Video: Jon Stewart rips Obama on wounded-vet policy

posted at 1:51 pm on March 18, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

How many new conservative viewers will Jon Stewart get in the Age of Obama? If he offers up a few more segments like this, I’d guess more than a few. Stewart rips the Obama administration for its ideas on raising revenue by forcing wounded veterans to use private insurance to pay for service-related injuries. Apparently, he and Commander David Rehbein of the American Legion are both, er, angered by this notion, as Jazz Shaw’s transcript makes clear:

STEWART: You know the veterans? The men and women who risk their lives defending our country? They’re about yay tall, wear green… sometimes tan. They’re this brave. Well, when they get injured, you know who foots the bill? You. The taxpayer. It’s incredibly… fair.

That’s why it struck me as a little odd when I read that one of the money saving proposals from the Obama administration was to remove veterans with private insurance plans from the V.A. rolls. So I guess what the government is saying is that if you still need a little rehab after you got that leg blown off in Iraq, the government will cover you! Unless your wife as a little COBRA left over from her substitute teaching gig. In that case, you’re going to have to go with her and the whole deductible thing. Unless, of course, your spouse is in Congress, and then you can get their sweet, sweet government plan.

I’ve got some other ideas they might want to try out to save a little money in the military. How about sponsored commendations? For your service, I offer you the Frito Lay Medal of Honor. Here’s another one… how about actual Navy seals? [A picture is shown of a Sea World seal with a sailor hat on.] People would totally pay to see that! Or how about the Arlington National Cemetery and Water Park?

WHAT THE F*&K ARE YOU GUYS THINKING!!??? Veterans having to use their private insurance to pay for their combat related injuries? THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT.

As a Navy veteran, Jazz adds his thanks to Stewart for going ballistic in his satirical manner. And Stewart nails it — it can’t be right, because it isn’t right. It’s a betrayal of trust, one I suspect won’t last the week after the attention it’s received. The Huffington Post reports that Capitol Hill Democrats are just as angry — for putting them in this position.

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No one is a dog or a coward on the Internet.

DrMagnolias on March 18, 2009 at 4:25 PM

…my dog, reading this, was quite offended by the comparison.

Stewart hitting low lying softballs before they become severe electoral problems is not heroic.

Conan on March 18, 2009 at 5:20 PM

…verily…what was that meat puppet saying about Obama and the prospect of an Obama Administration back in October? Did it sound like a 3-year-old trying to drain the juice from an orange?

Puritan1648 on March 18, 2009 at 8:10 PM

Wow. As much as I’d like to see more segments like this, given the audience response – dead silence – I’m not sure it will happen.

Onus on March 18, 2009 at 8:12 PM

Former Marine, naval hospitals and then the VA took care of my injuries, I appreciate their excellent service.

My brother was a Marine. My Dad was a Marine. My uncle was a PBR squid and died in Nam. My father in law was an FO on the Arkansas where he sustained shrapnel injuries which he still carries in his abdominal cavity to this date. VA still takes care of him as he retired after 30 years of service.

Alden Pyle on March 18, 2009 at 5:07 PM

…props to you, my brother….

It’s you and your people who pay the bills while Mr. O and his minions feast on America’s seed corn.

The only “change” here is a change of our president from “citizen” to “world citizen”, with all that this implies.

I was paralyzed in 1998, while an active duty member of the U.S. Coast Guard.

OhioCoastie on March 18, 2009 at 4:02 PM

…and major league props to you, nautical sibling….

…all who served gave some…some gave all…leaving the rest to live at leisure, the hardest thing left for them to do is to bitch about how hard it is to figure out how to get out of paying their college loans, on their way to a job at CitiCorp….

Puritan1648 on March 18, 2009 at 8:16 PM

I always find myself humbled and more than a little awed by the selfless sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform. I did not serve, much to my eternal shame. It is one of the decisions in my life that I have greatly regretted. But there is one thing that I am absolutely certain about.

I am more than happy, in fact I feel privileged that my tax dollars are used to care for those that have sacrificed so much in the service of our nation. This is one of the very very few things that I would be willing to pay more taxes to maintain.

But I am pretty sure…

No, I am absofrickenlutely certain, that there are plenty of places we can cut government waste so that we can afford this without raising taxes.

Hawthorne on March 18, 2009 at 8:58 PM

See, all you people thought Stewart wouldn’t rip Obama….people like me who watch him every nite knows he rips everyone.

athensboy on March 18, 2009 at 9:47 PM

Blinky says:

“It’s un-American to take care of wounded soldiers”

Reid says:

“Soldiers make us sick”

BobMbx on March 18, 2009 at 9:50 PM

See, all you people thought Stewart wouldn’t rip Obama….people like me who watch him every nite knows he rips everyone.

athensboy on March 18, 2009 at 9:47 PM

So that’s 1,818,266,177 jokes about Bush. And about Obama.

Yes you are correct sir, Steward is fair and balanced.

angryed on March 18, 2009 at 11:24 PM

And one about Obama

angryed on March 18, 2009 at 11:25 PM

Chink in the armor. And so it begins.

long_cat on March 19, 2009 at 12:43 AM

See, all you people thought Stewart wouldn’t rip Obama….people like me who watch him every nite knows he rips everyone.

athensboy on March 18, 2009 at 9:47 PM

When it’s safe.

ddrintn on March 19, 2009 at 12:55 AM

Chairman Zero has already fallen on his sword for this one. Guess he just doesn’t like getting yelled at from EVERYONE IN AMERICA!!!

what a dope…but he’s OUR dope!

gordo on March 19, 2009 at 3:21 AM

what a dope…but he’s OUR dope!

gordo on March 19, 2009 at 3:21 AM

He’s not my dope!
I didn’t vote for him.

Jenfidel on March 19, 2009 at 6:11 AM

I actually agree with Obama on this one; let the public sector workers (such as the military) pay their own way instead of taking it from me.

The Dean on March 18, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Ok – this was way early on in 4 pages of comments. I will read the rest as I get the chance. But I am really, really, really hoping some of you guys have already dragged this idiot across the coals. War Veterans = PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS? Seiously? SERIOUSLY? How about if these brave men and women take back all the rights and protection that they have provided to you? Then you can worry about the return of your tax dollars. OMG!

FinallyRight on March 19, 2009 at 9:17 AM

FinallyRight on March 19, 2009 at 9:17 AM

The Dean got taken to the woodshed a dozen times at least throughout this thread. Nobody thinks this wounded vet policy of Obama’s was remotely okay.

chunderroad on March 19, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Nice of Stewart, but I will respect him if he takes on the ideology – the sacred cows – of the left. That´s the test. Very few people on both sides think that ripping off veterans is a good idea. Stewart can´t lsoe that way.

el gordo on March 19, 2009 at 2:30 PM

The audience. It was confused.

Funniest thing about that clip.

Moesart on March 19, 2009 at 2:33 PM

Stewart was sincere in his criticism, but it is only criticism in the same sense as a loyal fan who criticizes(screams at the TV) his team for doing something that was obviously incredibly stupid.

DFCtomm on March 19, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Not to be callus, but isn’t military service also chosen? There’s no draft correct. Indeed, we were told over and over again after Kerry’s gaffe that bad education/lack of skills were not “backdoor drafts” people “chose” to sign up for the “voluntary” military. So in that sense, there’s no difference.

Frankly, what I’m seeing in response to my argument is a bunch of emotional appeals. We don’t want socialized medicine for all, but Vets deserve socialized medicine. Which implies that socialized medicine is BETTER than what the free market can offer a consumer and thus, suggests is the way we should go writ large.

Now to those who say “trust us, you don’t want healthcare the way the VA (under Bush policy) has been treating us the last ten years.” To that I say, I agree Bush VA policy on healthcare has been an absolute nightmare. But I never heard anyone claim Dubya “hated” the troops as a result. Or maybe I missed all those stories in the right wing blogosphere.

As of now, no bill has been introduced to congress which slashes vet health benefits. Until then all the substantive things wrong with VA health are leftover from the previous, supposedly “pro troop” Administration.

DeathToMediaHacks on March 18, 2009 at 3:00 PM

You make a good point, finally, and for that I commend you, but I don’t agree with your argument. The nature of the military’s role means they are required to have a large contingent dedicated to caring for the wounded in time of battle, but does it make sense for these personnel to remain idle during peace time? It would be a waste of resources to let this medical knowledge, equipment, and manpower sit idle during peacetime and outsource their care to a civilian style system.

You could suggest that the military simply outsource all of their care to a completely separate system, but when combat begins how will you ensure these civilians will enter combat and won’t just resign in mass? The fact that the military has a medical system of it’s own is just commonsense and has nothing to do with socialized medicine being superior.

DFCtomm on March 19, 2009 at 5:57 PM