There’s a reason Jon Stewart had a segment titled “States: The Meth Labs of Democracy” on last night’s episode of The Daily Show. When left to their own devices, some state governments have a tendency to produce rather unsavory legislation – so Stewart took a look at a few bills considered lately that are just downright stupid.
“I believe it was Martin Luther King Jr. who said ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice’ … however it appears some of America’s state legislatures would like to make that arc longer, and maybe have it bend not as much towards justice, but backwards and up their own asses,” Stewart said to introduce the segment, which is a pretty accurate explanation of the whole thing.
First, there is Kansas, which is considering a bill that would, essentially, let parents – or any adult with written permission from a child’s guardian – hit their child harder. Or, as Stewart described it: “Are you holding back from punching the shit out of your children because you fear legal repercussions? Well fear no more, your nightmare is over, whereas theirs is just beginning.”
But how exactly does the new law define harder? The bill’s text says that “‘corporal punishment’ means up to ten forceful applications in succession of a bare, open-hand palm against the clothed buttocks of a child,” which, as Stewart points out, sort of sounds like it was worded by a serial killer.