Earlier this week, the New York State Senate put yogurt on its way to becoming the official state snack. AsThe Daily Show pointed out, the enthralling debate leading up to the vote was a truly excellent (and ridiculous) example of democracy in action.
"We on this show discuss politics, and we have sometimes been known to criticize, lampoon, to take fun and poke it," Stewart led off last night's episode. "Well tonight we remove our jester's cap in respectful salute to democracy on parade. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the New York State Senate."
That "democracy on parade" was the Senate's debate and vote to make yogurt the state snack of New York. The proposal, which came from a group of fourth graders and is a nod to New York's yogurt industry, is a "a gimme, a no brainer, the type of feel-good, pro-business" legislation that is a slam-dunk.
But not so fast. A few state Senators take issue.
"What exactly are we defining as a snack here?" one asked.
"Touché," Stewart quipped. "A philosophical query."
The answer? Let the bill's sponsor state Senator Michael Ranzenhofer explain: "I think it's self explanatory. You have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then you have snacks."
But it's a good point. Did Ranzenhofer consider potato chips? Nope. Raisins? Nope. Pretzels? Stewart-as-Ranzenhofer: "NEVER! I never did and I never shall."
Another state Senator raised the issue of lactose intolerance – which, fair.
This, citizens of New York, is your government in action. "I'm telling you this was maybe the best 40 minutes any legislative chamber anywhere in the country has ever spent," Stewart said.
There's only one problem: "I must reinforce to our representatives that the good people of New York do not give a fuck, Stewart said. "As far as many New Yorkers are concerned our state snack is 'who gives a shit?'"