With a little more than one week until election day the Republican Party is still lacking any affirmative plan for how they will govern should they assume total control of Congress. They have no economic plan, no foreign policy, no terrorism response, no reforms for immigration, and certainly no programs to address climate change which they don’t believe exists. The whole of their political ideology is a negative fixation that rests on their blinding contempt for President Obama.
Last summer GOP House Speaker John Boehner made a splashy announcement of his scheme to sue the President for having issued an executive order delaying the implementation of a component of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Never mind that Republicans usually oppose frivolous lawsuits and that the ObamaCare measure being delayed was one that Republicans also wanted to postpone, the lawsuit was heralded as a blow for righteousness and justice.
In truth, the lawsuit was a bone being thrown to the Tea Party who had been clamoring for impeachment. Boehner was seeking to pacify the drooling Teabaggers with a scaled back distraction. And now Politico is reporting that the lawsuit that garnered so much excitement has failed to materialize. There has been no progress made on its filing and it is not expected to proceed until sometime after the midterm election. No one even knows what the complaint will consist of. When asked back in June, Boehner responded “When I make that decision, I’ll let you know.” He still hasn’t made that decision.
Speculation by insiders is that the lawsuit has been benched because it might have fired up Democrats to mobilize in advance of the election and to increase donations and turnout. So the motivations on the part of the GOP are purely political and not tied to any principles. What’s more, it’s confirmation that they intend to resume their litigation as soon as the election is no longer part of the mix.
Therefore, it is not implausible to assume that the fringe-right will also return to their wet dream fantasies of an Obama impeachment as well. With so many Republican operatives having expressed their interest in it, they are very likely to still harbor a desire to proceed. The Boehner lawsuit is a sort of legal appetizer before the main course. And since the issues that were previously discussed as the reasons for the lawsuit may be moot by the time they file (if ever), the only option left for the Obama-haters will be impeachment.
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Without the promise of the lawsuit to look forward to, the Tea Party will demand that they be given satisfaction. The Republican honchos know that they can’t win an election if the Teabaggers bolt. A recent Gallup poll asked voters to describe their motivation to vote in this election. Seventy-three percent of Tea Partiers responded that they were extremely/very motivated. Contrast that with other Republicans at 57%, and non-Republicans at 42% and you can see why the party is worried. You can also see why the party would be inclined to proceed with the impeachment demands of their right flank. Particularly after the much ballyhooed lawsuit fizzles.
In reality, the Tea Party is not as big a factor in national politics as the establishment Republicans believe. They are an ever decreasing group that is supported by less than 25% of the American people. Supporters of reproductive choice outnumber Tea Partiers. So do supporters of background checks for gun purchases, supporters of immigration reform, supporters of taxing the rich, supporters of alternative fuels, and many more progressive causes. Yet for some reason there has never been a poll to ascertain the motivation of those voters.
For most of the past six years the Republican Party has demonstrated itself to be a lily-livered appeaser of its worst elements. And there is no reason to expect them to change after November. So if you have an interest in advancing solutions to real problems in this country, rather than becoming mired in a bitter and partisan impeachment melodrama, you had better vote on November 4th, and make sure that all of your progressive friends and family do as well.
If you don’t think they’re crazy enough to do it, you haven’t been paying enough attention to John Boehner and Darrell Issa and Louis Gohmert and Michelle Bachmann and Steve King and Blake Farenthold and Steve Stockman and – oh hell, this could go on forever. Let’s just say the whole friggin’ congressional GOP caucus.