Comedian Stephen Colbert really wants a piece of the South Carolina primary, and no organizational obstacle will stop him from seizing it. Originally, his list of desires was long: He wanted the entire primary named after him (“The Colbert Super PAC South Carolina Republican Primary”), he wanted his name to actually appear on the ballot and he wanted the ballot to also feature a Colbert original referendum question, “Are corporations people or are only people people?” To make all of this happen, he offered the state GOP $500,000 — but, surprisingly, the state party refused. The referendum question, I guess, was just a little too much for them. Some party leaders can’t be bought!

No matter. Stephen Colbert has found a creative way to gauge his support in South Carolina anyway. He’s instructed his fans to vote for the-no-longer-running-but-still-on-the-ballot Herman Cain in his stead. Today, Colbert and Cain will join forces at a rally to take place at 1 p.m. at the College of Charleston.

What’s going to happen at the event, dubbed the “Rock Me Like a Herman Cain South Cain-Olina Primary Rally?”

“Clapping and talking,” Colbert said.

Colbert, who has launched his faux-exploratory committee in an effort to satirize the role of super PACs in the 2012 presidential race, has urged his supporters to vote for Cain in Saturday’s first-in-the-South contest since his own name won’t be on the ballot.

On Friday, he emphasized that Cain – who suspended his campaign amid allegations of sexual harassment and a 13-year affair – remains his top choice in the race, even though he’s technically no longer a candidate.

“How much more of an outsider can you be? He’s not even running,” Colbert said.

Colbert is unconcerned about how he’ll know which votes were actually for Cain and which votes were for Colbert-as-Cain. He says they’re practically the same man, anyway.

Apparently, the South Carolina Democratic Party is really not happy about this.

The Democrats’ concerns are no laughing matter. Voting for Colbert via Cain would stir up the voter files, likely landing Democrats’ contacts in Republican fundraising and mailing databases.

Besides, Democrats also are hoping South Carolinians turn out to vote in their own January 28 primary. Double-dipping in the two primaries is not allowed.

“As much as I personally love Stephen Colbert, I think he is a wonderful son of South Carolina, I think it is all for jokes and we’re not going to encourage Democrats to participate (in the Republican primary),” said Amanda Loveday, executive director of the South Carolina Democratic Party.

Ah, the lure of those politically active comedians, John Stewart and Stephen Colbert. We’re so tempted to hope, because they occasionally upset liberals, that they might someday be conservative. I just hope Herman Cain realizes that this joke’s on him, as it hammers home the failure of his own campaign.

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