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HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Durbin on Defense

In an extended interview with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D), Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” took Congressional Democrats to task for their handling of the debt ceiling debacle.

The Illinois lawmaker was making the case that Republicans should accept responsibility for defense spending in contributing to the national deficit.

Instead of addressing Durbin’s remarks specifically, Stewart put Durbin in the uncomfortable position of having to defend his party’s strategy.

“[W]hen Democrats had the chance to decouple the debt ceiling from this budget fight, they didn’t take it,” Stewart said. “And was that political cowardice on the Democrats’ part?”

(Senator, even though he phrased this as a question, we are pretty certain he is actually saying there was political cowardice on the Democrats’ part.)

Because the Democrats desperately wanted the Republicans to have “skin in the game,” Stewart continued, they ended up shying away from taking a strong stance.

“Isn’t it easier to say, ‘Those guys just want to be at war and they want to go to war,’ as opposed to saying, ‘We didn’t show courage politically to avoid what was clearly coming down the pike’?” Stewart asked.

“I would agree with you,” Durbin responded. “All spending — whether you’re waging war, whether you’re buying food stamps — involves borrowing to make it happen. Make that clear — it applies to both sides.”

He went on to say that, historically, the debt ceiling vote has been unpopular.

Which is all very well and good, but it definitely doesn’t answer Stewart’s question. But Durbin can be crafty like a wizard.

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