Matt Welch Discusses 'Government Shutdown' and Iran on MSNBC


On Saturday, Sept. 21, I appeared on MSNBC's afternoon programming to discuss the Republican strategies to defund Obamacare, the looming end to the federal government's fiscal year, the GOP divide over philosophy and tactics, and the prospects for successful foreign policy vis-a-vis Iran:

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  1. “Republicans think – and I think that they’re wrong about this – but they think they can get a better leveraging position by threatening other things, but I think it’s going to be a public relations problem for them.”

    MSNBC and likeminded journalists will make certain it’s a public relations nightmare for the Republicans no matter what they do.

    1. Polling on this stuff so far has not been Ted Cruz’s friend.

      1. It’s my opinion that that is driven primarily by how the news reporting on this is slanted, but that’s just a guess from talking to people I know watch NCB Nightly News and the like. When I was staying with my old man while he was recovering from bypass surgery during the sequester the reporting from Brian Williams had him thinking the world was about to end.

        I wonder if journalists were highlighting the probable pitfalls (if pitfalls can be probable) of ACA then would honest polling look different?

        1. ACA has never polled well, to my knowledge. Though not as badly as defunding ACA through a continuing resolution….

          Look, you have a sizable number of Republicans saying “This won’t work, let’s concentrate instead on something we can actually do or obstruct.” I think there’s a persuasive argument to be made that if the coverage was more about implementation and less about Ted Cruz vs. John Boehner, we might be hearing more about how awful ACA is.

          1. But without personalities, all you have is this law… and that doesn’t make for good television.

            1. I guess, though I’m an eternal optimist about making compelling media about policy discussions….

              1. The very end of this video segment was a good example. “Do the Republicans own this?” was the only analysis she wanted on the government shutdown.

  2. Of course they ask the Reuters douche about what in Obamacare scares those who don’t support it rather than Welch, who actually understands the detractors. What a terrible, terrible network.

    1. If you got in the ring with Randy Couture, I’d imagine you’d want him to have a handicap.

  3. “The American people don’t want the government shut down…”

    Say what?

    1. I presume I said that, so let me explain:

      1) I should be kicked in the face for saying anything about what “the American people” do or don’t want, but what I meant was

      2) Government shut-down is polling very very badly, and I see no reason why that will change.

      1. No, I’m sorry, I was quoting John Boehner. I haven’t gotten to your segment yet.

  4. How’s that libertarian moment coming along?

  5. I just plain don’t agree that Obama has the high ground on this. Even though I think the Republicans’ actions are inadvisable, they have managed to put the president and the senate into the corner where they’re committing the act they’re accusing others of: Obama and the Senate are threatening to shut down government over Obamacare. And not even all of Obamacare: just a the minor, non-mandatory part of it!

    When the timeline is laid out it makes the Democrats look like utter fools.

    I also don’t think it’s fair to say there’s a civil war. There’s a disagreement of strategy, sure, but no party-wrenching war on.

    At this point government is still so far away from ideal that the various wings of the Republican party don’t have to fight each other. There’ll be time for the libertarian-conservative-log cabin-religious right-crazy wings to fight it out when we get closer to that mattering.

  6. Wasn’t a government shutdown mostly a non event in 95? I was in elementary school and it was all over the news, but it did not lead to disaster.

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