Brow Beat

Jon Stewart Stopped by Stephen Colbert’s Show to Tear Mitch McConnell a New 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

John Stewart on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
But will McConnell do the right thing?

Mitch McConnell has always been exceptionally talented at looking out for the interests of Mitch McConnell—but part of that is a talent for only looking out for the interests of Mitch McConnell, or, in a pinch, the interests of people who can immediately and directly help Mitch McConnell. So when Jon Stewart showed up at a House Judiciary Committee meeting and shamed the House of Representatives for skipping a committee meeting about the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act and Victim Compensation Fund, there was no reason to expect McConnell would speak up: He’s a Senator. But McConnell knows that if the public starts getting worked up about being represented in the House by amoral monsters who have dedicated their lies to serving money, power, and the vicious interests, they might eventually get annoyed about being represented in the Senate by amoral monsters who have dedicated their lives to serving money, power, and the vicious interests, and then where would Mitch McConnell be? This is why the Democrats keep losing: McConnell’s playing chess while they’re texting “BOYBYE” to 43367 to get their exclusive limited edition Boy Bye phone wallpaper. Plus, McConnell knows a subtweet when he sees one, and this, from Stewart’s statement at the hearing, is definitely a subtweet:

Why this bill isn’t unanimous consent and a standalone issue is beyond my comprehension, and I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation for why. It’ll get stuck in some transportation bill, or some appropriations bill, and get sent over to the Senate, where a certain someone from the Senate will use it as a political football to get themselves maybe another new import tax on petroleum. ’Cause that’s what happened to us in 2015. And we won’t allow it to happen again.

What Stewart doesn’t understand is that before you use power to accomplish something good, like helping out the 9/11 first responders, you should always ask if there’s something evil you could accomplish by holding that good thing hostage—that’s how American government works! So McConnell went on Fox & Friends to assure Trump followers that this latest display of heartlessness and cruelty was nothing to worry about, telling the audience, “I don’t know why he’s all bent out of shape” and “It sounds to me like he’s looking for some way to take offense.” And Monday night, Jon Stewart very literally popped up on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to explain exactly why he was bent out of shape:

Stewart is appropriately scathing about the ways McConnell has used the memory of 9/11 over the years, but it remains to be seen whether or not a direct appeal to the senator’s conscience will produce … oh man, I’m sorry, I can’t—I’m trying to keep a straight face, but I really can’t make it through this sentence. A direct appeal to McConnell’s conscience! It’s the little things in life, you know?

Here is Stewart’s statement about Mitch McConnell’s claim that Congress is too busy to meet with 9/11 first responders:

I feel like an asshole. Um, my God, I’m so—you know what, Stephen? Now I feel stupid. This is a huge misunderstanding. I didn’t know that they were busy! I’m so, oh boy, now I don’t even know what to say! I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt them WITH THEIR JOBS. Honestly, Mitch McConnell, you really want to go with the “We’ll get to it when we get to it,” argument for the heroes of 9/11? Listen, Senator, I know that your species isn’t known for moving quickly. … But damn, Senator, you’re not good at this argument thing. Basically we’re saying you love the 9/11 community when they serve your political purposes. But when they’re in urgent need, you slow-walk, you dither, you use it as a political pawn to get the things you want, and you don’t get the job done completely. And your answer to that charge is, “Yeah, duh, we’re Congress, that’s how we do.” But the truth is, that’s not how Congress do—that’s how the kids would say it. That’s how you, Mitch McConnell, do. We’ve spent a year compiling bipartisan cosponsors and advocates for this bill, all in the hopes that when it finally gets to the great Mitch McConnell’s desk, you won’t jack us around like you’ve done in the past. So if you want to know why the 9/11 community is bent out of shape over these past, let’s call it eighteen years, meet with them. Tomorrow. As soon as possible. And don’t make them beg for it. You could pass this thing as a standalone bill tomorrow. Meet with them. I’m begging you. Meet with them tomorrow.

You know what? If you’re busy, I get it. Just understand, the next time we have a war, or you’re being robbed, or your house is on fire, and you make that desperate call for help, don’t get bent out of shape if they show up at the last minute, with fewer people than you thought were going to pay attention, and don’t actually put it out. Just sort of leave it there, smoldering for another five years, ’cause that’s how shit’s done around here, mister. I’m sure they’ll put it out for good when they feel like getting around to it. No offense.