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Watch The Daily Show stick up for Boehner and other 'RINOs'
While Jon Stewart asks just how conservative today's Republicans have to be, Jessica Williams uncovers the real Hunger Games
 

Jon Stewart is pretty meh on the budget deal that soared through the House last week and will pass the Senate this week without a filibuster. But on Tuesday night's Daily Show, he directed his comedic ire at the conservatives who refuse to accept the deal, or any deal — or any politician, no matter how conservative, who votes for a bipartisan compromise.

This put Stewart in the odd position of sticking up for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who became the whipping boy of Tea Party groups and conservative activists for pushing through the bill. All Boehner did was help pass a basic compromise funding the government at its "current, incredibly pathetic levels" for two years, Stewart said. It was "like if Mayor Rob Ford's New Year's resolution was, 'I promise to maintain my present level of crack-smoking."

It's not all Boehner love: Stewart also tried to turn Boehner's "pro-wrestling level" phrase "Are you kidding me?!?" into a catchphrase, or marketing campaign, or something. Also, he decided for some reason that Boehner has a Texas accent.

If Boehner isn't conservative enough for conservatives, Stewart asked, who else doesn't make the cut? He ran through a list of other Republicans facing criticism for being Republicans in Name Only (RINOs), including Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — who negotiated the budget deal with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) — and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who is facing a Tea Party challenger despite his strong conservative voting record.

Stewart found it laughable that Cornyn didn't make the cut, noting that National Journal ranked him the second-most-conservative senator, "behind only Alaska's representative, Painting of Jesus Drilling for Oil." The only person who could live up to Tea Party ideas, he ventured, would be Ronald Reagan himself. Nope: Roll clips of conservatives like Sarah Palin and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) criticizing the Gipper. "When Ronald Reagan's just another Hollywood liberal," Stewart concluded, "you gotta say to your party: Are you kidding me?!?"

In the middle segment, correspondent Jessica Williams explored the cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps. She interviewed Forbes columnist John Tamny, who argued that food stamps are unfair to poor people, and that nobody is really starving in America. After staring at Tamny, mouth agape, and getting him to say some foolish things, Williams hit on an idea: Maybe the U.S. is turning into the dystopian world depicted in The Hunger Games. Watch:

 
Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian, and plays in an Austin rock band.

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