Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) campaign against a provision in the latest federal spending bill seemed to amuse Daily Show host Jon Stewart on Tuesday.
“She’s so cute — she thinks she can change the system,” Stewart said of Warren. “Fresh meat. But don’t worry; one of the mean girls will get her back in line.”
Stewart then showed a clip of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) rebuking Warren, telling her, “There’s something in here you don’t like? Welcome to democracy.”
It was a clever line, but Stewart wasn’t about to let Graham off the hook.
“Lindsey Graham says, ‘Welcome to democracy,'” Stewart argued. “But here’s the thing — that’s not democracy. Democracy is what happened when Congress passed Dodd-Frank, following a vigorous open debate and bipartisan compromise. What happened this week is someone anonymously repealing part of this agreement by sneaking it into an unrelated, must-pass bill. It’s democracy in the same way Cheez-Whiz is cheese.”
Warren was one of several Democrats who objected to a last-minute provision in the bill that repealed a protection under the Dodd-Frank law concerning derivatives trading, arguing that it set the stage for the banking industry to collapse through reckless behavior like it did in 2008. The bill passed over the weekend and was signed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday.
Stewart was also aghast at the other questionable provisions that made it into the bill, since lawmakers were facing pressure to pass it or risk incurring another government shutdown.
“What? They just wait until no one’s looking and and slip the toxic stuff in?” he asked, before wondering if the bill was “the Bill Cosby of legislation.”
At the same time, he also made fun of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for complaining about missing his new home just a month after the last congressional break, and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) for calling the agreement a “monumental achievement.”
“No it’s not,” Stewart protested. “I know expectations for Congress are low. But the only way that keeping the lights on is a ‘monumental achievement’ is if you are a Maccabi, and your menorah has but one night of oil.”
Watch Stewart’s commentary, as posted online on Tuesday, below.