House Republicans have authorized the lawsuit filed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) against President Barack Obama. Boehner is suing the president for failure to fully implement the Affordable Care Act, a law which has had its implementation interrupted by Republican obstructionism time and again.
Why engage is such political theater? For starters, Congress has a 14 percent approval rating. Republicans want to show that they’ve actually done something, hence the lawsuit. This isn’t specifically about Obama, establishment GOPers just want to please their Tea Party overlords. This lawsuit is a show for GOP donors, which have been giving less money to the Republicans ever since the 2012 loss.
Republicans staunchly oppose the ACA, yet they are suing Obama because he couldn’t roll out the law in its entirety fast enough for them. Based on that logic alone, the nature of the lawsuit doesn’t point to anything substantial, and the GOP certainly doesn’t care that the law they so hate isn’t rolled out completely. The lawsuit is mainly a slipshod attempt to attack Obama. It’s built on the same foundation as the Benghazi and IRS scandals.
“If there were a Republican president doing the same thing, I would feel just as strongly,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-S.C.). “For too long, this body, under the leadership of both Democrats and Republicans, has ceded parts of our constitutional authority to the executive branch.”
No, you wouldn’t, Foxx, and feigning bipartisanship on the issue isn’t going to help progress the lawsuit into favorability.
Ironically, the timing of the lawsuit will only further prove the lack of action in Congress; the House Republicans quickly approved the lawsuit right before a five-week long recess, which begins today. They are leaving more unfinished work on the table.
Furthermore, Congressional members didn’t “cede” to the executive branch. Congress just wasn’t doing anything and Obama actually showed some gumption, picked up a pen, and did what Congress kept failing to do, which was do something, anything.
It’s time that everyone recognizes that this lawsuit is about only one thing. It’s about taking a shot at the president. The suit is nothing more than political theatrics and Republican trickery to look good for their extreme constituency and get big-donor campaign cash. Elections are coming up, and they need to put on a show for some spending money.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.