Like some Republican lawmakers and Fox News anchors, we never understood the rationale for inviting comedian Stephen Colbert to speak about farm labor before the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on immigration. He worked on a farm for ten hours recently for a bit on his show. Okay … and? But waste of taxpayer money or not, it turned out to be a fantastic idea.
Things didn’t get off to a great start this morning, however. Before Colbert could deliver his opening statement, Democratic representative John Conyers of Michigan asked that he simply submit it in writing and go away, causing”gasps” from onlookers. But Colbert deferred to chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, who said she wanted him to speak.
Ditching the unfunny, sincere remarks he had submitted to the media beforehand, Colbert stayed in character to hilariously lampoon anti-immigrant sentiment. He also took the opportunity to mock the Democrats’ electoral outlook and the ineffectiveness of Congress.
When it was over, Colbert opened himself up to questioning. Iowa Republican Steve King — one of the crazier Republicans in Congress today — tried to point out some kind of discrepancy in Colbert’s statement. Had he packed corn or unpacked corn on the farm? Who cares? Whatever King’s point was supposed to be, it was more of a waste of time than Colbert’s testimony could have ever been. But Colbert handled it in the best way possible: by making a gay joke.
As taxpayers, we much prefer this to the way congressional hearings are normally run. Can he come back all the time, please?