Last October the GOP orchestrated a shutdown of the United States government because it didn’t get its way in Congress when playing fair and square. So they attempted a bit of political theater by saying “Do it our way or we’ll make sure America pays the price.” Thankfully their little game of taking America hostage didn’t work and most Americans saw it for the farce it was.
So now they (primarily John Boehner) are
throwing another tantrum suing the President. Why? Well, it’s a little fuzzy. Boehner has an op-ed on CNN about his rationale. There are lots of broad claims with hardly an specifics. Probably the most precise thing Boehner said was:
…too often over the past five years, the President has circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action, changing and creating his own laws, and excusing himself from enforcing statutes he is sworn to uphold — at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him.
The GOP seems to be upset about Obama using executive orders, which he has often done in response to an inert Congress. This seems to be in-keeping with the GOP’s recent talking points of Obama being an “imperial President.” Ok, we’ll get to that. The other point Boehner made was:
After years of slow economic growth and high unemployment under President Obama, they are still asking, ‘where are the jobs?’ The House has passed more than 40 jobs bills that would help. But Washington Democrats, led by the President, just ignore them.
So what makes me think this is a farce? Well, for starters it’s the double standard. If slow economic growth (note he admits growth, which is not the economic slide we were in when Obama took office) and issuing too many executive orders are the issue, where was the GOP when Dubya was in office? Bush issued 291 executive orders compared to Obama’s 182 (the GOP’s patron saint Ronald Regan issued 381 himself). And even an economy that is slowly growing is better than what Bush did to it. Where was the GOP then? That’s right: supporting and defending every decision Bush made. Hypocrites.
That leaves the claim that Obama is destroying jobs (or not creating them fast enough for many of the same Republicans who supported Bush the Younger). The best response to Boehner I’ve seen also comes from CNN. Sally Kohn posted a brilliant article that is steeped in fact, cited, and specific throughout. How did she deal with Boehner’s claims about jobs and the economy?
House Republicans are using taxpayer dollars to fund a lawsuit against a President who has literally done not only what every president before him has done but has done it less often and is doing so now only because House Republicans repeatedly refuse to even vote on legislation, let alone pass anything.
And you have the gall to accuse the President of being the one in violation of the Constitution?
Even more frustrating is how your repeated attacks on the President fall factually flat. In your essay for CNN, you write: “After years of slow economic growth and high unemployment under President Obama, they are still asking, ‘where are the jobs?’ ”This is a particularly laughable assertion given last week’s jobs report, which noted our economy added 288,000 jobs in June, marking 52 straight months of continuous job growth. Overall, under President Obama’s leadership, the private sector has added 9.7 million jobs and an economy that was in free fall when he was elected is now in a steady recovery.
Don’t think that recovery is fast enough, Speaker Boehner? Then pass laws to help rather than jeering from the sidelines and rooting for America to fail so you can blame it on President Obama.
You assert that you have passed jobs bills that President Obama and the Democratic Senate are ignoring, but frankly the word “jobs” as you use it there is questionable. Your “jobs” bills include legislation to repeal Obamacare, through which 20 million Americans now have health insurance, cut food stamps for poor Americans and reduce government regulations on fracking.
Meanwhile, President Obama proposed an actual jobs bill that would have created construction jobs to modernize our deteriorating roads and airports, provided tax credits for employers that hired returning veterans, extended unemployment benefits, which also spurs spending, and cut payroll taxes for 98% of American businesses. But that jobs bill was killed by Republican opposition in Congress.
That is a metaphorical backhand if ever I saw one. Seriously, read all of Kohn’s article. It’s just brilliant. I especially like the line about jeering from the sidelines for America to fail so they can blame it on Obama. That captures the whole charade in a single sentence.
Republicans (most of whom voted for Bush) who buy the story of Obama destroying the economy (rather than saving it) will love this bit of pretension. Everybody else who wishes Congress was more interested in doing its job rather than earning political points by grand-standing (or failing to earn them, see the government shutdown) will take one step closer to alcoholism.
How did the President respond? By saying “Sue me.”
He also pointed out that Boehner’s article was light on specifics while calling the lawsuit a stunt:
“You notice that he didn’t specifically say what exactly he was objecting to. I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something while they’re doing nothing,” the President said.
“You know, the suit is a stunt. But what I’ve told Speaker Boehner directly is, ‘If you’re really concerned about me taking too many executive actions, why don’t you try getting something done through Congress?'”
The White House’s legal counsel thinks the lawsuit will be swiftly thrown out. Whether the suit is dismissed or not, the point isn’t to win a lawsuit. The point is to pander to the GOP base. When the lawsuit inevitably fails it will be spun as proof of just how deep the anti-America (read anti-Republican) conspiracy goes and how the GOP are the only ones trying to fight it, not that the GOP were just pitching another fit about not getting their way by playing the congressional game fairly.