Why would any Democrat bash Stephen Colbert?
I thought of a few reasons why the ossified #2 House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer would take out the time to go on the record and criticize Steven Colbert's routine that left Bush "ready to blow," and the DC press corps totally silent. Instead of leaping from his chair with a raised fist in solidarity with a public commentator who came to Washington to articulate truths the president and press never hear, Hoyer declared Ã¢â‚¬Å“I thought some of it was funny, but I think it got a little rough. He is the president of the United States, and he deserves some respect.Ã¢â‚¬Â Hoyer also said Colbert Ã¢â‚¬Å“crossed the lineÃ¢â‚¬Â and that many of his jokes were Ã¢â‚¬Å“in bad taste.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Here are my guesses:
- Steny Hoyer's political mindset is that you may politely disagree with president in public statements, but must avoid skewering him with vicious rhetoric out of deference to the office of the president, regardless of whom occupies it. This is part old-school thinking that believes this kind of civility which keeps the nation going (much like Kerry's instant concession after the 2004 election because he thought it would be bad for the country to have another extended fight), part a long-term bipartisan project to establish a public culture that is overly deferential and admiring of the White House. It's this kind of culture that allows for a show like The West Wing to take itself seriously, and for the public to gobble it up.
- Hoyer's congressional district has a lot of constituents who would say the same thing he did, and he's reflecting the politics he came out of; old Maryland conservative power-worshipping Democrats
- This is yet another contrarian move to contrast himself against his rival -- and boss -- Nancy Pelosi, to demonstrate to the Bush White House folks that they should work with him
- Hoyer engaged in the same kind of left bashing we saw when Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 came out, best epitomized by the insane rantings of Al From and Will Marshall of the DLC.