jon stewart

May 7, 2007

I managed to stumble here, where I watched a Bill Moyers Interview with Jon Stewart. Bill Moyers is a very acclaimed and respected journalist, currently working for PBS in a series of shows that examine the current state of democracies and corporations. He also worked with Joseph Campbell to produce the “Power of Myth” series, in which the two discuss the strength of mythological evidence in all manners of stories and symbologies in many cultures. But that’s extraneous.

In the interview with Jon Stewart (which I hope you’ll watch; be careful its a little over 30 minutes long) they discuss the direction of the current government. And it is here that Stewart makes an astute observation that I wish I’d thought of.

“I used to have a real disconnect, I think, with the administration, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I think it’s suddenly become clear to me. They would rather us believe them to be wildly incompetent and inarticulate than to let us know anything about how they operate. And so, they do Constitutionally-mandated things most of the time, but…they fulfill the letter of their obligation to checks and balances, but not the intent.

“For instance, Alberto Gonzales, and you’ve been watching the hearings. He is either a perjurer, or a low-functioning pinhead. And he allowed himself to be portrayed in those hearings as a low-functioning pinhead, rather than give the Congressional Committee charged with oversight, any information as to his decision-making process at the Department of Justice.

“And I used to think, ‘They’re doing this based on a certain arrogance.’ And now, I realize that it’s because they believe there is one accountability moment for a President, and that is the four year election. And once you get that election, you’re done.” (Stewart, 2007)

Beautiful, isn’t it?

It seems highly possible he’s exactly right. In the Alberto Gonzales interview, as Jon Swift remarks, Gonzales “didn’t recall” really anything about why 8 appointed federal prosecutors were fired. So, as Steward tells us, Gonzales makes an ass of himself, takes the fall, and it really looks he’s just working part of some greater scheme. Also take into account that Dick Cheney refused to answer when Wolf Blitzer questioned several of the administration’s motives.

In other words, we’re being lied to. A lot.

In other news, and somewhat related, the new French President was elected Sunday. He immediately offered Washington (which means to me the administration, and not the country, cause did they really do us, as citizens, wrong? I think not) “friendship.” And then he added that such friendship “means accepting that friends can have different opinions.” The White House delivered only a moderate acceptance of this “strong alliance.” I’ll be the potty-mouth and say that this probably means that, this time, the US expects France to do exactly as its told.

We are a country that runs the economy of the world, single-handedly decides the fate of multiple governments at once, and obfuscates its political clout with great alacrity. We have awesome power. And as good ole Stan Lee told us, such power brings great responsibility. You would think that a power with such power, such courage, and such a strong ideology at its core would also be the greatest steward of its home, and the greatest protector of its neighbors. Unfortunately, this country, as a solid institution that acts through combined will of many people, is a rapist at best. Yes, I said that.

Jon Stewart also made a point that, on the day of the Virginia Tech incident, a number of suicide bombs and other violence killed nearly 200 people in Iraq. We mourn, and rightly so, but should not we also mourn those that lost their lives as bystanders there?



  1. Bravo.

    I haven’t seen the clip yet – I WILL, but it’s early in the morning and I have girls to get out to school and a class to prep for – but the excerpts you quote are telling. We ARE being lied to, and quite a lot, I think.

    Your observations about the elections in France and the potential governemental relationships are spot-on, as well. France did NOT do the citizenry of the U.S. any harm – if anything, the French government stood up where we did not.

  2. I agree. We note the trickle of death from our generation daily on the news, but those who stay at home with whatever means are given such a resounding send-off to the great here after. Meanwhile, in cementaries all over the country, woman bury their sons and fathers and lovers, men bury their daughters and mothers and lovers. Some of the mourners are still in utereo and the mourning is a pall that will be cast over their entires lives. What government has that right?

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