The Audacity Of A Lawsuit
While speaking to supporters in Austin, Texas July 10, 2014, President Obama made light-hearted remarks about the possibility of being sued by the House of Representatives. His statements in part… “You’re going to use taxpayer money to sue me for doing my job – while you don’t your job” was made in jocular tones and elicited laughter from the audience. Throughout his remarks, he continued to chide members of congress for their decision to seek charges against him while displaying an abundance of insolence toward them. I am reminded of a particular scene in the film A Clear and Present Danger. In the movie, the covert operation ‘RECIPROCITY’ unravels and the truth surrounding it as well as those responsible is being uncovered. At one point, the actor Donald Moffat cast as President Bennett barks audaciously, “I’m The President of The United States!” One could as I did, interpret that to mean, even though I am in charge I will not be held responsible for the ill-fated results of policies initiated by my administration. It seems Mr. Obama may have viewed this movie and the scripted dialogue of the actors convinced him to emulate the behavior of the characters portrayed.
Excluding the movie as cause for the President’s remarks, I contend he is acutely aware of the serious nature, as well as the possible consequences, should a lawsuit against him be filed. The overall theme of the House case is that the President has willfully acted beyond the scope of his constitutional authority by creating law via issuance of certain executive orders and administratively changing existing law. Their complaint speaks of his willingness to continue these actions without regard to limits prescribed in The Constitution of the United States. Another element which bolsters their position is the Supreme Court decisions which overturned an executive action by Mr. Obama when he made a recess appointment to the NLRB, citing he went beyond his prescribed legal authority when he acted, as congress itself had not declared recess when the appointment was made. If the House is successful in their endeavor, the remainder of President Obama’s term, along with any accomplishments heretofore, will forever be tarnished, thus giving his presidency another historical achievement by joining the elite company of Presidents Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon and William Clinton.
So then why the laughter and jokes about a humorless matter that brings with it grave consequences? Because is not unusual and almost a standard practice for this administration to govern by deception. That is to say, most of the administration’s policy initiatives are sold to the public as a ‘fix’ to a stated problem. If congress votes to support the policy and the fix does not occur as promised, the opposition party members who voted against the proposal, not the policy itself, receives blame for the failure. In addition, during a cabinet meeting in January 2014, Mr. Obama made the statement that he has a phone and a pen, and would act on his own when congress wouldn’t, to get things done. It is the acting alone through executive orders and seeking political expedience on his part which brings us to possible court action by the House. Moreover, claims of his working tirelessly on our behalf with his efforts thwarted at every turn by political enemies, is a familiar refrain. These infamous ‘straw men’ have been an omnipresent feature of the administration even prior to his inauguration in January 2009. It is therefore logical to adopt the supposition that Mr. Obama was setting the stage for the time wasting, money wasting and political foe obstructionist straw man, to rescue him from yet another self-inflicted dilemma. After all, it can’t be him that’s wrong, he’s the President and he’s laughing.
Well, what happens next depends on us; ‘we the people’. Supporters of the President would rather you believe this is nothing more than political theatre, a witch hunt and extreme party politics. The converse position submits the restoration of constitutional checks and balances in government by those elected to represent the public. Men of good conscience will discard political ideology and party loyalty in exchange for a strengthened and revitalized union. If we are truly, as both sides insist, a nation of laws, then all must agree to the unbiased adjudication of this grievance in open forum, with the foundational premise that no one is above the law.