Jon Stewart Does Obama's Job For Him

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The Nation --

If you didn’t see Jon Stewart’s summer break sign-off Thursday night, in which he summed up the right’s “class warfare” hysteria over demands that the rich go back to paying the same tax rates they paid during the Clinton boom years, you’ve got to give this two-part clip your eyes for just a couple minutes:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c World of Class Warfare - Warren Buffett vs. Wealthy Conservatives www.thedailyshow.com

In all this, Stewart makes clear that Fox News is able to lie and bark absurdities because it’s not a news organization but a one-note propaganda machine whose seamlessness would have left George Orwell’s Winston Smith paralyzed in admiration.

But what’s best about Stewart is the way he makes crystal clear that Democrats are engaged in self-censorship. For two weeks now, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West have been on a poverty tour, calling for Obama and the Dems to recognize that they’ve been fighting with one arm tied behind their back, to stop limiting their concern only to the “middle class,” and to dare to say the “p” word. When half the country possesses only 2.5 per cent of the country’s wealth, the diminishing middle can choose either to be bodyguards for their overlords or throw their lot in with the poor.

“The poors,” Stewart calls them. Obama needs to recognize that the world economy is shuddering to a halt because the global rich are so focused on wealth protection into a distant future that capitalism can’t find the money to function and grow. The time that his paltry stimulus bought the system has run out. As they did by going after Saddam instead of Al Qaeda, the political class is again setting off weapons of mass distraction—this time, by going after “spending” and the deficit instead of unemployment and the foreclosure crisis.  

The time for muddling through—for saying you can see “both” sides of the argument—is past. Obama is so smart, right? Then he must know this, too.

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