Shapiro Laments the Persecution of Conservatives

Ben Shapiro has long cracked me up. I first saw him a columnist for the Worldnetdaily before he moved on to Breitbart.com and now to Truth Revolt. He’s the far right’s boy wonder. And in his latest column, he’s got an axe to grind with Stephen Colbert.

Last week, after President Obama gave his highly-mockable “Mission Accomplished” speech announcing that 7.1 million Americans had selected an Obamacare plan, Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert hit the airwaves. He did mock. But instead of mocking Obama’s laughably manipulated 7.1 million number, he did his usual routine: pretending to be a cluelessly cruel right-winger, Colbert spat, “I wish I could come to you with some good news, but the worst imaginable thing has happened: Millions of Americans are going to get healthcare.”

But this is just barely a satire. Many Republican governors and legislators have, in fact, worked tirelessly to prevent millions of Americans from getting healthcare. About 5 million low-income Americans would now have health insurance if not for that Republican obstructionism in blocking the expansion of Medicaid. They are denying health insurance that is available to the working poor in order to score political points against Obamacare. And some conservative pundit and organizations have actually encouraged people not to sign up for health insurance through the exchanges and to go to the emergency room if they get sick instead.

This routine, in which Colbert plays at conservatism in order to portray it as unendingly ugly, should be labeled for what it is: vile political blackface. When Colbert plays “Colbert,” it’s not mere mockery or satire or spoof. It’s something far nastier.

Blackface, which has an ugly history dating back to at least the fifteenth century according to historian John Strausbaugh, was used to portray demeaning and horrifying stereotypes of blacks. Such stereotypical imitation has not been limited to blacks, of course; actors tasked with playing stereotypical Jew Shylock often donned a fake nose and red wig, as did actors who were supposed to play Barabas in The Jew of Malta. Such stereotypical potrayals create a false sense of blacks, or Jews, or whomever becomes the target of such nastiness.

And this is precisely what Colbert does with regard to politics: he engages in Conservativeface.

Oh, we know, Ben. We know. We all feel so terrible at the centuries of persecution of conservatives and how being made fun of entrenches that oppression in the American psyche. I’m sure it must just be so damn difficult for you to overcome the legacy of discrimination. I think you should form a new NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Conservative People.

This is why Colbert is such an effective weapon for the left. Unlike Stewart, whose mockery is no different in kind from Greg Gutfeld’s on the other side, Colbert’s shtick is of a different sort: it’s based on creation of a character who doesn’t exist, but the audience is supposed to believe does exist in type.

You think Greg Gutfeld’s “comedy” is no different from Jon Stewart’s? That’s hilarious all by itself.

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  • doublereed

    Oh my. Is Shapiro learning what “satire” is? Honestly, he’s almost there! So close!

    Gasp, maybe if he figures it out, he’ll inform his other conservative buddies!

  • Chiroptera

    [Colbert] did his usual routine: pretending to be a cluelessly cruel right-winger….

    But you are are the real deal, right Shapiro?

  • matty1

    I know popularity is not always a mark of quality when it comes to entertainment but I must note that The Daily Show and Colbert are shown in Britain and in many other countries I’ve visited, whereas this is the first time I’ve cme across the name Greg Gutfeld.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Colbert’s shtick is of a different sort: it’s based on creation of a character who doesn’t exist, but the audience is supposed to believe does exist in type.

    It’s true. Colbert’s character is far more likeable than Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and the other blowhards he’s modeled after. That kind of conservative doesn’t exist.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kpalexander1 Kevin Alexander

    They are denying health insurance that is available to the working poor in order to score political points against Obamacare.

    .

    No, they’re denying healthcare to the working poor because they’re poor and they need to die and decrease the surplus population.

    When have you ever seen someone winning at Monopoly give money to a bankrupt? That would keep them in the game!

    The End Times are here! Jesus is going to let His Blessed buy their mansions in heaven. At least that’s what the conservatives think.

  • dugglebogey

    If you want to hear some true hilarity, some conservative folks thought Gutfeld was a good candidate to replace David Letterman in that slot.

    I hate to tell them that Bill Maher had a better shot.

    Colbert’s looking pretty good to you wingers now, isn’t he?

  • raven

    Colbert spat, “I wish I could come to you with some good news, but the worst imaginable thing has happened: Millions of Americans are going to get healthcare.”

    Exactly what the Tea Party/GOP did.

    They refused to raise the debt ceiling in order to shut down the US government. This just happened a few months ago, end 2013.

    They tried to seriously damage or destroy the USA to prevent a few million people from buying private Affordable Health Insurance on web based exchanges. It was absurd. It was malevolent.

    1. Their last two accomplishments were to cut Food Stamps and refuse to extend unemployment benefits.

    2. Current projects are to make birth control difficult to get or illegal and abolishing Food Stamps completely.

    This would eventually produce a lot of unplanned, unwanted children who go hungry a lot and live in poverty.

    Calling the Tea Party/GOP cruel doesn’t begin to cover it. Anti-human, malevolent, fundie xian.

  • Michael Heath

    Ben Shapriro can’t handle the fact he’s a bigot being ridiculed. So he falsely projects his own bigotry on to those who expose his bigotry. This is an age-old tactic where the most relevant questions are:

    1) Is this person, in this case Ben Shapiro, oblivious to the logical and rhetorical fallacies they’re depending on to both defend themselves and change the topic from the reprehensible behavior of them and their tribe?

    2) Will they eventually discover and the concede that their position is indefensible and adapt to a position that is? This of course is very difficult for conservatives to do. It doesn’t help that those with a bully pulpit are rewarded for not adapting but instead digging their hole ever deeper.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    Colbert spat, “I wish I could come to you with some good news, but the worst imaginable thing has happened: Millions of Americans are going to get healthcare.”

    Colbert is just saying out loud what wingnuts wish they could. That’s what got Shapiro’s undies in a twist.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com holytape

    Who the fuck is Greg Gutfeld? I watch a few clips of him, but by the time each clip had ended I had completely forgotten him. Is that some sort of super magical power, to be so boring and bad at comedy as not even to be memorable for be boring and bad?

  • sinned34

    The real problem is the “Colbert” character says everything the Republicans say, but without using the proper code words.

  • smrnda

    The difference, of course, is that minstrel shows were white people making fun of minorities who at the time were second class citizens, it’s not making fun of the opinions of people who could have chosen to think otherwise who tend to be whiter and often richer than average.

    Mocking the powerless is in bad taste, but mocking the powerful or simply ignorant is what mockery is for.

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com tommykey

    Ben Shapiro always seems perpetually angry to me. Maybe he has to play it that way to keep the wingnut welfare gravy rolling in. Could he ever work a normal job and make a living for himself? After he graduated law school, he worked at a law firm for a brief period. Wonder if he was canned for poor performance.

  • scienceavenger

    Such stereotypical potrayals create a false sense of blacks, or Jews, or whomever becomes the target of such nastiness. And this is precisely what Colbert does with regard to politics: he engages in Conservativeface.

    Right, its so false that’s why 20% or so of conservatives that watch his show don’t get that its satire. They’re probably the same people that think WWE is real.

    As for Shapiro, he’s an absolute idiot. He’s the poster boy for child abuse via the political bubble. He has no defenses against reality except to babble nonsensically.

  • arakasi

    I’m sure that Shapiro is next going to explain that Jonathan Swift was engaging in “Englishface” with A Modest Proposal

  • raven

    The Atlantic Wire today: Philip Bump

    CBO: Obamacare Will Cover More People at a Lower Cost Than We Expected

    Into the bucket labeled “Small Bits of Good News that Will Not Change People’s Minds on Obamacare” (it is a wide bucket), throw this: The

    and

    The CBO also returned to another key point that it had made in the past. Spending isn’t the only factor to consider, and, once coverage provisions are included in the financial calculus, “the ACA’s overall effect would be to reduce federal deficits.” Reduced spending, more coverage, and a net reduction of the deficit.

    To put the malevolence of the GOP in perspective, the ACA is now projected by the CBO to cover more people and reduce the federal deficits!!!

    They tried to destroy the USA in the government shutdown to prevent, “Reduced spending, more coverage, and a net reduction of the deficit.” And they would do it again if they could.

  • busterggi

    Okay out there whoever you are, which one of you explained to Shapiro that Colbert isn’t a real conservative whackjob?

    They don’t understand humor that doesn’t involve the most basic physical comedy and then only if cauing pain is involved, so someone talked.

  • barry21

    OH MY FUCKING GOD!!!!!!!! “Conservativeface” is the fucking funniest fucking self-fucking-pitying neo-fucking-logism I’ve ever fucking heard.

    HAHAHAHa

    HAHAHAHA

    HAHAHA

    Conservativeface.

    Conservative. Face.

    FUCKING CONSERVATIVEFACE

  • barry21

    Conservativeface? Really, Ben?

  • Blondin

    So Shapiro equates political affiliation with nationality or skin color?

    You there, stop picking on that Conservative person! He can’t help it if he was born with his head up his ass!

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    They are denying health insurance that is available to the working poor in order to score political points against Obamacare.

    Thanks, Obama!

  • greg1466

    @4, Area Man. I was thinking the same basic thing. The things Colbert says are far less cruel and ugly than the things actual conservatives routinely say, simply because it is obviously a joke. In that sense, I’d say that it;s not really very good satire. It’s pretty much impossible to satirize something that has no limits to it’s extremism.

  • Michael Heath

    They are denying health insurance that is available to the working poor in order to score political points against Obamacare.

    modusoperandi responds:

    Thanks, Obama!

    Hanging out at the Wall Street Journal again?

  • felidae

    “This routine, in which Colbert plays at conservatism in order to portray it as unendingly ugly,”

    Sorry Benny Boy, we don’t Colbert to show us how ugly and mean spirited your idea of conservatism is–it’s as plain as can be

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “Right, its so false that’s why 20% or so of conservatives that watch his show don’t get that its satire. They’re probably the same people that think WWE is real.”

    They’re the ones who will be sending him death threats and other hate mail for “selling out” when he makes the move.