On my About this Blog page, I touched on the frequency with which I would be posting clips from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, but since actually going live in mid-January, I haven’t posted a single one. I have a backlog of historical clips from both shows that I could easily toss up here every few days just for fun, but once I started to accrue a few subscribers, I felt guilty about filling their Inbox too frequently. We’ll see how that plays out over the long haul, but right now it’s time for a dose of Daily Show. Jon Stewart did a segment last week that I wanted to share…mainly because of one line that caught my attention. Here’s the piece, which covers the Supreme Court’s review of President Obama’s health care law. (For some reason it’s been chopped into two clips.)
The comment Stewart makes in the second half of the segment that rings so true is this: “Although you do have to wonder how it is that the party that creationists call home is so Darwinian.”
The line comes and goes so fast that it almost gets buried within the bit, so I want to make sure it gets the attention it deserves, because it’s such a brilliant statement: smart, funny and so incisive. Read it again. Take a moment to appreciate the simple construction of a great joke. Like many types of comedy, political comedy – when it works – does so because of the truth behind the gag.
“…the party that creationists call home is so Darwinian.” The hypocrisy Stewart gets at there is of course typical of conservatives and Republicans, who regularly contradict one of the basic principles of their own ideology. All politicians swim in the pool of hypocrisy, but this particular example seems specific to conservatives. It’s the same hypocrisy by which the party that supposedly stands for small government and individual liberty is the party that’s always up in everyone’s face – and every woman’s uterus – about what they can and can’t do in their private lives. The GOP’s own web page states, “The Republican Party, like our nation’s founders, believes that government must be limited so that it never becomes powerful enough to infringe on the rights of individuals.” Yet they’re constantly trying to infringe on individual liberties and regulate people’s personal lives. They’re the ones trying to keep homosexuals out of the military. They’re the ones fighting tooth and nail to ban same-sex marriage. They’re the ones who want to determine how women’s bodies can be treated. They’re the ones who want all Americans, regardless of their faith, to be governed according to the principles of the Christian bible.
So conservatives want a government big and involved enough to make sure that gays and lesbians can’t marry, but not one so big that it takes care of sick people who may not be able to afford health insurance. Good to see they have their priorities straight. Now when it comes to the law, I don’t pretend to understand anything more complex than the State of Alabama vs. William Gambini and Stanley Rothenstein as seen in My Cousin Vinny, so I can’t comment on the legality of the health care regulation. But Justice Scalia’s comment in that clip about not obligating yourself to a system that provides for everyone seems to be how a lot of conservatives and Republicans feel. It just surprises me that the party which would probably claim Jesus as its own is the same party that now equates compassion with socialism.
I guess I’m a fool for still being surprised by such attitudes and contradictions. As always, my thanks to Jon Stewart for easing the pain.