Comment: Matt Welch discusses shutdown

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Matt Welch discusses shutdown

...on Real Time with Bill Maher

I just watched half of this. It's not fun. I'll summarize what I got out of it. It really represents the MSM meme in general. Bill Maher and Robert Reich jump right into subliminally extremist hype in claiming the metaphor that Congressional Republicans are attempting to "blow up" the government. Boom! Then one of them [ambiguously] introduces another metaphor of squabbling spouses [branches? parties?]. Then the other converges the two metaphors to rhetorically ask with alarm if it is not ridiculously extreme for one spouse to "blow up" the other.

This is the weakest showing I've ever seen from Matt Welch. He makes no remark whatsoever about how their metaphors may be a bit over the top. He rambles on a bit about Obamacare and then later attempts to move the topic from Ted Cruz to Rand Paul. Good for him. Enough about Welch.

This comment is about two points. The above metaphors and this: Maher's incessant reminder that Obama won the election in 2012. Maher brings up the election to imply that we live in a democracy, Obama won, the Republican guy didn't, and therefore Obama has a mandate to do what he pleases. That kind of thinking lends itself to the notion that a legislative majority along with the President could pass a bill eliminating the States. Luckily we don't live in such a democracy. Checks and balances are of course built in to our system to help keep us from falling into such a democratic deep end, somewhat. The power of the purse is not new to the House of Representitives as it was built in purposely from the get-go. The House has ALWAYS had the power to not fund many federal endeavors, i.e. No Child Left Behind, the FDA, the Panama Canal, the building of Jefferson's navy to fight the Barbary pirates, and yes, Obamacare. In other words, the retort back to Bill Maher should have been, "the Presidential election? Big deal! Who cares? The election that mattered is the one in which the Democrats lost the House!"

This follows back into Maher/Reich's metaphors of blowing up spouses. The spouse metaphor is actually fitting, when the "blowing up" is removed. It's the power of the purse being issued in a rocky, traditional 20th century style marriage. Pardon my sexism, but let's go back fifty or sixty years to find a typical American household for ease and simplicity of metaphor. The House of Representatives represents the taxpayers, the breadwinner of the household, the mid-20th century husband. The Executive/President represents the wife with the checkbook. The husband feeds the checking account. The wife administers the checkbook, buys groceries, pays the utility bills, etcetera. One day the husband receives an overdraft notice from the bank and becomes concerned. He looks in the checkbook ledger to find many unexpected entries, checks to a beauty salon, a casino, liquor stores. The husband then takes back the checkbook, fills out the "Payable to" sections on all the checks, "Super Value Grocery", "Municipal Gas and Electric", etcetera, and then hands the checkbook back to his wife. It's not a perfect analogy, but it's a far cry less idiotic than the one in which he blows her up [not that he didn't consider that once or twice ;D].