Speed Reads

The Rich Are Different

Watch The Daily Show rip apart the Supreme Court's money-equals-speech logic

Comedy Central

Jon Stewart strongly disagrees with the Supreme Court's decision Wednesday to strike down the overall limit that donors can spend in any given election, and he's not persuaded by the argument from the conservative wing of the high court that money is equal to constitutionally protected speech. But you probably already knew that. Still, Stewart made his case on Thursday night's Daily Show, with his trademark combination of passionate logical analysis and bleeped-out swearing.

The bottom line of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission is that donors can now write a lot of $5,200 checks to lots of candidates, Stewart said. So "the last great hope of preserving our democracy from the corrupting influence of money is carpal tunnel syndrome." More than the coming deluge of money, though, he found the logic of Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative peers absurd and willfully blind: Except for strict quid pro quo bribery, money doesn't corrupt democracy.

The second part of the show, with Senior Legal Analyst Aasif Mandvi, brings it all home: If money is speech, the wealthy are "Verizon — can you hear me now?" and the poor are that guy on the subway telling you your next stop in an unintelligible voice. --Peter Weber