I remember John Stewart's first nights on The Daily Show, when the radioactive, manifest awfulness of GW Bush and his nakedly opportunistic response to 9/11 seemed to reach deep into the comedian's psyche and conjure forth an heroic, blazing best self whose invective and wit skewered, enraged, and succored all of us who were living through those years.
Watching Senator Elizabeth Warren deliver 10 tight minutes on Donald Trump, I can't help but remember those days. Warren, of course, is amazing, a firebrand with a gift for rhetoric matched with a fierce, uncompromising intellect. I have long, long admired her speeches, but when she turned her laser on Trump, the beam grew so bright and hot that it almost hurt to look at.
The kinds of things Trump says out loud, to cheering thousands, are the sort of thing we're used to hearing mouth-breathers stumble through on right-wing AM radio call-in shows. For Warren to rebut one of those people would be unseemly, like a Delta Force special ops assassin getting involved in a kindergarten playground wrestling match.
Trump affords Elizabeth Warren the chance to talk about those sentiments without punching down, without being patronizing, without falling into Obama's clinging to guns and religion trap.
The rest of us were horrified by what happened in the 2008 financial crisis, by what happened to millions of families that were forced out of their homes.
But Donald Trump was drooling at the idea of a housing melt down because it meant he could buy more property on the cheap. What kind of a man does that? What kind of a man roots for people to get thrown out of their house? What kind of a man roots for people to get thrown out of their jobs? To root for people to lose their pensions?
What kind of man does that? I will tell you exactly the kind of man. It is a man that cares about no one but himself.
What kind of a man does that? A man that will never be the president of the United States.