Fundraising and John Boehner’s Lawsuit

Today I have received more political fundraising e-mails than I can count. And, with one exception, they’ve all centered on the House GOP’s vote to sue President Obama.

The Atlantic had a piece up today about the 21 fundraising emails the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out over the weekend about the lawsuit and its potential for impeachment.

I received all of those e-mails. I wasn’t happy about receiving them. The first few were fine, but then they became excessively cloying. Pleading and begging. Overly familiar.

I’m going to take a look at two I’ve received today. The first one I’m going to look at is the most recent one. It’s ostensibly from Nancy Pelosi. Subject line: “new low (Boehner)”

This is a new low.

Republicans just went on the House floor and voted to authorize Boehner’s lawsuit against President Obama.

The truth is: House Republicans are using this lawsuit to slander the President. Boehner’s House Republicans accused President Obama of some pretty nasty things tonight.

They’re claiming he’s breaking the law.

They’re claiming he’s deliberately exceeding his constitutional authority.

They’re EVEN claiming he’s acting against the wishes of the Founding Fathers.

I’m sick of the slanderous accusations against President Obama. I’m tired of Boehner using taxpayer dollars to fund his vendetta against President Obama. We need to fight back.

I would quibble with one or two things here. The “acting against the wishes of the Founding Fathers” is new to me; I’ve not heard that one before. “Slander[ing] the President,” though, isn’t anything new; they’ve accused Obama of everything, from having a fake birth certificate and being a non-citizen to being a secret Muslim. The GOP and their talking heads have thrown crud at President Obama for six years. This is nothing new.

The e-mail from Sara Alexander, the RNC’s Chief Operating Officer, is a little different, as you might expect. Subject line: “IT PASSED: House Republicans are suing Obama”

Moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation allowing House Republicans to sue President Obama for his unconstitutional executive overreach.

This is a HUGE STEP in stopping President Obama.

Speaker Boehner and House Republicans are suing this Imperial President for expanding his power and control beyond the constitutional and legal limits.

President Obama has failed to uphold the crux of his constitutional duty – to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” – and he must be held accountable.

Sara, I have a very important question for you. Please think carefully before you answer it.

Define “held accountable.”

Let’s suppose, for a moment, that the House GOP’s lawsuit prevails in court. There are reasons to think that it won’t — standing is a big issue and has a good chance of kicking the lawsuit entirely — but let’s suppose that it does.

What sanctions do you expect? And, how do expect those sanctions to be enforced?

There was a lawsuit over Indian rights during Andrew Jackson’s presidency. Jackson, as the Trail of Tears would suggest, was not particularly interested in the Native American population. The case reached the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Marshall handed down a decision Jackson didn’t care for, and Jackson’s response was, “John Marshall has rendered his decision, now let him enforce it.”

If the House prevails at some point in the next two and a half years, we would have the same situation. Boehner would have his decision; how would he enforce it?

If the House GOP really and truly believes that the president is a tyrant who is operating outside Constitutional norms, a lawsuit is not the remedy. The Constitution is clear — impeachment is the remedy for high crimes and misdemeanors. And, as we found out in 1973 and 1998, “high crimes and misdemeanors” mean whatever a majority of the House of Representatives say they mean.

There are good and sound reasons why the GOP is playing down the impeachment talk they’ve encouraged the last six years and blame-shifting it over to the Democrats; even if the GOP takes the Senate in November, the GOP would never get 67 votes in the Senate for conviction and removal.

But impeachment would not be as transparent a stunt as this lawsuit. The lawsuit is all about giving the appearance to the base of doing something to stand up to Obama without actually anything productive, not unlike the patented Marvel Comics’ “appearance of change” where major characters go through major, traumatic events and/or changes, only to have them revert back to the iconic status quo within two years. Comic book fans, at least, are aware enough of the cynicism to see through it; the politicians and the media that enable them, though, treat the cynicism as though it’s deathly serious.

The GOP is making a stupid move. The Democrats don’t need to do anything; when your opponent is making a stupid move and beating himself up, don’t stop him.

I gave neither the DCCC nor the RNC money. This reason — the lawsuit and potential impeachment — don’t warrant it for the Democrats. And for the Republicans? I’d like to see them stand for something.

Oh, and as I wrote this, I got an e-mail purportedly from Joe Biden. He’s right when he writes: “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. And you know what, Allyn? I can guarantee you that these guys are not done attacking this President.”

Still not a reason to give money.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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