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This Week's Entry in the Ignorance of Your Elected Officials: The Fighting 11th

By Alexander Joenks | Videos | September 6, 2012 |

By Alexander Joenks | Videos | September 6, 2012 |

I assume that a lot of you have already seen this, being as Stewart and Colbert are common viewing in these parts, but for those of you who didn’t happen to catch this, you’re going to love it. And by love it, I mean in the same sense that you loved news about the Ninja Turtles movie a couple of days ago.

Colbert was plowing through his recurring segment of getting to know a particular congressional district, in which he sits down with a representative from that district and does his particular interview thing. He sat down two nights ago with Yvette Clarke of the New York 11th (or 9th depending on whether you use the old or new label).

There’s the usual back and forth, some good interplay. She’s funny, likable, gets some laughs out of Colbert with not so gentle ribbing of Manhattan. And then the bomb of complete and utter historical ignorance drops out of the blue. Watch it.

You can see Colbert almost have a stroke trying not to break up laughing and give the whole thing away. You can see his complete incredulity at the first mention of slavery, even reiterates exactly what she’s saying in order to make sure that there isn’t a slip up going on, that she actually thinks that there was slavery in Brooklyn in 1898. And he even throws her the ultimate bone, asking who would have owned slaves in New York at that late date.

“The Dutch” she says matter-of-factly.

This is not Leno’s Jaywalking segment where random people off the street demonstrate a lack of historical knowledge. This is one of our democratically elected members of Congress demonstrating a complete lack of the most basic education of this country’s history. My god, this doesn’t even require education, one should be able to pick up a better education than this just from television and movies, without even touching a book.

This is somehow worse than Todd Akin to me, because at least Akin’s ignorance has some pattern to it, in that it is at least consistent with the moronic beliefs he holds about the world. This is consistent with nothing except a dull-headed incuriosity.

I will allow the great Professor Farnsworth to sum up: