By Steve Eggleston
Earlier this week, former Alaska governor and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin declared that it was time to impeach Barack Obama. Predictably, the establishment Republicans immediately and unequivocably distanced themselves from the idea because they fear a repeat of 1998/1999, even as they continue to engineer a repeat of that electoral failure through a comprehensive disassociation from what they sure seem to consider their former base. Surprisingly, a fair number of said former base, conservatives, agree for the same reason.
I’m of a more-cynical mind. Given the Democrats have shown again and again they care not at all for the rule of law, there is no immediately positive point in pursuing the impeachment of Obama. However, that is not to say it shouldn’t be pursued. Eventually, there will be a non-Democrat President elected (do note I didn’t say Republican). If the Democrats have the majority in the House at any point in that administration, they will pursue impeachment because that will be deemed necessary under the “by any means necessary” principle…regardless of whether impeachment charges are pursued against Obama or not. It would be better to have on the record that no high crime or misdemeanor is convictable in the Senate.
Instead of the Constutionally-prescribed method of restraining a rogue President, House Speaker John Boehner (“R”-OH) is setting off on a very foolhardy plan to sue the President over non-enforcement of an existing law. It had been expected that the suit would be based on Obama’s refusal to enforce immigration law, but that might have resulted in the enforcement of the southwest border, and the Big Business cronies that took over the GOP want none of that. They’re planning on going after Obama on the non-enforcement of the employer health-insurance mandate that is part of PlaceboCare.
The likely suit may as well have the Chamber of Commerce as the lead plaintiff instead of the House GOP. Assuming the suit isn’t thrown out (which it will be; see below), should the plaintiffs be successful, said employer mandate will already be in effect on the Big Businesses that the Chamber repesents. A “victory” would only serve to crush the medium-sized businesses competitors to Big Business that are less able to absorb the cost, not remove the employer mandate for all businesses.
Of course, that presumes the suit wouldn’t be thrown out. It almost certainly will be tossed because the Republicans don’t have standing to sue. There is no case law stating that Congressmen have any standing to challenge the enforcement or non-enforcement of a law that does not directly affect said Congressman’s non-legislative interests. While there is limited case law saying that can be done by a state or local member of a legislative body, there are only two instances where said member has standing – (a) the member is part of the voting bloc that expressly and successfully blocked (or but for a tiebreaking procedure on a constitutional amendment, would have successfully blocked) enactment of a piece of legislation, yet provisions of that legislation were implemented anyway, or (b) the member is part of the voting block that voted for a duly-enacted piece of legislation, yet provisions of said legislation were not implemented.
The Republicans didn’t have the votes to stop the enactment of PlaceboCare in 2010, when both the original bill and the amending bill were before the House. So, what’s their argument? That given another bite at the apple, they would vote for PlaceboCare? Given their actions of the last 2 years, from the nomination of the godfather of PlaceboCare as their 2012 Presidential nominee to the quiet replacement of “repeal and replace ObamaCare” by “‘substantially’ fix ObamaCare”, one can reasonably conclude that the one-word message from the GOP to those who supported them because of their earlier stated opposition to PlaceboCare is the same one being given to those who supported the GOP because the party claimed to be conservative or because the party claimed to care about the rule of law instead of the rule of tyrants – “SUCKERS!”