In a move less surprising than hot dogs at a ballgame, the House of Representatives voted to give Speaker John Boehner the authority to sue the president of the United States. This isn’t like a divorce, or a civil suit for money; it’s more of a restraining order. They want Obama to quit trying to resuscitate the government they’ve been working so hard to render unconscious.
On one hand, it’s a brilliant tactical move. Nobody can call them a Do-Nothing Congress anymore. “Do nothing? What are you talking about? We sued the president.” Many see the action as a stopgap measure to quiet the crazies on the right, who continue to demand nothing less than impeachment. And this is Impeachment Lite.
Problem is, they did it immediately before scurrying home on a five-week summer recess, so it’s not like a multitude of other accomplishments are destined to overwhelm this freakish folly in the near future. This being an important upcoming break, in which Congress will engage in the pivotal business of meeting with constituents and squeezing money out of them for their re-election. Does the term “every last dime” have any meaning here?
The excuse given for the lawsuit is Obama illegally delayed the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Seriously. That’s what they claim to be mad at. Not just the very same Obamacare the speaker and his buddies tried to scuttle over half a hundred times. But the very same delayed implementation to Obamacare the speaker and his buddies tried to pass. If irony were bananas, Boehner’s House would be Brazil.
Obviously something had to be done. Getting way too close to the midterms to try and repeal Obamacare anymore. Turns out people like it. Even the tea party has moved on, which is like saying the train fell over. Immigration reform is their new chew toy — and that also went down in flames due to internecine warfare. National political gridlock is old hat: Internal party gridlock is the coming thing.
To be honest, Democrats love this kind of talk. Their fervent hope is Boehner continues to contract heat prostration working on his tan. Nothing opens the spigot on the donation hose faster than GOP intransigence. It may be nothing more than a fundraising stunt but it works for everybody. Seems like the crazier the speaker and his buddies get, the more money for the November elections. For both sides.
Makes a person wonder what’s next: Is Boehner going to sue Sarah Palin for being reluctant to say ridiculous things? Take Mitt Romney to court for refusing to dominate the headlines the last two years? Charge the Supreme Court with voting along party lines too often?
There are so many things wrong with this move, you need a rubber spread sheet and an accountant on Thorazine to work them all out. By suing the chief executive, you’re not just opening any box of worms; you’re opening Pandora’s box of worms. Worms with Greek teeth. And venomous talons.
This could very well work as a template to screw things up in Congress for the history of eternity. Of course, if the case does persist and follows the average speed of your normal federal lawsuit, it won’t see the light of day until much, much later. Probably the middle of Hillary Clinton’s second term.
Contact Will Durst at firstname.lastname@example.org.