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Headlock: Ben Stein Takes Down Jesse Ventura in Larry King’s Ring

November 4, 2009

Ben Stein took Jesse Ventura and Larry King to School

Last night, while Republicans swept to victory in overwhelming fashion, as voters rejected the Obama/Pelosi Far Left agenda; Larry King’s topic of choice was whether the Right (which he incessantly called, “the Far Right”) was a threat to the Republican Party.

Once Wolf Blitzer reported that Conservative Party Candidate Doug Hoffman had lost the New York 23rd to Democrat Bill Owens, King declared it, the first defeat for the far right tonight,” and the sole focus of King’s Election Night coverage became whether the Republican Party was driving moderates away and becoming the party of loonies.

To make that point, his panel included those fonts of moderate reasonableness, Air America’s Ana Marie Cox—and the pro-wrestler formerly known as James George Janos,  Jesse Ventura!

Presumably, Ventura was there to stand up for the idea of third parties; but he had no good word for Doug Hoffman, or the fact that he would obviously have been the choice of the people in a primary. No, Ventura acted as though the humiliation of the smoke-filled room candidate was going to be the catalyst for a “moderate third party.”

Cox and Ventura were balanced by the Washington Times’ Amanda Carpenter and all-around smart guy Ben Stein.  While Cox and Carpenter were evenly matched and smart, this kind of panel inevitably gravitates toward the prominent TV personalities.

Ventura was as out of his intellectual weight class trying to directly take on Ben Stein as Billy Barty would have been in the ring with Jesse the Body.

But Ventura’s sheer stupidity was evenly matched by King’s doddering cluelessness as the two competed to show who was the most out of touch with current reality.

Here was the night’s funniest exchange:

KING: All right. Ben, do you see the far right, as evidenced by — we all know who they are — as a threat to your party?

STEIN: Not at all. Not in the slightest. I think you’re talking about people like my wonderful friend Ann Coulter and my wonderful friend Rush Limbaugh. I think those people are activating the party. They are keeping the party alive while it doesn’t have, really, a national political leader. I think they’re — they’re fine people. Sometimes they go off the he deep end, but they’re really wonderful people. And I don’t think they’re — I don’t think they’re that far right. I mean, they’re a lot farther right than I am on many issues. But they’re not that far right. They are people who are trying to keep the Constitution alive. It’s really all about protecting the Constitution.

COX: I just want to say I second the…

KING: Or their interpretation of it.

COX: I second his endorsement of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter as leaders of the Republican Party. I’m all for that. Go.

CARPENTER: I don’t think he said that they’re leaders of the Republican Party.

KING: If (ph) Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh are leading the party, the party ain’t going to win many national elections.

CARPENTER: I think that’s probably the case.

VENTURA: A question, Larry. If these are — if these are people that he’s talking about that follow the Constitution, then why was the Constitution violated in the Terri Schiavo case? The Constitution clearly states you cannot pass a law for one person. And yet the Republican — the Republican president did it, as well as the Republican Congress at the time.

KING: That’s another issue.

VENTURA: I don’t buy this stuff.

STEIN: The Constitution says you cannot pass a bill of attainder, which means a bill which attaints a family or person. They didn’t attaint anyone. They were trying to save someone’s life. It’s not an attaint.

KING: OK, we’ll be — we’ll…

VENTURA: You use a big word, but we know what they did.

A bill of attainder is the taking away of an individual’s civil rights by the legislature.  No matter what you think of the wisdom of the Terry Shiavo case, it’s pretty hard not to come to the conclusion that the effort toward her by social conservatives had exactly the opposite intent.

Here’s an even bigger word you shouldn’t throw around because you don’t understand it, Jesse.  Con-sti-tu-tion.

Maybe it’s time to change Jesse’s signature tag line.  How about “Ain’t got time to READ”?

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42 Comments
  1. Jack Hampton permalink
    November 4, 2009 11:34 am

    Sir you must remember it was Jesse the body Ventura not Jesse the brain that was one muscle he failed to work out. You would think he would just shut up and listen to Stein and try to learn something I would.

  2. November 4, 2009 11:41 am

    If you read Ventura’s book “Do I Stand Alone?” you’ll find a man with well defined libertarian ideals. But he’s basically a media guy. And just like others like him, image and public opinion counts for much. Ventura isn’t that different from the Hollywood crowd who feel they have to keep up appearances in order to maintain their hip-showbiz status. And like so many in Hollywood, Ventura can be a disingenous weasel.

    • David Forsmark permalink
      November 4, 2009 1:33 pm

      Or perhaps Julie Mooney his ghost writer from the American Enterprise Institute fashioned a logical world view out of the tangled mess that is Jesse’s mind?

      • November 4, 2009 7:58 pm

        Yeah, that thought did cross my mind. But as an independent voter, I was attracted to Ventura’s politically incorrect anti-establishment posture. I still think the book is a worthwhile read. But hey, I voted for Ross Perot so what do I know?

        • David Forsmark permalink
          November 4, 2009 8:35 pm

          Well, those were two elections in which the voters were turned off by Far Right candidates– George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole. Gee, if they could only find moderates, the Republicans, would win some races and attract those independent voters!

  3. November 4, 2009 2:56 pm

    It makes me very nervous when someone who is in office such as Mr. Ventura,( he has quite a problem with the people who voted against same sex marriage for their state of Maine) when he says that these social issues should not be left up to them…that if the people are given the power to vote for these issues, they’d figure out a way to vote slavery back in some way shape or form.
    This is just another far left official who believes that the voices of the people ,if they don’t agree with his opinions, don’t know what they’re talking about and his job is to make sure his agenda is favored over the people he has been elected to represent. I know he is governor of Minnesota, not Maine. But his shameful disregard for the voice of the people is a problem in many if not all the states. He and his ilk scare me…

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      November 5, 2009 4:03 am

      Bonnie Rosa
      Ventura is no longer governer of Minn. That is currentlt Tim Palwenty, bet I spelled it wrong to lazy right now to look it up. But yes he is the proverbial horses behind. People would not vote back in slavery. Slavery would have died out even if the Civil war had not occured. The man is a monumental idiot. Now the left wing would vote to put us in some form of camp and the ACLU would try to assist them.

  4. Pgh Nick permalink
    November 4, 2009 3:58 pm

    Jesse Ventura was the only smart person on that panel. Stein is another right wing idiot who needs to get out from under Rush Limbaugh’s desk.

    You people use the same Bill Orielly type attacks. Go after someone over one comment that is complete irrelevant to the entire conversation.

    Did you happen to notice Stein stumbling around when Jesse pointed out that these off year elections are purposely done to have low voter turnout.

    Or how Jesse stated that politians hold there finger to the proverbial wind to see how to react to an issue rather than having a backbone and standing on their own two feet.

    No, lets nit pick over a vegetable Terry Shiavo. Ventura is right on that anyways, the Bush’s violated the constitution.

    • Steverino permalink
      November 4, 2009 8:19 pm

      Ventura is right on that anyways, the Bush’s violated the constitution.

      Exactly which article in the Constitution was violated by the Bushes?

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      November 5, 2009 4:20 am

      Pgh Nick
      I doubt you have ever read the constitution. Your referring to the unfortunate lady that was starved to death as a vegetable reveals something else about you as well. People that care little for human life see them as less than human. Bundy never saw his victims as human either. This woman had a mother and father and siblings that loved her. To compare Ventura with Ben Stein intellectually is absurd like comparing a myself to Albert Einstein. Bet you also believe that Ventura was a big bad Navy Seal and that he really killed the alien in the movie Predator. He never fired a shot in anger at anyone in his whole life. His life has been much like his career in the WWF.

      • Pgh Nick permalink
        November 5, 2009 3:06 pm

        Hey Jack Hampton,
        How many shots has Dick Cheney fired? Just that one that hit his friend in the face. Cheney received 5 deferements from the military because he is a coward. George Bush also hid in the national guard. I guess Georgie Porgie was protecting the US from the North Vietnamise airforce. haaaaaaaaaaaaa They have no problem sending other kids to war when they were too chicken to do it themselves. Lets see them survive BUDS….Jesse did.

        • Jack Hampton permalink
          November 6, 2009 2:05 am

          Pgh Nick
          You eveidently do not have a clue how many people died in Vietnam that were in National guard units. The 2/94 artillary was a guard unit of 175 and 8 inch artillary that saw many of there friends die there not to mention many other guard units I know of several. George Bush Volunteered for Vietnam but there was more senior pilots that wanted those slots and got them that is from the mouth of his guard commander. None the less he still performed a very dangerous job just flying the type of jets he flew and spent many hours during the cold war on alert. I survived a hell of a lot more than Buds bud. If Chaney got deferments then he got them for a reason. I know several people that got deferments from Vietnam and none were politicians or rich which I do not believe Chaney was wealthy when he got his. We have people that have died in guard units in every war Even in Iraq and Afganistan. You are evidently ignorant about the guard and military service.

        • Jack Hampton permalink
          November 6, 2009 2:48 am

          Nick
          You do not know much about dove hunting either. Anyone that hunts dove very much will pick up a little light buck shot sooner or later most of the time it does not even require a doctor but sometimes something unfortunate like this happens. The gentleman that was hit is a friend of Cheneys and still is. By the way I enjoyed the movie Predator and thought Ventura did pretty good. The Predator 2 and 3 were lousy I believe he should have stuck with acting but that WWF shyster crap was in his blood so he became a politician. You see I do not hate or despise Ventura but the idea that he could debate with Ben Stein is almost comical.

        • Steverino permalink
          November 6, 2009 2:54 pm

          So, you can’t cite an article in the Constitution which was violated? Thanks for conceding the point.

  5. David Forsmark permalink
    November 4, 2009 5:25 pm

    I’m not surprising that someone with your grammatical limitations finds Jesse Ventura brilliant, or that Ben Stein is over your head.

  6. Jonah Johansen permalink
    November 4, 2009 7:20 pm

    I never understand why leftists go on non-liberal sites/forums and make asses of themselves.
    The only possible result is to reinforce the beliefs of the people they are insulting.
    Why no effort at presenting a real argument. My first thought is “Is that the best you can do?”

    Damn I love a good political debate and all the other side ever gives us are vulgar ad hominems and question begging.
    You wonder why, one time, at one Anne Coulter college lecture the left doesn’t bring out some of their academic big guns and really engage her in a debate instead they always send their ill mannered potty mouth sophomores.

  7. David Forsmark permalink
    November 4, 2009 7:36 pm

    Some college debates went on in the 80s, but they got their butts kicked so hard that the tactic switched to shutting down debate.

  8. j c original permalink
    November 5, 2009 1:51 am

    Watching Ventura over the years, he’s a man that huffs and puffs but intelligent thought referencing the subject matter hardly ever appears. David, thanks for the article because I have a hard time watching King in fact I don’t watch him.

  9. shane comeback permalink
    November 5, 2009 3:27 am

    Ventura had so little clout he never got ANYTHING he promised done during his tenure as Governor of Minnesota,(like a uni-cameral legislature or conceal-carry.) He was too busy being a referee at bogus wrestling matches for big bucks,same with bogus football games for a bogus league,making money to opt out of the US and live in Cabo San Lucas,and letting his son use the governor’s mansion for pot parties. He stunk,he was a joke!! In the service he was called “dirty Janos” because he never bathed, while his (way smarter) brother was called “clean Janos.” The Dems dissed him all the time and he was too dumb to know it. He just hates conservatives because he is a never-grew-up wild child and he wants to stay that way.

    • Pgh Nick permalink
      November 5, 2009 12:47 pm

      Jesse only made two promises when he ran for governor, return the tax surplus in the form of a rebate and reduce class sizes to 17 in K through 3. He fullfilled both! The legislature wouldn’t allow unicameral legislature on the ballot to the citizens of Minn could vote for the form of govt they wanted. They were cowards.

      Its funny how nobody hear attacks Jesse on policy its always on personal BS…The movie predator, he’s a liar, he never bathed. Gimme a break. You people have no room to talk.

      And since when am I a leftist because I disagree with you. I’m a Goldwater Conservative.

      Your precious Norm Coleman actually has to get a job in the private sector after collecting government checks for 35 years. HA HA HA

      • David Forsmark permalink
        November 6, 2009 6:12 am

        Why would anyone attack him over Predator? It’s the best thing he did with his life.

  10. WestWright permalink
    November 5, 2009 9:12 am

    That great site of intellectual debate, the Larry King Show. Jesse Ventura, the great philosopher. Waste of time, do these guests get paid?

  11. Matt permalink
    November 5, 2009 9:19 am

    I see that the comments are stuck in the childish Right-Wing, Left-Wing games, rather than look at the principles behind this. It’s like going back to University, with all the smug intellectuals who really stand for nothing and side with their current hero (Clinton/Bush etc) as their egos are leading them along.
    Now attack me…. GO!

    • David Forsmark permalink
      November 5, 2009 9:54 am

      Say something worth debating… like WHAT “principles behind this?”

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      November 5, 2009 11:38 am

      Matt
      Do we have to or is that more of a request?

  12. Carol permalink
    November 5, 2009 10:13 am

    Matt, is it an “attack” if I kindly point out that it has taken you approximately sixty words to say exactly nothing?

  13. Keith permalink
    November 5, 2009 2:36 pm

    Left wing, right wing, it doesn’t matter, It’s still the same bird.

  14. shane comeback permalink
    November 6, 2009 3:56 am

    Jesse did indeed say he would pass unicameral and conceal carry, and gave up early on both because he was too busy making money. Have you been in a Minnesota school lately? Classes of 17,my eye.I am not making the ‘dirty Janos,clean Janos” quote up. Ventura himself told this story over and over, he was proud of it.. And I’m not fond of wussie Coleman either, so do not throw him in my face. He sat there and took George Galloway’s garbage and what little respect I had for him disappeared. You are a Goldwater conservative? I don’t think so. What you are is a site pest. You must live in the 5th district.

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      November 6, 2009 4:13 am

      I thoughtb the dirty Janos tag came because he refused to use toilet paper?

  15. Pgh Nick permalink
    November 6, 2009 9:55 am

    Shane Comeback,
    How am I a site pest, for having an opinion?? If you knew anything about government you would know that a governor can’t pass a law, the legislature does. The legislature in Minnesota refused to put unicameral on the ballot. Why does Minnesota have more legislatures than California??? So I suppose you are going to blame Jesse too when the legislature overrode most of his veto’s right!

    As far as education….I guess one billion dollars of new money isn’t enough…thats what Jesse gave the education system in his first budget and they came back the 2nd budget and said they wanted more and Jesse said not until you provide accountability that the first billion improved education. What more can a governor do??? The education system in Minnesota and America is a financial black hole.

    And what was Jesse making money at. Working saturday nights??? He is the only person in America who gets ridiculed for holding down two jobs to help support his family. I guess if he spent every weekend fundraising to build up a big campaign warchest like every other politician does, that would be OK.

    Panhandling is fine by your standards, you notice how nobody raised an issue when Jesse was at his ranch on the weekends bailing hay to sell….God forbid!

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      November 6, 2009 1:00 pm

      Nick
      Look no one here is saying that Ventura is dog meat or we hate him or that he looks funny or I am not. He is just not a rocket scientist and he sounds dumb just like I would trying to debate someone with the intellect of Ben Stein. Jesse should just stick with the grunt and growl.

  16. Jitendra permalink
    November 6, 2009 10:33 am

    The interviews with Ventura are always hilarious. The guy’s dumb as mud. You could have a drinking game based on how many logical fallacies he makes in a 10-minute segment: Constant appeals to authority (“I was the governor, I was a Navy Seal”). Argument from ignorance (“I don’t know how the World Trade Towers fell, therefore no one else knows”). Quote from Himmler. Quote from Jefferson. Calls everyone else a draft dodger. Vague reference to the US Constitution. I’ve never heard a politician who stayed on his talking points as closely as Jesse. Every interview he gives the exact same answers. Looks like he sleeps in his clothes.

    • Pgh Nick permalink
      November 6, 2009 3:36 pm

      You know what Jitendra, you’re absolutely right. Shame on me for being so ignorant. I’m going to become a Republican now and vote for people who are controlled by special interest and dupe the public every chance they get.

      I’m glad I had this awakening. Thank you.

      Bush/Cheney 2012

      P.S. Before anyone writes that I didn’t read the constitution, I was joking about Bush in 2012. I know the constitution doesn’t allow it.

      • Jack Hampton permalink
        November 7, 2009 5:27 am

        Pgh Nick
        Noticed you keep passing over that violation of the constitution. Also glad you were not duped into voting for Obama and MSNBC. Hahaha

        • Pgh Nick permalink
          November 7, 2009 12:51 pm

          Jack Hampton,
          Thats interesting that you assume I voted for Obama. I despise Obama.

          I voted for Chuck Baldwin! I don’t like democrats or republicans and I never voted for one.

          I’m passing over what. The Constitution is clear that you can’t change the law for one person.

          Ben Stein can use all the big words he wants, it like Dick Cheney calling toture “enhanced interrogation” to justify it. No difference.

          • Jack Hampton permalink
            November 8, 2009 6:33 am

            Pgh Nick
            Opps you passed over that violation of the constitution thing again. Yep I can understand you would vote for Chuck Baldwin have you helped him find the concentration camps? I voted for Cas Walker. As for your tortue comment more bovine flatulance. You do not have a clue what real torture is compared to some discomfort. Now they could torture them by forcing them to listen to Chuck Baldwin speechs.

  17. CMG permalink
    November 7, 2009 10:32 am

    Haha, Ben Stein? You mean the guy who cried cause he was so sad Nixon resigned?

  18. Pgh Nick permalink
    November 10, 2009 10:52 am

    Everyone should watch Jesse Ventura’s new show that airs December 2nd at 10:00pm EST.

    Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura on TruTV.

  19. YouAreCluelessHorowitz permalink
    November 10, 2009 12:52 pm

    Ben Stein is a hack. Look at how “brainy” he was when it came to the economic collapse and housing bubble. He didn’t see it coming at all.

    It’s typical for an establishment stooge to promote his fellow establishment stooges. The republican party is a complete failure because of fake conservatives like you, Stein, Coulter, Limbaugh and the rest. It is a failed party in a failed state. The same goes for the Dems. The average American is not Dem or Republican. They just want the government to stay out of their business, stop taxing them to death, stop spying on them and stop these pointless, costly and destructive wars.

    The republican party that you ascribe to is a Neoconservative party consisting of a close knit network of power hungry and corrupt politicians and pundits. It doesn’t represent the American people. This is why you and your ilk constantly resort to wedge issues. It is because the republican party and democrat party BOTH ultimately represent the same special interest corporate-military-media industrial complex.

    You have no allegiance to America’s heritage, liberty, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. All of you fake conservatives pay it lip service and deceptively claim to represent “conservative values”.

    The fake conservative republican party is over. You just don’t realize it yet.

  20. Jack Hampton permalink
    November 11, 2009 3:58 am

    Clueless
    Is there any tin foil left in your city or hell state for that matter? Most people posting here are not claiming to be locked in supporters of the GOP I certainly am not. Most people here were cheering Hoffman on. I think you need to realize you are not the rocket scientist you think you are we all know we are not. But we also know what we believe all you can do is politically badger as if your some devine informed source you are not. You come off as a nut that might be put in a home pretty sood with nice coloring books and crayons.

  21. YouAreCluelessHorowitz permalink
    November 12, 2009 12:01 pm

    That is an incredibly weak and nonsensical reply JackHampton. What on Earth has tin foil got to do with anything?

  22. Larry permalink
    November 17, 2009 6:17 am

    You know it is very easy for some people to regurgitate what they have heard the Liberal media say with out doing any research to determine if there are two sides to the story.

    I’m not a big George Bush fan but I must say that after 911 he kept this country safe from any more attacks. Dick Cheney if a greater American that Jesse Venturs will ever be. Yes Jesse served as a Navy Seal, But somehow his views of America seems to be the bad guy, mimic those of Obama.

    It’s time that America wakes up and realizes that Obama is not the “chosen one” and that this country is going down the road to complete and utter oblivion if we don’t control back. No I do not mean conservatives take it back, I mean the people take it back regardless of their beliefs.

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