Wednesday on “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart addressed the controversy surrounding Vice President Joe Biden’s “chains” remark, the latest on a long line of gaffes that have dominated the conversation this election year. While Stewart acknowledged that Biden’s remarks were indeed rather unfortunate, even for a politician whose foot seems permanently planted in his mouth, he criticized Republicans for acting as if they never spout divisive rhetoric.
First up was presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who responded to the comments by telling Obama to “take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago.” Stewart suggested Romney’s comeback was probably not terribly constructive: “As a general rule, I find it helps not to frame a plea for unity by insulting a major city within that nation.”
Stewart argued Republicans hardly have “the moral high ground” when it comes to the politics of division. As evidence, he played a serious of those devastating montages the “Daily Show” does so well: In the first, various right-wing commentators spoke in sneering tones about supposed liberal bastions such as Madison Avenue, Martha’s Vineyard and Berkeley; in the second, they slammed lawyers, teachers, union members and environmentalists; and in the third, they plugged books with incendiary titles like “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America” and “Celebutards: The Hollywood Hacks, Limousine Liberals, and Pandering Politicians Who Are Destroying America.”
“Are Republicans really that blind to the depth of their own vitriol?” he wondered. Answering his own rhetorical question, Stewart quipped that Republicans are in fact “blinder than a man Joe Biden would publicly challenge to a staring contest.”
As further evidence, he cut to an interview in which Sarah Palin claimed “I can’t think of one prominent Republican who talks the way that [liberals] talk.”
After pausing dramatically to savor the irony, Stewart cut to footage of Palin calling Nancy Pelosi a “dingbat,” questioning the president’s testicular fortitude, and suggesting his “pocolo-smokin’ ” and “cocaine-snortin’ ” had clouded his judgment.
“So you don’t know of any prominent Republicans who spew divisive vitriol?” Stewart said. “There can only be two explanations for that. One: Not even Sarah Palin believes she is a prominent Republican anymore. Or two: Sarah Palin can no longer hear herself speak. You can read about it in my new book, ‘The Luckiest Woman in America.’ ”
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