"Why is the Right so fearful of tyranny now when George Bush expanded executive power so greatly?" Jon Stewart asked Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty this question last night on "The Daily Show." Pawlenty appeared on Stewart's show to discuss his new book, "Courage to Stand: An American Story," but the conversation quickly dove deep into a debate over political rhetoric.
About the Right's recent attacks on the current administration, Stewart asked: "Is this a cynical attempt to whip up a voting block or do people really believe there has been a fundamental change in our government towards tyranny and socialism?"
Without receiving a straight answer from Pawlenty, Stewart pressed on, asking again: "Fundamentally, does the Republican Party believe that we're as close to tyranny and socialism as the tone of their rhetoric would insinuate?"
"I think there's a lot of us who view government, whether it's personalized to Barack Obama or anyone else, as government crowds into more space that used to be for individuals, that used to be private markets, that used to be charity, that used to be entrepreneurial activity, that used to be faith organizations," Pawlenty said. "And they push in and say, 'We'll do that now,' and they take over one more piece of what used to be reserved for, say, individuals. There's a lot of us who say that feels kind of like government stepping on us, pushing us to the side. And there is a continuum between liberty and tyranny."
The conversation last nearly twice as long than what appeared on the show last night and that extended clip is featured below.