In this web-exclusive commentary, "Sunday Morning" contributor Nancy Giles says House Speaker John Boehner's planned lawsuit against President Obama because "the president has not faithfully executed the laws" deserves an appropriate response:
I have issues with John Boehner. I don't mind that he cries easily; in fact, it's kind of sweet, though I wish his tears led to some kind of action. Any kind of action.
When he took the gavel after Nancy Pelosi, the first female Speaker in our history, he received a ton of attention: interviews, write-ups, even magazine covers -- way more than Pelosi, who (whether you liked her policies or not) was a way more effective Speaker.
Times are tougher for Mr. Boehner these days. He's consistently bullied and challenged by members of his own party, and as Speaker of the House, it turns out he's really a good follower.
And who does he end up following? The squeakiest, looniest, "fringe-iest" Members of the House. What's with that?
And then there was the phone call incident: in case you missed it, on Election Night 2012, after President Obama was declared the winner and Mitt Romney conceded the election, the President put in two calls: one to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the other to Speaker John Boehner. We'll never know what the President would have said to the two top Republicans in Congress, because he was told that both McConnell and Boehner were asleep. It was past their bedtime.
Call me crazy, but if the leader of the free world calls, don't you think it might be important enough to get out of bed? What's with that?
Now, after almost four years "leading" the House Republicans to a record number of blocked votes, subcommittees and hearings, 54 votes to repeal, amend, or just somehow get their hands around the Affordable Care Act, and a government shutdown that cost the economy an estimated $24 billion (according to the financial ratings agency Standard & Poors), Speaker Boehner has topped himself. He wants the House of Representatives to sue President Obama for his use of executive actions.
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According to Speaker Boehner:
"The Constitution makes it clear that a president's job is to faithfully execute the laws; in my view, the president has not faithfully executed the laws."
Now that's funny. Article 2 of that same Constitution says that among the President's other powers, he "shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session."
And speaking of not faithfully executing the laws, let's talk about Congress.
Congress has many duties; a key one is to represent we, the people in what are basically the biggest town hall meetings in the U.S.A. But the main job of Congress, according to Section 8 of the Constitution? "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution..."
Make all laws. That's part of their job description! But if you're not willing to debate, if you consistently block votes from coming to the floor, if you've tried 54 times to mettle with an existing law that the majority of this country is in favor of, if instead of passing laws that help those most hurting you funnel money to top income earners, if you shout about being "fiscally responsible" while spending millions of dollars on Congressional hearings, if you legislate with double standards depending on who is President, and if the 112th Congress was the least productive one since World War II, then you're not doing your job.
That tactic, by the way, of accusing someone else of what you yourself are doing, is called "projective identification." (I knew that Psych 101 class would come in handy some day!)
So I'm wondering: Can the president counter-sue John Boehner? Or the entire House of Representatives?
Can we sue? And can Judge Judy officiate? Please?
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