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Last night, Jon Stewart kicked off The Daily Show with the latest installment of Democalypse 2012: the “Do we look stupid? Don’t answer that,” edition.
Stewart discussed Obama’s latest gaffe – his implication that small business owners can’t stake exclusive claim to the credit for their success.
In a speech last week, the president discussed the importance of infrastructure, emphasizing that America’s system of roads, bridges and highways wasn’t built by one individual.
Obama then went on to say, “If you got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. “
“Are you delivering a nut punch to small business owners?” asked Stewart, feigning indignation.
The Romney campaign certainly seems to think so. The Republican presidential hopeful has publicly criticized the president for shortchanging self-made men and women.
“Obama’s promoting a form of grade school Marxism,” Stewart said. “Or as your second grade teacher might have referred to it, sharing.”
Indeed, the cutthroat nature of the 2012 campaign makes us wish we could elect someone else altogether. Thankfully, Daily Show viewers get a tantalizing glimpse of a better alternative with the program’s new installment, “Herman Cain: an American Presidency.”
Former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain sat down with Daily Show correspondent John Oliver to discuss how he would react to hypothetical crises.
This week, Oliver asked Cain what kind of energy policy he would institute.
“Let’s sell these parks,” Cain said. “Do we really need all these acres of parks to say we’re environmentally friendly?”
Oliver nodded in agreement. “How much can one family picnic?” he noted. Oliver then threw out a hypothetical scenario: “You have built the biggest pipeline known to man.You have reduced gas down to 36 cents per gallon. Everybody loves you . . . now you’ve received news that the pipeline has exploded in several spots. Gather those affected and explain to them why their sacrifice is not in vain.”
In an indisputably presidential fashion, Cain looked right into the camera and addressed the American populace. “Creatures of the forest! Assemble,” he ordered. “We have disaster on our hands. 36 cents a gallon is a major accomplishment. And we all benefit from that accomplishment. I know that you have sacrificed much. But until we get this contained, run!” Spoken like a true politician.
In the show’s final segment, Stewart sat down with economist Joseph Stiglitz, whose recent book, The Price of Inequality, explores the growing gap between the rich and the poor in America.
“We have become the most unequal of all the industrialized countries,” Stiglitz said. “And we’re the country with the least equality of opportunity.”
Stiglitz went on to argue that a person’s economic standing in the U.S. is quite contingent on the income and education levels of one’s parents.
Stewart agreed, emphasizing the importance of noting the institutional advantages that wealth awards us. “I am rich,” he acknowledged. “I have people write into The Daily Show all the time asking how I can criticize Romney for being rich. But what I’m criticizing is institutionalizing the advantages that wealth gives you.”