During Thursday’s broadcast of Morning Joe, MSNBC contributor Ari Melber explained that the House Republicans’ lawsuit against President Obama has very little merit and is really just a law administration case, which is as boring as it gets. Melber called the Republicans’ big groundbreaking lawsuit an “expensive nothingburger” that won’t result in any substantial ruling. It is only about the administration of laws and procedures.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and the lawyers he brought on tried to find a juicy case against the President to appease the far-right base. They were hoping to find something regarding the recent border situation and other instances of President Obama utilizing executive power. In the end, the only thing they could find that even seemed to be a potential overreach of executive authority was Obama delaying the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act. As Melber pointed out, the reason this has little chance of succeeding is that Republicans need to prove that the delay in the mandate was meant as a way to circumvent the law, rather than just making an administrative decision to help the law work in a smoother fashion. Obviously, President Obama was not trying to go against the signature legislative achievement of his presidency by giving employers an additional year to be in compliance with the ACA.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of MSNBC:
Melber is absolutely correct. Republicans couldn’t find anything to hammer the President on. However, Boehner had to throw a bone to the wingnuts in his caucus who have been clamoring for impeachment since Obama was first elected. Therefore, the best he could come up with was a dry, boring lawsuit centered on administrative law that Republicans have little to now chance of winning. Boehner needed to do something, or the Tea Partiers in his party were going to call for his head. While Democrats, the President and most rational people can see through Boehner’s little ruse, he still needs to stand tall with it and try to push it as having true merit.
Of course, both Joe Scarborough and Nicolle Wallace stood up for the lawsuit and said that they believe it is justified. Wallace said that she applauds Boehner for showing “restraint” by just focusing on something “narrow and unsensational.” Meanwhile, Scarborough said that it is a good test case to see what the limits are on executive power. However, to Joe’s credit, he did state that Republicans are going to lose on this lawsuit because it opens the door for Democrats to hammer them as being a party more worried about going after Obama than doing their jobs in Congress. Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski highlighted a statement by Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), the DCC Chairman, where Israel said that Democrats will be hammering Republicans on their obsession with lawsuits and impeachment at the cost of doing anything in Washington.
Boehner has painted himself in a corner with this dumb lawsuit. He was possibly hoping this would satisfy the extreme wing of his party and satiate their hunger for an Obama impeachment. Instead, it just opened the door further for them to clamor for further action against the President. Boehner knows that talk of impeachment will kill the Republican Party in the midterms and pretty much kill any chance of taking the White House in 2016. However, he doesn’t want to say “impeachment is off the table” as he knows it will set off the crazies in his caucus. Boehner has no one to blame but himself for this failed gambit.