One of the most mystifying things about the conservative movement for the last 25 years has been its labeling of moderate to conservative Democratic presidents as lawless socialists out to destroy the country. This was true of their reaction to Clinton and it is true of their reaction to Obama. Now we have the endless Darrell Issa hearings on everything short of how long Malia takes in the bathroom each morning. And these hearings are now and forever just one revelation away from finding anything. And remember that under Clinton, Monica Lewinsky was the net result of years of digging into every right wing conspiracy imaginable. This is what happens to a political party when it has no ideas and its obsession with ideological purity make coming up with any ideas impossible: it focuses on political nonsense.
And part of never ending “scandal” machine that is the Republican Party is John Boehner’s new lawsuit against President Obama. As you may recall, at the end of July, he decided that the House would sue Obama for delaying the implementation of the employer mandate in Obamacare. He did this to quiet his caucus that really wanted impeachment hearings. Why did they want this? Obama! The irony is great: they want to sue Obama, but the best thing they can come up with is a decision that they agreed with. If Obama were really the lawless president they claim, they should have been able to come up with something better like any of a half-dozen claims that Darrell Issa has made but has never been able to substantiate.
Yesterday, over at Washington Monthly, Simon Lazarus and Elisabeth Stein published an interesting item, The Congressional Research Service Finds that Boehner’s Lawsuit Has No Legal Basis. It seems that someone involved in the lawsuit — maybe Boehner himself — asked the CRS to look at the lawsuit and analyze its legal foundation. The result was finished on 4 September, A Primer on the Reviewability of Agency Delay and Enforcement Discretion (pdf). And the results are unequivocal: there is no basis for a lawsuit at all.
It is almost two months later and the report was never released. Clearly those who requested it do not like what it found. But this was not the first hit to the lawsuit. Lazarus and Stein noted that other, more public, sources have noted that the case had little or no merit. And then, there was this:
I assume that Boehner always knew that the lawsuit was a crock. As I mentioned above, it was mostly yet another “treat” to keep his caucus from eating itself. It was also probably seen as a good tool to use in the midterm elections. As for the CRS report, that was probably meant for use with the House Republican caucus to explain that they really don’t have a case against the president.
In this way, we should be grateful to Boehner. By getting his caucus to focus on this lawsuit, he created a falsifiable claim. The House doesn’t really need a reason for impeachment other than that they think he is a “doody pants.” But the courts are the courts. The Republicans can think the courts are corrupt, but there is nothing they can do. Of course, the way the Supreme Court is these days, you never know.