Comedian Stephen Colbert is urging Iowans participating in the Ames Straw Poll to write in the name "Rick Parry," (with an "A") in what could be interpreted as an attempt to interfere with Texas Governor Rick Perry's chances in the presidential campaign.
Colbert, who earlier this year created a SuperPAC as part of his television show, seems to be interfering with the country's electoral process; and his actions could really have an influence on the Ames Straw Poll results.
While claiming it is all a joke, he may get voters to inadvertently misspell the name of the Texas governor, and possibly derail a possible presidential run. It is unlikely that a ballot in the Ames Straw Poll with the name "Rick Parry" be counted for the Texas governor Rick Perry.
Stephen Colbert has involved himself in the American political process. And even though his comedic routine is to play himself off as a "super-conservative," it is really just a character that he is playing on television. His true political sympathies appear to lie with the liberal Democrats, and he seems to have crossed the line from "comedian" to "political operative."
One must hope that Colbert can take the heat when he is called to account for his actions. By involving himself in the political process and by supporting one political party, he is now a legitimate political target of the other sideÂ—the Republicans. And when a person openly supports one political party, but the other side wins office, that person can expect political retribution.
While it is one thing to simply criticize and joke about one side or the other, it is quite another to actively involve oneself in politics. Colbert has actively involved himself in the American political system, but what remains to be seen is if he can take the political retribution when it is aimed directly at him.
Whether the comedian is secretly attempting to interfere with the Republican primary system for nefarious purposes, or if he just thinks it is funny to muck up the works, he will eventually discover that there will be a price to pay for his actions.
It is entirely possible that the Republicans will regain control of Congress and the White House in the 2012 election, and if that happens, Mr. Stephen Colbert may once again find himself sitting in congressional hearings. Only this time, they may be investigating him.
And any future congress which may investigate possible interference in the electoral process will be in no mood to hear excuses about how he was only performing comedy.
Stephen Colbert has crossed into the realm of politics, and while he may now be reaping the benefits with higher ratings, there could be a heavy price to pay.