September 2013 Archives

The American Form of Government

| | Comments (0)

MSNBC host Chris Matthews said today on Meet the Press, to moderator David Gregory:

I was watching your discussion. And you made the points about how ObamaCare, Affordable Care Act, had been passed by the House, by the Senate, signed by the President, reviewed by the Supreme Court, and then the President got re-elected on that very issue.

The thing that was-- watching that discussion, Senator Cruz talks as if there should be a final test that you have to get through before a law goes into effect. In other words, a final vote, whether it's on debt ceiling or whatever, or on the shutdown of the government, sort of a final look at the law and say, "Well, should really let it go into effect even before it's set to go into effect?"

That's not really our American form of government. You outlined the American form of government, the test by which we submit any new legislation, and it's submitted, the President signs it, it's reviewed by the courts, it's the law.

A few notes. First, the House didn't get re-elected, in large part on this very issue: the passage of "ObamaCare" is a big reason why the House changed from Democratic to Republican, and then why the Republican House got re-elected two years later. Matthews appears to be implying that Obama's re-election gives more weight to whether "ObamaCare" should be implemented than the House's switching control the Republicans, and then them winning re-election, but that's patent nonsense.

Second, yes, "ObamaCare" is the law of the land. On the other hand, so are the many mandates Obama is delaying, and he is arguably breaking the law in delaying them without congressional approval. And how is that when he delays things without legal authority he's a hero, but when Republicans try to delay things a proper legal way, they are terrorists and racists and rapists?

Third, while it is the law of the land, what is not the proper law of the land is the funding of "ObamaCare" in fiscal year 2014, which begins Tuesday. Only the Congress for fiscal year 2014 can authorize spending for fiscal year 2014, no matter what "ObamaCare" says. In fact, Chris Matthews is completely wrong: whenever you ask for money from Congress, you are necessarily taking another look at the law and asking if you want it to go into effect. Every single time. That's the same with Medicare, and the war in Afghanistan, and anything else that needs funding from the Congress. The Congress is continually looking at laws and asking whether we want them to go into effect, every time funding for them comes up.

In short, Matthews is accidentally right that there is no "final look at the law," but there's an annual look at the law.

That is why James Madison wrote in Federalist 58, "The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure."

(And make no mistake: Madison is actually talking about the House wielding the power to shrink the size of government and to threaten completely shutting down the government here, and he says that normally in such an impasse, the House can, will, and should, win the day.)

Yes, the House previously voted for "ObamaCare." But we literally have a new House, a different one from the one we had then, and funding for "ObamaCare" has to go through not just the previous House, but every following House. That, Mr. Matthews, is the actual American form of government, and it always has been.

A reminder: the Democrats are blaming the Republicans for potentially shutting down the government. The donkeys doth protest too much. In fact, the truth is precisely the opposite: the Democrats are the ones threatening to shut down government.

The key to understanding what's actually going on is to understand the fundamental nature of the American bicameral legislature, in that both houses of the legislature must agree to something in order for it to happen. A Yes and a No are not equivalent: No beats Yes. That is the design. That is how it works. So if you want the IRS to give out free puppy food, and I don't, then I win. We both have to agree to it, or it doesn't happen.

But the Democrats are saying that if the Senate wanted the IRS to fund puppy food, and the House said no, then any Senate failure to act on the rest of the government funding is the House's fault. Saying "you knew we would not act on any bill that doesn't include puppy food funding, so it's your fault we didn't vote to fund government" is pure nonsense.

Again, the side saying No is in the superior position, so there's simply no rational way to look at this and say it is the House's or Republicans' fault if government shuts down.

And you might say that we shouldn't get to this point, that there should be negotiations. Yes, which makes it even more clear that the Democrats are to blame, since Harry Reid and Barack Obama promise that they will continue to refuse to negotiate about it.

The House passed a bill to fund government. There is nothing in the American system that says the Senate has any authority or obligation to demand the House include funding for anything that isn't in that bill. They can ask, but the simple answer at the end of the day is that No beats Yes.

Setting aside the particular issue of "ObamaCare," the House very clearly has the high ground here. The Senate under Harry Reid -- and not the House under John Boehner -- is threatening to allow the government to go unfunded, by refusing to allow the House its constitutional duty to refuse to fund what it wishes to not fund.

How to Tell Me You Are Ignorant

| | Comments (0)

Tell me that Trayvon Martin, a violent and drug-abusing thug, whom the record shows likely attacked George Zimmerman -- a man without any evidence of racism in him, who helped people of all races, including donating his time to tutor black children -- without provocation, was somehow a murder victim and a symbol of racism.

Tell me that the Martin/Zimmerman incident had anything whatsoever to do with "stand your ground" laws.

Tell me that the removal of section 4 of the Voting Rights Act violates anyone's civil rights, when -- literally and explicitly -- section 4 itself violated everyone's civil rights, by taking away their essential right to choose their own government to write and pass their own laws.

Tell me that (as President Obama said recently) that "the marketplace" is bad, without government to direct it; that government "empowers" us to fix the market's flaws and reduce poverty. For bonus points, argue (as President Obama said recently) that everything bad in the economy is the fault of "the marketplace" while simultaneously claiming that government has been active within the economy for many years, and it would be "extreme" to reverse that trend.

Tell me that the number of bills Congress has passed is a rational measure of how good a Congress is. For bonus points, tell me that the number of bills matters, but the number of pages in those bills doesn't.

Tell me that Republicans are anti-women just because they are against aborting the lives of unborn, living, human children.

Tell me that universal background checks will have an impact on violent crime, even though the data denies this claim (legally purchased guns without background checks -- the only gun transfers that would be affected by such a law -- make up a tiny percentage of the guns used in violent crimes: almost all guns used in violent crimes are obtained legally with background checks, or illegally).

There's many ways you can tell me that you are ignorant. These are just a few.

You gotta look this world in the eye You gotta live this life until you die.
From: pudgenet
Views: 0
0 ratings
Time: 01:59 More in Music
<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2013 is the previous archive.

October 2013 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.