The Colbert Report

Season 4 Episode 109

Richard Brookhiser

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Aug 28, 2008 on Comedy Central
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Tonight Stephen welcomes biographer, historian and author of George Washington on Leadership, Richard Brookhiser.

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    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (3)

      • Stephen Colbert: Could Washington get elected now in this political atmosphere or would the press obsess on things like, you know, he doesn't have a flag lapel pin on his slaves?
        Richard Brookhiser: Which he all freed in his will by the way.
        Stephen Colbert: When he died…that's very generous.
        Richard Brookhiser: More than any other slave owning president did, more than Thomas Jefferson or James Madison.
        Stephen Colbert: Thomas Jefferson actually made more slaves.
        Richard Brookhiser: That's right. He was father of his country in a different way.

      • Stephen: Tonight: It's the last night of the Democratic Convention. Spoiler alert! They picked Obama. Plus: Is Barack Obama the candidate of the future? Fine by me, as long as we elect John McCain in the present. And my guest Richard Brookhiser has written a newbook on George Washington. I hope he called it Cherrygate. Hey Obama! You want to impress me with a speech on the 50 yard line in a football field? Give it during the game! This is the Colbert Report.

      • Stephen: Barack's politics of the future must be stopped, which brings us to tonight's Word: Acid Flashback. Since the 60s Americans have been deeply divided on race, Vietnam and Tupperware. Why does it seal so tightly? What's it trying to hide? (Last week's noodleroni) Now some think Barack Obama has the ability to move past these issues.

        [Video: Interviewee: Senator Obama I think is the candidate of the future…
        Some Guy: …A transcending candidate…
        Speaker: He will transcend history.]

        Stephen: Transcend history? Not so fast. Just because Obama was a child during the Vietnam War that's no excuse for not serving in it, (Got kindergarten deferment) plus he cannot transcend the fact that he is running against John McCain, who is a former Vietnam P.O.W. (In case you hadn't heard) Which I believe, technically, makes Obama a Viet Cong. (He hope you long time) And we all know Obama is cozy with William Ayers, a 60s radical who planted a bomb in the Capital Building and went on to even more heinous crimes by becoming a college professor. (Those who can't bomb, teach) Of course Obama defended his relationship at the Philadelphia debate by describing Ayers like this:

        [Video: Barack Obama: Somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago when I was 8 years old.]

        Stephen: That begs an even more disturbing question: What was an 8 year old doing hanging out with bomb makers? No happily in the fight to keep Obama tied to the 1960s we have an ally: the dead, who are coming back from their 60s graves to claim him. Last week the National Review's Kyle-Anne Shiver wrote an article saying in this election what would Martin Luther King do. Well after considering Obama's position on a number of issues, she concludes: "I think it is quite probable that King, were he alive today, would not vote for Barack Obama." Thank you Ms. Shiver, for cutting through the Obama hype and recognizing that there is no way Dr. King can contradict you. (Although hopefully he can haunt you) But tying Barack Obama to one dead 60s icon is not enough, not when there are so many other dead 60s icons whose opinions on Obama we can pretend to know. For instance Senator Robert Kennedy, you might think he'd vote for Obama because of their shared liberal values, but you'd be wrong. Bobby Kennedy had eleven children, so unlike Obama he was always in favor of drilling. (I would like to apologize to the entire Kennedy family on behalf of Stephen, this network and Stephen's parents and ten brothers and sisters) Now folks, I think there is one other, maybe two other people that we can refer to here. I'll give you an example: J Edgar Hoover would have liked Obama but not in an appropriate way. (Would have wire-tapped that) And I'm sure you'd think that Jimi Hendrix would love Obama, but even Hendrix knows Obama is not experienced.

        So Barack Obama give it up. You're stuck with the 60s battles. Even you acceptance speech tonight is on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, the very movement of the Earth around the Sun is keeping you in the 60s. (Sun actually goes around Obama) We stick with these 40 year old battles because they are comfortable and familiar. We know how to take sides in these arguments, besides if we didn't we'd have to address the problems of the present and who wants to do that. Those things are monsters. (Created in Cheney's lab) So let us keep fighting the culture wars of our grandparents, never mind that 50 percent of today's Americans weren't even born when these arguments mattered. (Less Hanoi Hilton, more Paris Hilton) They are still relevant today, the 60s are a political gift that keeps on giving because they are wounds our country can never heal. (As long as we keep picking at it)

        And that's the Word.

    • NOTES (0)

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • Steven Colbert looks at the camera and begins to mouth "I love you" to the audience. This is mocking President Clinton's own actions during his wife's speech at the convention. The camera caught him mouthing the words, "I love you" repeatedly while she spoke.

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