Submental Gymnastics

Bill Maher and Piers Morgan
CNN, October 29, 2013

Submental. A word that seems to mean one thing, but by means of some linguistic gymnastics, is bent to mean something else. It would imply something below the level of proper mentation, but it doesn’t.  Just like the meaning of the word “settled” seems to mean something special to statists in regards to the law.

“And also, let’s again have a little perspective. Was any program ever, ever sabotaged to the degree this one has been? I mean, it’s been three years. It’s not a bill. It’s a law. I know that tea people think they know the Constitution — I don’t think they’ve even read it. A bill becomes a law, once it does, you don’t argue about it…I don’t care what your opinion on the health care law is now, it’s the law — you’re supposed to help it along.”  — Bill Maher, “Piers Morgan Live”, CNN, Tuesday October 29, 2013

Hey, Bill…I have a question for you.  Have you driven on a road in the past decade or so that had a speed limit of, say, 65 mph? It’s hard to drive any significant distance without finding one; most Interstates and other major highways have raised their limits to somewhere around there.  You’re old enough, Bill, to remember the late 70’s, just after something called the “National Maximum Speed Law” was passed, in the throes of the “Energy Crisis”. It was part of the “Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act”, which limited maximum speed on ANY road in the US to 55 mph.

In 1995, guess what happened, Bill. That law was repealed.  That’s right, it was repealed.  As in eradicated, removed, cancelled. Congress voted to negate it.  “What,” you say, “A Federal Law was cancelled?”  You recoil in disgust, your emotions an agonized, confused whirl.  “But when a bill becomes a law, once it does, you don’t argue about it!  It’s supposed to never go away!”

It did, Bill. History is full of such laws that have been passed, lasted a while, then were…brace yourself…repealed.  I’m sorry to have to shock you like that, Bill, I know that word hurts to hear, but you have to face it someday. Laws like the Alaska Native Allotment Act, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Dawes Act, and even the…I’m sorry, this is brutal for you and I realize that, but be brave…the Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act of 1917.  Now that’s submental, isn’t it, Bill?

Then there’s the Banking Act of 1933. You’re a liberal, Bill, you surely know what that was.  You don’t recognize it?  Why, it was the Glass-Steagall Act! I thought every liberal knew what that was, and blamed it’s loss for the financial crisis. All the Occupiers had signs demanding it be reenacted, you MUST remember THAT!  And the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act — though you may remember it as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 — don’t you remember?

That act repealed PART of the Glass-Steagall Act. Just part. There was such argument and haranguing over that, but in the end, it was done. Weren’t you all so upset when the Republicans tried to negate just PART of the ACA? You thought that was so unfair, to try to remove just a piece of a law like that. And when the shutdown came, there was such furor over the Republicans trying to pass “piecemeal” laws to cover things like death benefits, and national monuments. No, it had to be all of it, that’s what you all screamed, all of it!  It’s the law of the land, it’s settled!  You can’t just hack at it like this, you have to accept it, get behind it! That’s what you all said.

But then someone asked for the sequester to be negated. They wanted those increases restored.  I thought the sequester was a Federal law? It’s settled.  Why this talk of…(choke) repealing  it? Wait…wasn’t that something you wanted?  You didn’t like the sequester. In fact, didn’t you say “This Sequester shit is so submental – its like not having the willpower to diet, so rigging the refrigerator to blow up when you open it”?  Bill, even though the word “submental” means “located in, affecting, or performed on the area under the chin,”  that comment would imply that you…you…didn’t agree with a law.  You wanted it…repealed.  But according to you, isn’t that sort of thing submental?  Well, I, for one, feel like I’ve taken one on the chin, but I don’t think that’s what you meant, was it?

I’m confused about your desire to repeal the sequester, Bill.  Aren’t we supposed to help it along, regardless of our opinion on it? But Democrats want to fight over the sequester, and even Ezra Klein can see that the deal to end the shutdown presented them with a golden opportunity to change an existing, settled law.

“The timing of all this is designed to create a fight about sequestration. The Jan. 15 deadline means funding for the federal government runs out at the exact moment sequestration’s deeper cuts kick in. The Dec. 13 deadline means that the full House and Senate would have time to consider any package of recommendations the bicameral committee comes up with, if the committee actually manages to come up with anything.” — Ezra Klein, Washington Post, October 14, 2013.

I think it’s time to face some uncomfortable facts, Bill. I know it hurts to say this, but I think it’s clear that any law can be repealed. It doesn’t matter if it’s a liberal or conservative law. It doesn’t matter if it has bipartisan support, or if the Supreme Court rules in its favor.  SCOTUS can revisit it and change its mind, or Congress can pass a law that changes or even negates a law — they can remove it entirely. There’s even a procedure, laid out in the Constitution, for amending it. The highest law of the land can be altered if the proper procedure is followed.  There have been 27 amendments to the US Constitution. Of those, the 18th Amendment prohibited alcohol…and the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th.  No law is immune to changes over time.

Democrats have been screaming for the 2nd Amendment to either go away, or be hedged about with regulations, restrictions, and obstructions to the point where the people would only be able to legally get single-shot rimfire rifles, which they have to keep in a government-run armory, and can only be taken out to go to a government-sanctioned range and back again. That’s how they do it in much of Europe, after all, and aside from the skyrocketing violence, terrorist actions, and public massacres by rampaging nutcases, they’re doing  just fine… Well, to be fair, not all Democrats want that. Some want every single gun in America turned in and melted down into commemorative paperweights. Except for the ones held by the police, of course. They say “we don’t want to take away your guns,” but they have their fingers crossed behind their backs, because they have made it perfectly clear that they do in fact want to do just that.

But to paraphrase you, Bill, it’s not a bill. It’s an amendment to the Constitution. I know that statist, leftist people think they know the Constitution — I don’t think they’ve even read it. A bill becomes an amendment, then goes to the States for ratification. Once it does, you don’t argue about it.

Right, Bill?

 

Respectfully Submitted

References

Bill Maher on Piers Morgan Show, CNN 10/29/13:  http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1310/29/pmt.01.html

Ezra Klein, Wonkblog, Washington Post 10/14/13:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/14/the-senates-deal-to-end-the-shutdown-is-a-deal-to-fight-over-sequestration/