Stewart on Bush chest bumps: Would we love him if he didn't f*ck things up?
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Friday May 30, 2008

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President George W. Bush recently engaged in some rather juvenile behavior while speaking at the Air Force graduation ceremony.

Jon Stewart showed a series of photos of Bush's antic on Thursday's Daily Show and commented, "When I see the president do the chest bump, I cannot help but think that if he hadn't been fucking things up for the past seven years and was goofing around like this -- would we love him? Would we be like, 'He is irrepressible'? What a scamp!' Or does the whole doing that while Rome is burning aspect of his presidency sour us on his exuberance?"

"But, of course, he did fuck things up," Stewart continued. "So it all just seems -- asinine. But at least the president is out there supporting the troops, and isn't that what it's all about?" He then offered a montage of clips of John McCain, Dick Cheney, and other Republicans insisting that Americans must support the troops.

"Yes!" Stewart paraphrased enthusiastically. "We must support the troops -- but not necessarily with equipment -- or strategy -- or aftercare -- or ending their service when you promised -- or having their country contribute in any way other than shop and not question us."

"There actually is another way to support the troops," Stewart continued more soberly. "There's a new GI Bill, sponsored by Virginia Senator Jim Webb. ... This new bill is more generous for our troops -- which is a huge problem with all those people we showed earlier saying support the troops."

One of those opposing the new bill is Senator McCain, who complained in a Memorial Day speech that "at a time when the United State military is fighting in two wars ... one study estimates that Senator Webb's bill would reduce retention rates by 16%."

"That is tough to replace," Stewart agreed. "Unless, of course, that same GI Bill would somehow increase recruitment in a way that might offset that loss. According to the same study McCain was quoting, it does -- by 16%, to be precise."

"Where did potential soldiers get the idea that the military was some kind of fast track to college in the first place?" asked Stewart bemusedly. He then played a series of recruiting ads touting military service as a way to afford college. "Oh, right," Stewart remarked. "But come on! Nobody believes those ads!"

"Of course, this being campaign season, McCain had some choice words for those who support this more generous GI Bill," Stewart concluded, presenting a statement in which McCain said, "I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did."

"He's absolutely right," Stewart commented. "We should not allow military policy to be shaped by those who've never seen combat." His screen then began to fill up with images of Bush, Cheney, and other Republican leaders.

This video is from Comedy Central's The Daily Show, broadcast May 29, 2008.

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