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  •  Two points (4+ / 0-)

    First, while Jon Stewart does a great job of distilling complex Republican obfuscation down to its most basic principles, it is not his job to carry the intellectual water for the left in every single fight.  While his "I'm just a comedian" line wears thin sometimes because he engage in deeper observations and analysis than your average talking head, who is usually engaged in the day to day "He said, she said" bullshit of political gossip without actually addressing the underlying fight, he is just a comedian.

    Second, just because a policy idea can pass muster with intellectuals and partisans, doesn't mean it will pass the smell test with the wider public.  That is Jon Stewart's role, to be the guy who calls bullshit and he would have lost a little credibility IMHO if he didn't call the coin a ridiculous idea.

    Its never good for a Nobel economist to try and attack a comedian for his lack of understanding in the field of economics.  The better response would be to try and explain the idea in a different way that Stewart (and the wider public) can understand without laughing.

    The ways you can justify the trillion dollar coin, to me at least, call into question the fundamentals of fiat money.  And that is not the conversation we want to be having right now.

    There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

    by slothlax on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 06:37:49 PM PST

    •  I agree 100% (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Even in this situation, I still for the most part agree with Stewart's defense. He is a comedian after all, he doesn't have Krugman's credentials, and he never claims to. It's hard to argue that Stewart fell off a pedestal he was never really on, though we at times may perceive him to be.

      In the end, I still can't get past the fact that he still sets the precedent that "stupid ideas should be mocked first, and judged on their merits second."

      And if all Progressive ideas were judged in this manner, we'd still be living in the 1800s. And Stewart may not be on the side of Conservatives, but when the Daily Show bases their premises like this, he is implicitly supporting their anti-intellectualism.

      •  Well I guess I see that as his role (0+ / 0-)

        More than anything, I see Stewart as someone who takes complex political arguments and boils them down to their most basic elements, with a liberal slant.  If he is unable to do so, no matter how good the idea is, it is probably a political non-starter.  Instead of blaming Stewart, we should come up with more understandable ideas.

        I'm a pretty smart guy.  If I think the trillion dollar coin is a trick (which I basically do), then there is no amount of Jon Stewart lecturing that is going to make it seem like its not a trick.

        There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

        by slothlax on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:20:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It depends, doesn't it? (0+ / 0-)

          Would mentioning that it's completely legal, other alternatives are even more questionably illegal, solve the problem, and have very few predictable negative outcomes help?

          •  I don't think so (1+ / 0-)
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            As much as Jon Stewart is openly a man of the left, as a man of the left myself I still feel like he is an independent observer.  Trying to justify this idea just becomes a quagmire of the spin and "They started it" BS that turns people off of "normal" political pundits.

            The coin was never the answer anyway.  Obama just has to stand his ground and let the chips fall where they may.  If he resorted to the coin he would have tarnished the reputation of the party and given the Republicans a great distraction to run on in 2014.  We would have spent the entire campaign trying to convince regular people that the government can mint trillion dollar coins, but only in "super special circumstances".  This is not a winning idea.

            There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

            by slothlax on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:30:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thing is, though, (0+ / 0-)
          I see Stewart as someone who takes complex political arguments and boils them down to their most basic elements, with a liberal slant.

          That all depends on him being exposed (and open) to complex political arguments -- maybe especially from the liberal viewpoint.

          From my several years of watching closely, doing the nightly liveblog/spoiler diaries, I don't think that's happening.

    •  Understand without laughing? (2+ / 0-)
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      slothlax, misslegalbeagle

      How about crying.

      I'm with Stewart on this one.

      The response to Congress having their head up their ass is to find a gimmick?

      We have some serious issues going on. For years, Congress has been able to 'borrow' (steal) from Social Security to cover the balance in what they promise the voters and and what they are demand of by their greedy backers. Even 'borrowing' (stealing) SSN wasn't enough and we ran up a massive debt.

      (insert clip of Republicans demanding Bush pay for the trillions he spent on war here).

      Of course the Republican children are going on attack. Just like they are attacking Obama for having an all white male cabinet selection. Why? Because it works. Serious people make it sound serious, so they must be serious.

      If our side were saints on the economic front, it would be easy. The Obama administration would come and say that Congress has been using accounting gimmicks for so long, they don't have a clue how to properly fund the government. Much less save for the rainy day.

      He won't. There are too many people that enrich themselves off the current system.

      So I really don't care about the short viability of the coin 'solution'. It isn't even a band aid on the massive problem.

      As a military retiree, I continue to see a rise in my (what was supposed to be free) Health Care. My living expenses increase every year, yet I get next to nothing to cover the added costs.

    •  "...the conversation we want to be having (0+ / 0-)

      right now." Here is the remarkable thing, this IS an important conversation and it IS important that we have it now and on through these next months as Obama and the GOP continue to battle it out. Here's why. The trillion dollar coin (TDC) wasn't really the core of the conversation but high value PCS is the deeper conversation. It could make all the difference.

      IMHO, it will end up having bi-partisan support once it has had some time to filter into thinking more qualitatively because the boys in the back rooms will quickly figure out that there is money to be made and when have they EVER passed that up? What we are really going to end up fighting about is spending priorities. We are going to go from fighting about debt to fighting about spending but either way the economy will improve and (as a really, really unfortunate side-effect) the rich will get richer.

      It's good we are talking about what underlies fiat currency now because it's only going to get more and more complex very, very soon. In the meantime, figuring out how to simplify HVPCS down to a meme people can really grab on to, that is the current, essential challenge.

      "When in doubt, do the brave thing." - Jan Smuts

      by bunnygirl60 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:32:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What in God's name are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

        Seriously, I have no clue.  I feel like I should and I don't want to sound ignorant, but what the fuck?  

        Beyond that (or perhaps not, since I'm lost at this point) how is talking about fiat money a good thing?  Explain that to me first.  As in explain how fiat money makes any sense beyond "This is money because I told you so", which is all fiat money feels like to me.

        There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

        by slothlax on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 04:16:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wrote a whole diary on it that was in the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slothlax, pierre9045

          Community Spotlight section. It's called "Platinum Coin Seigniorage = Policy Space." If you really are asking the question, than go take a look. I know it is confusing. I really do. I had a WTF moment about all this last November and I've been reading (literally thousands of pages by now) voraciously since that time. I, personally, had no thumping clue that fiat currency mattered at all. I had no idea it was one of the most important tools progressives could use to change everything. I didn't and if you don't either than take a minute or two. I KNOW it sounds crazy but, seriously, it's not.

          "When in doubt, do the brave thing." - Jan Smuts

          by bunnygirl60 on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 12:18:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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