On The Daily Show last night, Jon Stewart explained a true U.S. electoral tradition: disapproving of Congress but reelecting most members anyway. So how do those members of Congress who seem like they've been there forever stay in office?
"Midterm elections right around the corner, Congress' approval rating is in the tweens – it's time once again to raise a cry of 'Throw the bums out!', and then reelect 90 percent of said bums," Stewart said.
And he's right: reelection rates for incumbents are historically very high. "How do these guys keep getting reelected term after term? " Stewart asked. For his first case study, he looked at Rep. Charlie Rangel.
"83 years old and 43 years in office, censured by Congress in 2010 ... extensive financial malfeasance," Stewart said. So what does Rangel do to keep himself in office? Let's take a look at his primary race this year.
At the start of one of his debates, Rangel simply picked up his cell phone. Except the phone never rang. "Either he had to take a very important call from his urologist during the debate, or he's about to launch into a debate ... Charlie Rangel did his entire opening statement in the form of a gag phone call with someone who just happened to want to know really terrible things about the two candidates sitting next to him," Stewart explained.