This evening on C-SPAN, I caught Jon Stewart’s closing, “serious” remarks from today’s rally. They appear to have been lifted from Barack Obama’s speech to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, with a few throw-away jokes tossed in.
In place of the Red State guy who has gay friends was a Mormon Jay-Z-fan. In place of the Red State guy who coaches little league was an atheist obstetrician.
Stewart’s speech was as vacuous as Obama’s and, obviously, much less fresh.
UPDATE: Stewart called on the nation to move forward “concession by concession,” the way cars yield to one another when they merge from two lanes into one. I don’t watch Stewart’s show, so I don’t know whether he applied this model when President Obama was ramming legislation like health care reform through Congress without making any real concessions to Republicans (not even Olympia Snowe). I do know that Stewart is now criticizing Obama not for insufficient willingness to compromise, but for failing to be even more transformative than he has been.
Stewart also pressed his theory that the 24 hour pundit cycle is making it harder to solve “our problems.” He offered no analysis to support the implausible notion that cable news and talk shows — of mostly poor quality to be sure, but also lightly watched for the most part — are having such an effect.
Stewart seems to be obsessed with TV punditry. But I believe it washes over the body politic as a whole either unconsumed or taken (as Stewart’s performances are) mostly for its entertainment value. The causes, and the most interesting symptoms, of our polarization (if that’s what Stewart is complaining about) lie elsewhere.
JOHN adds: “Polarization” consists of us conservatives and other non-liberals–80 percent of the population–resisting Obama’s and Stewart’s left-wing agenda.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill