Wingers-‘R’-Stupid Dept.

Colbert’s ethically challenged wingnut is over the top. So why do conservative voters think he’s one of them?

Stephen Colbert is indeed a comic genius. He does a completely over-the-top impression of a factually clueless and ethically impaired wingnut. And yet actual non-elite conservatives seem to think he really believes the nonsense he mouths. That would be impossible unless it turned out to be the case that most conservative voters believe a whole bunch of stupid sh*t.

Now of course that doesn’t mean that there aren’t lots of smart conservatives, as well as bunch of smart grifters who have discovered that pretending to believe for real what Colbert’s character pretends to believe ironically is easier than working for a living. And of course it doesn’t mean that conservatives have a monopoly on stupidity; no one who has spent any time in Blue Blogistan could believe that. (Cf. #cancelColbert.)

But it remains the case that there’s no conservative version of Colbert: someone who recites liberal nonsense deadpan. And it’s also the case that, if there were, the mass of liberal voters would probably notice that they were being made fun of, rather than nodding in agreement. Whatever their native IQs, consumers of America’s “conservative” media have been trained to act just like stupid people. Otherwise, how could they have been expected to vote to put Sarah Palin within one unreliable heartbeat of the Presidency?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

9 thoughts on “Wingers-‘R’-Stupid Dept.”

  1. "there’s no conservative version of Colbert: someone who recites liberal nonsense deadpan."

    I would say Richard Cohen qualifies, only without being the least bit funny.

    1. Good point, except that Cohen has (seriously) said things which Colbert might find to be too ridiculous:

      ""The evidence Colin Powell presented to the United Nations — some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail — had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool — or possibly a Frenchman — could conclude otherwise.""

      Cohen is basically a right-winger when push comes to shove.

  2. I recall that Faux News (Real Noise) Channel once ran a program called The 1/2 Hour News Hour which was intended to be a "conservative" Daily Show. It struck me that it wouldn't be the least bit funny, but I like to base my opinions on data. So I watched an episode.

    I was right. It was painfully un-funny.

    Wingers have no detectable sense of humor.

  3. Apparently, there's actually a study on the issue. See this review in the Washington Monthly of the book "A Conservative Walks Into a Bar: The Politics of Political Humor" by Alison Dagnesby Here's the Amazon link for the book:

    The Dennis Miller joke from the start of the Bush Administration coming from the left still has resonance: "And on Monday, movers went to the governor’s mansion in Austin, Texas, to transfer Bush’s belongings to Washington. The move itself took very little time once workers discovered that Bush had nothing upstairs. Now, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but as a comedian, with George W. Bush coming into office, I feel like the owner of a hardware store before a hurricane. I hate to see it coming, but I have to admit it’s good for business."

Comments are closed.