Last week, Jon Stewart berated Congress over the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, which not only ran out of cash back in February due to a miscalculation, but the fund is also due to expire in 2020. If all of this sounds familiar, this isn’t Stewart’s first rodeo making sure our government takes care of the rescue workers who worked bravely and diligently in the aftermath of 9/11, on top of the victims who breathed in God knows what for who knows how long. That’s why this time around, Stewart is fighting for a bill that will remain fully funded all the way into 2090, so this horsesh*t circus doesn’t have to happen again and again. But while Stewart brought his trademark fire and brimstone, which was a goddamn breath of fresh air in these orange buttholed times and rightly became a viral sensation, careful observers couldn’t help but note that his condemnation was painting with way too wide of a brush.
Before we carry Jon Stewart around the Intertoobz on our shoulders, we should remind him that “Congress” isn’t holding up the renewal of the 9/11 bill. Republicans are.— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) June 11, 2019
While Stewart’s heart is clearly in the right place, his generalized criticism of “Congress” allowed disingenuous right-wing globs of mayo like John McCain’s daughter to lob attacks at Democrats who didn’t attend the hearing and pay proper reverence to first responders, as if that was the problem. However, in classic Meghan fashion, the congressman she chose to single out is voting for the funding bill like every single Democrat in Congress. Whoops. You see, the problem isn’t “Congress” not doing its job. The problem is obstructionist Republicans, specifically one turtle-looking motherf*cker who one could argue is an even bigger cancer than Donald Trump:
Granted, Stewart did make a vague allusion to McConnell during his House hearing on Thursday. But by Sunday, the former Daily Show host marched his ass onto Fox News and started naming names.
Via The Daily Beast (Emphasis mine):
“Have you had problems with Senator McConnell?” the Fox host asked.
“Yes,” Stewart replied. “I mean, not me personally, but in terms of getting the 9/11 bills passed, Mitch McConnell has been the white whale of this since 2010.” He said it’s the “cynicism displayed by Washington” that causes him to get so “emotional” about this particular issue.
“They asked Mitch McConnell about the testimony after it was done,” Stewart continued, “and he said, ‘Gosh’—I think he used the word ‘gosh’—‘Gosh, we haven’t looked at that in a while but we will look at it and I’m sure we’ll deal with it as compassionately as we have in the past.’”
“But I want to make it clear that this has never been dealt with compassionately by Senator McConnell,” he said. “He has always held out until the very last minute and only then, under intense lobbying and public shaming has he even deigned to move on it.”
Noting that the 9/11 first responder funding is “not a Republican-Democrat issue,” Stewart added later, “Not all Republicans oppose this, but everyone who has opposed it is a Republican. And it’s unacceptable.”
Right upfront, yes, it is 100% a good thing that Jon Stewart is specifically calling out Mitch McConnell and letting people know exactly how SpongeSpine TortoiseFace puts 9/11 victims through hell by using them as a political football every single time these bills make his gelatinous form struggle to hold a piece of paper. That needs to happen frequently and often, and quite frankly, should’ve been the opening salvo of this issue, but three days later is not too shabby.
That said, I’m honestly wrestling with the Fox News aspect because Elizabeth Warren is out here making some damn good points on how going on Fox accomplishes nothing but lining the network’s pockets so it can spread even more hate. Sure, Stewart’s appearance is making headlines, but the same thing would’ve happened if he went on any Sunday talk show and fired a direct shot at McConnell. As for reaching Fox News viewers who might be swayed by the fact that Republicans are the ones holding up funds for police and firefighters, on paper, that should be red meat. Cops are barely a notch below The Troops™ on the conservative totem pole, so if there’s one issue that stands a chance of being absorbed through the nationalistic membrane, honoring the Heroes of 9/11 is easily a top contender.
Except here’s the problem with Fox News: By Monday morning, they were already trotting out Mitch McConnell on Fox and Friends — the source of 95% of Donald Trump’s tweets — where he defended himself against Stewart with a juicy slab of red meat of his own.
Co-host Steve Doocy noted that Stewart appeared to be upset during his House testimony that many members of the subcommittee didn’t show up that day, prompting McConnell to claim that members of Congress tend to “have a lot of things going on at the same time.”
“It sounds to me like he is looking for some way to take offense,” the senator added.
And there it is: Liberals are always offended by something.
I’m going to assume a fair amount of you spent time with family this weekend for Father’s Day, so with that experience fresh in mind, take a wild guess which argument will immediately sink in with Fox News viewers: Republicans are delaying funds for 9/11 first responders, or Jon Stewart is a pussy “libtard” who gets triggered too easily?
UPDATE: Here’s Jon Stewart responding to Mitch McConnell on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and needless to say, his turtle jokes are way than better mine, embarrassingly so. Don’t look at me.
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