Sunday, September 7, 2008

Stewart for Campaign Manager

I can't prove that Jon Stewart is the sharpest political analyst in America, but he sure is the best exposer of hypocrisy. His technique is so simple: he just plays the tape of what some politician or pundit is saying now, and then he plays the tape of what they said a year, month, or even week before.

This Wednesday and Friday's shows are absolute, must-see classics. Probably the funniest moment is from Wednesday, during the Sarah Palin Gender Card segment, when Karl Rove first says how wonderful Sarah Palin is, touting her experience as the mayor of Wasilla, the "second-largest city in Alaska." Of course that's not even true (Wasilla is fourth or fifth, depending on which estimate you look at), but the incredible part is that just a month ago, Rove said that if Obama picked Governor Tim Kane of Virginia as his running mate, it would be an "intensely political choice," showing no interest in whether the person was capable of being President of the United States, because Kane lacked sufficient experience! He's Governor of Virginia and was mayor of Richmond, but Rove derided this experience because Kane had only been Governor three years and because Richmond was "not a big town"! Of course Richmond's population is more than 20 times that of Wasilla.

Also hilarious was watching Bill O'Reilly, saying recently, in response to news of Palin's pregnant, teenage daughter, that teen pregnancy was a "personal matter" so long as society didn't have to support the parents or baby. And then showing O'Reilly from December 2007, talking about the Jamie Lynn Spears pregnancy, and saying "blame falls primarily on the parents of the girl, who obviously have little control over her. "

But the more politically significant clips are those showing John McCain to be a shameless non-striaght-talking flip-flopper. Simple film clips show him saying one thing years ago, and the opposite now:

2000: Speaking against pandering to the "agents of intolerance"
2006: "Thank you, Dr. Falwell."
2000: Saying that Roe v. Wade's repeal would lead to thousands of illegal, dangerous operations.
2008: "I do not support Roe v. Wade. It should be overturned."
2004: "I would clearly support not extending those tax cuts."
2008: "I'll make the Bush tax cuts permanent."
2002: "I am very certain that this military engagement will not be very difficult"
2006: "Many of us fully understood from the beginning . . . would be a very very difficult undertaking."

So here's my pitch: can we put Jon Stewart in charge of Barack Obama's campaign? McCain gets points from his reputation for using maverick, "straight talk." Simple, straightforward video clips of McCain's own words coming out of his own mouth show how fake that image is. Can we just show these clips over and over until the election?

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