Jon Stewart on Obama’s abuse of executive power

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 · 47 Comments »


The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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I could do without the Palin gag at the end, though it made me laugh. What would be amazing would be a connect-the-dots realization of the role sexism played in getting us saddled with this fricking President Frodo, but I suppose that’s too much to ask.

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47 Responses to “Jon Stewart on Obama’s abuse of executive power”

  1. votermom says:

    I laughed too, although I was expecting it once he mentioned gollum. That is how many see her — as a gollum-like creature obsessed with power.
    I hope some BO-diehards get how ridiculous it is to keep painting her as gollum.

  2. K.A. says:

    Of course we all knew the stomach-turning days of our “I told you so” time would come, and I know we’ve been over that time and again since, but I still find it painfully fucking hilarious and mindblowing when I check into a site like Shakesville, where today McEwan writes:

    “Because what would a hopey-changey-barfy-farty speech from Obama be without six fucking paragraphs about faith and prayer?”

    HOPEY CHANGEY BARFY FARTY?! FUCK, that was your FUCKING OBSESSION during the campaign! Why you worshipped him and voted for him and sermonized about him and cried over that stupid shit and went on misleading the rest of the fucktards! FUCK FUCK FUCK!

    When does my episode of the Twilight Zone end? I thought it ended on election day, but I still get into this bizarre mind-explodey head space every time I look at the carnage and back at the stupid that helped spin it into existence for no other reason than their own stupid. I want to live on an unadulterated island, alone, living off the land, with a fuckton of reading material (but no broken glasses–this is key), so I can at least slowly die in peace.

    I can’t get over it for some reason, and I seriously want to leave; I honestly want to find some egalitarian commune of philosophers who aren’t interested in living according to a materialistic, anti-intellectual culture. It’s not enough to fantasize about Iceland or Sweden or my personal island. I sincerely want to find a commune of like-minded people as my sole external community and shut the rest out of the world.

  3. K.A. says:

    Typo: “and shut out the rest of the world.”

  4. Toonces says:

    Ha, you were kicked off Shakesville for lack of assimilation, too, K.A.? A few of us were accused of trying to kill Melissa with our lack of Hopey-Changey-Positivityness and were asked to leave when we couldn’t muster The Faith. (And I still think his coronation ceremony looked like a cheap/cheesy Vegas casino — I wonder if some of the bobbleheads over there calling it an amazing feat of design would agree with me now)

  5. tinfoil hattie says:

    K.A., along with Toonces, I too was invited to leave Shakesville for not posting comments that were “positive” about Obama. Also, maybe, for not sending Melissa my social security check so she could continue blogging as a career.

    But I digress.

    My bags are packed, and I’m wondering when I should pick you up for the flight to K.A.-ville, from which the Hopey-Changey species shall be BANNED. I have about a dozen other feminists who are ready to go too, and I’m sure we can muster up more.

  6. Violet Socks says:

    You guys were actually booted off Shakesville?

  7. misspeach says:

    A lot us were. We weren’t huggy-feely enough.

  8. Violet Socks says:

    but no broken glasses–this is key

    A billion style points for the Twilight Zone reference.

  9. K.A. says:

    Thanks Dr. V, because I need to cash a few million points in to rant:

    I had no idea people were actually excommunicated from Obamaland! Shocking, as McEwan had always previously seemed particularly tolerant of dissent at Shakesville (I reactively challenge people all the time when I’m angry), although the seige of the Obamapsyche did not seem to discriminate (well, sure it did: smart vs. stupid). I was so grossed out during this fiasco of American history that I only read the few sympathetic minds I could find (maybe it was just here?!), so as not to fall into a vortex of Solipsism Syndrome.

    Just to be clear, I don’t loathe Melissa or anything like that (as I do Marcotte), but comments like that keep sending me into a tailspin, well after the fact. I mean, even the Frodo thing? DUH, JOHN STEWART, duh to you and the 99% of your demographic—the same assholes who voted for him—who now laugh at the LotR joke! You know they’re the same assholes who ridiculed the smart women! Gah!

    I want to build my own home with my own scavenged materials with my own bare hands–a cabin or a cottage–live a life of sweet solitude, and occasionally convene with other like-minded individuals. I hate, hate, hate the mindless capitalist culture on top of all the other oppressive garbage, so that’s the lifestyle that seems most amenable to who I am. I don’t want to spend my life saving for a tacky architectural disaster of a McMansion, to talk about reality TV over our analyses of reality, or to painstakingly collect a socially adequate wardrobe when all I want to wear is a few tattered, soil-painted pants and shirts (of course, I would make an exception to don works of art by costume designers). I don’t want to buy, I want to think. To laugh. To live, but unselfconsciously—which I can’t as long as I carry the heavy weight of being a little less heavy in the crotch. It’s the simple life, and this coercive society as I know it is the biggest obstacle I have to living the most basic possible existence I aspire to have.

    I don’t identify myself as a hippie, though. I have always had trouble identifying what I am, but I always know what I am not.

    I once believed academia could be the haven of like-minded individuals, but every subject, every interaction forces me on some level to implicitly accept a frame that doesn’t jibe with my world view. And to resist it—I don’t want it to taint the part of myself I value most—would affect academic success. In so many ways, I had to make mental sacrifices to survive academically (stop thinking, K.A., just reverently parrot the old dead white men’s opinions, don’t walk out of the lecture, K.A., just nod and smile at the stupid sexist) but whenever my GPA was anything less than a 4.0, it was completely intentional (ev psych bullshit masquerading as science? Nah, I’ll think about the topics that actually interest me, thanks). So academia is not an institution that epitomizes free-thinking, which is why the “commune” is my replacement dream.

    Let’s go, tinfoil hattie! Even if it weren’t a straight-up commune, if there were some intellectual, anti-consumerist, egalitarian enclave in some mainstream community. I once submitted a question about where this might be on the forums of, and there weren’t any great answers.

    This is all the stuff I actually wanted to get off my chest on that old Iceland-bans-strip-clubs thread, where it would have been more relevant, but, alas, we remember the fate of our momentary refuge in digital Iceland.

  10. tinfoil hattie says:

    Violet, we were not banned in the strictest sense of the word, but every time we questioned an OBAMAISTHEGREATEST comment, we were flamed from all sides, and told how horrible we were for JUST NOT GIVING MELISSA ANY PEACE! I, and several others, tried to apologize for any grief we caused her, but the comments from her defenders (e.g., all the men who write for her blog) began to get so f-ing crazy that we took the hint and left. And didn’t let the door hit us on the ass on the way out.

  11. Violet Socks says:

    tinfoil, was that around the same time as this? (which I have bookmarked, yes, because it made me snork-laugh like a goddamn maniac, though I felt bad because I’ve always liked Melissa)

  12. Grace says:

    Actually Jon Stewart was the first comedian who started criticizing Obama, and he did it when people like Keith Olberman, Rachel Madow, Chris Mathews, and other koolaid-drinkers were still much involved in worshipping and kissing Obama’s behind.

    I agree with Violet that it would have been nice for Stewart to connect the dots to all the sexism of the 2008 campaign and the consequences of that. Obama is a disgrace, and I would even say worse than Bush, because at least everybody who would call herself/himself progressive, knew that Bush was a disgrace long before he was elected. Obama was able to hide his impostor’s status behind the mask of a false sophisticated persona and “specialness” created by image professionals. Now the “citizen of the world’s” mask has been lifted once and for all, and the emperor is really without any clothes at all.

    This incredibly arrogant and delusional dude thought that all he needed to do was to sit at the Oval Office, play golf and hoops, be “cool,” and delegate the real work to Congress, aides, and all the work-horses who would pull the weight for him. He thought that he could just relax and act the part of a “transformative polical figure” like Reagan, as he described him during the primaries. The difference is that with Reagan, although he was a mediocre actor, his presidency was the best role he ever played.

  13. Hedgepig says:

    I can’t claim to have seen every single episode, but I’ve never heard Jon Stewart make a joke the butt of which was someone being sexist. I heard Colbert make such a joke once, and the air of confusion coming off his liberal dude audience was palpable.

  14. Briar says:

    I remember being thrown off a pro Obama (it didn’t start off that way, but was always pretty “centrist”, which means right wing really, and turned obot as the momentum grew) for objecting to a dreadful anti Palin graphic that showed her having a penis jammed down her throat with the legend, “This is how blacks shut Palin up”, or words to that effect. When I and another member took this apart and were then attacked by another member who lurved Obama, the board owner came over all faint and swooning and told us she was sick and tired of nastiness and would shut down the board because of us. With the faithful yammering at us to give this person “some peace”, we left. I cannot stand that kind of melodrama, which evidently Melissa also encourages. It is not a substitute for reasoned argument. Just as misogynistic assaults on women are not a substitute for an honest and transparent political platform.

  15. votermom says:

    I used to read Shakesville regularly, but I got so disappointed in the posts and comments post-koolaide infection. It was then I started getting ticked off at the regular pile-ons that happened in the comment threads. Ugh.

  16. monchichipox says:

    I much preferred the guy who did the Daily Show before John Stewart. I do enjoy John Steward but his head is starting to get a little big. I think he’s starting to believe he just might be Walter Cronkite. So typical though we can’t make a joke about Obama without throwing a woman on the barbie at the end.

    I’m having this weird feeling for Obama. It’s like I’m actually beginning to feel a little sorry for him. When I watched all I could of his last speech I actually got the feeling that he felt he was in over his head. He actually looked scared.

    It’s never a pretty sight when the world of someone suffering from narcissistic personality disorder has their world come crumbling down.

    I’ll have to check out Shakesville. I’d like to see what they think of my uneducated, uninformed, opinions. Maybe I’ll call someone a Cylon.

  17. tinfoil hattie says:

    @Violet: No, the great Shakesville upheaval happened in Nov. 08. But that is a screamingly funny post by konagod!


  18. Sweet Sue says:

    votermom says:

    I used to read Shakesville regularly, but I got so disappointed in the posts and comments post-koolaide infection. It was then I started getting ticked off at the regular pile-ons that happened in the comment threads. Ugh

    So true. Very often the comment pile ons read like Chinese show trials where the accused has to do the prosecutor’s work.
    J’accuse moi!

  19. Saurs says:

    I much preferred the guy who did the Daily Show before John Stewart

    Are you referring to Craig Kilborn, the dude who was suspended from the show for a week for claiming he could get a blow job any time he wanted from the show’s creator and writer, Lizz Winstead?

    If misogynistic frat-boy humor is your bag, Kilborn’s got a new show on FOX coming out later this month. Enjoy?

  20. K.A. says:

    Grace and Hedgepig, I’ll cop to having assumed he fit the bill without having tuned in. I adhered to a strict anti-TV policy during this time frame that would be the pinnacle of woman-hatred on a medium that already served as America’s beacon of misogyny. It’s nice to know someone in the media was paying attention! Stewart is the only one I’m aware of. I think I’ll have to make another TV exception for him.

    Eventually, all my comedy mainstays fuck up and turn me off. Conan has (although he looks like freaking Andrea Dworkin next to his mates of Late, which is why I was in denial of his sexism for awhile), Colbert has rubbed me the wrong way quite a few times, the Office and 30 Rock occasionally think I don’t know the difference between a joke that is anti-bigotry (of which there are many brilliant ones) and a joke that plays to bigot humor. I’m pretty happy with Parks and Rec, at least.

    Still waiting for that magical show where sexism doesn’t ever have to be a topic at all (a la Parks and Rec and 30 Rock). I want to tune out the real world when I tune in.

  21. Grace says:

    This is just a fantasy because I don’t think it will ever happen, at least not in my life time. Whenever I hear mysoginistic jokes such as “pennises on Palin’s throat” “blow-jobs on demand” or similar treasures like that, I imagine situations in TV comedies in which the reverse would take place; meaning women making similar humiliating comments about men, seeing them as sex objects eager to be submissive. I think it’s called a paradox. Because that kind of situation will not be seen as “normal” or “natural,” wouldn’t? I would pay (not much though) to see people’s reactions, from men and especially those women who have declared themselves to be “post-feminist.”

  22. Nessum says:

    Lately – but sadly belated – Jon Stewart has again reminded me why I liked him so much “during” Bush.

    And as for his use of Palin, I saw it more as a: “See, she’s much tougher than you!”

    Heh, he even now has his audience laughing out loud without having to reassure them it is ok! … Though I’m not quite certain that they realize, what they are actually laughing at.

  23. Violet Socks says:

    tinfoil, that konagod post was in response to (and a parody of) the great Shakesville Cult Meltdown of ’09. Did you see that?

  24. Violet Socks says:

    By the way, I’m thinking of turning this blog into a cult. I want deluded self-abasing followers, goddamn it.

  25. K.A. says:

    Grace, that’s an interesting coping mechanism/thought experiment.

    Since I highly value comedy as entertainment but am always struck a blow at some point that leaves me feeling worse than I felt to begin with, my fantasy has always been that I’d get rich, and my one luxury would be hiring a personal assistant for the exclusive purpose of watching all comedy shows available and taking out the abusive bullshit and hackneyed lines (sorry, Leno!). They’d have to really “get” me though to get what I find funny vs. hurtful.

    However, I’m going to try the Grace Method, because I think it might be additionally beneficial on a psychological level. When Christians figured out that loving one’s enemy was the way to go, they were actually onto something. It’s hard to stew with feelings that sabotoge your own well-being when you displace them with an incompatible thought. (I say this as an atheist who never remembers to try that).

  26. Sandra S. says:

    I saw the Cult Meltdown of ’09, and I was flabbergasted.

    Oh, and btw, I’m currently ripping my hair out by the roots. I’m on Kiva and I’ve joined a group (Atheists, etc.), and someone brought up Palin. Huge pile on talking about her being slutty, stupid, etc. So I posted a little thing about how misogynistic the whole thing was and maybe people should apply a little critical thinking, and now the whole thing has exploded. People are literally denying that it is sexist to call someone slutty. Someone has suggested that you can’t call someone a misogynist based on their treatment of One woman, because misogyny goes to hating All women. GAH!

    Today I spent like six hours making a Who Said What Obama/Palin quiz. Sadly, I have no venue for it.

  27. K.A. says:

    Today I spent like six hours making a Who Said What Obama/Palin quiz. Sadly, I have no venue for it.

    Awesome idea!

  28. Toonces says:

    I’m with you, Grace, but I think the audience reaction would be something like uncomfortable silence or anger (which could be entertaining on its own).

    @Violet, the ’09 Shakedown was highly entertaining but it was modeled on the Nov ’08 original where long-time commenters were “encouraged” to shut the fuck up about feeling anything other than orgasmic over what happened to Hillary on Obama’s special day because they were causing Melissa to have a nervous breakdown with their “negativity.” It then morphed into being about how Very Important Bloggers who are working 47 hours a day to single-handedly save the world don’t do this shit for free so everybody better pay up or risk putting a certain VIB in the hospital.

    Now, I’m no professional but from my observations Step 1 in starting a blog-cult is shaming and berating your commenters into loathing themselves as much as you do. Step 2 has something to do with going into a rage about the suggestion that putting your donate button “above the fold” where people might notice it could increase the donation money you get. Blog-cult gigs pay pretty well, I’m told.

    (I don’t actually hate Melissa, but I’ve kept my mouth shut for a long time about how cynical it is that she has declared herself the Original Obama-skeptic after the way her blog turned in the run-up to the election/right after it)

    @Sandra, can you share it? What kind of venue do you need?

  29. Sandra S. says:

    Hey Toonces,

    I could email it you, if you’re interested. I just want to put it somewhere online so it doesn’t disappear forever. Maybe if people think it’s good they’ll link to it. I just wanted to make a point about what Obama is believed to stand for versus what Palin is believed to stand for. My email is seasahocha at gmail dot com, if you want to see it.

    RE: Shakesville, I didn’t see much of the original blog meltdown, but I did find it a bit hilarious that they started billing themselves that way. I remember a promising Sexism watch series that was great and then feeling like it petered out as soon as they were expected to watch out for Palin as well. But that might be remembered inaccurately, since I’m still really bitter about that whole year. I also hated the “triggering language” thing, because I felt like it diminished the experiences of women who had actual PTSD.

  30. monchichipox says:

    “Are you referring to Craig Kilborn, the dude who was suspended from the show for a week for claiming he could get a blow job any time he wanted from the show’s creator and writer, Lizz Winstead?”

    I’m sorry I don’t follow every press release from Comedy Central. For God’s sake I couldn’t even remember the guy’s name.

  31. tinfoil hattie says:

    Yes, Violet, I did see that it is a parody – and I’m only sorry I missed it last year, when konagod first posted it! I did read the “all in” thread at Shakesville, and it’s really, REALLY creepy. (I re-read it today and shuddered through it.)

    Glad to be here, though. Thanks for all you do.

  32. votermom says:

    Sandra S, a quiz like that sounds interesting.

    What’s the all in thread? I missed that.

  33. Saurs says:

    I’m sorry I don’t follow every press release from Comedy Central. For God’s sake I couldn’t even remember the guy’s name.

    That’s okay. You don’t have to read press releases. You said you liked him, which, I guess, implied you watched his show (and his stand-up, which is rife with misogyny). You would then have known about his weeklong suspension from it, since he wasn’t on it. By the by, in addition to the blow job remark, his suspension also hinged on his referring to female staffers of the show as “emotional” “bitches.” Cheers!

  34. monchichipox says:

    Saurs cut ChiChi some slack. In the past ten years I can probably count the times I’ve stayed up late enough to catch the Late Show on my toes and fingers.

    My televised political satire and wit mostly comes these days by watching old clips of Maude on One of these days I’m going to show up at work in a gray shag, a flowing orange kaftan, saying “God’ll getcha for that” why clawing at the air.

    So I thought Craig Kilborne was funny and a little cute on the few times I watched him. That and my support of Sarah Palin will surely have me in feminist Purgatory for at least three decades.

  35. tinfoil hattie says:

    Saurs, please do forgive monchichipox for not knowing every single crappy thing a man said. Maybe she didn’t watch very often! Maybe she missed the week where he was suspended! Maybe she’s so fucking tired from dealing with a misogyny-filled world that she took a break from tv! Maybe there’s some reason other than her SEEKRIT HATRED OF WOMEN BECAUSE SHE CASUALLY MENTIONED SHE THOUGHT SOMEONE WAS FUNNY AND DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS AN ASSHOLE.


  36. Gayle says:

    I also enjoyed Craig Kilborn on The Daily Show.

    I didn’t know anything about his stand up act or his suspension until now. Just saying.

    The All In thread was both creepy and hilarious at the same time. The original reads like a parody.

  37. Violet Socks says:

    I need to come up with some kind of catchphrase that all my followers can recite to indicate their loyalty and obeisance. “All in” is taken. What would be good?

  38. RKMK says:

    tinfoil hattie, Toonces, and I (along with a few others, i.e. zuzu, Astraea, CE, etc) got chased out around the Great Expectations thread. And I blogged an admittedly-snotty summary re: Shakesville here last November, because the timing of Melissa’s turnaround tickled me.

    On topic: I get redirected to the Canadian site and can’t see the clip – from what day/episode is this? I’mma gonna go download it elsewhere.

  39. Violet Socks says:

    I just read the Great Expectations thread up to the point where Melissa went ballistic, and my reaction was the same as when I read the Meltdown ’09 thread: why doesn’t she quit? Speaking as a blogger myself, it’s clear she’s burned out. If you write a post and several dozen people comment to say it’s the most wonderful thing, etc., and then one person expresses reservations and that sends you into a Goodbye Cruel World tailspin, then maybe you need to quit. For your own mental health. I like Melissa, always have, but she’s obviously stressed out.

    Edited to add: I’m not saying I want Melissa to quit or Shakesville to go away! I’m just saying how it reads to me as a blogger. But these are old threads, so hopefully everything is better now in Shakesville.

  40. Violet Socks says:

    RKMK, the Daily Show episode was from Tuesday, June 15.

  41. Saurs says:

    tinfoil hattie, please fucking relax. I didn’t attack monchichipox nor did I suggest she secretly hated women because she didn’t know something about some guy. I pointed it out, a coupl’a times, because I figured like most people on the thread who were following along, monchichipox wasn’t aware of what a shithead Kilborn was, is, and probably continues to be. (I’m not fond of sucking the teet of Stewart, either, mind you, because he’s not a whole lot better in that department.)

    So I thought Craig Kilborne was funny and a little cute on the few times I watched him.

    Yeah, I sort of felt the same myself, before his dreaminess became less dreamy in light of the continuous shit he, apparently and according to several accounts, gave Winstead and other women (and men! See Stephen Colbert for his feelings re Kilborn, too!) working on the program. I figured a fellow luke-warm “fan,” of sorts, would want to know that particular tit-bit.

    That and my support of Sarah Palin will surely have me in feminist Purgatory for at least three decades.

    Same here. Oh, well.

  42. tinfoil hattie says:

    Saurs, please don’t tell me to fucking relax. Get down of your high horse and give the sanctimony a rest, will you?

  43. Unree says:

    Violet @39–As a keen Shakesville reader, I agree with you about Melissa’s being burned out. She doesn’t post as much (in terms of both in number of posts and number of words per post), and the Friday ‘pub’ (which I avoid) has lost most of its attendance. Most of the longstanding contributors, and the most interesting commenters (like tinfoil hattie), haven’t been heard from much in a long time.

    This blog hasn’t recovered from the Great Expectations trauma, and the blog owner doesn’t seem to enjoy her endeavor. Also Shakesville hasn’t been aided by the rise of “Deeky,” a contributor who has little to say but staunchly polices the rule about sparing Melissa’s feelings.

  44. Saurs says:

    tinfoil hattie, I’m not going to adjust my tone because you hastily misinterpreted my comments and their intent, and had to resort to sarcastic capitalization. When I feel like commenting about something, I’m going to, and I’ll do it in a manner in which I feel like. If Violet finds them harsh, she’ll moderate them, and that’ll be that.

  45. Violet Socks says:

    Oh for chrissake, Saurs, cut it the fuck out. Whatever you were intending, your comments came off as accusatory. This is like some kind of bad interrogation scene:

    You said you liked him, which, I guess, implied you watched his show (and his stand-up, which is rife with misogyny). You would then have known about his weeklong suspension from it, since he wasn’t on it.

    I don’t actually moderate every fucking comment. I expect people to behave themselves.

    But by all means, consider yourself henceforth moderated.

  46. cellocat says:

    Oops, I think I clicked the wrong button.

    Bottom line from deleted comment: I think using Frodo is a safe way to critize Obama, because we all know that ultimately his nobility of spirit won out, etc… And taking pot shots at Sarah Palin ensures Jon Stewart’s continued membership in the club and reassures its members after he levels some criticsm at Obama.

    And also that Saruman is a better and more accurate parallel for Obama. After all, the signs were there for those who had the eyes and willingness to look past the fair words.

  47. m Andrea says:

    Well you *are* sincerely quite fabulous Violet, and following your astute talking points regarding political matters is now a no-brainer for me, but I do wish you would be a tad more consistent with your moderation. Dream on, I suppose…

    My comments aren’t any more rude or polite than anybody else’s and yet half of them end up in spam. If I ever muster up the energy, one of your latest posts is going to get skewered over a flaming bonfire. lulz :) It’d be simpler if you’d just comply with my standard interrogation methods over here because that post was non-logical as hell, with multiple unexamined assumptions. And yet, your average is still clocking “most awesome”.