America isn't all that interested in the various controversies buffeting the Obama administration, says Paul Brandus at The Week. Instead, with lawmakers seemingly obsessed with "trying to put the political screws to the other party," not doing the people's business, "the American people are right to hold their elected leaders in contempt."
On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart heartily agreed, throwing in the press for good measure. And he understands what America does like: A good old-fashioned smackdown.
On Monday night, Stewart continued his half angry, half gleeful coverage of "Hurricane Scandy" — the IRS and Benghazi flaps — and he threw in another, little-covered disgrace involving the Department of Veterans Affairs (watch below). The Obama administration is pleading ignorance, the Republicans are turning the outrage dial to 11 even while admitting they don't have all the facts, and the press is flubbing its role by becoming part of the story and letting itself get played by partisan sources.
"Can anybody do their jobs in that town?" Stewart laments.
In the second half of his monologue, Stewart takes the Obama administration to task for not modernizing and streamlining the VA medical-claims backlog as it promised. The digitization process is going so slow, Stewart says, that the mountain of paper files is threatening to collapse a floor at a VA field office. If only the Obama team put the energy into fixing the VA snafu that it did to getting elected, Stewart laments. Is it fair to compare trying to fix a giant bureaucratic mess you inherited (with resident bureaucrats) to building a campaign from the ground up? I have no idea, but it makes for compelling television:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
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- ISIS and the echoes of the West's religious terror
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
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- Don't listen to Paul Ryan: The GOP is still the party of makers and takers
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