Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Jon Stewart explains today's 'childish and cynical' Congress by cynically abusing a child's cartoon

The 113th Congress will go down as the least productive in U.S. history, but it's not like they're doing nothing on Capitol Hill, Jon Stewart said on Tuesday night's Daily Show. The "feckless" Senate Democrats and "obstructionist" House Republicans have been using their control of their respective chambers to schedule votes that are politically embarrassing to the other party, then using those votes in campaign ads. Stewart explains the process in detail in a new pox-on-both-Houses segment, "How a Bill Becomes an Ad," keying off the famous Schoolhouse Rock song.

"Right now, you're probably saying to yourself, 'I can't believe how childish and cynical our Congress has become,'" Stewart said. "Well, don't throw up yet." It turns out that Senate Republicans have a new tactic: Agree to debate doomed Democratic bills to eat up the legislative clock. Stewart trots out a crude analogy:

Democrats and Republicans are on a bad date. Democrats know the Republicans don't want to be there, and Republicans know that the Democrats know the Republicans don't want to be there. So, in their cynicism, the Democrats have asked, "Want to see the dessert menu?" And out of spite, the Republicans have said: "Bring over the whole f--king cart, and the espresso machine, 'cause I can do this all night long." [Stewart]

The date won't go anywhere, he added, but at least the Democrats won't go home with someone else. If that's not a graphic enough analogy, Stewart updated the "How a Bill Becomes a Law" cartoon with some inappropriate-for-children language and a dark ending. --Peter Weber