There’s a reason Jon Stewart is the most trusted name in news. It’s not just because he rips on Republicans on a regular basis; rather, it’s because he points out failings and inconsistencies in both parties and amongst people all along the political spectrum. While I was disappointed that he didn’t stick it properly to John Yoo a couple of nights ago, he has done some stellar interviews that should make any halfway objective pundit or broadcaster proud. But despite his willingness to take down hypocrites and liars in both parties, it does often seem that his scathing satire more frequently targets Republicans — but not without reason.
As surely as facts have a liberal bias, hypocrisy has a conservative one. Let me be clear: This is not to say that Democrats (and truly, politicians in general) cannot be hypocrites. But when it comes to flagrant, vile, in-your-face, hysterical, mind-boggling hypocrisy, the Grand Old Party takes the cake. You know, the kind of hypocrisy that makes your head ache and pound near to the point of imminent explosion and your blood pressure skyrocket so quickly you get dizzy spells that rival those brought on by a strong, expensive dose of…
Well, you get the idea.
The most interesting cases of hypocrisy and historical revision of late have centered around the national security issue. There seems to be a pervasive and long-standing view in this country that Republicans are inherently more competent when it comes to defending our borders
from those scary brown people and protecting our citizens against terrorists and systematically harassing people with funny names. It’s surprising that such a delusion could survive 9/11, but then again, a lot of people don’t make a habit of employing logical thought. Former puppetmaster Vice President Dick Cheney in particular has targeted President Obama for being weak on national defense. He has been running his sneering maw for months now, but he has considerably ramped up his criticism in the wake of the incident on Christmas day.
“[W]e are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe,” Cheney said in a statement to POLITICO. “Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency – social transformation – the restructuring of American society.”
Cheney was joining a chorus of Republicans who have criticized Obama following the Christmas Day attack, in which a Nigerian suspect is accused of trying to blow up a loaded airliner with a bomb stitched into his underwear.
And yet, in the face of such strident criticism, it turns out that most Americans still trust Barack Obama on national defense — more, in fact, than Dubya, according to a poll conducted by CNN.
Pollsters at CNN asked 1021 adults across the nation how much confidence they had in the Obama Administration to protect them from future acts of terrorism. A strong majority–65 percent–expressed either a “great deal” or “moderate amount” of support for the President’s efforts. This number is actually slightly higher than in August of last year–before the Fort Hood shooting and the most recent attempted attack.
In contrast, previous CNN polls found that America’s level of confidence in George W. Bush’s abilities to protect the nation fell to 59 percent in August of 2006, down 20 points from its high in May of 2003. This is a particularly low number considering that national security is usually seen as a major strength of Republican administrations.
So why do the GOP voices condemning Obama’s purported “weakness” on national security seem so bleeding loud?
Possibly because, unlike Democrats/liberals/progressives, the GOP has a news network all to itself, which it uses to distort the issues and manipulate a poorly-informed populace. Though Obama has criticized Fixed News in the past, he has not done so with any real consistency. Democrats in general fail to follow through by refusing to appear on Faux, thereby de-legitimizing the station as a news organization, as many of us have pleaded for them to do. In general terms, Democrats are nearly as bad about feeding the beast as Republicans, when they have absolutely nothing to gain from the practice. A few voices at MSNBC like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow habitually bash the shameful “reporting” at FNC, and the occasional angry anti-Fox rants from Rick Sanchez at CNN are always worth seeing. But no one keeps tabs on the lies and misrepresentations coming out of that particular arm of the Republican party quite like Jon Stewart. He recently delivered a particularly devastating argument regarding Republican versus Democratic failings on national security, offering clear comparisons that only an
brainwashed teabagger drooling idiot typical Republican FNC viewer could ignore. The clip is a bit long at over 11 minutes, but it’s absolutely worth every moment of your time.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
|Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
However, for those of you who hate watching vids, Raw Story provides a partial summary.
“What he is saying is even though the worst terrorist attack in the history of the country took place during Bush’s term, that doesn’t count,” explained Stewart. “See, 9/11 was a preseason game. Giuliani is making a point about regular season games,” said Stewart.
In Giuliani’s eyes, Bush had no terror attacks while Obama has had one. “It’s zero to one in effect?” asked Wolf Blitzer.
“Correct,” responded Giuliani.
“By the way, when you’re playing terrorball,” Stewart pointed out. “It’s like golf with an incredible sadness.”
“Turns out Giuliani was going easy on Obama by keeping the score at one [to] nil. Turns out it was a blow-out,” said Stewart.
Fox New’s Monica Crowley named at least 4 attacks that happened under Obama’s watch. “And the list goes on,” she said. “President Bush and Vice President Cheney had a 100% perfect track record of keeping the homeland safe from an Islamic terrorist attack. So far this year we’ve had numerous terrorist attacks,” according to Crowley.
Stewart raised his voice. “Let me explain this again for you fucking idiots out there. Very quickly. Terrorball. The lower your score the better. Attacks stopped by a Dutch guy still count as an attack. No fucking ferrets. And the game ends when…”
He left it to Bill O’Reilly to finish. “One more attack — there have been three on Obama’s watch in the first year. One more on our soil — you know, a major one. Where you get dead bodies, this, that and the other thing. He’s done.”
The Daily Show’s John Oliver joined Stewart to further explain the logic being espoused by conservatives like Giuliani, Crowley and O’Reilly. “This is insanity. Is this really going to be our conversation about national security,” asked Stewart.
“Yes is, John.” replied Oliver. It’s three attacks under Obama to zero under Bush. “Mercy rule. Game over,” he explained.
First of all, the shoe bomber doesn’t count by Oliver’s rules. He didn’t explain why. The solider that killed a fellow soldier in Kuwait in 2003 doesn’t count because it didn’t happen in the “homeland.”
The anthrax attack don’t count because they weren’t solved. “Kudos to Bush there for operating in an area of genuine uncertainty. I’m going to give him a minus one on that one. This is a blowout, John,” said Oliver. “They have to be solved, Islamic, homeland based killing,” Oliver continued.
Stewart wasn’t giving up. “2006. UNC guy drives into a crowd with an SUV, praising the masterminds of 9/11,” Stewart wanted to know the score on that one.
“No. No. No. That was injuries only,” Oliver snapped.
“At the El Al counter at Los Angeles airport there was a shooting, people died. That is a terrorist attack,” Stewart continued.
Oliver shot that one down too. “It must be a domestic airline.”
Finally Stewart gave up. “So, there’s no winning.”
“Republicans are inherently better at national security,” Oliver explained. “That is an established fact of conventional thought.”
“Why do [Republicans] get a pass on national security breaches?” Stewart wondered.
Oliver had the answer. “Everyone knows that they are good at national security. Exactly the same reason that Harry Reid gets a pass on his racial insensitivity. Because everyone knows Democrats are good at black people.”
For as priceless as the entire clip may be, I have to admit that my favorite tidbit was the mention of Giuliani’s overblown distaste for ferrets. It was actually not something I was at all aware of, and frankly, the thought that anyone could have such a hateful vendetta against those ridiculous little creatures strikes me as utterly hilarious. Stewart plays a clip, but listen to it in full — maddeningly funny:
I know one thing: If I have to watch someone play dress-up, I’d much rather see the ferret…