The Government Shutdown BrouhahaSubmitted by Menschken on Sat, 09/28/2013 - 23:32
Bluffing for Nothing, or Digging In For the Final Showdown?
Interesting that people take this government shutdown business seriously.
Consider what it would actually mean for the congress to withhold funding from the executive.
If it were anything more than a bluff or political theater (directed at gullible base-voters), it would entail that those congressmen engaged in the theater were in fact willing to withhold funds from the operation of the entire government, including the military, the executive law enforcement, homeland security, the state department and diplomatic corps, the judicial, the maintenance of nuclear stockpiles, trade organizations, the national payments and clearing system, the money supply, the Fed, and the entire welfare state. Including whatever portion of congress' own salary or operating budgets come from the federal government.
Since playing this 'hand' all the way would immediately mean a show of cards, i.e., the reality of presidential and executive authority over congress in such an actual conflict, the hand will never be showed, and the bluff will remain a bluff.
People don't call and show with 7, 2 unsuited, unless they're fools.
For that portion of congress that is bluffing to actually follow through and show its hand, would imply it expected the preponderance of power (military, law enforcement, states, national guards, judges, mass media, banking, Fed, etc.) to be on its side, and would actually be prepared for physical danger and civil war.
The preponderance of power is clearly on the executive side and the side that would fold first is the congress. If it did not fold, I think the executive would call and win the hand. It is unlikely that the executive is bluffing, since it has the preponderance of power and the megaphone from which to speak to and rally the public. The power of the compliant media, the Fed's control of the whole money stock and operation of the financial system, and the mass dependence on federal entitlements.
In the end, if it comes to a show of hands, the majority of those promoting a shutdown will fall in some kind of line behind leadership and always vote to fund.
The few outliers who will follow through and vote not to fund -- probably a growing but still pretty small minority -- are doing one of two things.
(1) They are simply taking advantage of the full knowledge that the government won't indeed shut down, and playing their principled stand as a means of establishing their partisan bona fides and cementing their popularity with the base. Political histrionics.
(2) They are making themselves into a bloc that they expect to grow in the long run into a plurality, or majority, that can command the preponderance of other institutions to line up behind the insurgent side, and force the executive to fold its bluff at some point in a distant future. But full well realizing that showdown isn't happening now.
Both groups have their uses, as group 1 can be expected to fall behind group 2 if group 2 ever realized its objective.
As much as I like the number Three, blessed be its name, its unlikely there's any third possibility at present.
The third possibility would be someone expecting an actual showdown today -- calling with 7-2 offsuit -- and being summarily crushed by the executive, which would then have established formal as well as de facto legal power to roll over any protest of the legislative branches.
To actually desire to show down with a crap hand would only be the act of someone too mentally imbalanced and self destructive to have made it into the great liar's hall that is Congress.
The government shutdown bluff, although known to be a bluff by the other side, still works to obtain some small concessions, as the other side is also not eager for the showdown to occur, as business as usual is more preferable for both sides, with the appearance and theatre of real political conflict and drama being beneficial to all the players in the player's ball, which after all is a Show more than a Game.
In sum, the small cadre of real radicals who are digging in and holding to the no vote, as much in preparation for a real future showdown as for present political benefits, those are few and far between. Whether our Rand is among them or JAmash is hard to tell. A little faith, and a line in the sand, will both be necessary for such as these.
Cruz... seems like a less embarrassing Rick Perry, ambitious member of group 1 who could be useful as long as not vested with real confidence. But immediately after saying this I feel I should be charitable and hold my tongue. But I say it nevertheless.
In truth, it is unknown if any of "them," our current crop, would ever contemplate a real ultimate showdown no matter what the conditions are of the future, because it is unlikely that there are any true radicals in public office that would prefer the showdown to compromise.
But do we really want a showdown? The federal government as its presently constituted, and the interests it represents, would seem to demand it eventually. But it might not always be so, therefore it may be the non-radicals who ultimately transition us to a positive outcome without an ultimate showdown, as unlikely as it now seems.
I don't know whether they're right or wrong, because I'm not that much of an ideologue and radical anymore to want to volunteer the bloodshed of others or general chaos to win.
If I write anymore it will be tl;dr. Paece.