I have a theory that a journalist could begin an article, or headline, with “Obama Blames…” and write a new story every week, and never run out of body copy. Andrew Johnson’s headline identifies Obama’s primary target of blame: American citizens. We just don’t get it. So he must act alone, because we’ve failed him. But it goes further than that. Consider this: Every time Obama says the word “Congress”, or “Republicans in Congress”, replace that word with “The American voters”. Members of Congress didn’t get there by accident, they didn’t ascend to power in a bloody coup, or arrive in a spaceship, they got elected.
If Congress is blocking the president’s agenda, pursuing an opposing agenda, ignoring his mocking insults and wounded complaining, or being uncooperative and combative, that’s because they were elected to do exactly that. They represent the people. Elections have consequences.
Don’t like it? Then make your case, Mr. President, and help Democrats win back the House. You tried that, and it failed? That’s the way it crumbles, cookie-wise. When Obama blames Congress? He’s not talking about his political opponents, he’s talking about you.
New Meet the Press host Chuck Todd pushed back against President Obama’s claims that his decision to delay taking executive action on granting legal status to people in the country illegally wasn’t motivated by the upcoming midterms elections. “It looks like politics, it looks like election-year politics,” Todd interjected at one point.
“But if the public’s not behind you, you’re not taking it? That sounds a little bit — that the public wouldn’t support what you did?”
One of the reasons the president claims he delayed action was to make sure all the “t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted,” but also pointed to the recent surge of unaccompanied children on the border complicated the matter. Read the rest of this entry »
For Roll Call, Daniel Newhauser reports: The lawsuit could set up a significant test of constitutional checks and balances, with the legislative branch suing the executive branch for ignoring its mandates, and the judiciary branch deciding the outcome.
Boehner told the House Republican Conference during a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning that he has been consulting with legal scholars and plans to unveil his next steps this week or next, according to sources in the room.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said further action is necessary because the Senate has not taken up bills passed by the House targeting executive actions. The House has passed a bill expediting court consideration of House resolutions starting lawsuits targeting executive overreach and another mandating that the attorney general notify Congress when the administration decides to take executive action outside of what has been authorized by Congress.
“The president has a clear record of ignoring the American people’s elected representatives and exceeding his constitutional authority, which has dangerous implications for both our system of government and our economy,” Steel said. “The House has passed legislation to address this, but it has gone nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate, so we are examining other options.”
It remains unclear which executive action or actions the House would challenge, but Obama has given Congress ample targets. In the last several years, he has issued executive actions halting deportations of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the country as children, extending the family and medical leave benefits to gay couples and raising the minimum wage for federal contractors. He has also worked around legislative deadlines for enacting provisions of the Affordable Care Act and issued other executive actions relating to the environment and the gender and race pay gap.
Obama has said he takes executive action because of a divided Congress’ inability to pass laws targeting important issues of the day. Congressional Republicans contend such actions are unconstitutional and thwart Congress’ power. Read the rest of this entry »
President Obama obviously can’t be trusted
The House Republican leadership has been confronted by devilishly difficult tactical choices over the years. But what to do on the issue of immigration right now isn’t one of them. The correct course is easy and eminently achievable: Do nothing.
“Only 3 percent cited immigration as the biggest problem facing the country”
The old Reagan catchphrase calling for non-action — don’t just do something, stand there — has never been more apt. Yet the House leadership is about to roll out a set of immigration principles reportedly including an amnesty for illegal aliens, and presumably will follow up with a push to pass them through the House. This is legislative strategy as unforced error.
“…the president refuses to enforce key provisions of his own health-care law, let alone provisions of immigration law…”
Save the Sick Save Democrats
Dr. Susan Berry writes: The President Americans were told was “brilliant” suddenly does not seem to know much of anything, least of all about his own signature health reform law.
What he does know, however, is that Democrats hoping to regain control of the House and keep the Senate are in a panic over the disastrous launch of ObamaCare. While Barack Obama lies and manipulates to calm fearful Democrats, what can be said of parents of sick children who are fearful that ObamaCare’s high costs and bureaucratic red tape will prevent them from getting the health care their children need?
Robert Costa writes: On most weekday mornings, House Republicans huddle in a windowless room in the Capitol basement. Over pastries and coffee, they confer with the leadership and discuss strategy. Sometimes they complain; sometimes they cheer. This past week, it’s been more of the former. As the tensions grow, the GOP’s internal debate can seem like a circus — the tea party vs. establishment. But behind the scenes, House Republicans are more nuanced than that caricature.
1. House Republicans want to default.
When they’re on the cable news shows, House Republicans can sound aggressive and unyielding about the upcoming debt limit; they won’t extend the federal government’s borrowing limit, they often say, unless Democrats make major concessions. This public, tough-talking stance, though, is only part of the story. House Speaker John A. Boehner privately reassured colleagues on Thursday that he won’t let the nation default, and within the inner sanctum of the House GOP, he has never promoted missing the deadline.
Instead, Boehner is struggling to balance his right flank’s appetite for brinkmanship with his desire to cut a deal that’s palatable to conservatives. To do that, he frequently shies away from publicly conceding any ground. But he and the Republican leadership aren’t eager to be blamed for economic chaos and risk their party’s House majority in next year’s midterms.
So don’t read too much into the fight-till-the-death posturing of the House’s debt-limit warriors. They have influence but not total say. Look for smaller clues — Boehner’s closed-door meetings, the chatter about a larger fiscal package — as evidence of how the impasse will probably end: with an eleventh-hour, smaller compromise that Boehner has been slowly but surely shepherding.
The refusal of Democrats to negotiate is what makes this one stand out.
E. J. Dionne, the Washington Post’s resident worrywart, yesterday assured his concerned readers that Washington has shut down because “right-wing extremists” who do not accept the president’s “legitimacy” have taken an axe to America’s “normal, well-functioning, constitutional system,” and swung it, too, against “anyone who accepts majority rule and constitutional constraints.” Among his ideological bedfellows, this is a popular complaint. Read the rest of this entry »
Liberals pundits and politicians like to refer to them as “hostage takers,” “anarchists,” “political terrorists,” “lemmings with suicide vests,” and so on. Grassroots conservatives think they’re a bunch of weak-kneed RINO defeatists. They have no charismatic stars, few compelling ideas, no one leading a grand ideological Gingrich-like charge against liberal institutions. There is no cohesive strategy to speak of, no Tom Delay whipping the troops into line, no ideological cohesion and no chance of winning very much.
And they’re probably the best thing going in Washington right now. Read the rest of this entry »