Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Jon Stewart's interview with Texas governor Rick Perry last night was excruciating. What a glib, glad-handing asshole Perry is. His mocking suggestion that people couldn't possibly prefer living in India to living in Texas was repugnant. It felt racist.

As is too often the case, Stewart was feeble, fawning. He undercut his own lines of attack with tension-cutting schtick. The liberal critique of the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear is correct: it presented a false equivalency between the loudest voices on the left and right. Stewart was disingenuously trying to seize the moral high ground. The story of the 2010 election season has been the resurgence of right-wing extremism: fear-mongering, race-baiting, bullying, intolerance and, above all, the cynical wielding of lies as propaganda. The craven outrage over the "Ground Zero mosque," the lies about health care and financial reform in the service of corporations and millionaires, the continuing vilification of immigrants. All of it is disgraceful and odious. And is there anything more reprehensible than fake populism? The tea party groups paid for by oil billionaires, lobbyists, corporations. There is no equivalency between these forces and the "unreasonable" voices on the left. Stewart's "can't we all just get along" message came off as pathetic and dishonest.