We haven't whipped out a Morning Boehner in a while, but there was a big one waiting for us today. Speaker Boehner yesterday led his crazy caucus on a Quixotic mission to sue the president to “to seek appropriate relief” for Obama’s failure to enforce a provision of the Affordable Care Act that would penalize businesses that do not offer basic health insurance to their employees.
Neither Boehner, nor anyone else in House leadership would say that this lawsuit is not a step towards impeachment. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi went there during her time on the floor before the vote.
When I became speaker and people clamored for the impeachment of the president, I said what I advise the speaker to say right now, "Impeachment is off the table." If this isn't about impeachment, that simple sentence will be a clear one. Impeachment is off the table. Why hasn't the speaker said that? If we just want to talk about the lawsuit, it behooves the Speaker to say "Impeachment is off the table." I hope we can hear that soon, and then we'll see what the merits of this case are. They have no standing. It has no merits. It has a political basis. And let the American people judge it for what it is. If you don't want to hear people use the word impeachment, as your people have done, then tell them impeachment is off the table.
As for Nancy Pelosi, herself, declaring impeachment "off the table" for Bush and his minions, that's always been a problem for me. Last year, at Netroots Nation in San Jose, I asked Christine Pelosi about that decision. (The pertinent segment comes in at the 1:21:00 mark).
The fact is that this lawsuit is just another prop in the political theater comedy of the absurd that is today's Republican party. The gallows humor comes from the fact that the Republicans are bringing this suit over President Obama's executive order delaying the employer mandate provision in the Affordable Care Act, something the GOP has been fighting, albeit unsuccessfully, since the law's passage!
The suit itself is rooted in the Obama administration's decision to delay the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate. Although it may seem bizarre for John Boehner to push a lawsuit because of a delay in Obamacare, House Republicans are using this as an example of executive overreach. As they see it, Obama overstepped his authority by delaying the mandate without turning to Congress, and as such is not faithfully executing the law.
Yes, it's all just another example of life in Opposite World!®
I discussed another point of contention in connection with Stephen Goldstein on the show today regarding this ridiculous lawsuit during our weekly "No More Bullshit Minute". Goldstein is the author of The Dictionary of American Political Bullshit and, although we had already discussed the pure bullshit term "Signing Statement," it certainly fit today's news.
When it comes to "Executive Orders," a quick wikipedia search shows that President Obama has used them less that any other president in recent years. As for the unconstitutional "signing statement," George W. Bush wins the prize. (Tell me again why he wasn't impeached?)
On today's show, we also looked at the global overpopulation plaguing the planet. July 11 was World Population Day and the day I was originally to have spoken with Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director of the Center for Biological Diversity.
My travel for AFT and Netroots Nation gatherings forced us to delay our conversation about the fact that there are over 7.2 billion people on the planet. They initiated a #crowdedplanet hashtag and encouraged people to post photos illustrating the problem.
While you're looking at that info and trying to figure out how to save the world, check out Endangered Species Condoms. But don't try to put one on a Polar Bear!
Tomorrow, we'll wrap up the week with the awesome Maysoon Zayid who, in addition to being a very funny woman is a Palestinian-American with some thoughts on what's happening between Israel and Gaza.