House Republicans find themselves completely incapable of completing the one goal they set for themselves four years ago: repealing and replacing Obamacare. But they’ve still got a crazy, rabid base that hasn’t lost any of its fervor hate for the law or for the president. So what’s an opportunistic, unprincipled and ultimately lazy guy like John Boehner to do? Distract the crazies with a lawsuit against the president for doing something with Obamacare that they had actually wanted to have happen — delaying the employer mandate. Cuz why not?
The decision to focus on Obamacare was surprising to some who expected a more sweeping legal action. But Republicans leading the effort say the health care overhaul is the best case they can bring to a judge.
“We’re not trying to take every issue that we disagree with the president on,” said House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, who will lead the Wednesday hearing. “We’re going to pick that one that we believe has a lot of merit and widely recognized as an important issue.” […]
“When people say is there a risk of doing this, of course there is. Anytime you go to court, by definition, one side wins and one side loses,” said Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), a physician who is vice chairman of the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health. “Is there a risk? Yes, of course there is a risk but the risk of inactivity, the risk of doing nothing, the risk of no action is that you can logically infer from this that anything passed by Congress can be changed by the president at any point that he feels it is inconvenient for him to go forward.”
The real risk for the GOP is with their base if they don’t do anything to feed its Obamacare fetish. They’re pretty much out of options for any other action on the law. After more than 50 tries, even the tea baggiest among them realize that repeal votes are hollow. Shutting government down again would be an utter disaster, and they are not realistically going to be able to come up with a decent replacement plan that the divided conference will pull together on. They’re stumped, with nothing really left to them but a meaningless lawsuit that won’t be resolved before the election, but gives them something to point to and say they’re still fighting this law and Obama.
So they’ve spent more than $70 million just on repeal votes alone. How much more of our tax dollars are they going to be spending on this exercise in futility?
Joan McCarter is senior political writer for Daily Kos.