Peas in a pod


Jobs, jobs jobs.

That, according to John Boehner, was the objective of congress, especially after their first priority of making sure President Obama was a one term president fell flat.

But, instead, we have continued obstruction, laws favoring Wall Street while ignoring main street, and veterans’ programs cut so many are homeless while others have to survive on Welfare that continues to get cut.

But it’s jobs, jobs, jobs.

And, to deal with that priority, time needs to be used wisely.

When Darrel Issa was put on the House Oversight Committee he famously announced that, instead of investigating possible problems that were brought to his attention, he would look for things to investigate.

As he announced, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform would hold investigative hearings "seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks."

Obviously his intention was to look for things to investigate. He was on a fishing expedition.

And when he found something he would hold on tightly to it regardless of facts, and, where possible, just make things up or misrepresent what was put in front of him.

In like manner, John Boehner recently said he wanted congress to sue the president, basically saying he wasn’t too sure what he would file suit about, but he would find something.

And like Issa, Boehner kept looking and finally decided that, since those who have been calling for impeachment since Obama took his first Oath of Office might get upset that they are being ignored, he figured it would be a good move to sue him for allegedly overusing the Executive Order.

It might have done him well to have taken a closer look at Issa’s approach as many of the “scandals” Issa has latched on to have proven to be false, not as big a deal as he hoped, or have just quietly evaporated as the only way to keep them going was to ignore facts and appeal to emotions and misleading statements.

According to Boehner when he announced the lawsuit,

“You know the constitution makes it clear that the president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws and in my view the President has not faithfully executed the laws”.

He threw in that the suit would be filed because

“what we’ve seen clearly over the past 5 years is an effort to erode the power of the legislative branch".

He didn’t say which specific actions he considers illegal.

I guess that means he has to take the time to find them now.

How very Issa of him.

His difficulty will be explaining why, when all presidents have used executive orders, and that he was in the House when President Bush used them, he is only bothered by the use now that Obama is president.

A Boehner spokesperson did try to explain that in Obama’s case his executive orders are 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".

Boehner now seems to object to executive orders that do such things as stop the deportation of children of illegal immigrants and to allow the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, but had no objection when it came to executive orders that dealt with such thiings as preventing embryonic stem-cell research involving new embryos because it “preserves the sanctity of life and allows limited research that could help millions of Americans suffering from life-threatening diseases.”

So does he object only to Executive Orders that support things he doesn’t, while only supporting the ones he agrees with and in doing so keeps his base happy?

You have to preserve the votes.

As far as the evils of Executive Orders, at the end of Bush’s time as president Boehner wrote to the president requesting an executive order to exempt a historic steamboat from safety regulations after Congress opted not to do so.

That would seem to be a request to circumvent congress that made a decision, and is far worse than issuing an Executive Order after the House and Senate deadlocked on issues, taking no action.

He also pushed for administrative compliance with one of President Obama’s Executive Orders when he asked Obama for a progress report on implementation of the one banning taxpayer funding for abortion in Obamacare.

He had written to then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius noting that the order had “paved the way” for the law’s passage and that any support of that EO “does little to diminish widespread skepticism about the administration’s commitment to enforcing the Executive Order and preventing the law from increasing federal support for abortion”.

If Executive Orders are overreaches of power, would this not have been one as well, and something Boehner should have objected to as opposed demand compliance with?

A quick check of presidential usage of executive orders shows that of all the presidents since World War II, save one, President Obama has been rather conservative in his use of Executive Orders.

Looking only at first terms, as they are all final now and no president will issue an EO retroactively, and because some served only one term,

We have:

Harry S. Truman 504

Dwight D. Eisenhower 266

John F. Kennedy 214

Lyndon B. Johnson 325

Richard Nixon 247

Gerald R. Ford 169

Jimmy Carter 320

Ronald Reagan 213

George Bush 166

William J. Clinton 200

George W. Bush 173

Barack Obama 147

In his second term Dubya issued 118, while so far in his second term, Obama has issued 21.

He would have to issue 49 each for the next two years just to tie the second term number and 123 to surpass Dubya's over all amount, and 213 to tie Reagan's two terms.

Boehner will most likely follow his past pattern of hiring an outside legal counsel as he did with the Defense of Marriage Act to the tune of $3 million of taxpayer money.

In the DOMA case he was told it was a losing battle, but he fought it anyway. It could be that even if he is told suing the president is a no win situation, he will once again have no problem frittering away taxpayer money to impress those whose votes he wants to keep, and who might otherwise leave the Republican Party and form their own as Palin and Cruz have intimated.

It will also take years to go through the whole legal system so that it would have no impact on Obama, but only on future presidents, some of whom the Republicans may not want to have their hands tied.

I guess both Issa and Boehner subscribe to the GOP idea of creating one’s own reality.


 

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