Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Lawsnit


Sometimes it just seems like everything goes wrong at once--your credit card gets hacked, you get into a fender-bender, your kid busts out of Juvey, all in the same week--and it must seem like that to President Obama now, too. Not only is he required to share the world stage with a Russian maniac who can't be counted on to stay on script; not only is he responsible for unrest in the Middle East among players who still can't get along even after having had a thousand years to think about it; not only is he on the hook for thousands of damp children crossing the border, but now he's getting sued. Crap. No one likes to get sued.

He's getting sued by John Boehner for going off on his own and accomplishing something without checking with Congress first. John Boehner believes that the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial bodies should be equivalent in power, and so if the legislative body isn't doing anything, the executive shouldn't be doing anything either. It's a sound argument, although it might not stand up to the defense witness, John Boehner, who also accuses Obama of napping on the job. All told, it's a little confusing what the complaint is, although uppityness may be a factor.

Specifically, what John Boehner is accusing Obama of is going off on his own and trying to delay implementation of a part of the Affordable Care Act that John Boehner does not like, because thwarting the Affordable Care Act is Congress's business, not the President's.

I'm sympathetic. I didn't know anything about lawsuits when I was little, but there were things that struck me as unfair. I didn't have that many responsibilities--pick up after myself, set the table, and wash the dishes every night. I was marginally okay with the first two but really didn't care for dishwashing. What was the point? I'd just have to do it all over again the next night. I didn't have a lot of options. Whining was out of the question. Whining was never once rewarded in our house. But it didn't occur to me to sue.

I know just the argument I'd use, too: "but I don't want to." It's airtight. But having the best argument does not always get you a win in court, as the Judicial Branch has recently demonstrated. My parents were in the business of producing civilized children and would no doubt bring up something about the social compact. I'd counter with the point that I was the baby, and expected to be provided for in every way. And that dishwashing was a direct threat to my right to do whatever it was I wanted to do instead, even if that was "nothing," which it usually was. John Boehner would understand.

Well, it turns out that presidents have been sued before. Nixon was sued; Reagan and Clinton were sued. John Kennedy was sued by a Mississippi state senator after he received injuries in an auto accident that left him unable to ride his donkey. He won, too.

So there's some good precedent for John Boehner and his friends. If they too want to sue for the right to sit on their asses, they've got a shot.

37 comments:

  1. This will backfire. The public is exasperated with all this political infighting and just wants the government to do its damn job.

    Suing Obama for delaying part of the law which they are constantly trying to completely get rid of will seem bizarre as well. No doubt they have some convoluted rationalization, but the public will see through that to the hypocrisy.

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    1. The public will, will they? Infidel, I did not take you for such an optimist :)

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    2. That kind of took me by surprise, too! Infidel, you old softie, you.

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    3. It's very important to avoid falling prey to the mind-set that the public consists of dummies who can't see obvious things that we smart bloggers can see. Yes, there are dummies out there, but most people are smarter than a lot of bloggers give them credit for.

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  2. Can you imagine a jury of southern Tea Party Christian fundamentalist and a Republican judge from Mississippi appointed by George W. Justice is not blind - it is scary. Lady Justice should be replaced with a zombie.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. I see Lady Justice in a recliner with a bag of chips and an itchy butt.

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  3. Suing for the "right to sit on their asses." Now I understand what the lawsuit is about!!! Thank you, Murr, for the excellent explanation!

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    1. After all, if Jesus did it, it must be the thing to do.

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  4. He not only has a shot...he should be shot. What a pathetic excuse for a patriotic statesman. I am so tired of this "just say no" group in Congress. And I wish you had a column somewhere as you certainly deserve a wider audience!

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    1. How about just a fatter audience? Eat up, people!

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  5. I wish I believed in a hell where these people would end up.

    And if I was that donkey, I'd be suing the guy sitting on me. (I like donkeys, the furry kind. After all, my name, eh?)

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    1. I never thought about that. But sure enough, that's what a Jenny is. Kind of old-fashioned; do you think the youngsters know that word?

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    2. Genuine youngster, chiming in.

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  6. I love the idea of the donkey suing. And it makes a great deal more sense than many of the other cases which have their time in the sun (and should be buried deep).

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    1. We've all heard of donkey suits before, haven't we?

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  7. You are brilliant. How far in did you have to dig to find the lawsuit about the Mississippi Senator and his donkey just so's you could make the last line of this post work so well?

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    1. The Sunday paper. So much for research! But if we're really on the subject of brilliance, here's one of my favorite all-time lines, credit (I think) William Safire: he made note of someone misspelling the animal "burro" as "burrow," and said "clearly here is a man who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground."

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  8. My former law professors could learn a thing or two about lawsuits from you.

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    1. Gawd, I doubt it. I don't have the brain for law school--hats off to you.

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  9. That golf outfit is disturbing

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    1. Don't tuck in that polo, John. That's not a good look.

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  10. You objected to washing the dishes because "you'd just have to do it all over again the next night", yet you didn't object to picking up after yourself or setting the table, both of which you also would have had to do all over again the next night. You probably should have objected to all three.
    I'm not at all concerned for Barack Obama, I'm sure the man can look after himself just fine.

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    1. Picking up after myself seemed fair; setting the table was easy. Dishwashing was deeply hard and unfair.

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    2. I do too, now. It's my saving grace since I don't cook.

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  11. Maybe Pootie can sue the lame-brained John Boehner for Bringing Vexatious Suits Before The courts and Bringing The Senate Into Disrepute. Bet Pootie would win!

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    1. Bet he'd look good doing it, too.

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    2. Does Pootie have a suit? He's going to need one - dark, conservative, with a white hanky. Get crackin', Murr :)

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    3. He has all of it but the jacket.

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  12. What a great line to end this piece: "If they too want to sue for the right to sit on their asses, they've got a shot."

    But why would Republicans be riding Donkeys, when they should be on Elephants? Oh, the ponderous nature of politics.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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    1. Heck, they'd ride donkeys just to do their Jesus imitation. As if.

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  13. You should send this to the "Letters to the Editor" of the Washington Post. I adore your political commentary. And speaking of everything happening at once, now we've got a passenger plane shot down by pro-Putin wingnuts. Has any president ever had so much crap to deal with? I don't think so.

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    1. As I understand it, though, it's all his fault, including earthquakes.

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