Obama Slams Boehner Lawsuit: He’s Not Going To Apologize for Being President

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In an exclusive interview with ABC on Thursday, President Obama refused to give merit to Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit threat, dismissing it as a stunt.

The President tossed the ball back at Boehner, saying he refuses to apologize for trying to get something done while they do nothing. Basically the President’s message was that he will not apologize for being President and using those powers to do what is in his authority as president to do, so Boehner better just get over it.

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Asked about the lawsuit Boehner has been pontificating about from on perilous high, with the Speaker saying, “We elected a President we didn’t elect a monarch or a king,” the President responded to ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos during the interview in Minnesota, “I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something while they’re doing nothing.”

The point here is that there are three branches of government, and Obama is saying he was elected to his which gives him authority, albeit limited authority, to take some actions and he has taken them and will continue to take them. Translation: Obama will not be apologizing for being president. So sorry, not sorry.

Obama pointedly added, “You notice that he didn’t specifically say what exactly he was objecting to.”

The President may or may not be firing a warning shot here for John Boehner, but the Speaker is treading in dangerous territory if he cares about his own credibility, which I’d dare say he gave up when he couldn’t even get his own bill passed in his chamber.

Threatening to sue over executive action but refusing to say which executive action is pretty lame, and telling the world you are suing someone when you have not actually filed papers is seen in the legal community as unseemly. It’s an obvious attempt at intimidation. It could even be perceived as a deliberate smear tactic, as it suggests that there’s cause for a suit without having to prove merit as there is no suit, thus no risk for the person smearing (I doubt Boehner will fail to file, but if the suit is not filed, it’s rather absurd for him to be threatening it). At any rate, it’s frowned upon.

Told that Boehner claimed the suit is over the President not faithfully executing the law, President Obama declared definitively, “The suit is a stunt.”

Boehner used language that mimics what constitutional scholars accused George W Bush of, no doubt on purpose. The Republican Party has spent the entire 6 years of the Obama presidency trying to make the Bush presidency (and indeed that other Republican, Nixon) appear par for the course, by applying every huge Bush/Nixon mistake to this president. So we’ve had “Obama’s Katrina!” “Obama’s Iraq!” “Obama’s Watergate!” and now we’re getting “Obama’s Monarchy!”

Of course, Democrats don’t subscribe to the sort of ideology that lends itself to a monarchy, whereas Republicans do.

An example of the kinds of things that Republicans do that gets Constitutional scholars up in arms:

In one frequently used phrase, George W. Bush has routinely asserted that he will not act contrary to the constitutional provisions that direct the president to “supervise the unitary executive branch.” This formulation can be found first in a signing statement of Ronald Reagan, and it was repeated several times by George H. W. Bush. Basically, Bush asserts that Congress cannot pass a law that undercuts the constitutionally granted authorities of the President.

In no way would a reasonable, unbiased court find that this President overstepped his bounds regarding executive action. While Bush used executive action to give himself power to ignore Congress and the law, Obama has used it to tweak the implementation of Obamacare (within the purview of his office), try to take some action toward responsible gun ownership (something the majority of the country supports), act on climate change (before it kills the planet, which is good even for those who are determined to buy the corporate line that there is no climate change) and raise the wage for federal workers under the purview of the executive office.

Republicans will point to the Supreme Court decision knocking down Obama’s recess appointments as proof that the President is overstepping his bounds. However, the ruling makes it clear that the court found that the Senate was not in proper recess, and that was their alleged issue with the President’s appointments, as explained by Adalia Woodbury yesterday:

Either the House or the Senate can force the Senate to hold “pro forma” or sham sessions – solely to prevent the President from making recess appointments, just as Republicans did in 2011.

The Boehner lawsuit talk is a stunt designed to motivate their base and distract the press (already working!) from the historical Do-Nothingness of his chamber. It is also laying the groundwork for impeachment, which is part of the GOP plan to get out their base in 2014. Republicans don’t run on ideas or their own platform these days, but instead rely on circus tricks and shell game acts to distract the public from what they are actually doing/not doing.

The bad news for Republicans is that this is not the 90s. The White House has already ripped the taxpayer funded lawsuit. The Boehner suit is already backfiring on Republicans, as it gave Democrats their biggest fundraising day of 2014.

And President Obama is not backing down. He won two elections with real votes, and was not appointed like some by the Supreme Court. Now he’s acting on that authority. Deal with it, Republicans.

28 Replies to “Obama Slams Boehner Lawsuit: He’s Not Going To Apologize for Being President”

  1. My e-mail to Boehner:

    Mr. Speaker,

    You should be ashamed of the proposed lawsuit against the President. You are wasting taxpayer money and valuable time that could be spent helping Americans. You make yourself and the House Republicans look like sore losers. Furthermore, you make it clearer to the public that the President was trying to do his job while Congress was sitting on its hands or was trying to make the President look bad out of spite. This lawsuit is one of the most embarrassing and shameful acts you have done. It also may be the act that makes people realize how ineffective and mean the Republican party has become.

    Thinking about it, maybe I should be glad you want to sue the President.

  2. It’s a Dayuuum shame how these House Republicans under John Boehner’s ineffective leadership has responded to Obama’s presidency since 2009 — SHAMEFUL ! Boehner, it seems goes along with the Right Wing extremists kooks in his party. They tell him to jump, and he says how high and with what joker hat?
    Suing the President—What farce. Republicans have no dignity nor respect for the President. They act like bufoons, unprofessionals and downright disrespectful idiots! That’s all I have to say. That Party is losing the respect of the country daily for their nasty, spiteful antics.

  3. You ask any bagger what the President has done that is unconstitutional all you hear are crickets.

    Its a damn shame they cannot point to one thing other than the NRLB and even that when other Presidents did it not a peep.

    Reminds one of Hatshepsut. One of the great Pharaohs who was written out of history because lets just say didn’t fit the model.

    This is what the baggers and racist are trying to do

  4. It’s almost hilarious that a drunken bum is going to try to sue a man who specialized in Constitutional law. Boehner better get ready for a beat down.

    I like the way Obama just puts it out there. They cannot back down. Even after shutting down the government. I’d hate to play poker against the president.

    All the repubs have done is ignite and galvanize the Democrats. This will blow up on them election day. Keep talking Boehner.

  5. Now wait a minute…
    Didn’t Senator Rand Paul sue the President as well? Or was it the NSA? So how is that going?

  6. Boehner thinks that if the President were removed from office, the Vice President could be gotten out of the way some old how, and he’d step into the Oval Office. The truth is that once such a proceeding is under way, he’ll be removed from the Speakership and replaced with whatever teabot the cadre behind this *really* wants.

  7. I’d prefer to see the President counter-sue them for having 1 member walk into the chamber day after day to bang the gavel and say “The House is now in session” and then bang the gavel again a few minutes later and say “This Session of the House is now at an end” while the rest of them are off doing God knows what.

    Boehner has scheduled 122 in session days for the next year. Who works 122 days out of 365 and gets full health care, full pension, housing allowance, travel allowance, per diem food allowance, insider trading just for them, AND $170,000 PLUS salary per year? Are these “122 days in session” ALL going to be 10 minutes long with no discussion or action again? Boehner belongs in jail on charges of Treason.

  8. First recess appointments were not ruled to be against the Constitution and the court reaffirms that:The upshot is that restricting the Clause to inter-session recesses would frustrate its purpose. It would make the President’s recess-appointment power dependent on a formalistic distinction of Senate procedure. Moreover, the President has consistently and frequently interpreted the word “recess” to apply to intra-session recesses, and has acted on that interpretation. The Senate as a body has done nothing to deny the validity of this practice for at least three-quarters of a century. And three-quarters of a century of settled practice is long enough to entitle a practice to “great weight in a proper interpretation” of the constitutional provision. The Pocket Veto Case, 279 U. S., at 689.

    Second and this important the Constitution never made the distinction to what was or was not a session. The court cleared that up:We therefore conclude, in light of historical practice, that a recess of more than 3 days but less than 10 days is presumptively too short to fall within the Clause. We add the word “presumptively” to leave open the possibility that some very unusual circumstance — a national catastrophe, for instance, that renders the Senate unavailable but calls for an urgent response—could demand the exercise of the recess-appointment power during a shorter break.

  9. In closing what the SCOTUS did is this:The Supreme Court expresses reluctance to look behind the Senate’s formal claim that it is in session, raising separation-of-powers concerns.From a practical perspective, judges cannot easily determine such matters as who is, and who is not, in fact present on the floor during a particular Senate session. Judicial efforts to engage in these kinds of inquiries would risk undue judicial interference with the functioning of the Legislative Branch.
    Meaning if the Senate is even in a Pro forma they make the rules and the judges recognize that fact. Separation of powers.
    Between the Lines of the Recess Appointments Decision
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/25/us/annotated-supreme-court-recess-decision.html?_r=0

    So please tell me what the President did was unconstitutional?

  10. O!
    The poor GOP….
    Sometimes you almost hafta feel
    sorry for them.
    They can’t seem to make up their minds.
    They refer to him as ‘The Annointed One,
    King, Monarch, Emperor’
    They also refer to him as ‘Weak, Feckless,
    Leading from behind’
    (hehe)
    Many times in the same interview!
    :D

  11. Oh, but it’s ok for President Obama to unilaterally enact the Dream Act that he couldn’t get through Congress? I look forward to the day when a Republican president wants a tax cut that Congress won’t approve and then just orders the IRS to stop collecting any tax he or she doesn’t like. You all will probably love the idea of suing to enforce the law then.

  12. Thats not a law that the president can make.

    Taxes are specifically mention in that constitution you know nothing about.

    The full dream act is not in force. Contain yourself, get an education outside of Fox and retry.

    Oh wait, what was it? Step back and reload? Something like that?

  13. Mr. President don’t hold back anymore we need you to truly speak your heart. We will listen, and support you 200% of the way! Sir!

  14. Not because I am Liberal or anything, but the right wingers who post on here know less about our constitution than they do their own bible. And religions in general. They seem to me to be the stupidest life form on Earth. Too stupid, or simply too lazy to google anything, or read the damned constitution REAL slowly and grasp any of what it says. Seems none of them ever had any basic civics classes, and most seem like Jethro Bodeen had a higher education with the 6th grade diploma he had.

  15. Great news, President Obama. Now the Democrats need to grow a spine and follow your lead to speak out.

    It’s about time that they do … unless they don’t give a darn about our President, the American people and our country!

  16. I’m an ultra Conservative, but I get it. Instead of working on alternatives and ways to help the country, they decided to obstruct the President, every step of the way. Although I don’t agree with many of his policies, I have to admire Obama’s guts. He is using every tactic he can to get around the obstacles. I really wish this partisan game that both sides are playing would stop. People’s jobs, lives and families are at stake here.

  17. I agree completely. We need the republicans to balance out the democrats and the democrats to balance out the republicans. Our country was founded by differing views compromising to create a solution both sides felt satisfied with. The creation of the House and Senate was called the Great Compromise for Christ’s sake. I love how the Tea Party started as a grassroots movement. Sadly, the Republicans and Tea Party politicians have decided to stop the process of working together to find a solution both sides of the aisle like and Fox News has followed them.

  18. No, not the president. He sued the NSA but it was kinda a copy cat thing after the American Civil Liberties Union did it first.

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