House Takes Obama's Advice to 'Sue Me'
The president not only regularly usurps authority, he likes to taunt his political opponents for objecting. “So sue me,” he said recently before putting his thumbs in his ears and blowing a raspberry. Well, just before leaving for August recess, the House voted nearly along party lines Wednesday to do just that. Republicans say Obama exceeded presidential authority and assumed legislative power by making unilateral changes to ObamaCare – specifically, delaying the mandate that employers provide health insurance to employees. The suit sets up a high-stakes election fight over ObamaCare and the Constitution. But what will it accomplish?
In Federalist No. 47, James Madison warned that the “accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands … may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” Opposing Obama’s tyranny is of the utmost importance.
“No member of this body needs to be reminded of what the Constitution states about the president’s obligation to faithfully execute the laws of our nation,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said. “No member needs to be reminded of the bonds of trust that have been frayed, of the damage that’s already been done to our economy and to our people. Are you willing to let any president choose what laws to execute and what laws to change? Are you willing to let anyone tear apart what our Founders have built?”
Obama promptly responded by announcing another executive order to, in the words of White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer, “crack down on federal contractors who put workers' safety and hard-earned pay at risk.”
On the campaign stump halfway across the country, Obama mocked the suit. “They’re going to sue me for taking executive actions to help people,” he crowed. “So they’re mad I’m doing my job. And by the way, I’ve told them, ‘I’d be happy to do it with you. The only reason I’m doing it on my own is because you’re not doing anything.’” By which he means yielding to his leftist agenda. He added, “Stop being mad all the time. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop just hatin' all the time.”
Let’s be clear: The president’s job isn’t “taking executive actions to help people,” and Obama’s craven reframing of the subject is contemptible. His job is to support and defend the Constitution and to faithfully execute the law.
Pfeiffer likewise belittled the effort, saying, “The House of Representatives just took a vote – and it wasn’t to raise the minimum wage, put in place equal pay, create jobs, or reform our broken immigration system. Instead, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives just voted to sue the President for using his executive authority. This lawsuit will waste valuable time and potentially millions of taxpayer dollars.” Translation: Instead of happily going along with the Democrat agenda, Republicans actually want to pay attention to a dusty old parchment.
That said, the lawsuit is an unprecedented, narrow and possibly doomed-to-fail effort by the minority party to slow the train of repeated injuries and usurpations of a power-hungry administration. A decision could take months if not years, and it may not have the desired effect.
It’s also somewhat ironic that the GOP is suing Obama for refusing to implement ObamaCare by the letter of the law when Republicans want to repeal it. On the other hand, Democrats simultaneously insist it’s the “law of the land” and have no problem with Obama ignoring, changing or delaying it.
Meanwhile, Democrats are practically begging Republicans to impeach Obama, raising millions of dollars off their phony scam, and they were more than happy to recast the lawsuit as part of that alleged effort. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) frantically warned, “This isn’t about this lawsuit. This is about the road to impeachment.” DNC Chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz called the lawsuit a “prelude to the potential for impeachment,” and insisted Democrats will continue to raise money on it.
Unfortunately, Republicans in the House are limited in what they can do to roll back Obama’s unconstitutional actions. They have been able to slow legislative overreach, but without the Senate, they’re handicapped to reverse anything. If Republicans can successfully highlight Obama’s lawlessness and frame the lawsuit as being rooted in true concern for the faithful execution of the law and constitutional exercise of power, voters will reward them in November. If not, they’re just helping Democrats raise money.