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Jonathan Bernstein

Democracy Is Hard. It’s Supposed to Be.

The veterans health bill fight frustrated activists including Jon Stewart. But obstacles existed for a reason.

Putting the republic first.

Putting the republic first.

Painting: John Trumbull. Photo: MPI/Getty Images

Legislation helping veterans exposed to toxic trash-incineration pits while serving overseas finally passed the Senate this week. Comedian and activist Jon Stewart, who had worked hard to elevate the problem and then to help get the bill across the finish line, expressed frustration that the process had been so arduous. 

“I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a situation where people who have already given so much had to fight so hard to get so little,” Stewart said.