Friday, August 1, 2014

Sue the president, ignore the people

    After passing less legislation than any Congress in history, the Republicans in the House of Representatives authorized a lawsuit against the president of the United States for using his executive power.
    Let’s be clear. This is not the action of the whole Congress or even of some members of both parties. Despite House Speaker John Boehner’s announcement that, “This isn’t about Republicans and Democrats,” it is absolutely about Republicans, driven by what can only be called the whack-a-doodle element of their caucus. All but five Republicans voted for this colossal waste of time. The five dissenters didn’t side with the Democrats. They want to impeach instead of sue.
    Grounds to justify this suit are nearly as delusional as the idea of the legislative branch taking the executive branch to court. In 2013, President Obama delayed the implementation of one provision of the Affordable Care Act for a year. He acquiesced to concerns in the business sector about their ability to implement very complicated insurance mandates. Shortly after Obama issued his order, the House voted for the exact same delay!
    The vote on Wednesday might be called “impeachment lite.” Calls to impeach Obama are so numerous that one is left to wonder what the Republicans think he should not be impeached for. It’s been mentioned in relation to Obamacare, gay rights, Benghazi, drones and immigration. Republicans took two weeks just to decide why they should sue the president. Actually defining the “high crimes and misdemeanors” required for impeachment seems a stretch.
    All this would be comic were it not so sad. While the Republicans are wasting what little time they spend in session on nonsense, veterans wait even longer for medical care because increased funding that has bipartisan support does not receive a vote. Republicans fail to address the refugee children on our southern borders. Job growth, the environment and infrastructure, issues of real concern to voters, aren’t even on the radar.
    Starting today, members of Congress will be out of Washington until Sept. 9. Boehner has scheduled only 27 work days for the entire rest of 2014. Given how focused the Republicans are on being mad at Obama and how little they are focused on the needs of the rest of the country, they won’t be missed.

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