Jon Stewart excuses Obama’s executive overreach by attacking Republicans in Congress

Jon StewartI am watching a lot of television lately.  A lot.  Even I, a truly prodigious reader, find it hard to read every minute of the time I’m hooked up to my continuous passive motion machine.  When I finally tire of reading, I have limited mobility, especially by nightfall, when my balance on crutches seems to take a dive off the cliff.  This means that, when the rest of the family wants to watch TV in the evening, I’m something of a captive audience.

I’m not complaining.  Instead, I’m explaining why it is that I’ve been watching Jon Stewart’s Daily Show these past few days.  Usually I leave the room when he starts, because I find his mixture of genuine and faux stupidity irritating.  It’s not a witty show, which I would be able to watch even though I disagree with the politics.  It’s a witless show, and dishonest to boot.

Few things highlight these abysmal qualities more than a segment Jon Stewart did about Boehner’s announcement that Republicans would not go forward with any immigration reform because they couldn’t trust Obama to enforce it.  For anyone paying attention to the Constitution and the facts on the ground Republican fears are reasonable.  Obama, despite his job description as chief executive officer, tasked with enforcing the laws that Congress passes, has a history of refusing to enforce laws he doesn’t like, especially when it comes to immigration.

More recently, with Obamacare, despite the Lefts’ strident screams in October that Obamacare is the “law of the land” and cannot ever be touched — even by the Congress that passed it — Obama has changed the law almost 30 times.  Indeed, he’s changed the law so often, he’s even riled his supporters.  Boehner may also find it a little difficult to trust Obama since Obama lied knowingly, intentionally, and repeatedly in connection with Obamacare’s passage and implementation.  It was the biggest fraud ever committed by a government official against the American people.

So how does Stewart defend Obama’s lawless actions?  He doesn’t bother to defend Obama.  Instead, he attacks Republicans as hypocrites because they have also tried to change the law.  In other words, how dare Republicans complain about Obama’s changes to Obamacare when they also wanted to change it?

Is it really possible that Stewart is so stupid that he believes that Congress should not change, or attempt to change, a law if the president is not allowed to do so himself?  I find it hard to believe that Stewart is quite that dumb.  And if he’s smart, he and his team are writing shticks deliberately intended to mislead an audience that Stewart presumably knows is dumb enough not to understand that, while the president is constitutionally barred from unilaterally changing or refusing to enforce laws, Congress’s sole function is to pass, edit, and revoke laws.

Anyway, see for yourself the type of fraud Stewart commits against an audience so ignorant and ideological that it elected Barack Obama, not just once but twice:

“Eff you!” — How Jon Stewart interpreted Obama’s SOTU address *UPDATED*

I’ve never been a big Jon Stewart fan — there’s a lack of good spirit and subtlety that turns me off — but I’ve found interesting watching him deal with Obama.  As Stewart’s pr0nouncements during the course of every show demonstrate, he is a die-hard liberal.  However, he’s also a comedic shark.  This last means that, despite his liberal predilections, he’s going to go after blood in the water.  Right now, much to his manifest distress, the Democrats and President Obama are providing that blood.

Last night’s show was particularly interesting.  After managing a few weak attacks against Gov. McDonnell’s rebuttal, the real chum, for Stewart, was Obama’s SOTU address.  And the way Stewart understood it was as one giant “Eff you” from Obama — to everyone.  He attacked Republicans (natch), Democrats, Supreme Court justices, businesses, Wall Street, voters.  You name it, said Stewart, and Obama was out there giving someone the finger.  (Stewart didn’t mention, of course, that Obama managed to keep his rhetorical fingers neatly hidden away when it came to terrorism, Iran, North Korea, etc.)  I think Stewart was on to something:

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The second half of the show — the interview part — was just as interesting.  Stewart’s guest was Doris Kearns Goodwin, known on the Left as a historian whose book, Team of Rivals, about the Lincoln cabinet, was supposed to be a blue print of how the perfect Obama temperament would create a bipartisan political scene unknown since the Civil War.  (And that is, yes, a very funny sentence because, Lincoln’s cobbled together cabinet notwithstanding, the Civil War era doesn’t stand out as an exemplar of bipartisanship in action.)

To the Right, we know about Goodwin’s book, but we also remember that Goodwin has a little Biden-esque problem with plagarism.  In my mind, plagiarism is a very bad moral crime.  It is the intellectual equivalent of robbing a house.  Most plagiarists, though (unlike house robbers), add a soupcon of arrogance to their crime, since they believe that their greatness entitles them to the fruit of someone else’s labor.  I make this digression about Goodwin’s nasty intellectual habits to explain that I was predisposed to dislike her.

And dislike her I did.  She is, typically for America’s intellectual class, very, very liberal.  She opened her shtick by explaining that Obama’s words are meaningless unless he can match them with action, which is true.  She praised FDR and LBJ for doing just that, and told a rather funny story about Nixon inadvertently predicting his own departure during his last SOTU address.  Those were good historical stories, but she then started out with sheer partisanship, saying Obama should double-down on his policies, etc.

What was interesting about the Goodwin interview was Stewart.  Stewart is troubled.  He kept saying, without using that word, that Obama presented nothing but a dreary laundry list, without vision.  Should Obama, he asked Goodwin, state clearly a few big picture things he wants (and here Stewart digressed by praising Reagan for his skill in doing just that), rather than bogging everything down in the details?  For example, said Stewart, when it comes to health care, shouldn’t Obama identify a few problems, such as preexisting conditions, tort reform, etc., and explain how he’s going to fix them.  “Jon,” I wanted to say, “that’s the Republican plan you’re advancing.”

Goodwin just didn’t get it.  The whole notion of actual vision and problem-solving, as opposed to a simple government takeover, eluded her.  Instead, she rejoiced in the thought of Republicans standing athwart the battlements yelling stop, something she thought would harm the Republicans.  It didn’t seem to occur to her that New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts and all the polls show that, should the Republicans do that, ordinary Americans will probably be standing there cheering them on.

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I do wonder whether Stewart is going to reach some intellectual impasse, where his intelligence and aggressiveness crash head-on with his knee jerk ideological beliefs. Will we watch The Daily Show fall apart in a welter of cognitive dissonance?

UPDATE:  Earl’s comment (comment #6) is such a must-read, I’ve elevated it here, into the body of the post:

Something didn’t seem right in DKG’s reference to Strom Thurmond…..so I checked.

Wikipedia (I know, I know) reports that it was the 1957 civil rights bill that Strom Thurmond filibustered (for 24 hours and 18 minutes nonstop), and not the 1964 one.  And, by the way — when Thurmond engaged in that filibuster, he was…..a Democrat!

In 1964, the champion filibusterer (14 hours, 13 minutes) was apparently…..wait for it……Robert Byrd — who was…..a Democrat!

She is an historian, right — surely she should know this stuff…..so, did she simply not want to tell her audience?

Sheesh.