“With this action, the president has chosen to deliberately sabotage any chance of enacting bipartisan reforms that he claims to seek. And as I told him yesterday, he’s damaging the presidency itself.”
- Speaker John A. Boehner
John Boehner says Barack Obama is damaging the presidency itself.
The same John Boehner who has done more to divide and damage the institution of the United States government than any Speaker since the Civil War, that John Boehner, says Obama is trashing the presidency and stinking up the White House.
I’ll remind you that this is the same John Boehner, acting for his party, who has repeatedly embraced a strategy of gridlock and obstruction in order to counter the president at every turn. Every turn. Every single one. For two years John Boehner’s party, the party of hysteria and paranoia and insane conspiracy theories run wild, has done nothing, absolutely goddamned nothing, but hurl the most vile of insults and accusations at the president and has deliberately, proudly, refused to work with Obama in any fashion whatsoever.
Over the last five years, congressional Republicans led by John Boehner and his ilk have treated Vladimir Putin with more respect than the President of the United States.
And this guy says Obama is damaging the presidency?
Oh, the irony.
As expected, Thursday night President Obama announced that he will take unilateral action via executive order to reform the nation’s immigration system.
And as expected, this morning Republicans are going apeshit.
Because going apeshit is the only thing Republicans can agree on.
Already this morning while John Boehner cries his orange tears of woe, Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA and winner of the ironic name award when it comes to fear of immigrants) railed against Obama’s “brazen power grab.” No word on whether or not executive action was a “brazen power grab” when Reagan or Bush did the same exact thing, or if it’s only absolutism when the black guy does it.
Representative Mike McCaul (R-TX) howled that the president’s actions are “a threat to our democracy!” He then declared that he would “use every tool at my disposal to stop the president’s unconstitutional actions from being implemented!” Again, McCaul raises the same question, why are executive actions constitutional under a Republican president but not under a Democrat? I’m all ears.
Of course, I’m not the first to bring up the comparison. And the problem with it is that logic and reason are utterly wasted on irrational and unreasonable people. You know, modern Republicans. Pointing out Obama’s executive action on immigration falls far, far short of executive actions on immigration taken by Ronald Reagan does Democrats no good.
And right from the start, that’s been Obama’s greatest weakness. He’s a professor. An intellectual. He keeps making the mistake of thinking he can reach Republicans with logic and calm reason. He can’t. You can’t reason with unreasonable people. You can not reason with Birthers and Truthers and FEMA Camps and Death Panels and people who believe that hurricanes are caused by magic fairies in the sky who hate gay people. You can not reason with people who think the earth is 6000 years old and their personal prophet rode around the Middle East on the back of a vegetarian velociraptor. You’re trying to reason with people who are just plain fucking nuts.
Fox News Bill O’Reilly accused the president of “declaring war on Republicans.” Good! It’s about goddamned time somebody declared war on these silly sons of bitches.
It’s long past time for Obama to doff the professor’s robes and take direct action.
Somebody has to get congress moving again and it sure isn’t going to be John Boehner or Mitch McConnell.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said, “The president is the one who is acting provocatively, not the Congress. The last thing this Congress wants to do is have this kind of fight, but at some point the institution has to defend itself.” Defend itself? Defend itself from what? For what? More inaction? More gridlock? More obstructionism? What exactly are we supposed to be saving here? Seriously?
Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH) blamed the White House for “playing politics.” Yes, that’s correct, a Republican member of the House of Obstructionism, accused Obama of playing politics. Yes, you may indeed go ahead and make the facepalm. In fact, double up on it, because you’re going to need it. Tiberi went on to complain, “What did the president do? He pulled the pin on the grenade two weeks after the election, as our leadership was trying to extend the olive branch of working together.”
Oh, is that what Republicans were doing? Extending the olive branch of cooperation?
I must have missed that, what with all the threats of impeachment and government shutdowns and violent overthrow of the US Presidency by force of arms.
Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL) declared everything from impeachment to putting President Obama in prison should be on the table.
That’s right, Brooks thinks Congress should consider arresting the president and putting him in prison.
There it is. There’s that olive branch of cooperation. You’ll have to forgive me, I must have confused that stick with the kind of willow switch old white guys like Mo Brooks from Alabama used to whip their slaves with.
Representative Steve King (R-IA), the House’s most outspoken opponent of immigration reform and one of the GOP’s most vehement obstructionists, said that congress would censure the president or shut down the government rather than allow any immigration bill to proceed. That’s King’s solution to everything. Shut down. Obstruction.
Representative Michele Bachmann, who is today blundering randomly along the Texas border with Steve King in tow, offered up more of her bigotry and softheaded paranoia, “The social cost will be profound on the U.S. taxpayer. Millions of unskilled, illiterate, foreign nationals coming into the United States who can’t speak the English language. Even though the president says they won’t be able to vote, we all know that many, in all likelihood, will vote.”
Bachmann, who is never, ever, able to produce any shred of proof in support of her raving nonsense, went on to say illegal aliens vote “all the time.“ She has absolutely no proof whatsoever, she can’t substantiate her accusation in any fashion, but she says it’s something “we all know” about, because that’s how we do it in America, right? When asked why she thinks undocumented immigrants are “illiterate,” Bachmann said that’s what she was told by, you know, random people at the U.S./Mexico border. “That’s what they told me. Those are not Michele Bachmann’s words, those words came from Hispanics who live on the border.” Ah, proof, you see, just like Bachmann was told by some random nut in Texas that the HPV vaccine makes girls retarded. And into filthy whores. Or something. Whatever, it’s all part of some vast conspiracy by Obama to something something illegal voters something liberals something Ebola! Oh hey, it’s not me, I’m just repeating what some random Texan said, because as a lawmaker, that’s what we should base policy on. Way to take responsibility for your bullshit, Bachmann.
Republicans have had years to do something about immigration. But they didn’t.
Congress could have put forward an immigration reform bill, they didn’t. They tried, sure, if that’s what you want to call it, but Republicans led by Ted Cruz killed the bill. And John Boehner let them. Say what you want about Nancy Pelosi, love her or hate her, when she was Speaker of the House she got shit done. John Boehner? The only thing he’s accomplished is … nothing. On purpose. He can’t even get his own quorum to agree on things they all agree on.
And he calls Obama a poor leader. Give me a break.
Congress could have acted on immigration at any time, in blunt point fact they could do it right now.
But they won’t.
And now they’re mad that Obama called their bluff.
No matter how you slice it, the President’s actions are a direct result of Congress’ petulant refusal to do their job.
Reform by executive action is a direct result – a direct result – of republican obstructionism. Period. They tried to force the president into a corner, and he won’t go. And it’s really just that simple. And the really, really embarrassing part for conservatives is that part where they rail against “amnesty,” but it turns out that Obama didn’t actually offer any such thing … Ronald Reagan did.
Republicans are over a barrel with their bare asses pointed at the sky and they’ve got nobody to blame but themselves.
They can pursue impeachment and they’re welcome to try. Hell, last night Obama all but dared them to do it. Bring it on. Bring it on, go ahead, impeach me. Stop talking about it and do it. See where it gets you. File that one right next to John Boehner’s magic expanding lawsuit that never seems to get actually filed. Boehner can tack on Obama’s executive action on Immigration, sure, why not. The only problem with that is the court generally sides with the president. Executive Orders have been occasionally overturned by legal action in the past, mostly during the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration, but that’s typically not how it works out. And Boehner knows it. The president is fully empowered to take executive action, it says so right there in the Constitution.
Of course, the Constitution also says that Congress could pass a bill making Obama’s Executive Order illegal, they’d just have to get him to sign it into law or come up with a super-majority to override his veto. Let’s call that one Plan B, shall we, Republicans?
They can shut down the government. Sure. Obama all but dared them to do it again. Go ahead, shut it down, Republicans, see where it gets you. Because it worked out so well for you the last time, right? Sure, you go right ahead and screw the entire country, fuck us all right in the ass, again, Republicans. Do it. See you in 2016 and say hi to President Hillary for me, will you?
Of course, the GOP’s leadership knows they’re looking at a no win scenario. They want to stick it to Obama so, so bad. Their dimwitted base is howling for blood and instant gratification and they don’t care about long term consequences, they just want the boy in the White House whipped for his audacity and for thinking he’s as good as they are. But saner heads in the GOP, if that term even applies here, know what will happen if they attempt either impeachment or a shutdown.
Don’t believe me? Go ask Newt Gingrich. Go on, ask him.
John Boehner doesn’t have to ask, he was Gingrich’s towel boy, he knows exactly what will happen.
So, speaking of KY Jelly, Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, suggested that instead of shutting down the government, the House should pass a broad spending bill to fund the government by its Dec. 11 deadline – then rescind just the funds for the president's proposed executive actions. Because, that’ll show him, right?
Just one problem, Citizenship and Immigration Services, you know, the executive agency that will carry out the president’s orders? Yeah, they’re not funded through the appropriations process. Instead they operate on the revenue gained through fees attached to immigration applications.
Republicans could always hold up Obama’s nominations as a form of leverage. Only two problems there, they’re already holding up Obama’s nominations and have been for more than five years. Frankly that threat has pretty much lost most of its oomph. And two, well, heh heh, if Republicans refuse to confirm, oh say, Loretta Lynch for Attorney General, well, then they get to keep living with Eric Holder. I’m good either way, just for the sour expression on Mitch McConnell’s face.
“Pass a bill,” President Obama bluntly told Republicans last night.
Pass a bill.
It’s really just that simple. Pass a bill. Do your job.
Congress has nobody to blame but themselves. They tried to play chicken with a president who has nothing to lose and everything to gain.
They can end their pain at any time, all they have to do is their job.
Q: What's the difference between the House GOP and the unemployed? A: The unemployed want to work.
- John Fugelsang, via Twitter