The finale of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” aired Thursday night as Steven Colbert prepares to replace David Letterman on “The Late Show.” It was a bittersweet moment for television viewers fond of his brand of political satire. There were many bits that proved his commentary was more than just good television; take for example his tongue-in-check recommendation for how the Republican party — which has long faced criticism for its views on women’s and LBGT rights — should speak to women.
In November’s congressional midterm elections, many congressional Republican incumbents faced female Democrat opponents.And that meant the party had to focus on how it deals with women and women’s issues. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) even had his aids meeting with fellow Congressional Republicans for discussions on gender sensitivity. While the elections are over, with Republicans grabbing the Senate majority and extending their control of the House, the party hasn’t exactly amended its record. And it is a well-established fact that Republicans have to reconsider their rhetoric on all minorities so the party has a stronger chance of winning the presidency in 2016.
Unsurprisingly, the topic has drawn a lot of media attention, giving comedian Stephen Colbert a nice chunk of material to work with. “According to an ABC/Washington Post … poll, 63 percent of women have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party. I don’t get it. Over 90 percent of the congressional Republicans are dudes — ladies, it’s a sausage fest!” said Colbert during a show last year, pointing out an imbalance even Boehner has publicly admitted to.
“You look around the Congress – there are a lot more females in the Democrat Congress than there are in the Republican Congress, and some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be,” Boehner told Politico in an December 2013 interview.
“It only makes sense that one of our two major political parties would need lessons on how to talk to the majority of the human race,” Colbert joked. “You know what? Just try appealing to the gays, I don’t think they have any women,” he said, likely referring to internal Republican disagreement over support for two gay candidates running in their own party. Boehner may have said he supports gay candidates, but Representative Randy Forbes (R-Va.) was not so open. He attempted to dissuade fellow Republicans and the National Republican Congressional Committee from supporting a certain openly-gay candidate.
“Should a female voter approach you, do not be frightened,” Colbert suggested, offering his own bits of advice to Republican Congressmen. “[Women] can smell fear. Speak in a low monotone, avoid eye contact, and attempt to appear larger than you are. Raise your hands and puff out your chest … But this is important: If she inflates her neck frill — run.”
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