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Jon Stewart Lambastes 40 Years of Presidential Posturing on Oil

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
An Energy-Independent Future
www.thedailyshow.com

Jon Stewart fired one of his more brilliant salvos last night, synthesizing 40 years of political posturing around energy independence and America's addiction to foreign oil in just under eight minutes of satire. Drawing on this week's speech from President Obama, who urged a vague new energy future, Stewart skewered the latest White House rhetoric with clips from the past seven presidents, dating to Nixon, as they also pledged to get us off oil.

As he so often does, Stewart offers purer critique of the issue with a few short montages than the whole of the punditocracy blabbering on in other media.

Of course, Obama's call to arms is virtually identical to one given by George W. Bush in 2006, and Clinton in 2000, Pappy Bush in 1988 and on down the line to 1974, when Nixon exclaimed, "We will break the back of the energy crisis. We will lay the foundation for our future capacity to meet America's energy needs from America's own resources."

All the presidents also lay out technology fixes, alternative fuels (love Carter's "gasahol"), and aggressive timelines that become somewhat less aggressive with each successive president.

American presidents have talked the energy independence talk for four decades now, but we continue to drive the drive without changing our ways. I don't know if we will ever elect to move away from fossil fuels affirmatively, or if we will be forced to innovate when the miracle of oil energy dries up or destroys the ecosystems we love and need, but I find it hard to be optimistic.

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