Anyone who thinks The Colbert Report is legitimately right-wing and/or conservative is probably a bit of an idiot. In this same vein, anyone who thinks his bid for presidential candidacy is probably also eligible for the short bus (I'm looking at you, Federal Election Committee). I personally don't find his show that amusing, the "I'm A Bigger Conservative Blockhead Than Bill O'Reiley" gets old pretty quickly, but I do appreciate a good running-gag, and announcing presidential candidacy is a pretty decent one.
What irks me is how far Colbert (the character, the actor) is taking his joke. When you confuse the FEC into thinking you're truly running for president, you're obviously doing something very right. As an obvious Bleeding Heart Hippie Liberal (and if not, an extremely sado-masochistic Money Grubbing Conservative), this is the demographic Colbert appeals to, more specifically the young BHHL's. The historical problem with third parties in the US is that they take away votes from whichever main-line party candidate they are closest in values to. Young people are dumb, and young people who would consider voting for a fake candidate are probably liberal. Young conservatives don't have nearly the amount of imagination or cynicism to vote for a joke. So why's he attempting to maneuver votes away from his apparent party of choice?
I doubt it'll go that far, but with mainstream media and governmental agencies taking Colbert (the character) seriously, I'm starting to get concerned.
And for my next trick: I will figure out how to talk about "cultural lenses" without sounding like a racist!