Posts Tagged ‘Howard Beale’

Jon Stewart takes on Santelli and the Stock Market

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Yesterday, I tried to take on some of the opposition to Obama’s handling of the financial crisis. I think I did a fine job – but I’m certainly no Jon Stewart. Pointing out that the stock market tanked after Ronald Reagan became president and after we won World War II, he takes on this farcical idea that the stock market is some sort of  rational indicator of economic conditions:

(I’ll post full links when TDS posts them.)

The stock market isn’t a rational creature – it is subject to panics and irrational exuberance and sour moods and churlishness and massive misjudgments. To judge whether an economic plan is working or not requires time and wisdom – neither of which are found in the daily results of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Of course, Stewart founds some time to mock Rick Santelli on the way:

Humor makes it all go down so much easier.

There’s no denying the inchoate anger, not fully formed, matured, directed, or realized, that some seek to target Obama with. The problem is that these Santellis and these Limbaughs and the rest of them have no more to offer than the mythical Howard Beale of Network – whose famous rants clearly inspired Santelli’s on-air persona:

Watching this famous clip today is eerie – as it echoes into our own time – and makes Santelli’s performance seem all the more post-modern. 

In the end, it comes down to this:

As a nation we have a choice to do nothing, to let Obama implement his plan, or to come up with a better one. In my opinion, Obama’s opponents have yet to offer a serious alternate plan. Which is why I’m sticking with him on this, at least for now.

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