President Obama is setting a trap for John Boehner and the House Republicans, as during his remarks on the economy, the president had a simple message for Boehner, “sue me.”
The president said:
And this obstruction keeps the system rigged for those who are doing fine at the top. It prevents us from helping more middle-class families. And as long as they insist on taking no action whatsoever that will help anybody, I’m going to keep on taking actions on my own that can help the middle class — like the actions I’ve already taken to speed up construction projects, and attract new manufacturing jobs, and lift workers’ wages, and help students pay off their loans.
And they criticize me for this. Boehner sued me for this. And I told him, I’d rather do things with you, pass some laws, make sure the Highway Trust Fund is funded so we don’t lay off hundreds of thousands of workers. It’s not that hard. Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff. So sue me. As long as they’re doing nothing, I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something.
And look, I just want to be clear — Republicans in Congress, they’re patriots, they love their country, they love their families. They just have a flawed theory of the economy that they can’t seem to get past. They believe that all we should be doing is giving more tax breaks to those at the top, eliminating regulations that stop big banks or polluters from doing what they want, cut the safety net for people trying to work their way into the middle class, and then somehow the economy is going to get stronger and jobs and prosperity trickle down to everybody. That’s their worldview. I’m sure they sincerely believe it. It’s just not accurate. It does not work.
I am starting to suspect that even John Boehner can smell the trap that is being set. Earlier in the day, it looked like the president was intentionally trying to bait the Speaker of the House into suing him by announcing that he was directing his cabinet to find more areas where he could act unilaterally.
President Obama would love nothing more than for Boehner to follow through on his threat and file the lawsuit against him. The lawsuit has given Obama the opportunity to discuss Republican obstruction. His administrative actions are making Democrats look like they are the only party that is remotely interested in doing anything for the American people, while candidates across the country can hammer Republican incumbents for their symphony of obstruction.
Obama’s challenge to Boehner isn’t an empty one. This president knows exactly what he is doing, and he is gambling that House Republicans can’t resist getting into another confrontation. What President Obama and most people outside of the Republican Party already realize is that Boehner won’t win. Centuries of legal precedent are on President Obama’s side. Republicans don’t even know why they are suing the president. Boehner’s lawsuit is a hopeless shot in the dark strategy that the Speaker is counting on to get Republicans to the polls in November.
By trying to sue Obama, Boehner has energized the president, the Democratic Party, and the many voters who were thinking about staying home this November. Of course, if previous behavioral patterns hold true, since Obama is in favor of the lawsuit, Republicans will now be against it.