By releasing a new video calling Stephen Colbert out of control, Nancy Pelosi has joined with the popular comedian’s campaign against Citizens United.
Here is the video:
Beneath the satire of Pelosi’s campaign to stop Stephen Colbert, rests a very serious political message about what Citizens United is doing to our democracy. The cleverest part of the ad is tying the Disclose Act to “stopping Colbert.” Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed a constitutional amendment to undo Citizens United, and Sanders has been the political heart and soul of the movement. However, no one outside of a few elected officials has done more to raise consciousness and educate the general public about Citizens United than Stephen Colbert.
Colbert’s campaign to be elected “president of South Carolina” upstaged the GOP primary in the state, and led to the late night host getting a spot on ABC’s This Week where he used comedy to skewer Citizens United. Colbert was able to outdraw Mitt Romney by tenfold when they both held rallies in the state, but the mainstream media still chose not to discuss the number of voters Colbert’s proxy on the South Carolina ballot, Herman Cain, received.
Pelosi’s “ad” against Colbert just so happens to coincide with House Democrats reintroduction the Disclose Act today, which is not a direct challenge to the Super PAC spending allowed by Citizens United, but the bill would require more timely disclosure by Super PACs, lobbyists to disclose their donations to Super PACs, and most importantly, corporations to disclose to their shareholders their spending on political activities. It would also require Super PACs to disclose their top 5 donors in each ad, and the head of the Super PAC to deliver an on screen approval of each ad.
How many comedians can get the Democratic Leader and former Speaker of the House on board with them? Colbert’s campaign against Citizens United has been a stroke of genius from the day it began. Many Americans may sense that there is something wrong with how our elections work, but campaign finance issues like Citizens United are not something that grabs the average American’s attention.
Stephen Colbert is changing that.
The Pelosi ad marks the first time that Colbert’s efforts have crossed over into legislation. Even though the Disclose Act has no chance of passage in the House, this is all about educating the public.
Can comedy save our democracy?
Comedy itself may not be able to do it, but Stephen Colbert is proving to the world that comedy can do something that our many of our elected officials have no interest in. Our nation may require a comedian to educate all Americans about the dangerous threat to our elections and by extension our representative democracy that is Citizens United.