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Short Attention Span Politics

Remember when Republicans were screaming that Obama violated the constitution and they were going to impeach him?

Eventually, they shut up about that, but then they tried a new tactic. According to Politico:

House Speaker John Boehner came out swinging hard last June when he announced that his chamber would take President Barack Obama to court. The suit, charging that the president grossly exceeded his constitutional authority by failing to implement portions of the Obamacare law, was billed as an election-season rallying point for aggrieved Republicans.

Their lawyers expected the suit to be filed in September. Well, it is now two months later and just a few days before the election, and the GOP has also shut up about their lawsuit.

As a former House Counsel put it “I thought this was a constitutional crisis and the republic was in jeopardy because Obama overstepped his bounds. Now, they can’t even get around to filing it?”

Of course, the reason the GOP never filed the lawsuit was pure politics. Boehner’s announcement spurred fundraising by the Democrats and alienated moderates. So I guess partisan politics once again trumps constitutional issues.

Even more interesting, it is looking likely that Republicans will take over the Senate in this week’s election. With control of both houses of Congress, will they bring up the lawsuit again in order to pander to the Tea Party?

I guess in order to be a Republican, you have to have a very short attention span.

UPDATE: There may be another explanation for the delay. According to Politico, the Republicans have hired two different law firms to sue the president, but both of them have quit.



  1. Dave TN wrote:
    An article in the daily KOS highlights where Mitch is getting his campaign financing, “40kg Of Cocaine Found On Mitch McConnell’s Father-In-Law’s Boat”. Does this mean we can seize through civil forfeiture all of Mitch’s assets?

    Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  2. Dave TN wrote:

    Now we know how he paid for the $1.8 million to send out that voter intimidation mailing.

    Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink
  3. Michael wrote:

    I’m actually hoping that the GOP takes over the Senate on Tuesday. Now, don’t get me wrong: This will lead to many bad things for the next 2 years. But I think it will be better for the country in the long-run. Because now the GOP’s hand will be forced: Do they actually pass the scorched-earth policies they’ve been proposing (knowing full well that they won’t pass)? Or do they back off, knowing how deeply unpopular those policies will actually be? After all, a full repeal of ACA would require kicking millions of middle-class millennials off of their parents’ health care policies. It would also mean a return of the donut hole in Medicare prescription drug coverage. It would also mean an immediate end to all those KY Connect subscribers’ subsidies.

    Considering that they will probably only have a 51-49 majority (which is actually a victory for the Dems…it should be more like a 55-45 margin), my guess is the latter. The next two years will show that the GOP has mostly been lying about their agenda for the past 6 years. It will further alienate millennials and the growing hispanic demographic. And that will become a HUGE factor in 2016, where there will be (a) a presidential race (which tends to attract less GOP-friendly electorates) and (b) a LOT of GOP Senate seats in states that are moving to the left.

    In the end, 2014 will be a very, very small victory (rather than the huge one it should be, considering the unpopularity of the president and the number of vulnerable Democratic Senate seats) for the GOP as a step toward a 2016 landslide for the Democrats. It’s going to be a disaster in the short term, but my prediction is this is the last election when Tea Party politics will drive the discourse.

    Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    Well Michael, it looks like you may get your wish.

    My biggest fear is side effects like the Supreme Court sliding further to the right. We’ve already seen so much damage done by Citizen’s United and other really dodgy decisions.

    Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink
  5. Michael wrote:

    I agree that SCOTUS is my biggest overall political concern, but I don’t think there will be enough to block a nomination in the next two years. I think there are too many people like McCain that are politically savvy enough to know that that would be a step too far and would kill the party. They’ll make a lot of bluster, but then just relent. Kind of like what the Dems did with Alito and Roberts.

    Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 8:55 am | Permalink