The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Because it's easier than actually legislating

For reasons I do not understand, except possibly that the average IQ is below 100 in some Congressional districts, the House of Representatives has sued the President to make him do...something:

The House adopted the resolution by a vote of 225-201. Five Republicans joined a unanimous Democratic conference to vote against the measure.

The resolution authorizes Boehner to challenge Obama in court for exceeding his authority by unilaterally delaying deadlines under Obamacare. Although he has said he'll target the one-year delay of the health care reform law's employer mandate penalties, the text of the GOP resolution gives the Speaker room to legally challenge implementation tweaks to other provisions of the law.

"This isn't about Republicans and Democrats. It's about defending the Constitution that we swore an oath to uphold," Boehner said.

Right. And the problem with American politics today is that the sets of people that understand the Constitution and that believe the Speaker do not overlap at all.

Let's review. The current House opposes a law passed by the House two sessions ago, but the Senate—last I checked, half the legislative power in the country—and most of the state governors support this law. The courts have upheld it. The President is enforcing it as he deems appropriate.

Kapur's commentary fixates on standing (the requirement that you can't sue unless you, personally, have been injured), but I'm wondering whether this suit would fail on the doctrine of political question. One half of one branch of government is opposed to the actions of another branch. And the representatives opposed to the executive actually represent a minority of voters. I'm not sure the courts are the appropriate venue here. Maybe try the ballot box?

Now, I opposed the majority in 2003 and 2004, when we went to war against a country that hadn't actually attacked us. So I get that minorities can feel oppressed. I had to pretend to be Canadian every time I went overseas for about five years, just so I wouldn't get dirty looks. And I really, really hated the outcome of the 2004 election, because it suggested to me that my countrymen were terrified children who shouldn't be trusted with cap guns, let alone nuclear weapons.

But you know what I did about it? I worked on Barack Obama's U.S. Senate campaign. Then I contributed to his Presidential primary in 2008. Then I volunteered for his 2008 general election campaign. Then he bloody well won the office. Because we were able to convince a clear majority of Americans that ours was the right set of policies, and ours was the right person, to govern the country for the next four years.

This is all of a piece. Republicans don't want to govern; they want to rule. And the reason they want to sue the President is because even though they can't convince the American electorate that they're right, they want their policies enacted anyway.

The legislature suing the executive to change the enforcement procedures of a popular law is just sad. I'd send John Boehner a copy of the Federalist Papers but it would just be a waste of money and postage.

Comments are closed