President Barack Obama appeared on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show.” If one were going for the cheap shot, as Stewart is want to do, then one would say that a person pretending to be a journalist had a person pretending to be a president as a guest.
And it was before an audience pretending to be informed citizens.
President Obama’s purpose for being on “The Daily Show,” besides pushing the envelope that was burst open by Bill Clinton when he played the sax on the old “Arsenio Hall Show,” was to appeal to Jon Stewart’s slacker, stoner audience. A lesser man would have thought it a hopeless task, but the President is nothing if not a scrapper.
Obama is very smooth when trying to defend the indefensible, especially health care reform in particular and his quest to change the United States into a European social welfare state in general. The problem is while the Tea Party protestors, who represent a majority of Americans, think he has gone too far, Stewart and his audience think he has not gone far enough.
Thus, Obama’s task was to try too sooth the natural impatience of Jon Stewart and his audience, who think that the People’s Republic can be built in a day, or even 18 months, without further alarming everyone else, who do not want a People’s Republic. He seemed a little condescending as he tried to tell the audience to have patience, sort of like a dad telling his kids that they’ll get to Disney World when they get there. The audience, braying at the President’s every bon mot, seemed to be eating it up, though.
Jon Stewart did actually have an interesting and, for him, insightful point when he suggested that government may not be “nimble enough” to properly regulate a modern economy. Now, a conservative or libertarian would have suggested that this meant that the government ought not to try, since it would tend to make things worse by being slow, inflexible, and clumsy.
President Obama was not buying it, though. Obama revealed a part of the post midterm agenda that might give pause. He would like to improve the government’s ability to do things, like getting rid of the senatorial filibuster. What was fine when it was used to block Bush’s judicial appointees has become onerous when used to block the One’s agenda.
Good luck with that, Mr. President. The number one priority of the next Congress will be to stop and roll back Obama’s agenda.
Source: Jon Stewart, President Obama debate on ‘The Daily Show’, Dan Zak, Washington Post, October 27th, 2010