Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Jon Stewart finds a simple fix to the ObamaCare subsidy court chaos, despairs anyway

If you weren't watching cable news on Tuesday, when two federal appellate courts reached conflicting opinions about the legality of ObamaCare's insurance subsidies, relive those hours of chaos in the first half of this Daily Show clip. Jon Stewart captures the talking-head mayhem of the ping-ponging legal decisions with clever video editing and some nice props, including a severed head. If you were watching CNN, MSBNC, and/or Fox News — or you already know what happened in federal court — you can skip ahead to the 5:17 mark.

That's where Stewart hits his analytical stride. His main (scripted) epiphany is that the federal judiciary is just an extension of America's sharply divided body politic, with the appellate panel that upheld the ObamaCare subsidies comprised of three Democratic appointees, and the appellate panel that struck it down under the sway of a Republican-appointed majority.

Stewart lamented the politicization of the courts, then perked up when he learned that one sentence — or even a few words — added to the Affordable Care Act would render the legal argument mute. "You could salvage this entire f--king thing with a mediocre scrabble hand," he said gleefully. Until he realized that would require action by the GOP-led House. Then, back to the severed head. --Peter Weber