It's official: Stephen Colbert, the world's greatest fake rightwing pundit, is running for president. Talking Points Memo reports: "Stephen Colbert’s faux news show actually made some real news on Thursday, when the late-night comedian announced he is handing over control of his super PAC and forming an 'exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my possible candidacy for the president of the United States of South Carolina.'"
Over at Grist, Jess Zimmerman collects some Colbert Report segments on energy and the environment in an attempt to gauge how green a president he'd be. The consensus? He'd be as enviro-friendly as Bill O'Reilly, obviously! For instance, he'd eliminate the EPA, approve the Keystone XL, and overturn the so-called "ban" on incandescent light bulbs.
Of course, the true value of Colbert's move – as is the case with everything he satirizes – is that he'll draw attention to all of the absurdities and shortcomings of our politics. Starting with once again illuminating the ridiculous influence of Super PAC apparatus that allows corporations to flood candidates' campaign coffers with cash. Here's TPM again:
Colbert runs a super PAC, a political machine that can contribute unlimited amounts of money to help fund a candidate, as long as there’s no direct “coordination.” And Colbert can’t “coordinate” with himself. So Colbert invited his lawyer, Trevor Potter, on the show to cut through the red tape. Who is man enough to take on Colbert’s PAC? Luckily, Colbert’s colleague Jon Stewart popped into the studio to say he would be “honored” to take over. Potter produced the single document needed to transfer the PAC, and, before long, Colbert’s super PAC was “dead.” In its place was the “Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC.”Anyone laughing at that gag has just learned a valuable lesson about how preposterously our political system is tilted to favor the rich and powerful: The current rules on campaign finance are laughably weak, and Colbert has just illustrated how easy they are to manipulate.
And, of course, the unchecked influence of money and campaign donations in politics is the number one obstacle to good energy and environmental policy. So, we here at Treehugger will be eagerly watching to see what happens when an ersatz rightwing blowhard runs for the real office of president of the United States of America.