As we begin to introduce ourselves over the next few weeks and month you, the reader, will notice that we will often take the time to point out when politicians are well…playing politics rather than being honest with their constituencies.
In this case, about a week ago House Speaker John Boehner announced he would be suing the President for abusing his use of executive action. Political move? No doubt about it. However, it is of note that Democrats responded in shock that Republicans would be so dirty.
During a speech in Texas last Thursday Obama framed the suit as a frivolous political maneuver by Republicans in the face of the Democrats’ struggle to fix the nation: “There’s a great movie called ‘The Departed’ – a little violent for kids. But there’s a scene in the movie where Mark Wahlberg – they’re on a stakeout and somehow the guy loses the guy that they’re tracking. And Wahlberg is all upset and yelling at the guy. And the guy looks up and he says, ‘Well, who are you?’ And Wahlberg says, ‘I’m the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy.’ Sometimes, I feel like saying to these guys, I’m the guy doing my job, you must be the other guy,”
Now, I present to you House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Response to the lawsuit:
“I make of it as subterfuge. As I said they’re doing nothing here. And so they have to give some aura of activity.”
“There really needs to be an adult in that room, of the Republican caucus. I hope the speaker is that adult.”
I mean how dare Boehner challenge Obama for overreaching with his executive power right?
Wait…what’s that? Oh. Let’s take a trip back to 2007 to see Pelosi then:
Per a May 2007 article in The Hill:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is threatening to take President Bush to court if he issues a signing statement as a way of sidestepping a carefully crafted compromise Iraq war spending bill.
Pelosi recently told a group of liberal bloggers, “We can take the president to court” if he issues a signing statement, according to Kid Oakland, a blogger who covered Pelosi’s remarks for the liberal website dailykos.com.
“The president has made excessive use of signing statements and Congress is considering ways to respond to this executive-branch overreaching,” a spokesman for Pelosi, Nadeam Elshami, said. “Whether through the oversight or appropriations process or by enacting new legislation, the Democratic Congress will challenge the president’s non-enforcement of the laws.”
Nope. not in the least bit hypocritical right?
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained that, “The GOP’s unwillingness to compromise has forced the president to take more executive actions,”.
So if I have this right, when Bush ‘overreaches’ it’s unconstitutional, but when Obama overreaches, it’s the Republicans’ fault? Of course, suing Bush was hardly an original tactic. In Oct. 2007 Bush vetoed a mammoth bill the Democrats proposed to expand children’s health care:
The Democratic legislation would add $35 billion to the program over five years to expand coverage. Bush argued the bill was too costly, took the program too far beyond its original intent of helping the poor and would entice people with private insurance to switch to government coverage. He has proposed a $5 billion increase in funding.
Subsequently, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer decided this was overreach and sued the President:
“The bureaucratic barriers to coverage the Bush administration has imposed are not only fundamentally misguided, but also illegal…
…They conflict with the statute authorizing SCHIP. Moreover, they were issued without the opportunity for public comment, as required by federal law. Accordingly, I have joined Democratic and Republican governors from states across the country to bring a lawsuit challenging these new rules in court.”
”It is imperative that we all come together to reverse the Bush administration’s attempt to override the will of Congress, the will of the states, and the needs of our children.”
*(SCHIP = State Children’s Health Insurance Program)
In 2006 the late Sen. Arlen Specter, soon to reveal himself to be a Democrat, threatened to sue Bush over his use of signing statements:
“We will submit legislation to the United States Senate which will…authorize the Congress to undertake judicial review of those signing statements with the view to having the president’s acts declared unconstitutional,”
and as the article (linked above) explains:
“Specter’s announcement intensifies his challenge of the administration’s use of executive power on a number of policy matters. Of particular interest to him are two signing statements challenging the provisions of the USA Patriot Act renewal, which he wrote, and legislation banning the use of torture on detainees.”
Sounds a lot like why Boehner is suing Obama. Where were the democrats with their indignation back then?
And everyone who thinks Obama has it hard: Bush’s family was even sued by Holocaust survivors for having a vague Nazi link.
In all seriousness though, the reason for pointing out the hypocrisy in this situation is not to show that Democrats are dirtier than Republicans, but that Liberal politicians (and media) spew plenty of dishonest rhetoric themselves. Dem politicians often position their party as ‘the party of change’ or ‘the party of hope.’ Well, as it turns out they are just as interested in playing politics as anyone else. Here they are being self-righteous and indignant, and thus, dishonest. So, thinking that this is something that ‘only Republicans do’ and that Democratic leaders are only here to save us, is a mistake; and such is showing in the complete lack of leadership and action we as citizens are experiencing right now.