Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash Vol. XXXI: Raising awareness about Stephen Colbert, pimp-slapping the Constitution, and potty training tips

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Matt Labash
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      Matt Labash

      Hi, welcome to “Ask Matt Labash.” I’ll be your host, Matt Labash. The idea for this column – if idea isn’t too strong a word – is that it is not a column at all. Rather, it’s a conversation. One in which I do ninety-five percent of the talking. If you did most of the talking, you’d have to watch my eyes go dead and my attention wander until it was my turn to talk again. So trust me, it’s better this way.

      For those unfamiliar with me from my day job at The Weekly Standard, I’ll give you a capsule bio by way of introduction: I have the gift of wisdom. Does that sound arrogant? I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intention. I didn’t choose wisdom. It chose me. If I had my druthers, I’d have chosen another gift, perhaps the untold riches of Lil’ Wayne, whose teeth are made of actual diamonds, or to be the sexiest man alive, like Rachel Maddow. But wisdom is what they gave me, so wisdom is all I have to give back to you.

      This is not, you should know, a mere advice column. If you need advice, I’ll give it. But the only rule here is that there are no rules. You can ask me a question about anything that’s on your mind: current events, pop culture, media, theology, string theory, fishing tips, wicker repair. The only limits we have are those of your imagination. And those of my knowledge base. Which is considerably limited, truth be told. So try not to ask me anything that requires research. Though they tell me I have access to Google on this computer if we need it.

      If all goes according to plan, ours will not be a traditional writer/reader relationship. It’s more complex than that. I might empathize or cajole. I might educate, instruct, or inspire. I might pretend to answer your question while actually reporting you to Social Services, since you’re a dangerous person who should not have contact with children. I might tell you to climb up on my shoulders, that you’re not heavy, you’re my brother. Or I might tell you that you are heavy, and that you should hop down until you lose a few pounds. I might just sidle up behind you, put my big strong man hands on the small of your back, and whisper in your ear the words of the poet, Kenny Rogers: “We’ve got tonight, who needs tomorrow?”

      To which you’ll say something like, “I can’t, I’ve got to go home and wash my hair.”
      To which I’ll say something like, “Shhh. We’ve got tonight babe, why don’t you stay?”
      Wherever this takes us, our journey begins now:

      <i>Matt Labash is a senior writer with The Weekly Standard. His first book, <a href="">Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys</a> will be published next month by Simon & Schuster.</i>

Matt, how do you respond to leftists who accuse former President George W. Bush of “trampling the Constitution”? – Dreedle

With violence, usually. And not because I’m a defender of George W. Bush’s. I couldn’t even hold my nose and vote for the guy again by 2004. I’m just not a big fan of those who invoke “The Constitution” in an argument. It suggests an intellectual laziness. First, most of them haven’t even read the damn thing. At best, they have passing familiarity with one or two of the Bill of Rights. Something easy, like the First Amendment. So it’s always worth asking which part of the Constitution, specifically, did George W. Bush trample? What? Did he violate Article IV, Section 3, and form a new state within the jurisdiction of another state? Or did he trample Article I, Section 9, and grant a title of nobility while we weren’t looking? Be specific, whiners.

Also, I mean, I like the Constitution and all. But if the Constitution is such hot snot, if it’s so sacrosanct, then why have we had to amend it 27 times? And even then, some amendments exist merely to undo other amendments (The 18th Amendment taketh liquor away. The 21st Amendment giveth it back.) So maybe the Constitution doesn’t need to be trampled exactly. But maybe it needs to be pimp-slapped, and told to make up its mind already.

If you really want to be an interesting leftist, then, and not sound like every other cliché-spewing Daily Kossack, show me something different, and accuse George W. Bush of trampling our Declaration of Independence or The Treaty of Greenville or something. Let’s mix it up a little.

Hi Matt- Do you have any tips or advice on how to potty-train a toddler boy? Yours, B – an exasperated mom with pee stains everywhere in the house…

I’ve found that one of the most effective means of training is mild electric shocks. It worked wonders on my dog when we installed his Invisible Fence. We don’t even bother putting his shock collar on anymore, and he still won’t go over the line. So maybe take your boy out to a cow pasture and have him squirt on an electric fence. That ought to teach him to keep his urine to himself.

But before you revert to that, I’m a little troubled by these “pee stains everywhere in the house.” You really oughtn’t pee all over your house. It sets a horrible example for your son. Use the facilities. Lead by doing.

Matt Labash is a senior writer with the Weekly Standard magazine. His book, “Fly Fishing With Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys,” was published this spring by Simon and Schuster. Have a question for Matt Labash? Submit it here.

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