The Republican justification for the Boehner lawsuit gets a “pants on fire” rating, as they would be suing Obama for Bush’s actions.
First Erick Erickson went rogue on Speaker Boehner’s “lawsuit” (a suit which hasn’t happened yet, the threat of which is being used for political intimidation and get out the vote efforts) and now PolitFact is calling Pants on Fire on the Republican justification for the lawsuit. Republican spokesman Sean Spicer told a CNN panel on the Boehner lawsuit that the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against Barack Obama’s executive orders 13 times. You know, because if that happened it would mean he should be sued as the groundwork for impeachment.
But wait. Here comes reality and she isn’t pleased. PolitiFact determined that actually, Republicans are objecting to litigation that came as a response to things that happened under the Republican President, Bush. Seriously. “Most of the litigation actually came in response to actions under the Bush administration. In the few cases initiated during Obama’s two terms, the court wasn’t even ruling on challenges to Obama’s executive orders.”
It got worse, because PolitiFact noted that since this Republican claim had already been debunked and Spicer repeated it anyway, he gets a Pants on Fire for repeating a known falsehood.
Watch GOP spox Sean Spicer on a July 6th, 2014 appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union”:
Here’s Spicer’s claim that rated Pants-On-Fire false: “In the last three years alone, 13 times, the Supreme Court, unanimously, 9-0, including all of the president’s liberal picks, have struck down the president’s executive orders.”
Republicans make this argument in response to the facts about President Bush’s egregious abuse of the executive order. It wasn’t that Bush had so many orders, but rather the kinds and purpose of the executive action. PolitiFact pointed out that of the cases cited by the previous Republican whom they had already debunked on this issue, “It does not appear that any of these cases actually have to do with executive orders issued by Obama.”
The only case they cited that was even remotely related to the concept of Obama overreach was the Supreme Court knocking down Obama’s labor board appointment (National Labor Relations Board vs. Noel Canning). But Spicer referred to executive orders specifically and this was not an executive order. But more to the point, as PolitiFact pointed out, the court knocked down that appointment due to the Senate recess rules (indeed, Republicans worked the rules in hopes of blocking Obama from making recess appointments by avoiding technical recess). That isn’t even in the same ballpark as Bush refusing to execute laws or granting himself expanded powers.
So far, we have Republicans wanting to sue Obama for things Bush did, and one instance of them not understanding what an executive order is. “It does not appear that any of these cases actually have to do with executive orders issued by Obama. And again, most of these cases were started under Bush, so any executive action was likely coming from the previous administration, not Obama.”
Spicer said, “In the last three years alone, 13 times, the Supreme Court, unanimously, 9-0, including all of the president’s liberal picks, have struck down the president’s executive orders.”
Most of the litigation actually came in response to actions under the Bush administration. In the few cases initiated during Obama’s two terms, the court wasn’t even ruling on challenges to Obama’s executive orders.
Spicer took an already debunked argument and made another mistake in repeating it, so it was even more incorrect. We rate the statement Pants on Fire.
As I explained a few weeks ago, the executive order only seems to be a problem for Republicans when President Obama uses it.
President Obama has used the power of his office to do things that the people already want, because with Congressional Republicans on a four year strike against working, no legislation is being passed. So the President took action toward things like reasonable gun safety measures, climate change, and raising the wage for federal workers, whereas Bush used his power to grant himself more power and to ignore laws he didn’t like.
This is why Speaker John Boehner can’t name one actual way the President violated the law. President Obama has not abused the power of his office with executive overreach in terms of signing statements or executive orders. So here we have Republican party leaders figuratively standing next to reviled extremists in their party like Sarah Palin, championing a lawsuit and even impeachment of Obama over things Bush did.
At long last, they admit that some of the things Bush did were wrong. They just can’t admit that it was Bush who did them. Following GOP logic, Democrats should have tried to impeached President Bush as he was clearly a dictator.
Suing the duly elected President for things your appointed president did that you justified? Check. Repeating debunked lies because you have nothing else? Check. Doing it on TV to spread the misinformation because you can’t afford to discuss the issues? Check. Getting called out and learning a lesson? Nope.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.