Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash Vol. XXXI: Raising awareness about Stephen Colbert, pimp-slapping the Constitution, and potty training tips

Matt Labash Columnist

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Dear Matt: After watching Steve Colbert’s “joke”-filled testimony on illegal farm workers implode and blast open a (virtual, unfortunately) crater on Capitol Hill, I immediately thought of you. My question: When do you intend to bring your ripe comedic stylings to one of those committees and on which sad-sack issue do you think you would be most effective? Your buddy, Sydney Duodenum

Stephen Colbert is a wickedly talented man, and I don’t pretend for a second that I could hold his comedic jock. Nor would I ever want to. I’m told it smells like Blue Star Ointment and old cheese. That said, I was a little disappointed in his performance. Not the performance itself, but the fact that he even gave it. It’s rather arrogant to just show up on the Hill with no experience and make a mockery of Congress, when most of the good people of Congress have worked their entire careers to make mockeries of themselves.

When Rep. John Conyers, who had seemingly had enough of the spectacle before it even began, kindly asked Mr. Colbert to leave, he should have. After all, this is the distinguished John Conyers. The same John Conyers who won a Bronze Star for bravery in World War II, who served as governor of Texas, and who miraculously recovered from his bullet wounds after being in the car in Dealey Plaza on that fateful day when President John F. Kennedy was cut down in his prime. Wait. Hold on a second………..Okay, now I’m being told that was John Connally. My bad.

John Conyers, rather, is the congressman who admitted fault when two of his aides charged that he forced them to chauffeur and baby-sit his children. And he is also married to Monica Conyers, the former Detroit city councilwoman who has been in a barroom brawl, who threatened to shoot a mayoral staffer as well as have him beaten up, who twice called a bald fellow city councilmember “Shrek” during a public hearing, and who pleaded guilty in a bribery case which recently saw her sentenced to 37 months in federal prison. So I don’t care who you are. If John Conyers implies that you’re bringing indignity to his office, trust him – he knows a thing or two about the subject.

As for your question about what issue I’d be most effective testifying about, I think I’d probably raise awareness. Because that’s why these celebs go to the Hill to testify, right? To raise awareness about a particular issue. Well I’m not interested in issues. I’m interested in awareness. And raising it. So I would testify that we should raise awareness about raising awareness. I don’t care what you’re aware of. It doesn’t matter to me. I just want you to be aware that you should be aware of something.

NEXT: Advice on potty-training toddlers
Matt, how do you respond to leftists who accuse former President George W. Bush of “trampling the Constitution”? – Dreedle

With violence, usually. And not because I’m a defender of George W. Bush’s. I couldn’t even hold my nose and vote for the guy again by 2004. I’m just not a big fan of those who invoke “The Constitution” in an argument. It suggests an intellectual laziness. First, most of them haven’t even read the damn thing. At best, they have passing familiarity with one or two of the Bill of Rights. Something easy, like the First Amendment. So it’s always worth asking which part of the Constitution, specifically, did George W. Bush trample? What? Did he violate Article IV, Section 3, and form a new state within the jurisdiction of another state? Or did he trample Article I, Section 9, and grant a title of nobility while we weren’t looking? Be specific, whiners.

Also, I mean, I like the Constitution and all. But if the Constitution is such hot snot, if it’s so sacrosanct, then why have we had to amend it 27 times? And even then, some amendments exist merely to undo other amendments (The 18th Amendment taketh liquor away. The 21st Amendment giveth it back.) So maybe the Constitution doesn’t need to be trampled exactly. But maybe it needs to be pimp-slapped, and told to make up its mind already.

If you really want to be an interesting leftist, then, and not sound like every other cliché-spewing Daily Kossack, show me something different, and accuse George W. Bush of trampling our Declaration of Independence or The Treaty of Greenville or something. Let’s mix it up a little.

Hi Matt- Do you have any tips or advice on how to potty-train a toddler boy? Yours, B – an exasperated mom with pee stains everywhere in the house…

I’ve found that one of the most effective means of training is mild electric shocks. It worked wonders on my dog when we installed his Invisible Fence. We don’t even bother putting his shock collar on anymore, and he still won’t go over the line. So maybe take your boy out to a cow pasture and have him squirt on an electric fence. That ought to teach him to keep his urine to himself.

But before you revert to that, I’m a little troubled by these “pee stains everywhere in the house.” You really oughtn’t pee all over your house. It sets a horrible example for your son. Use the facilities. Lead by doing.

Matt Labash is a senior writer with the Weekly Standard magazine. His book, “Fly Fishing With Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys,” was published this spring by Simon and Schuster. Have a question for Matt Labash? Submit it here.