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Tim Pawlenty Talks Tyranny On The Daily Show (VIDEO)


"My point is this," Stewart said. "Why is the right so fearful of tyranny now when George Bush expanded executive power so greatly?" Citing Bush's No Child Left Behind policy, Stewart said that if Obama proposed similar legislation, Glenn Beck -- among others -- would be out in full force with chalkboards and pictures of Stalin to claim the nation's children are at risk.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Meet The 2012 GOPers: Ex Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN)]

But Pawlenty isn't convinced the vitriol toward Obama is much different than what Republicans experience, citing the need for intense police force to respond to protesters during the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

Stewart had his own analogy to describe the level of "tyranny" in government today: a pendulum that moves back and forth. "I feel the country is more stable than what I see in the rhetoric," he said.

Rhetoric and vitriol aside, Stewart and Pawlenty did agree, in the end, that government needs to employ more effective tools to fix the nation's problems.


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David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at