erik lundegaard

Saturday October 30, 2010

Jon Stewart's Funny, But...

I finally saw the interview with Pres. Obama on “The Daily Show” the other night and thought the president continued to do what I want him to do. He explained, articulately, about the slow business of governing. I was happy at the end. I thought he came off well.

Then I began to read the various posts about the inteview: Dana Milbank's here, Clive Crook's here.

I should say “read,” in quotes, because I can only get so far into these things. Their assumptions are not my assumptions. Neither is Jon Stewart's, for that matter. He's had a lot of fun these past two years juxatposing the high rhetoric of politicking with the slow process of governing, but in doing so he comes off as a spoiled shit. He wants it, and he wants it his way, now. I'm a little tired of that attitude. Which increasingly seems to be the American attitude.

“The Daily Show” has it both ways. When the Obama administration plays politics, Stewart calls them on it—as he should. But when they don't play politics, when they tell uncomfortable truths, Stewart calls them on that, too. (E.g., “Dude, that's not the way you play the game.”) So “The Daily Show” wins either way. No matter what the Obama administration does, Stewart can make comedy out of it.

Listen to Milbank on the appearance:

Stewart, who struggled to suppress a laugh as Obama defended [Larry] Summers, turned out to be an able inquisitor on behalf of aggrieved liberals. He spoke for the millions who had been led to believe that Obama was some sort of a messianic figure. Obama has only himself to blame for their letdown. By raising expectations impossibly high, playing the transformational figure to Hillary Clinton's status-quo drone, he gave his followers an unrealistic hope.

A messianic figure? Who are these people? Not me. Is it Milbank? Is it Stewart? 

Again: Obama is doing what I want him to do. And he's doing it in the face of the strongest propaganda campaign a sitting president has had to endure (from the right), as well as complaints from dopey liberals, who wonder why he hasn't made all the bad things go away.

Here's more from the Post:

President Barack Obama barely cracked any jokes during an appearance Wednesday on “The Daily Show” despite host Jon Stewart's attempts to draw out the president's humorous side.

Look, I'm happy that Stewart is holding his rally to restore sanity and/or madness today. I think we need it. I think too many people are buying into too much right-wing propaganda. Plus, who doesn't need a laugh?

I'm just tired of Obama being criticized for being the only adult in the room at a time when we desperately need adults in the room.

Posted at 10:31 AM on Saturday October 30, 2010 in category Politics  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard