Remember in Jurassic Park when they put the goat in the pen with the T-Rex?
I don’t know that Oklahoma State Senator Nathan Dahm (R) is getting enough out of his decision to try and match wits with Jon Stewart in the above segment on gun control from the latest episode of Apple TV+’s The Problem With Jon Stewart. On one hand, it’s a bigger platform than he might have if he was just sticking to conservative media, but he’s not exactly being exposed to an open-eared audience as he tries to shill his gun-rights-above-all-others shtick. He’s not exactly making a compelling argument, either. Dahm keeps presenting his little anecdotes and pro-chaos talking points like a kid showing off their epically bad macaroni art, and Stewart keeps putting it in the paper shredder (but wouldn’t the macaroni gum up the shred… Shut up, I’m working here.)
This should feel pretty routine by now. Jon Stewart has made a career out of telling truth to power, sometimes with eloquence and sometimes with a bluntness that is a real crowd-pleaser. Politics as sport is bad news for everyone, and it’s not like these takedown videos ever change anything, but I’m still pumping my fists when Stewart asks when we’ll have enough guns to see things switch to safe, as opposed to the current state of being where people are all of the time — hoping today isn’t the day while at the grocery store or waiting for our kids to come home from school. I guess that small kernel of a good feeling is the gain for anyone watching who feels passionate about the issue and frustrated by the lack of even minor, we-should-all-agree-on-this protections. Easy wins like the ones this guy whose name I’ve already forgotten is fighting against with talking points pinned to his collar by the NRA.
This really is vintage Stewart, rising in restrained fury as Oklahoma blah blah minimizes the deaths of 50,000 people and sits expressionless as Jon wrecks him with blitzes that he just didn’t see coming, swiping away his weak jabs and calling out hypocrisy when it comes to “protecting the children.” It’s pretty embarrassing for this dude who, I swear to goodness, is fading from my memory like a fart in a wind tunnel, but he still managed to get on TV. Is it worth it? Maybe. These guys keep playing the volume game — showing up, shouting out, and getting talked about. All we get is a little pop of joy from seeing them leave a stain on Jon Stewart’s knuckles. Is that a fair trade? Question for the ages, that is.