Stewart and Feingold Sitting in a Tree

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By mistake I saw The Daily Show tonight. Russ Feingold was on.

Feingold lied again, saying they know "there are no legitimate legal justifications" for the NSA wiretapping. That "everybody basically knows it." He's lying. There are several legal justifications, and at least one solid one that has been accepted by the courts previously (inherent authority). And while it's true that the Congress did not intend to authorize wiretaps, that does not mean, as per Hamdi, that the effect was not to authorize them.

Again, I don't know whether the wiretapping is, or should be, legal. But I can't abide by Feingold's lying: he states there is no legal justification, not even a legitimate argument for one, and he's lying.

Enough about that.

Stewart was just his nonsensical partisan self, reaffirming my decision to stop watching some months ago. He can be funny, but the "Republicans are evil" bit -- which he obviously believes, and is not just trying to be funny about -- is real old.

So Stewart showed Republican House Leader John Boehner making a crazy statement about Feingold maybe being more concerned about the safety and security of the terrorists than of the American people.

Yes, Boehner was being stupid.

But then Stewart asks Feingold, "How do you have a dialogue with the administration about real issues when to bring up something like this gets you accused of being in league with the terrorists? And how do you work with a guy like that? How do you not walk past that guy, and give him a poke him in the eye?"

First of all, it was the House leadership, not the Bush administration. Second, and more importantly, Feingold is not trying to have a dialogue about real issues. He is grandstanding over some stupid censure resolution and lying about the motives and justifications for the wiretapping.

And third, how do the Republicans not walk past Feingold and give him a poke in the eye over his ridiculous censure resolution?

Yes, Boehner was -- to reference the journal entry earlier today -- using a stupid straw man to attack Feingold. But a minute later, Feingold made the same basic statment about the Republicans (and has been saying the same thing for awhile): "[the Republicans] are unwilling to admit they made any mistakes ... they don't even respect the law, they don't even care about the idea that we have a system of laws that we should obey."

So Feingold was not only using the same straw man tactic as Boehner, and using it as egregiously (one guy loves terrorists, and the other hates the law), but he also threw a begging-the-question fallacy in there for good measure.

But does Stewart flog Feingold? Of course not. Instead, he agreed with Feingold's use of the same rhetorical device that he said Boehner should get his eye poked over. And after noting that he has no idea about the legal arguments, Stewart concluded, "This feels like some attempt at accountability, and that's what I really like about it."

Which says it all right there. Stewart's an ignorant, anti-Republican hack. But at least he admits it.

I love Stephen Colbert though. His response: "How dare Senator Feingold try to censor the President? This is America! He has every right to speak without being censored! I demand Russ Feingold be formally upbraided through some kind of moral declaration voted on by his colleagues!"

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on March 22, 2006 9:00 PM.

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