Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH, pictured) isn’t especially adept at doing his job well, but that’s not stopping him from announcing plans to sue President Barack Obama for managing to do his. In a Tyler Perry-themed display of overdramatic political theater, Boehner confirmed his intentions to sue the Obama administration over its use of executive action. In a letter to his colleagues, Boehner argued that Obama has “circumvented the Congress through executive action, creating his own laws and excusing himself from executing statutes he is sworn to enforce.”
As for whether this is a step toward impeachment — an idea that keeps the crazy sect of the GOP consistently wet — Boehner explained, “This is not about impeachment. This is about faithfully executing the laws of our country.” He also claimed that “when there is conflicts like this between the legislative and administrative branch, it’s our responsibility to stand up.”
This is a suit so stupid not even “Amen’s Deacon Ernest Frye or “Night Court” would take it on. And somewhere, groups of Black people are rightfully booing and hissing.
Now, there’s been debate over whether Boehner is specifically referring to President Obama’s use of executive orders, which are far less than his recent predecessors (well, actually, Grover Cleveland as recently reported), or executive authority. It’s a legitimate point, though it feels like semantics in this instance as others have since highlighted Boehner cheerleading former President George W. Bush‘s use of executive authority by way of executive orders.
At Think Progress, Josh Israel notes:
But Boehner embraced the power of a Republican president to take action, even at times when he would circumvent Congress by doing so. President George W. Bush’s issued hundreds of orders of his own over his eight years in office. In 2001 and 2007, Boehner strongly supported unilateral actions by Bush to prevent embryonic stem-cell research involving new embryos, saying the 2001 decision “preserves the sanctity of life and allows limited research that could help millions of Americans suffering from life-threatening diseases.” He endorsed a 2008 Bush executive order to limit earmarks. In the final days of Bush’s second term, he even wrote to the president asking him to use an executive order to exempt a historic steamboat from safety regulations after Congress opted not to do so.
Boehner even pushed for administrative compliance with one of President Obama’s executive orders. In 2010, he asked Obama for a progress report on implementation of an executive order banning taxpayer funding for abortion in Obamacare.
In other words, Boehner has no bone to pick with Obama when he’s using executive orders to suit his party’s interests, but damn him when he’s doing it on issues where they share different stances. And I suppose we’re supposed to just gloss over the reality that much of Obama’s use of executive order is rooted in Boehner presiding over one of the laziest Congresses in recent memory.
From the New York Times’ Derek Willis:
This House is on track to produce the lowest number of legislative proposals since the Clinton administration. Through mid-May, representatives introduced 18 percent fewer bills compared with the same point in the previous Congress. That’s the largest drop between Congresses in the period beginning in 1995, when Republicans overturned decades of Democratic rule in the House. The number of lawmakers who have introduced at least 25 proposals has fallen by nearly two-thirds compared with the previous Congress. The number who have produced five or fewer pieces of legislation has jumped 81 percent.
Of course, they have their reasons. Democrats know that Republicans in this Congress won’t let much in the way of sane bills pass thanks to the influx of crazy — courtesy of the Tea Party-elected officials. And for those Republicans with at least 42.8 percent of sense, they’re afraid to touch issues like immigration reform for fear of a primary challenge.
Word to Eric Cantor.
Even so, whose fault is that?
Everyone in Washington ultimately, but more so Boehner’s than anyone else.
It is he who cannot control his cause. It is he who refuses to own his power and authority because he’s so fearful of losing it. It is he, who in turn, won’t raise the minimum wage, approve more spending in infrastructure, or tackle any issue that most Americans genuinely support due to a small band of loudmouths emboldened by wealthy donors and a conservative media industry that celebrates their clowning around for ratings.
Instead of wasting money on challenging Obama’s authority as outlined by the constitution, Speaker Orange Bright ought to be checking that doc to see what his job detail looks like as opposed to what he’s been doing all this time.
Excuse me while I roll my eyes from here to Los Angeles and back again.