention, which is half the battle. Whether that’ll translate into any extra votes, though, I don’t know.


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Hey, maybe electing Democrats into leadership was inappropriate…

phreshone on September 26, 2010 at 1:38 PM

It’s even worse when Obama performs in character.

Emperor Norton on September 26, 2010 at 1:40 PM

In a sane world, perhaps, but letting Colby testify as a goof is also a way for Democrats to remind young voters — whom they desperately need to turn out — of how hip and youthful and, well, just darned chill they are.

Young people? Maybe. Young voters? Doubtful to me. If you take the process seriously enough to go to the polls for a midterm, I don’t think the hip-ness of letting a comedian do his schtick during an official government proceeding will be the difference between voting R and voting D. We like a good joke, but a joke’s not going to affect turnout or ultimate votes cast, best I can tell.

Patrick Ishmael on September 26, 2010 at 1:40 PM

letting Colby testify as a goof is also a way for Democrats to remind young voters — whom they desperately need to turn out — of how hip and youthful and, well, just darned chill they are.

They will be too busy trying to find jobs and/or signing up for government benefits to vote in November. Pander away!

TheBigOldDog on September 26, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Who’s the comedian, Hoyer?

Wade on September 26, 2010 at 1:43 PM

What was inappropriate was, letting this tool get away with the its the Republicans fault we’re in this mess and letting the Democrat smear at will with no rebuke from the Right.

Speakup on September 26, 2010 at 1:44 PM

“maybe” “a little”

uh yeah, kinda like being “a little” pregnant.

There you have it our tax dollars at work.

Not my idea of hopeandchange……….not even close.

RealMc on September 26, 2010 at 1:46 PM

I don’t think the hip-ness of letting a comedian do his schtick during an official government proceeding will be the difference between voting R and voting D

Didn’t mean to suggest that. What I meant is that young voters are mostly Democratic and that the one-two punch of Colbert’s testimony and the Stewart/Colbert rally might re-focus attention on politics for those who haven’t paid much attention lately. You’re a high-information voter, but not everyone is. It’s getting the low-information voters out to the polls that’s tough.

Allahpundit on September 26, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Does Hoyer know that his opinion here goes right against the opinion of his boss, She Who Is Obeyed, who came out yesterday and said she thought having Colbert turn that hearing into a three-ring circus was indeed a great and wonderous thing or something?

pilamaye on September 26, 2010 at 1:46 PM

The adults are in charge…

SouthernGent on September 26, 2010 at 1:48 PM

If Professor Irwin Curry wasn’t so old, you could slap glasses on him and have a good shot at Keith O. Unfortunately, at this point, the manic pace of Keith would likely kill the guy. Hey, a comedy routine would probably make more sense and get more viewers.

The girl with the sledge from the movie Misery with a blonde job could do a great Hillary. And I can tolerate Hill better than most.

And where are all of the imitators of The One?

I bet with the right hair Kirsten Powers could do a great Maddow.

IlikedAUH2O on September 26, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Allahpundit on September 26, 2010 at 1:46 PM

The flip side of coarse is that is was such an insult to serious people in hard economic times that it will motivate them to show up and vote Republican.

It’s pissed off plenty of people which is why it’s still being discussed.

TheBigOldDog on September 26, 2010 at 1:49 PM

The current implosion of the Democratic party has surpassed anything I have ever dreamt of — despite the 24/7 efforts of the MSM to spin, wildly spin, everything the Dems touch is falling apart. This last little misguided episode would almost make me feel sorry for them — if they weren’t so evil.

cynccook on September 26, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Then again, there were many who came to revere Reagan because of the conduct of Carter and his merry band of Democrats.

The old saw goes: “if it hurts, it instructs…”

Let’s hope that these kids hurt so bad they’re seeing stars.

It would be a brutal but essential lesson.

turfmann on September 26, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Shortly after Obama was elected, I had a discussion with a liberal who informed me that Republicans were now a regional party of the south and mountain west and that they simply weren’t serious people.

I guess inviting a comedian to testify before Congress in character passes for serious these days.

Up is down. Left is right. Day is night.

Kafir on September 26, 2010 at 1:51 PM

The flip side of coarse is that is was such an insult to serious people in hard economic times that it will motivate them to show up and vote Republican.

Could be. Like I say, it’s Hail Mary time for Dems.

Allahpundit on September 26, 2010 at 1:51 PM

What I meant is that young voters are mostly Democratic

Allahpundit on September 26, 2010 at 1:46 PM

The Lanceman correcting AP? WTH?
They are the ‘Democrat’ party, not the ‘democratic’ party.
Nothing ‘democratic’ about the ‘rats.

Lanceman on September 26, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Colbert was funny?

Yeah, it was a laugh riot wasn’t it.

GarandFan on September 26, 2010 at 1:54 PM

So one clown speaking before another group of clowns, and we’re surprised that they all acted as clowns?

Yes, it was “inappropriate”, as are virtually the whole lot of them (with some notable exceptions.) And they wonder why the American people don’t take them seriously.

IrishEyes on September 26, 2010 at 1:55 PM

It wasn’t about young voters, it was about creating a diversion on The Hill during the Coates’ testimony

phreshone on September 26, 2010 at 1:55 PM

see it and put two and two together with that Stewart/Colbert rally scheduled for next month and conclude that it’s time to start re-engaging.

Then why are many Dems. trying to distance themselves from this? From the request that Colbert leave before he starts, to this clip, and others, this seems universally looked down upon by everyone, and not just those stuffy republicans. Also, what’s the argument? Don’t look at the unemployment and economy, Colbert’s really really cool? I don’t think it will play at all.

Weight of Glory on September 26, 2010 at 1:56 PM

I still think it was a diversion for the black panther case.

the_nile on September 26, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Hell, they are all “in character”…

d1carter on September 26, 2010 at 1:56 PM

From the request that Colbert leave before he starts, to this clip, and others, this seems universally looked down upon by everyone, and not just those stuffy republicans. Also, what’s the argument? Don’t look at the unemployment and economy, Colbert’s really really cool? I don’t think it will play at all.

Pelosi said his testimony was great and Conyers said it was profound. Lofgren, the committee chair, let Colbert go on in character. Which prominent Dems are railing about it? Even Hoyer can’t bring himself to indict his own side.

And as I’ve said three times now, the hipness factor isn’t an argument to elect Democrats. It’s a way to get SOME young voters to pay attention again. What the Dems do with that attention is up to them.

Allahpundit on September 26, 2010 at 2:00 PM

I don’t think the hip-ness of letting a comedian do his schtick during an official government proceeding will be the difference between voting R and voting D. We like a good joke, but a joke’s not going to affect turnout or ultimate votes cast, best I can tell.

Patrick Ishmael on September 26, 2010 at 1:40 PM

..ummmmm, exactly. It’s almost as pathetic as that quadrennial crapfest that MTV — or whatever the gen-Z equivalent is — called “Rock the Vote”.

RTV stirs images of Spicoli-like stoners in adjacent booths, one saying to another, “ummm, psssst! Hey brah, who was the dude I was supposed to pull the lever for?”

The War Planner on September 26, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Can’t bother watching it. Seems like a bad fit for Colbert. However, having him appear before congress in character seems no more ridiculous than the routine stunt testimony from celebrities or wasting congressional time on Jose Canseco and other baseball juicers.

Better to use the time forcing congressmen to study for and pass basic skills tests on the committees they sit on, especially where basic finance is required. If we can do standardized tests for high school diplomas, having them for congress isn’t a bad idea.

dedalus on September 26, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Allahpundit on September 26, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Also the liberals in this country believe that everyone feels the same way they do, and is in on the big joke. This is a perfect example of what I mean. Look at who the AP quotes: a biology professor from Stonehill College named Bronwyn. Seriously. Like everyone she knows, she is ‘disappointed’ that Obamacare lacked a single-payer option. I’ll bet she doesn’t know anyone who voted for McCain, either.

cynccook on September 26, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Didn’t mean to suggest that. What I meant is that young voters are mostly Democratic and that the one-two punch of Colbert’s testimony and the Stewart/Colbert rally might re-focus attention on politics for those who haven’t paid much attention lately..

Allahpundit on September 26, 2010 at 1:46 PM

..AP, methinks you’re working to hard at trying to justify this.

The War Planner on September 26, 2010 at 2:04 PM

If we can do standardized tests for high school diplomas, having them for congress isn’t a bad idea.

dedalus on September 26, 2010 at 2:02 PM

..I got the first question: “How many people can be set ashore on Guam before it flops over?”

The War Planner on September 26, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Is this the first tiny push towards a “Steny for minority leader” campaign?

It might be the first public one, but in all likelihood there is work going on behind the scenes already.

INC on September 26, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Which prominent Dems are railing about it? Even Hoyer can’t bring himself to indict his own side.

Allahpundit on September 26, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Pelosi? She also says that the Dems will retain the House. I don’t look to her as mouthing what really hurts or helps the Dems. And the fact that Conyers first asks him to leave and then supports the move, tells me that this was more of a SNAFU about which they are trying to put back in the bottle rather than truly capitalize on it. Kind of like the “I meant to do that” bit. In fact Salon is desperately trying to make your case to its readers and democrats:

Some Democrats, being idiots, decried Colbert’s attempts to bring attention to the issue they were trying to bring attention to. Steve Cohen, who is usually pretty cool: “I don’t think he should be here. It commercializes the committee.” Rep. Cohen, what it does is get everyone on the Internet talking about your committee hearing, that would’ve otherwise been ignored. Colbert’s presence makes his young, liberal viewers interested in the subject of immigration reform. You guys theoretically want young, liberal people to care about what you’re doing, right?

If that 2 plus 2 equation were that simple, why is Salon trying to say, “hey, dems., isn’t this what you want?”

Weight of Glory on September 26, 2010 at 2:14 PM

But shouldn’t the real blame lie with the organizers of this…
I rest my case…

RalphyBoy on September 26, 2010 at 2:15 PM

What I really hope to see is MC Hammer making a special appearance with a very special Obama rap in 2012. How do you spell that word again? Schadenfreude? Is that right?

cynccook on September 26, 2010 at 2:17 PM

“Younger voters whose interest in politics has declined since 2008 may, however, see it and put two and two together with that Stewart/Colbert rally scheduled for next month and conclude that it’s time to start re-engaging.”

If that’s what the people behind this were thinking, then even Billy Madison think it’s the most insanely idiotic thing he’s ever heard, feels dumber for having listened to it, and awards the Democrats no points.

The Mega Independent on September 26, 2010 at 2:24 PM

It was completely stupid and ridiculous. Just like any other testimony from Miss Piggy, and whatever stupid celebrity they’ve thrown up as an “expert.”

I can’t imagine who thought this even approached a good idea….

mjk on September 26, 2010 at 2:25 PM

“Hoyer didn’t say that the decision to let Colbert testify was inappropriate. What he said was that the testimony itself was inappropriate and an “embarrassment”

.
Exactly!
It wasn’t the fact Colbert ‘testified’ he found inappropriate,
it was Colbert saying this:

“Maybe this ad-jobs bill would help, I don’t know, like most members of congress – I haven’t read it.

and this:

“I participated in the UFW’s “Take our Jobs” Campaign – one of only sixteen Americans to take up the challenge. Though that number may increase in the near future, as I understand many Democrats may be looking for work come November.

D’OH!

mrt721 on September 26, 2010 at 2:25 PM

What Nancy needs is to participate in a Donkey Show on the Capitol Floor to really put a grand finale on this session of Congress.

Nothing could be more fitting.

NoDonkey on September 26, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Hey, maybe electing Democrats into leadership was inappropriate…

phreshone on September 26, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Triple A+

I am still amazed at what they were thinking. They ask a comedian to come to congress to testify in character? Like, is this for real? Send in the clowns, man. Like, we don’t already have enough of them in government.

JellyToast on September 26, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Congress is already full of buffoons, what’s one more. What I want to know is, was either he or his character sworn in before testimony? Because if so, there were some actionable offenses committed.

Also find it a bit sad that there is nothing humorous or entertaining on something that bills itself as the Comedy Chanel.

Tommy_G on September 26, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Gateway Pundit has a nice follow-up quote!

GOP Leader John Boehner spoke out today on the latest democratic travesty on FOX News Sunday:

“Chris, they have time to bring in comedian to Washington DC but they don’t have time to eliminate the uncertainty by extending all of the current tax rates. I think that’s irresponsible.”

INC on September 26, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Colbert, playing his blowhard-conservative-pseudo-O’Reilly character…

Erm, I won’t argue with the blowhard assessment, but O’Reilly is conservative?

citrus on September 26, 2010 at 2:37 PM

If I were unemployed and struggling to feed my family?

What I would want to do to the Democrats responsible, after seeing this clown wasting time up there, is not printable.

Democrats are very lucky that this is a Christian nation and that we are optimistic.

Otherwise, people would be going Jacobin on them.

NoDonkey on September 26, 2010 at 2:37 PM

It’s even worse when Obama performs in character.

Emperor Norton on September 26, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Naw, that’s Robobama from at Disney World!
So life like, most can’t tell them apart!

DSchoen on September 26, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Hey dumb smuck you think so?

tarpon on September 26, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Steny.

Beavis and Butthead laughter … “hehe-hehe. hehe-hehe.”

BowHuntingTexas on September 26, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Exit question: Why did Wallas let Hoyer off the hook when Hoyer claimed the Dems have ONLY had all of Congress for 2 years!
They have had it for 4 years!

And the Bush tax cuts were passed with a Dem controlled Senate!
BTW, Obama as a US Senator and now President has had 6 years, 4 years in the Senate what did he offer up to counter these so-called Bush policies?

DSchoen on September 26, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Could be. Like I say, it’s Hail Mary time for Dems.

Allahpundit on September 26, 2010 at 1:51 PM

IOW, desperation. Is desperation really inspiring to young voters? If the incumbents look ridiculous, wouldn’t the young voters be even less inclined to try to save the incumbents?

There Goes The Neighborhood on September 26, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Colbert still gets a B+ for pointing out that he had not read the legislation, but neither had anyone else in Congress.

percysunshine on September 26, 2010 at 2:59 PM

How about this for an ad…

The Democrats didn’t have time to write and vote on a budget for the year as they are required to do by the Constitution.

The Democrats didn’t have time to vote on extending the tax cuts, therefore, letting them expire and forcing taxes on everyone to increase.

What did the Democrats have time to do?

Entertain a comedian…
Host fundraisers…
Travel in Air Force planes at taxpayer expense…

This is their idea of representing YOU.

Is it your idea of being represented?

UnderstandingisPower on September 26, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Could be. Like I say, it’s Hail Mary time for Dems.

Allahpundit on September 26, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Indeed, and Colbert is the least of it all.

Economy/Jobs…instead they went with ObamaCare et other.

It will absolutely kill them and they will still not learn a thing from it. Delusion is indignant.

Schadenfreude on September 26, 2010 at 3:28 PM

The Democrats are an absolute insult to the American people. The anger you see in November will pale in comparison to what you begin to see next year when the ’12 election cycle starts to heat up. Another year of trying to get by on unemployment. Another winter of setting the house at 60 degrees to try to make the heating oil last. Another Christmas trying to explain to the kids why the gifts aren’t coming. Another year of marriages breaking up from the economic stress. All the while watching the ruling class party on, and listening to the MSM shove their spin down our throats. Spin all you want, but no matter how fancy a plate you put in front of me, I know it’s still a sh!t sandwich.

teacherman on September 26, 2010 at 3:40 PM

What’s a Party to do when it’s hit absolute rock bottom mere days before a mid-term election? Why, You Send In The Clowns

alwyr on September 26, 2010 at 3:45 PM

All I can say is: “Steny, you moron…”

Mr. Grump on September 26, 2010 at 3:46 PM

In comparison, this didn’t get near the media coverage probably because he spoke the truth, knew what he was talking about, and didn’t behave like an a$$ (and therefore wasn’t of much interest to Democrats). This administration needs to be raked over the coals for their pathetic response to the spill.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100922/ts_alt_afp/usoilpollutionenvironmentpeoplecostner

scalleywag on September 26, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Dems to America: Everybody must get stoned.

paul1149 on September 26, 2010 at 3:58 PM

What’s a Party to do when it’s hit absolute rock bottom mere days before a mid-term election? Why, You Send In The Clowns

alwyr on September 26, 2010 at 3:45 PM

The clowns have been in power since 2006 and that’s our problem.

The Democrats in Congress are an absolute debacle of incompetence, corruption, ignorance, arrogance, stupidity and elitism.

Worst Congress ever, the debate is over.

NoDonkey on September 26, 2010 at 4:04 PM

I wonder if they would allow Mark Levin, or Michelle Malkin in there………….

RealMc on September 26, 2010 at 4:04 PM

What’s a Party to do when it’s hit absolute rock bottom mere days before a mid-term election? Why, You Send In The Clowns

alwyr on September 26, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Clowns with shovels so they can keep digging.

RealMc on September 26, 2010 at 4:14 PM

The headline on Drudge, “Dems Dig For Dirt on Rivals in Election Showdown”, tells it all. That’s all they’ve got, and is so typical of them.

silvernana on September 26, 2010 at 4:28 PM

If I were an activists for farm workers, I’d be pissed that the dems and Colbert are making a joke out of a serious problem.

I don’t see the upside for liberals on this.

hepcat on September 26, 2010 at 4:36 PM

I think that was the “circus” part of “Bread and Circuses”.

whiskeytango on September 26, 2010 at 4:37 PM

This group of politicians thugs have such great incite.

Wade on September 26, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Can Ann Coulter be called too?

AshleyTKing on September 26, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Or Mark Steyn? You know, someone with wit.

AshleyTKing on September 26, 2010 at 7:02 PM

Colbert was almost funny enough to get a gig on SNL.

Yeah, that should leave a mark.

mad scientist on September 26, 2010 at 7:25 PM

Younger voters whose interest in politics has declined since 2008 may, however, see it and put two and two together…and conclude that it’s time to start re-engaging. It’s a longshot…

I’d call it a REAL longshot–the Hail Marys of all Hail Marys. For these reasons:

1. 70% of young people in America are bonafide narcissists. (Adults created this nonsense with the overemphasis on self-esteem, etc.) There must be a promise of reward for young folks to vote: hope, change, free gas, rent paid, etc. Many of them will not take a break from their Pumpkin Latte to vote on November 2nd.

2. Many of them are trying in vain to find ANY job, let alone a job in their field. While they’re moving back home, they’re getting an earful about the irresponsibility of voting for an empty suit like Obummer by the parents who are now supporting them.

3. Young people, for their few drawbacks, are savvier than ever. Most of them know their vote was a mistake, but the self-absorption of youth won’t allow them to own their mistake openly. Instead, they’ll just refuse to cast a ballot.

Grace_is_sufficient on September 26, 2010 at 7:39 PM

nothing but a calculated diversion from the truth coming out of Coates mouth. The media was all over Colbert’s comedic act in congress while they did not want to smell or even take a whiff of what Coates was cooking– out of sight out of mind.

DISGRACEFUL on many levels.

Watching_Cloward-Piven on September 26, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Steny Hoyer: Hey, maybe letting Colbert testify in character was inappropriate

Ya’ think?

You know what it reminded me of? Edgar Alan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death.

FloatingRock on September 26, 2010 at 8:54 PM

Dems to America: Everybody must get stoned.

paul1149 on September 26, 2010 at 3:58 PM

How else would they get votes ?

cableguy615 on September 26, 2010 at 9:47 PM

How else would they get votes ?

cableguy615 on September 26, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Amnesty for illegals.

FloatingRock on September 26, 2010 at 11:54 PM

This was a Caligula-makes-his-horse-a-Senator moment.

The mask slipped; Lofgren and Pelosi engaged in an act so unbelievably contemptuous of the taxpaying public that even some other Democrats not generally known for their probity are doing their best to distance themselves from this (literal) circus.

I would never have believed that even this House leadership could stoop to this.

JEM on September 27, 2010 at 12:46 AM

citrus on September 26, 2010 at 2:37 PM

I call BOR the bloviating blowhard and I have no idea why even I watch BOR because I usually wind up yelling at him through the TV and raising my blood pressure.

I still can’t believe Chris Wallace allowed Hoyer to get away with his lie that his party has only been in power for “18 months”. Wallace is usually more hawkish an interviewer than that. Disappointing.

margategop517 on September 27, 2010 at 12:08 PM

What Nancy needs is to participate in a Donkey Show on the Capitol Floor to really put a grand finale on this session of Congress.

Nothing could be more fitting.

NoDonkey on September 26, 2010 at 2:25 PM

I hate you sir for putting that image in my head….HATE!!! (Which is why I just reposted it….sharing the misery and all that!!!)

runawayyyy on September 27, 2010 at 2:50 PM