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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

At the conclusion of a nightmarish political year, on the cusp of a year that may prove much worse still, two of America’s smartest comic voices examine the singular cause of our woes: Donald J. Trump. John Oliver describes the developing Trump phenomenon in a rapid-fire series of jokes, while Jon Stewart more soberly examines the meaning of Trump’s victory in a democratic society. The former Daily Show host is especially acute on the subject of the Republicans who have enabled Trump, and why.

When interviewer Charlie Rose mentions “draining the swamp,” Stewart cuts him off: “McConnell and Ryan, those guys are the swamp…[whose cynical strategy is] I’m gonna make sure government doesn’t work and then I’m gonna use its lack of working as evidence of it.” He can’t help wondering why nobody ever asked Trump what made America great. Now, says Stewart, Trump has raised real questions about whether a multi-ethnic, multi-racial democracy can still work.

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President Joe Biden

Photo by The White House

Two tiresome realities about being president of the United States: first, everybody blames you for things over which you have little or no control: such as the worldwide price of oil, and international shipping schedules. Should there be too few electronic gee-gaws on store shelves to pacify American teenagers this Christmas, it will be Joe Biden’s fault.

Second, everybody gives you advice, whether you ask for it or not. Everywhere you look, Democrats and Democratically-inclined pundits are tempted to panic. “The cold reality for Biden,” writes New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait “is that his presidency is on the brink of failure.” A return to Trumpism, and essentially the end of American democracy, strikes Chait as altogether likely.

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