President Obama took the stage in Kansas City, MO, and while discussing the economy tore Speaker of the House John Boehner’s lawsuit against him to shreds.
The president began his speech in Kansas City by talking about the improving economy, the need to raise the minimum wage, his desire for workers to be able to retire with dignity and respect. The president said that the measure of a good economy is that it is doing well for people who are working hard and not always getting a fair shot.
Obama said that people’s struggles are more important than the phony scandals. He said, “Imagine how much further along the economy would be if Congress was doing its job too. We’d be doing great.” The president added that if Congress felt the same sense of urgency that the American people did we could help a lot more families.
Later the president said that Republicans keep blocking and voting down every idea that would have an impact on middle class families. Obama said, “They haven’t been that helpful. They haven’t been as constructive as I would have hoped.” Obama later told Congress to come on and help a little bit, “Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time.”
The president said that the main vote that House Republicans have scheduled for today is to decide whether or not to sue me for doing my job. He said, “But think about this, they have announced that they are going to sue me for taking executive actions to help people. So you know, they’re mad because I’m doing my job, and, by the way, I told them, I said I’d be happy to do it with you. So the only reason I am doing it on my own is because you don’t do anything, but if you want let’s work together. Everybody recognizes this is a political stunt, but it’s worse than that, because every vote they’re taking like that is a vote they are not taking to actually help you. When they had taken fifty votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, that was time they could have spent working constructively to help you on some things. By the way, do you know who’s paying for the suit they are going to file? You. No, no, you’re paying for it, and it’s estimated that by the time the thing is done, I would have already left office, so it’s not a productive thing to do.”
The president ripped Boehner’s lawsuit apart in a few minutes and demonstrated why this obvious political move is such a disaster for the Republican Party. Democrats have been easily able to turn the lawsuit into an indictment of Republican priorities. The president didn’t have to say that the lawsuit is a waste of time and money. He let the Republican actions speak for themselves. His comments focused on the opportunity costs behind the Republican decisions to vote dozens of times to repeal the ACA, and file lawsuits.
The key word in the president’s remarks was productive. The one political hurdle that congressional Republicans can’t overcome is how unproductive they have been. The president didn’t need to treat Boehner’s lawsuit as a threat to his presidency because it isn’t. He also doesn’t need to whip up Democratic outrage. Democrats are already livid. President Obama tore apart Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit in the best way possible. He treated it like the joke it is while pointing out why the Republicans have got to go.
America deserves better than John Boehner’s breadless circus, and President Obama is making sure that the American people understand that they are getting ripped off by the House Republican sideshow.