The battle over the PACT Act continued in Washington on Monday after days of online bickering largely led by “comedian” Jon Stewart.
The PACT Act, which provides funding for veteran care related to burn pits, had wide bipartisan support until Democrats broke a promise to allow an amendment to fix an issue with discretionary spending becoming mandatory. That has led to allegations from the left, including Stewart, that Republicans simply hate veterans, one of the dumbest assertions imaginable. These are the games being played in Washington, though, and it’s a testament to how much of a swamp the place really is.
Stewart was at the Capitol Building protesting Republicans when conservative commentator Jack Posobiec showed up. What followed was a tense exchange.
So uh, @JackPosobiec and I went to speak with Jon Stewart outside the Capitol. Jack asked some pretty ordinary questions, and Jon began screaming in our faces for about 10 minutes. At one point he was nose to nose with me. I kept trying to calm him down. pic.twitter.com/5C9bxEXTAr
There is no evidence that discretionary spending amendments would lead to underfunding. Sen. Pat Toomey, who is the one offering the amendment, has made clear that’s not the case. Stewart either is misinformed or is just making excuses for the fact that he’s trying to pin all the blame on the bill being stalled on Republicans and not Sen. Chuck Schumer for breaking his word.
It’s also a little rich to see Stewart, who has spent his entire career elevating his brand, very often using political issues to do so, take a shot at someone else along those lines. Right now, the comedian hosts a failing TV show on one of the streaming services, and if anyone has seen their profile raised by this battle, it’s been Stewart himself. Whether that’s his motivation, I won’t speculate on, but you’d wish he would at least operate in good faith about the problems with the bill.
Apparently, Stewart did eventually calm down. Posobiec posted another video later showing the two talking in a far more composed manner. That’s how it should have been from the beginning, but it’s easier to label your opponents as evil than to actually discuss their concerns.
The fact remains that the PACT Act would have passed already if it weren’t for Democrats attempting a bait and switch. And while Stewart may be sincere in his support of the bill, his bad faith trolling has only made things more difficult. Taking a step back and pushing his own side to do the right thing would produce far better results. Is that so much to ask?