USA Today published an editorial by House Speaker John Boehner defending his lawsuit against President Obama, while at the same time their own editorial board published an editorial blasting the lawsuit.
Boehner wrote, “Congress makes the laws; the president executes them. That is the system the Founders gave us. This is not about executive orders. Every president issues executive orders. Most of them, though, do so within the law. This is also not about me vs. President Obama. This is about future Congresses and future presidents. There is a conflict between the executive branch and the legislative branch of our government. It is the judiciary branch’s role to help resolve it. I believe this path is the right one to defend our institution and preserve the Constitution, while continuing to focus on the American people’s top priority — helping our private sector create more American jobs.”
The editorial board at USA Today put out a nearly simultaneous editorial that took Boehner to task for the lawsuit.
The editorial board wrote:
It’s possible to view this as a high-minded dispute over where the Constitution draws the lines of authority between Congress and the president. Republicans cite scores of examples of what they say is executive overreach, such as Obama’s decision not to deport children brought here illegally by their parents.
But the lawsuit focuses solely on a small part of Obamacare, one that Republicans themselves would love to see delayed forever. A fair-minded look at the suit’s merits suggests it’s really more of a political grudge match, one in which the GOP is seeking an outcome it hasn’t been able to achieve at the polls or through the legislative process.
For one thing, Obama’s temporary delay to part of the health law doesn’t seem much different from President George W. Bush’s action in 2006 to extend the deadline and waive penalties for certain seniors who hadn’t signed up in time for the new Medicare prescription drug program. Both presidents appeared to be making reasonable, short-term accommodations to reality, and courts have traditionally given the executive branch broad discretion in implementing complex new laws.
It’s not good when the editorial board of the newspaper that published Boehner’s defense of his lawsuit felt compelled to write their own editorial condemning his tactics. Outside of conservative circles, Boehner is not finding a warm reception anywhere for his lawsuit. The lawsuit isn’t fooling anybody. It has always been a path towards drumming up support for impeaching the president. Boehner’s frivolous abuse of the court system is also intended to make Obamacare the front and center issue during the midterm elections.
The lawsuit does look like an attempt by a sore loser at petty political retribution. Republicans lost at the ballot box. They’ve lost in court of public opinion, because people like what the ACA does. All that they have left is a desperate run to the courts in the hopes that partisan activist judges will bail them out.
As a political strategy, the lawsuit has backfired. Democrats are fired up over Boehner’s clumsy tactics. As a fundraising gambit, the lawsuit has been a disaster. Democrats continue to raise millions of dollars off of a tactic that was supposed to help Republicans gain seats in the fall.
Boehner has shot the Republican Party in both feet with his lawsuit, and it has gotten to the point where no credible publication wants to be tainted with the embarrassment surrounding his attempt to sue the president.