Jon Stewart’s Four-Letter Joe Biden Rant: ‘Threat to Democracy’

Comedy Central
Comedy Central

Jon Stewart has some ideas for how to go about picking a new Democratic presidential candidate—and insists there’s plenty of time to find a replacement for President Joe Biden should voters choose to do so.

“Four months is for fucking ever!” The Daily Show host said during his monologue Monday night, comparing America’s belabored democratic process with the rapid, weeks-long elections held in many European countries.

Stewart notably clarified that he was not directly calling for the president to step aside—but pleaded with the Democratic Party to at least try and create some outlet for voters disenchanted with his candidacy and the choices in this year’s election.

“Can’t we stress test this candidacy?” Stewart asked. “Can’t we open up the conversation? Do you understand the opportunity here? Do you have any idea how thirsty Americans are for any hint of inspiration or leadership, and a release from this choice between a megalomaniac and a suffocating gerontocracy?”

Stewart opened The Daily Show Monday by criticizing the party’s messaging in the week since Biden’s much-maligned performance at last month’s presidential debate. He played some clips of pro-Biden pundits who were telling their concerned electorate to, as Stewart summarized it, “shut the fuck up.” Stewart responded to them with a quick explanation of why Democratic voters might be so concerned.

“The debate was a shocking display of cognitive difficulty,” Stewart said. “Recognizable to, unfortunately, anybody who’s dealt with aging parents, and it’s a hard watch.”

He further explained why he thinks Biden deserves the extra scrutiny: “The difference is Trump delivered at the debate to expectation. We expect him to be fucking crazy. But Biden’s performance, and inability to articulate at times, was stunning. I could not believe what I was watching… But then it got worse.

“Rather than respecting the American people and having an honest, at least partial conversation about what we had all seen, we were told immediately, ‘these are not the droids you’re looking for.’”

Stewart also brought up Biden’s many missteps in his subsequent “redemption tour” this month, particularly Biden’s explanation of how he’d feel if he lost to Trump. The president said, “As long as I gave it my all and I did the goodest job I know I can do. That’s what this is about.”

“That’s not what this is about!” Stewart yelled. “There are no participation trophies in endgame democracy.”

He continued: “Authoritarianism and Donald Trump aren’t the only threats our democracy faces. ‘Get on board or shut the fuck up’ is not a particularly compelling pro-democracy bumper sticker.”

Stewart also responded to the claim that there’s simply no time to do anything about the situation with Biden, specifically the argument that there’s “only” four months left in the primary.

“Britain just held an election in two months. France had two in one month, defeated fascism and still had time to have an affair with Denmark… Four months. It’s 119 days.”

Biden Faces Make or Break Democratic Meeting–and He Won’t Be There

Stewart ended his monologue by pitching his own idea for what the Democrats should do—essentially describing an open Democratic convention: “On Monday, anybody who wants to, gives their sales pitch of how they can make democracy more responsive to the people it is supposed to serve.”

“On Tuesday,” Stewart continued, “The winners could move on to the next round and then face Biden… Thursday, the party emerges, energized, unified, sanctified. You could televise the entire proceeding for four days.”

“So, feel free to ignore any obvious weaknesses in your team’s existential fight for freedom and democracy, and then just white-knuckle this thing till November. Or take the advice of your own candidate…” Stewart said, while playing a clip from Biden in 2023, where he said that “about fifty” other Democrats were capable of beating Donald Trump.

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