Friday, January 15, 2010

Constitutional Law Professors as Difficult to "Nail" with "Witticisms": John Yoo and Jon Stewart

The consensus seems to be that John Yoo bested Jon Stewart in Yoo's appearance on The Daily Show;  even Stewart seemed to think so.   As Christopher Beam says on Slate today, although Stewart may have apologized for not "nailing" Yoo:  "Stewart was set up to fail. No matter what the question, Yoo was able to fall back on vagaries about constitutional interpretation, war and peace, and presidential power."  

Beam contrasts the style of constitutional law professors (and lawyers) with comedians.  Beam implicitly reveals the problem with assuming that Jon Stewart's The Daily Show - - - which is on the Comedy Central Network - - - is a substitute for serious news and commentary.    Beam implies that Stewart's stock in trade is "damning witticisms."   He states:  "Stewart is effective when his opponent is making a foolish point, not when he has an unorthodox Constitutional interpretation. Which is why Stewart wasn't going to pin Yoo down."

Make your own judgment about the interview:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
John Yoo Pt. 1
Daily Show
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Yoo was on the show to promote his new book, Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush which he also did at a Federalist Society Luncheon today.


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I would say that based on Yoo comments Padilla should easily prevail [Stewart wins]. He is inaccurate in most of his statements. Yoo is claiming the Supremacy clause does not apply to Bush and that what torture is, is unknown. Treaty does clarify what limits are expected and were violated. Besides his recommendation of putting Padilla in the brig.

To claim Congress and the SCOTUS can stop actions unknown to them is simply wrong. Unfortunately Yoo has escaped criminal prosecution and still pretends his actions are "Constitutional".

As Justice Hugo Black said "of course the laws of the US are made to make it difficult to prosecute people" [even POW] "That was the intent of the founding fathers after all"

Yoo fails to take in account the innocent and the effect of equal treatment on Americans.

Posted by: kai landow | Jan 16, 2010 5:45:45 AM

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