Committed to a meritocratic society, many States in America allow nearly anyone with the filing fee and handful of supporters to run for office. This is, of course how a body-building actor and a professional wrestler filled the governorships of California and Minnesota.
In 2008, comedians have taken over as the joke candidates, as Al Franken becomes increasingly serious in his bid for Senator in Minnesota and Steven Colbert’s short presidential campaign dies in South Carolina. Both men, comedians and commentators adored by the left, began their campaigns mocking the process, but ambiguous about their true intentions. Colbert feigned seriousness until the end, but Franken has begun to act like a real candidate and looks more like a serious candidate and threat to Republican incumbent Norm Coleman. However, as he picks up the traits of a classic candidate, one wonders: has Franken taken his candidacy to this level to further mock the others, or is he now seriously considering himself as running for office and unfortunately slipped into the characteristics he once so mocked?
Nevertheless, people frustrated with government originally loved Colbert and Franken because they mocked the process. Once comedians actually join in the fray, they lose their appeal. As Franken’s candidacy becomes more viable and he slips into the traditional candidate image, what more does he have to offer the people?
Support for those who mock the process show the frustration and dissatisfaction of most people with government administration. Comedians are meant to continually poke leaders with a stick, not become them. An attempt like Franken’s shows the problems inherent to government, that even the most stinging commentators will fall in line with the election and governing machine when placed in the position. In reality, the process needs its commentators, because it's so difficult to check the power of government from inside.