San Antonians were all atwitter on Twitter last night regarding Mayor JuliÃ¡n Castro's appearance on the Colbert Report. After the initial shock expressed by dozens of “micro-bloggers” coming to terms with the fact that the 7th largest city in the nation could somehow be newsworthy, more nuanced reactions started to gel.
@deannecuellar: YAY CASTRO!!! Against SB1070 #SATX
@isaac1855: Mayor Julian Castro did a smart job on Colbert Report tonight!
@mellokello: â?¦ Castro was sharp and just enough witty.
@nykcsa: wtf is SA Mayor Julian Castro doing on The Colbert Report tonight? a PR tour for "Emerging Hispanic Democrats"??? sheesh... #satx #tokenize
@jerry_satx: Click For Details >>> â?¦ TOPSOIL / SAND / GRAVEL / MULCH / HAUL AWAY #satx #sanantonio
As someone who also gets ribbed for his preternaturally youthful appearance, exotic-sounding name, and “nice head of hair,” I thought I could offer a meaningful critique of the mayor's performance and suggest some alternate comebacks to the overbearing Colbert.
Considering Castro as the public face of San Antonio (and, not, let's say, the future of the entire Democratic Party), we all win. Who wouldn't want to be associated with the respectful, lean, and well-combed Castro? But going up against Colbert? You need to be on war footing. For that, we'd have favored City Manager Sheryl Sculley facing down Colbert's painful request, “Can I see some papers, please?”
In the new rights-diminishing lurch toward police state, our new “papers, please” culture promises, Brown Pride and White Privilege share fury in common, though for very different reasons. And yet Castro opened his wallet and delivered his drivers license to his host the way he might during a traffic stop.
Our dream mayor would have turned the tables on Colbert right here, suggesting, with a humble shrug, that sure Colbert could have his license but warning also that he'd have a hard time reading it. “Oh, why is that,” Colbert may respond with a sneer. “Is it in EspaÃ±olish?”
“No,” a poised Castro would fire back, “But it may be messy lodged up your ass.”
Or: “You're vision may be slightly blurry when you pull it out of your eye socket.”
Or, turning almost 200 years of Texas sloganeering on its head, simply: “Come and take it.”
That one may actually bring in some confused Libertarian-leaning votes next round.
After knocking Colbert out of stride, our dream mayor could then monopolize the next 15 or 20 seconds explaining to a national audience why law-abiding citizens (regardless of color or accent) should not be subjected to infringements on their liberties by profiling police.
Castro talked good policy â?? when he was permitted to speak â?? on Arizona's SB1070 and zinged the possibly undercover Frenchie (could we see your papers, Col-Bare? and comment allez-vous to you too!) in the name-pronunciation game. But the opportunity to advance the national dialogue on race and personal rights, or simply be memorable, was lost.
To be kind, this was Castro's first foray into the world of fake-news punditry (watch those QueBlog comments, y'all!), and there aren't many who can go face to face with Colbert and come out on top. Certainly didn't happen with former President George W. One of my favorite Colbert performances.
Oh, and in this matter of Texas Governor Rick Perry? Go there, Mayor! Go there!
If you're one of the remaining baker's dozen of San Antonio residents who haven't seen this gem, what are you waiting for? View the full episode now.