Jon Stewart Delivers Greatest Dem Performance in 6 Years
Tonight on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart owned John McCain and showed the world what a REAL Democratic leader who understands how to tell the truth and sound authoritative doing it looks like. I say this without exaggeration: it was the most amazing rhetorical performance I have seen from any progressive in the last six years. In one 10 minute debate with John McCain, he did the following:
--compared the daily horrific tragedies in Iraq with the VA Tech shooting to show just how bad things are over in Iraq
--obliterated the very idea that we are fighting a "war" in Iraq, challenging McCain to explain how military strategy and battleships could possibly factor into "winning" in Iraq
--insisted that the "war" as such was over once we had captured Saddam Hussein
--obliterated the idea the timetables for withdrawal will allow the "terrorists and Sunni insurgents and Shia militias" to win, by telling the truth that it's THEIR country and they can wait us out as long as they want
--called McCain's bluff when he said that withdrawal would constitute surrender, by stating matter-of-factly that these groups are fighting not with us but with one another while we babysit them, and then going on to state unequivocally, quoting Petraeus, that any solution must be political rather than military. And that benchmarks and timetables are an essential part of diplomatic and political solutions.
--demanded that McCain explain to him how criticizing the President was a greater failure to support the troops than extending their tours of duty, initiating stop losses, and failing abjectly to keep Walter Reed up to snuff.
--explained that Al-Qaeda's stated purpose is to draw America out into a long and bloody that drains our lives and our treasury...and that even granted the premise that terrorists in Iraq want to follow us back to America, they will do so one way or another.
--challenged McCain to show him what the "new strategy" was, and laid out the truth quite clearly: that we can either put over 350,000 troops on the ground there (full occupation), or withdraw (ending occupation).
And there's so, so much more where that came from.
Let me tell you something--I have not been inspired by ANY Presidential candidate currently in the race for the Democratic nomination in their entire campaign than I was by just TEN MINUTES of watching Jon Stewart. Which might be because Jon Stewart has a freaking spine and isn't afraid to tell the truth--or because his writers are paid to be sharp-witted and incisive, rather than namby-pambying fools like Axelrod.
Stewart obliterated a flummoxed and utterly outmatched McCain by changing the entire debate, and leaving him with absolutely NO coherent ground on which to stand--something I have yet to see Reid, Pelosi or any of our prospective candidates come close to doing.
For those who say that a Democratic politician cannot seriously tell the truth about this ersatz "war" and truly connect with the American people in a way that leaves the Republican opposition no chance of even engaging the debate, Jon Stewart just proved you wrong.
If you didn't see it tonight, download it tomorrow from Comedy Central's Motherload, and then bookmark it and save it to your hard drive. If Dem leaders and candidates want to win, they'll watch Stewart's performance 10,000 times until his clarion words, searing clarity and gutsy demeanor are seared irrevocably into their consciences. Watch it--there are more lessons in that one short debate than I could provide in hundreds of diaries.
Because the man I watched tonight clobber McCain in a heated debate did more to earn my vote for any office than any Democrat has in the last six years. Every frame was perfect, every stand firm and considered, and every statement ringing with truth, rather than politically expedient bullshit.