Kitty Felde |

Wacko time in the Judiciary hearing... Stephen Colbert is in the room

I think this is the craziest I've ever seen Capitol Hill.  Much more like a day in LA.  It's political media plus celebrity media plus Comedy Central fans on a day when it's 97 degrees outside (and pretty close inside!) with thunderclouds forming (ie: very high humidity.)  The House Judiciary Committee room is packed.  One Democrat remarked it hasn't been this packed since impeachment.

The topic is serious: not enough farmworkers to pick the nation's food.  California Democrat Zoe Lofgren took a break from her duties as head of the House ethics committee to chair this hearing. 

It's the witness list that packed them in.  Stephen Colbert of "The Colbert Report" will testify about his day spent working at a corn and vegetable farm.  He and the United Farm Workers are advocating for immigration reform by inviting US citizens to fill the jobs of immigrant field workers.

Chairwoman Lofgren acknowledged the power of celebrity to draw attention to important issues and welcomed Colbert.  The ranking member, Steve King of Iowa, bristled that the UFW campaign was implying that Americans just weren't working hard.  He suggested folks like Joe the Plumber might prefer the smell of dirt in the fields to the scents that come with his profession.  That set California Democrat Howard Berman off.  He cited studies that show unemployed Americans don't take farm jobs. 

And Colbert hasn't opened his mouth yet.