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Video: Krauthammer tutors Jon Stewart on conservatism

posted at 11:09 am on October 25, 2013 by

Charles Krauthammer stopped by the Daily Show to promote his new book, “Things That Matter,” and his conversation with host Jon Stewart spilled well over the allotted time.  Comedy Central has made the full interaction available online, in three installments.  It became clear viewers were in for a lively discussion when things began with this exchange:

Stewart: What’s the growth process [as a writer] been like?

Krauthammer: Well, I was once a liberal.

[Laughter]

Stewart: So the early writings showed hope?

[Laughter]

Krauthammer: And then came change.

Stewart: [Laughs]

The balance of the extended dialogue was a back-and-forth over the proper role of government, which was peppered with Stewart’s often tendentious, but occasionally fair, criticisms of modern conservatism.  Krauthammer, as one might expect, parried the host’s volleys adroitly:


Part 2 | Part 3

For those who may be interested, my discursive interview with Dr. Krauthammer on “Things That Matter” is available in the current edition of Townhall Magazine.

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He set a trap for himself talking about the New Deal.

His argument doesn’t make any sense.

faraway on October 25, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Not bad, but man, what I would give to see Mark Levin take on Stewart.

As I typed that I realized the futility of it. Stewart simply has to laugh off a point or make a joke when he has nothing substantive to offer in return. And that’s what the Daily Show is. A bumper sticker lobbing forum where real intellectual discourse is ignored with a “clown nose on” joke. Stewart needs to decide if he wants to be taken seriously or not.

Meric1837 on October 25, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Does Stewart ever grill liberals on their attacks on the other side and portray caricature of their beliefs?

29Victor on October 25, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Stewart simply has to laugh off a point or make a joke when he has nothing substantive to offer in return. And that’s what the Daily Show is. A bumper sticker lobbing forum where real intellectual discourse is ignored with a “clown nose on” joke. Stewart needs to decide if he wants to be taken seriously or not.

Meric1837 on October 25, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Yeah, Stewart just spouts liberal talking points – conservatives are angry, they sabotage the government and that’s why it doesn’t work, socialism works in Europe, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Pretty much everything he said was just a repackaging of the same old talking points. But he thinks he’s a genius for saying them, and so does his audience because they like to think that they’re geniuses when the spout them too.

29Victor on October 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Does Stewart ever grill liberals on their attacks on the other side and portray caricature of their beliefs?

29Victor on October 25, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Well, he did get teed off at Sebelius last week over her Obamacare claims. But when Stewart’s angry at a liberal guest the odds are high it’s not because of the policy itself, but because of the competence — Jon gets mad when, in his eyes, liberals make liberalism look bad, and in this case, he’s mad that the Obamacare fustercluck will set back the chances of getting single-payer heath care passed.

jon1979 on October 25, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Krauthammer is right to say that it isn’t conservative to support repeal of Social Security, Medicare or the New Deal at this point. Reform to ensure the programs can still exist 50 years down the road should be our only goal. Conservatism isn’t the opposite of liberalism, it is the opposite of radicalism. Traditionally the radicals that conservatives have opposed have been left wing radicals, but conservatism by definition stands opposed to right wing radicalism as well. Conservatism has always implied a degree of prudent restraint, the idea that change in either political direction should be incremental and gradual, not sweeping or groundbreaking. I’m definitely a right winger, but I’m a conservative right winger. Ted Cruz and the Tea Party aren’t conservative right wingers, they’re right wing radicals. And this distinction between the two needs to be made more often.

vegconservative on October 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM

But when Stewart’s angry at a liberal guest the odds are high it’s not because of the policy itself, but because of the competence — Jon gets mad when, in his eyes, liberals make liberalism look bad, and in this case, he’s mad that the Obamacare fustercluck will set back the chances of getting single-payer heath care passed.

jon1979 on October 25, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Right, which is exactly what liberals do whenever one of their policies fail, they blame the implementation. Get angry enough and put the entire focus onto the implementation you can ignore the policy entirely and turn the discussion into one about fixing the implementation.

As Stalin used to always say “This time for sure!” Or maybe it was Bullwinkle, I always get the two confused.

29Victor on October 25, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Stweart also does what every liberal does: take Krauthammer’s good point about the pending insolvency of the as-currently-constituted welfare state and whine that no one ever talks about that and pointing out only the stupid arguments being made. EVERYONE speaks CONSTANTLY about the fact that medicine costs more now than it used to because of longevity and better technology.

Stewart just plain lied when Kraut came up with a good, ordinary, common-sense argument, and his audience cheered him on.

alwaysfiredup on October 25, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Not bad, but man, what I would give to see Mark Levin take on Stewart.

Meric1837 on October 25, 2013 at 11:43 AM

I’ve listened to Mark for years, but he wouldn’t do well in a setting like this. As brilliant as I think Mark is, he really doesn’t do well with dissent. He just comes off as angry, mean-spirited, and tries to talk/yell over you. Conservatives/Republicans that have done well on the show are the ones that can engage in robust debate and come off as likable and charming in the process like Krauthammer did here and John Yoo did in the past.

GOPRanknFile on October 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

I really wanted to hear the good Dr.’s answer to the original question. Why did he let Stewart interrupt to move the goalpost two times in that first video?

I’m also disappointed in how Krauthammer allowed the false premise Stewart made by stating, “Golly gee, if all conservatives would just explain it the way you did we liberals would be more accepting of your positions!” As if the liberals are always reasonable. And, not to mention, Stewart’s assertion here completely ignores the fact that any GOP message has to go through the media filter.

Caveat: I only could stomach the first clip, but seems Dr. Krauthammer had an opportunity to school Stewart and I think he failed, miserably.

Goody2Shoes on October 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

and I could have done without the Ted Cruz putdown.

alwaysfiredup on October 25, 2013 at 12:16 PM

GOPRanknFile on October 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

A good point. Levin’s best stuff is in writing. It’s just too much to expect of Stewart’s audience to sit down and read a book on competing political ideology.

Meric1837 on October 25, 2013 at 12:17 PM

A good point. Levin’s best stuff is in writing. It’s just too much to expect of Stewart’s audience to sit down and read a book on competing political ideology.

Meric1837 on October 25, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Lol too true.

GOPRanknFile on October 25, 2013 at 12:42 PM

“Oh, if only you had presented the argument in this form, the conversation would be very different today.”

Paul Ryan presented the argument in this form years ago. The result: grandmas off cliffs.

The liberal notion of meeting someone halfway is a ruse, with no other intent than to give them less distance to travel before punching you in the face.

The Schaef on October 25, 2013 at 12:48 PM

As Stalin used to always say “This time for sure!” Or maybe it was Bullwinkle, I always get the two confused.

29Victor on October 25, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Love it.

Abelard on October 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM

The Day I Buy A Book Written By Walter Mondale’s Chief Speechwriter

Is the Same Day I Buy A Book By Enviro-Charlatan Al Gore….

Hell Freezed Over Twice That Day……

williamg on October 25, 2013 at 1:02 PM

The biggest mistake Dr. K. made was equating Ted Cruz and Alan Grayson. There is no one on the right who equates to Alan Grayson. The man on the left who is the equivalent to Ted Cruz is Harry Reid. He’s the radical who said that there would be no negotiations. He’s the radical that wouldn’t allow piecemeal bills to be considered.

This is the problem we have when we talk to liberals like Jon Stewart. We allow him to call us extremists, and then let him push aside nutjobs like Grayson in comparison, “oh, Grayson doesn’t have any real power, but Cruz does”. The problem is that we don’t point out that on the left, the extremists are running the party. They’re in the leadership positions. Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, these are moderates. Reid, Pelosi, Durbin are not.

Chris of Rights on October 25, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, these are moderates. Reid, Pelosi, Durbin are not.

Chris of Rights on October 25, 2013 at 1:39 PM

BTW, this is the heart of our problem in Congress. It’s not so much that I have a problem with Boehner et al, because they’re moderates and willing to compromise. If we had generally moderate, but small government conservatives in leadership for our party, and the other side had moderate, but big government liberals in leadership for theirs, the compromises the two sides would come to generally would not be too awful for America.

But we have moderate big government conservatives trying to compromise with radicals who want to destroy the country. What’s the compromise here? We’ll agree to destroy the country slower??

Chris of Rights on October 25, 2013 at 1:50 PM

The Day I Buy A Book Written By Walter Mondale’s Chief Speechwriter

Is the Same Day I Buy A Book By Enviro-Charlatan Al Gore….

Hell Freezed Over Twice That Day……

williamg on October 25, 2013 at 1:02 PM

No reason to live in the past; Charles is a passionate and persuasive voice for our side. We are lucky to have him.

thebrokenrattle on October 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM

I would look at getting a new tutor if I were Jon. Probably the best he could do.

Bmore on October 25, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Ted Cruz and the Tea Party aren’t conservative right wingers, they’re right wing radicals. And this distinction between the two needs to be made more often.

vegconservative on October 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM

I was right with you until that last line. How are Cruz and Tea Partiers radical? Maybe we’ve gone so far left in this country that being conservative is considered radical.

Quit parroting media talking points and actually investigate what Tea Partiers are all about.

Vince on October 25, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Well, he did get teed off at Sebelius last week over her Obamacare claims. But when Stewart’s angry at a liberal guest the odds are high it’s not because of the policy itself, but because of the competence — Jon gets mad when, in his eyes, liberals make liberalism look bad, and in this case, he’s mad that the Obamacare fustercluck will set back the chances of getting single-payer heath care passed.

jon1979 on October 25, 2013 at 11:56 AM

I watched that segment, and if it wasn’t for everyone telling me that Stewart was up in arms and giving Sebelius a shellacking, I wouldn’t have picked up on it. He was positively mousy in his tentative questioning as to whether it was unfair to give the corporations a one year hiatus and not give the same hiatus to individual users. (And her response–that the individual users actually have products available to them whereas the corporations do not–actually had some merit.) I didn’t see him land any punches at all.

TexasDan on October 25, 2013 at 2:41 PM

The Day I Buy A Book Written By Walter Mondale’s Chief Speechwriter

Is the Same Day I Buy A Book By Enviro-Charlatan Al Gore….

Hell Freezes Over Twice That Day……

williamg on October 25, 2013 at 1:02 PM

No reason to live in the past; Charles is a passionate and persuasive voice for our side. We are lucky to have him.

thebrokenrattle on October 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM

I agree – and I’m Not Living In The “Past” — that is who those people ARE!!:

A Mondale Speechwriter and an Envrio-Charlatan — neither of them has changed a singel scintilla at their roots…..

williamg on October 25, 2013 at 2:42 PM

*single scintilla….

williamg on October 25, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Not bad, but man, what I would give to see Mark Levin take on Stewart.

Meric1837 on October 25, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Levin doesn’t posses the ability to engage in conversation.
He’s be a terrible guest.

verbaluce on October 25, 2013 at 2:44 PM

The Day I Buy A Book Written By Walter Mondale’s Chief Speechwriter

Is the Same Day I Buy A Book By Enviro-Charlatan Al Gore….

Hell Freezed Over Twice That Day……

williamg on October 25, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat, ya know?

GOPRanknFile on October 25, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Ted Cruz and the Tea Party aren’t conservative right wingers, they’re right wing radicals. And this distinction between the two needs to be made more often.

vegconservative on October 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Nice attempt at redefining the word, but your strawman doesn’t hold up!

The problem with your assessment is that you think last year is ancient history, and marks your goal post on what conservative values should represent.

But for true conservatives, the goal posts were sent at the founding of our country. The law is the law, and everyone is equal under it. Yet the Constitution is ignored and redefined on a daily basis (like you try to do with the word “conservative”).

And hence your misunderstanding of the word conservative.

dominigan on October 25, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Krauthammer is right to say that it isn’t conservative to support repeal of Social Security, Medicare or the New Deal at this point. Reform to ensure the programs can still exist 50 years down the road should be our only goal. Conservatism isn’t the opposite of liberalism, it is the opposite of radicalism. Traditionally the radicals that conservatives have opposed have been left wing radicals, but conservatism by definition stands opposed to right wing radicalism as well. Conservatism has always implied a degree of prudent restraint, the idea that change in either political direction should be incremental and gradual, not sweeping or groundbreaking. I’m definitely a right winger, but I’m a conservative right winger. Ted Cruz and the Tea Party aren’t conservative right wingers, they’re right wing radicals. And this distinction between the two needs to be made more often.

vegconservative on October 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Bravo! Well said.

SauerKraut537 on October 25, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Levin doesn’t posses the ability to engage in conversation.
He’s be a terrible guest.

verbaluce on October 25, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Like you?

Hey you should check the polls I think barky’s favs are back up to 100%

MontanaMmmm on October 25, 2013 at 3:06 PM

How does Krauthammer say the welfare state has been a success (in clip 2)?

Look at the number of people in poverty. The welfare state isn’t helping people out of poverty, it’s keeping them in poverty.

hawksruleva on October 25, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Charles brought his comedic A-game, and it Jon genuinely seemed turned on by the exchange…something he probably hasn’t experienced in a while, given the Obot groupthink he hangs around.

Christien on October 25, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Maybe I’m too much of an ideologue, but it seemed to me to be more of a tutoring in RINO-ism.

anuts on October 25, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Shouldn’t Krauthammer get a little tutoring on the subject first before tutoring anyone else?

xblade on October 25, 2013 at 4:42 PM

I’m definitely a right winger, but I’m a conservative right winger.

vegconservative

With conservatives like you, who needs liberals?

xblade on October 25, 2013 at 4:44 PM

I would love to see Mark Stein take on Jon Stewart. Stein has a very sharp British wit about him.

Cherokee on October 25, 2013 at 4:48 PM

The continuing problem Charles has is his insistence that a “conservative” is whatever he says it is, end of story.

Rather than put down Ted Cruz, they should have put him on the show. He would have tied both of them up in knots. And, despite the knee-jerk mud-tossers out there, he’s smarter than either one of them, which Charles can’t deal with.

Stewart doesn’t bother me. He’s a liberal. He’s a comedian. He’s funny.

Charles is arrogant and condescending. And he’s not funny.

Charles needs to run for office and show everybody how it’s done.

IndieDogg on October 25, 2013 at 4:52 PM

This is one of those clips that reminds us that despite the clown nose, Jon Stewart really is liberal moonbat.

Murf76 on October 25, 2013 at 5:28 PM

I thought it was a good exchange and maybe Stewart learned something. However, I wish that CK would have interjected that the rise of the TP is also a reaction to the so-called moderate Republicans never getting anything and only slowing the march of progressivism.

Kafir on October 25, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Steyn on Stewart’s show would be epic.

bigjack on October 25, 2013 at 7:06 PM

It saddened me that Dr. K did not point out how the Democratic party itself got taken over by left-wing radicals. But then perhaps that wasn’t the fight he wanted to pick.

eforhan on October 26, 2013 at 12:41 AM

I disagree with Mr. Krauthammer about the success of liberal welfare state programs. Just because they have become the norm that everybody accepts does not mean that their effect has been positive.

Medicare is the most significant reason that the cost of medical care in America has spiraled out of control; the bureaucratically-imposed fixed costs for medical procedures that pay for half of American medical care have forced doctors to overcharge their non-Medicare patients, and made any real reform impossible.

Social Security was a financial fraud from the first day it was introduced, and has been the wedge through which government has intruded on our personal and financial privacy.

The debt incurred by government by diverting revenue from these programs — SSI, Medicare, Medicaid — into the general revenues does not appear on the books anywhere, but it amounts to close to $100 trillion in statutory promises to future recipients that will never be repaid. These programs are worse than broke; they’ve mortgaged any possibility of a prosperous future, and sealed the doom of the dollar.

But I do applaud Krauthammer for soft words that earned him an audience among leftists. I have never found that explaining the truth about leftist policies endears one to leftists, and it certainly does not persuade them to abandon their destructive ways. So on the whole, I approve, even though I disagree.

philwynk on October 26, 2013 at 12:21 PM