September 29, 2013
The American Form of Government
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.
Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.
Posted by pudge at September 29, 2013
10:12 AM | Email This
1. Quote of the Day, Pro-#Obamacare Trolls Will HATE Reading This edition.
Stu Rothenberg, after looking at the 2012 exit polls and noting that the same electorate that re-elected Barack Obama also supported repeal of Obamacare over not-repeal 49/44, finishes up with:
There is no denying that Obama won the 2012 presidential election. But that vote shouldn't be held up as a vote of confidence for Obamacare. And it's worth mentioning (again) that the Republicans taking a stand against the president were elected, too.
That they were, Stu. That they were. If Barack Obama wanted to have a mandate to keep Obamacare, let alone expand it, then he should have worked more to elect more Democrats in 2012. Then again, it's long been known that Barack Obama is rather bad at getting his ostensible colleagues in the Democratic party elected, so possibly keeping him far away from close races in 2012 was a feature for his party, not a bug.
2. Hence "continuing resolution."
Chris Matthews must be right, the income tax must be repealed, along with every other constitutional amendment since the Bill of Rights, how dare Congress and/or the American People think they have the right to change settled law.
No votes for women, slaves for us all!
4. doug, I don't think that was his point. He was not saying a law cannot be changed, he was saying that because it IS law, the Congress doesn't get to decide whether or not to have it continue to be implemented. But the Congress explicitly does have that authority, through the annual funding process.
5. Of course, as you stated in your post last week, it takes two yes's plus President's signature. So, if the House wants to continue amending a clean continuing resolution bill, then we will continue this stalemate. It isn't up to the Senate to just say yes to what the House passes. At least, that was your stand last week.
anonymous coward: Of course, as you stated in your post last week, it takes two yes's plus President's signature. So, if the House wants to continue amending a clean continuing resolution bill, then we will continue this stalemate.
You have it backward. NOT funding something is not saying Yes, it's saying No. The Senate and President are trying to force the House to say Yes to something it doesn't want. That is not the American form of government: in America, one No wins.
It isn't up to the Senate to just say yes to what the House passes. At least, that was your stand last week.
My stand is obviously unchanged: the Senate has no power or authority (moral or otherwise) to force the House to fund something it doesn't want to fund. And if the Senate chooses to shut down government over that, it is all on them, not the House.
It's not like the House is saying "add or modify this law or we won't vote to fund the government." It's saying "we are voting to fund government, just not this part of it." And the Senate, not the House, is choosing to shut down government over that perfectly valid expression of the House's authority.
7. @6 Well said. The intent of the framers was to setup a government that absent a broad agreement, would usually end up with a default of "no." Deadlocks and stalemates are the American way.
8. We get it Pudge, you believe that the House is saying not to fund something. Not exactly, and with each back and forth, even less so. The House bill is a clean funding bill, including ACA, with amendments added to strip the funding The Senate keeps rejecting the amendments, not the base bill. It is up to the Senate to agree to the amendments, which they aren't going to do. See your personal opinion (previous post response to KDS) on what will happen, is not going anywhere. What you projected to occur is the latest version of the House bill, which the Senate will reject. The Senate passed the House bill without the amendments (clean bill as it is being referred to in the media). The House can play back and forth all they want, they won't get ACA delayed or defunded. My personal opinion is the government will partially close (already talk of still paying military and other essential functions). I don't begin to hazard a guess how long the shutdown will last, only to say it will last until the House agrees to drop ACA related changes or water the changes down to minor tweaks that everyone can agree does need changing). Stand strong Pudge, your House GOP are with you and standing on principles. I am sure they won't let you down. :-)
anonymous coward: We get it Pudge, you believe that the House is saying not to fund something.
It is. Explicitly. By your own telling of the situation. Whether something is in the base bill or an amendment has absolutely no bearing on the discussion. We're talking about constitutional authorities here, and the Constitution doesn't distinguish regarding such details.
The House can play back and forth all they want, they won't get ACA delayed or defunded.
I think you're wrong. I think most likely there will be a delay of many key provisions, especially the individual and business mandates, which are currently unpopular even among many Democrats, and Obama has almost no leg to stand on even in public speeches since he arbitrarily (some say illegally) temporarily waived mandates for others.
We'll see who is right over the next few days or weeks. The parts you say are "so" unpopular, won't be when it comes to shutting the government down. Methinks the GOP has chosen "A Bridge Too Far".
anonymous coward: We'll see who is right over the next few days or weeks.
On the issue of whether the ACA gets defunded or delayed, yes. And I have no real confidence in my prediction, I just think it is the most likely scenario, because the Democrats would be absolute fools to not agree to it, and the Republicans, I think, would agree to it. The Democrats know the mandates are going to cause problems, so they have everything to gain by letting it slip, except that the GOP can claim some victory ... but if they don't let the GOP claim some victory, then they will get no deal at all. Everyone has to come out of this being able to claim some victory.
The parts you say are "so" unpopular, won't be when it comes to shutting the government down.
Well, except the obvious fact is that this is a false choice forced on the people by an intractable Senate that is literally attempting to take rightful authority away from the House.
And while I do think that the people will generally see the GOP as causing this, they will also mostly recognize the very obvious truth that this is a very clearly false choice. They may blame the GOP for the shutdown, but they will still blame Obama and the Democrats for being intractable and forcing "ObamaCare" on us.
12. Why would the Democrats be fools? The polling suggests that shutting down Govt due to ACA related disagreement is a minority opinion (
13. The polling suggests that shutting down Govt due to ACA related disagreement is a minority opinion
CNN Poll Shows Media/Obama Losing Shutdown Battle
According to the CNN poll, 58% believe congressional Democrats are acting like spoiled children, compared to 69% for the GOP. In other words, the public see both sides as losers, the GOP only a little more so.
In the event of a government shutdown, 46% would blame congressional Republicans and 36% would blame Obama. However, 13% would blame both -- which puts Obama only a point under 50%.
The media are attempting to spin these numbers in a way that makes it look as though the GOP will "bear the brunt of shutdown blame," but once you are at or over the 50% mark, it is all semantics. No one looks good and both sides are going to get hurt.
So, the question becomes, are you just another anon low information voter or another anon sycophant ideologue of the incompetent or merely another anon loud lefty media following lemming?
1208 days till we rid ourselves of this incompetent.
"America doesn't do pinpricks ... but sometimes we elect them
" - Sarah Palin 9/30/2013
Yes they do, Sarah, yes they do.
Chris Matthews has a perpetual case of diarrhea of the mouth - his brain has problems catching up to what he says - just one more of the litany of examples.
Neither side is proactive when it comes to resolving these and other issues. Dysfunctional government and this time the President is driving the dysfunctional bus and is showing his true colors again after being outfoxed by Putin. This law is so FUBAR'd it cannot be made right - The Gordian knot nature is working against a majority of people covered, but illegal aliens will like it - another symptom of FUBAR. BO wants the Government shutdown, but if the GOP shows some guts and gets concession(s), he will have named his poison.
17. Let's not forget why the House "flipped". The current house was elected with a gerrymandered minority, thanks to a wave of redistrcting over the past decade, funded by Koch and associates pouring money into local races. The GOP is trying to do the same at the national level now, by moving to proportional electoral college voting, but it's not going to happen. It's simply the last gasps of a dying and increasingly irrelevant party. The demographic shifts and social trends are unstoppable. The US is finally growing up, becoming increasingly urban, diverse and less religious. We'll have to suffer for a bit until the Tea Party (mostly made up of old, bitter white men) fades away.
anonymous coward: Why would the Democrats be fools? The polling suggests that shutting down Govt due to ACA related disagreement is a minority opinion
Whatever else the polls say, most people want both sides to come to an agreement. That necessarily means compromise. And right now, the Democrats are showing themselves completely unwilling to compromise. So if the Democrats won't compromise at all, they stand to lose. Worse, in the scenario I outlined, they would be rejecting a "compromise" most of them want. Most of them recognize the employer mandate needs more work, and should be delayed.
So risking being seen by the American public as the intractable ones, over something most of them want anyway, would be foolish.
Proteus: Let's not forget why the House "flipped". The current house was elected with a gerrymandered minority
False. There is no national vote for the House. It is completely irrational to take all votes for the House and put them into one pile and say who should control the House. This is the same "reasoning" used by those who claim Gore won the mythical "popular vote" in 2000. The problem is obvious. In 1996, if there had a been a national popular vote, I would have voted for Dole, but because there was no national popular vote, I voted for Harry Browne, because I lived in Massachusetts and Clinton's victory there was a foregone conclusion.
Same thing happens in House races. In many races, there is no option, or the option is not good. If you lived in Boehner's distict in Ohio in 2012, maybe you write in a candidate, but chances are they don't count it as a vote for a Democrat. Your vote simply doesn't count in this mythical "national popular vote" for the House, because Boehner was unopposed.
Here's a hint: if Ezra Klein is championing your meme, you've already lost.
As to the charge of gerrymandering, please. You really think that claim is going to work, here in WA, where they explicitly and openly gerrymander in favor of the Democrats? And I come from Massachusetts, the home of gerrymandering, where about 20% of state representatives are Republican, even though Deval Patrick couldn't even get 50% of the general election for governor, and Republican Charlie Baker got 42% . Even in the presidential election, the Democrat got 61% and the Republican 38%. So why do the Republicans have only 20% of the state legislature? It's well-understood this is gerrymandering. But it gets worse: there is not a single Republican member of Congress from Massachusetts, and aside from the short-lived Republican Senator replacing Ted Kennedy, there hasn't been one for many years.
So even though there is gerrymandering in WA, it's really not that bad at all compared to what goes on in MA. But please, stop whining about the evil Republicans and their newfound love of gerrymandering, when Democrats have been doing it all along.
The GOP is trying to do the same at the national level now, by moving to proportional electoral college voting
... which is better than the Democratic push to eliminate the electoral college. Proportional voting makes perfect sense for a state to do, and it's been done for centuries. But abusing the electoral college system to undermine it is a travesty. Think about what you Democrats are pushing. If Ohio had gone to Kerry in 2004, as many Democrats (falsely) say should have happened, then under your scheme, Washington's, Massachusetts', California's, New York's ... all these states dominated in the presidential election with votes by Democrats for Democrats would have gone to Bush. The Democrats are explicitly threatening the votes of their own party's members! It's remarkably insane.
It's simply the last gasps of a dying and increasingly irrelevant party. The demographic shifts and social trends are unstoppable.
You're only fooling yourself with that nonsensical line.
The US is finally growing up
Obviously not, because it keeps voting for Democrats who promise more than the government is capable of providing. Obama is a perfect example of how infantile the electorate is: he had no real experience, was clearly not up for the job, promised far more than he was capable of delivering, didn't do anything to improve the economy, went back on most of his biggest promises ... and no Democrats even seem to care, and he gets reelected easily.
the Tea Party (mostly made up of old, bitter white men)
You're a liar.
Thanks for plinking Ezra Kleins article, he describes it very well.
It's funny that you use Washington state as an example...we actually are one of the few with a bi-partisan commission for districting. Given that Obama won the state by over 15 points, the 6 to 4 split is more than reasonable.
Your next statement makes no sense. You're implying under a proportional system that WA, MA, CA And NY would go for Bush? It's irrelevant anyways. The GOP can't win the popular vote anymore, and I'd argue with congressional GOP approval in the single digits, that you may even lose the House next year.
And yes, I nailed the Tea Party demographic accurately. You just live in your own version of reality, with your own "facts" fed back to you by the right wing echo chamber.
Proteus: yes, he describes this obviously completely false
concept very well.
And I acknowledge the end result of the gerrymandering in WA is general even, but that doesn't help most Washingtonians who are in districts explicitly gerrymandered to have a Republican or Democratic representative.
Your next statement makes no sense. You're implying under a proportional system that WA, MA, CA And NY would go for Bush?
Reread. I am talking explicitly about the Democratic system of trying to force a national popular vote into effect. If you don't know what your fellow Democrats are doing, research the "NPV". It would have, in 2004, given the victory to Bush even if Kerry had won Ohio, because Bush would have won this mythical "national popular vote." It's completely insane: it takes a vote for electors in one state and converts that vote into something that was not necessarily intended by the voter (as my vote was not intended to be a national vote for Browne in 1996, but explicitly only a vote for Browne's electors in MA: if it had been a national popular vote, I'd have voted for Dole).
The GOP can't win the popular vote anymore
and I'd argue with congressional GOP approval in the single digits, that you may even lose the House next year.
There's no serious chance of that, no.
Ezra Klein is part of the problem with the media - not to be taken seriously by anyone who has any real intelligence - wishful leftist thinking.
He concocted Journolist, conflates and shows that he is a pseudointellectual leftist hack who attempts to rewrite history and he has the corner on his twerking style of journalism.
It would be refreshing if a vast majority of the Senate up for reelection and at least 50% of the House were defeated in 2014. If the real disdain for Congress were shown for real, this would happen. Problem is, too many lightweights (@20) passing themselves off as intellectuals like Ezra Klein out there who have no answers of substance.
23. Would be interesting to hear how you believe the GOP, with it's far right, radical views that seem totally out of touch with mainstream America is going to win the national popular vote? You've alienated minorities. You've alienated moderates and independents. You've alienated non-religious women (and a few nuns too!) You've alienated most of the new generation of voters, and the old, white, angry men that seem to make up the modern GOP is a steadily shrinking population. The party has gone so far to the right, that Reagan would be thrown out as a liberal! So, what's your game plan? Stop everyone else from voting?
Proteus: Would be interesting to hear how you believe the GOP, with it's far right, radical views that seem totally out of touch with mainstream America
No such "GOP" exists, so that question is unanswerable.
... is going to win the national popular vote?
No such vote exists, so that question is unanswerable.
You've alienated minorities. You've alienated moderates and independents. You've alienated non-religious women
To some extent. But to a greater extent, YOU have lied about us, and they've believed your lies. The only thing the GOP has done to alienate some women is to be against abortion; the only thing it has done to alienate minorities is to be against immigration reform; the only thing it has done to alienate moderates and indpendents is to not be moderate or independent (which isn't saying much, since your side isn't either). The rest, this "war on women," and crap about the right wing being racist, and extreme, and so on is all lies.
You've alienated most of the new generation of voters
No, we haven't.
the old, white, angry men that seem to make up the modern GOP is a steadily shrinking population
Right. That's how we keep winning the House.
The party has gone so far to the right, that Reagan would be thrown out as a liberal
There is no sense in which that is true.
So, what's your game plan? Stop everyone else from voting?
Says the party whose President literally rose to power by challenging the votes of his opponents, acts which that President now calls racist when done by Republicans?
"You've alienated most of the new generation of voters, and the old, white, angry men that seem to make up the modern GOP is a steadily shrinking population."
You, like Obama are a racist. The Democrats are angry white men, women and LGBT's. You are unhinged, delusional and if you want to keep believing that it is shrinking population, have at it and be in for a rude awakening.
"The party has gone so far to the right, that Reagan would be thrown out as a liberal! So, what's your game plan? Stop everyone else from voting?
Posted by Proteus at October 2, 2013 10:56 PM"
Try stop voter fraud that the Democrat party advocates under the ruse of voter suppression. Contrary, the Democrats have gone so far to the left that they are so leftist (liberal fascism) that they have a distorted view like you do. The GOP is the party of diversity, some big government types, but an increasing number of limited government libertarian and constitutionalists. Your ideological bent is only happy if America becomes a turd world country. After Obama, the Democrat party will leave a big turd in the punchbowl for the next president to deal with.