Suing Obama

The least-productive Congress in history when it comes to passing laws fired one last shot before leaving on vacation. The House of Representatives authorized a lawsuit against President Obama for supposedly overstepping his power under the Constitution to enact laws.

It is deeply ironic that the Congress that stood out as one of the most obstructionist legislatures in recent times is blaming the White House for seeking alternatives to move its agenda forward when faced with legislative blocking.

In this case, the Republican majority complained that President Obama abused his executive power when he modified the Affordable Care Act (ACA), delaying the entry into effect of a series of provisions that make the participation of the private sector in the health care reform mandatory.

There is huge irony in this situation. Republican representatives now want to go before a judge to demand that the law they tried to repeal more than 30 times be applied faithfully. In addition, the part of the law that the president postponed is precisely the one that caused the most opposition among lawmakers. Meaning, the basis for the lawsuit is the president delaying the measures that Republicans hated the most.

Logic was left behind long ago, giving way to a strategy to denounce Obama as a president who does not respect the Constitution with his executive orders and interpretations of laws.

They conveniently forgot that Obama is the president who in the past 30 years has made the least use of the resources available to him to decide what to do with a new law.

The dispute for presidential power is as old as the history of the U.S. The difference is that the current level of hostility in the legislature has led GOP lawmakers to consider not an impeachment—like Bill Clinton’s—but rather a lawsuit. However, there are plenty of ultraconservative Republicans calling for and dreaming of impeaching Obama.

In this case, the House GOP leadership is not interested in removing the president, but it wants to divert the Obama administration’s attention toward the courts for the two years it has left. That is a political goal hidden under a constitutional farce.