Commenting on America's love for SUVs in the 1990s, Stewart says lustily, "Mmm- that thing could really tow the boat I don't have to the mountain I don't live near."
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My reaction: it is cheap cynicism on Jon Stewart's part.
The difference is that the world realizes now that there is a much bigger issue at stake than American energy independence. Dozen's of nations pledged at Copenhagen to deal with their greenhouse gas emissions. Obama pledged to cut American emissions 80% by 2050, which would reduce our petroleum use dramatically.
The House passed Waxman-Markey, which would have kept Obama's pledge to cut emissions 80% by 2050. People can criticize this bill, but it is clearly would be more effective at reducing petroleum use than any law that the US has ever passed.
Kerry-Lieberman is a much weaker companion bill in the Senate, but it is still strong enough to keep Obama's pledge and let the world come to an agreement to limit global warming.
But K-L probably does not have enough votes to pass. A couple of weeks ago, Obama said that it did not have the votes now, but he would get the votes. But in this latest speech on energy, he did not mention climate - which probably means that the votes aren't there to pass K-L and that climate legislation will be deferred for years.
Stewart could help get this bill passed by ridiculing the Republicans who are blocking it in the Senate. Instead, by ridiculing Obama, he is making it even less likely that we will pass climate legislation.
It is idiotic to equate earlier efforts to gain energy independence from OPEC with current efforts to control global warming, because there is widespread scientific consensus and public recognition that global warming is far more dangerous. But it is an easy way to get cheap laughs.
Jon Stewart is distorting the facts by saying that nothing can be done now because nothing has been done since the 1970s.
And by saying that nothing can be done, he is making it more likely that nothing will be done.
I watched it that day. I'd say that the character play was adopting a world-weary or mad-as-satire attitude.
But we should be glad Stewart is paying attention to the issue so the young people get aware and get mad at the lazy adults and get moving.
But is Obama the one they should be getting mad at? I think Stewart is pointing his satire at the easy target but at the wrong target.
From today's NY Times:
That is why the Democratic infighting now rising with the summer temperatures poses such problems for the White House. With Republicans maintaining near-unanimous opposition, even a moderate amount of internal dissent could stop Mr. Obama’s agenda cold.
“You have one party that has taken a pass on governing,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “Our system’s not set up for that.”
Energy presents another huge challenge as midterm elections draw closer.
Mr. Obama says only capping and putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions can accomplish three fundamental goals: lessening America’s dependence on oil, turning renewable alternatives into viable sources of energy and jobs, and curbing global warming.
But energy-state Democrats fear the economic effects, and vulnerable Democratic candidates fear Republican attacks on the administration’s “cap and tax” proposal.
The entire point was: "Fool me eight times, I'm a f---ing idiot!".
That was the takeaway. The point that addicts miss stuff. And our society doesn't pay attention, or so someone tweeted me on FaceBook and holdon lemme retweet lolz.
See Jon Stewart’s Stinging Rebuke of Presidential Promises to Get off Oil with 30 comments recorded to date.
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA
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