Birtherism

A Note on Frivolous Lawsuits

Contemplation of Justice

Here’s a fun conundrum: Sometimes it seems important to note, “If you need the quick version …”, except, well, some of those times it’s probably important to look at the long version.

Such is the power of good narrative; Steve Benen, for instance, provides us with the setup:

Remember, when challenging a federal law, it’s not enough for someone to get a lawyer, go to court, and demand the law be struck down. In the American system, plaintiffs need standing – litigants have to demonstrate that a law harms them in some direct way.

And so, in the painfully absurd King v. Burwell case, anti-healthcare lawyers went out and found four people willing to sue because they’re eligible under the Affordable Care Act for insurance subsidies. They’ve been largely overlooked, but given the possibility that this case will end access to medical care for millions of families, it seems like a good time to ask, “Who are these people who want to destroy the American health care system?”

Stephanie Mencimer reports today on all four of the plaintiffs, and it’s quite a collection of folks. For example, David King of King v. Burwell notoriety, “brought up Benghazi” when asked about the anti-healthcare lawsuit. Rose Luck believes President Obama may be the “anti-Christ” and was elected by “his Muslim people.” But a Virginia woman Brenda Levy stood out as especially significant ....

Right. You know this only goes downhill. Go with Benen if you want the short form.

(more…)

Your Republican Party: Raison d’Être Edition

Don't ask me, I'm just the Speaker of the Fucking House

Via Steve Benen:

msnbcAmericans first learned back on June 24, more than four months ago, about the House Republican plan to file a lawsuit against President Obama. Two weeks later, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced the basis for the case: the GOP would sue to implement an obscure provision of the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans don’t actually want to see implemented.

There is a punch line; the actual complaint still has yet to be filed.

It is simple enough to explain what is going on here.

• Congressional Republicans decided their best strategy was to (A) stonewall President Obama on pretty much everything they could, and (B) combine this effort with an attempt to create a delegitimizing narrative in history—e.g., Birtherism, feet on the desk, what jacket the president is wearing, &c., in addition to the usual politics of working very hard to accomplish an outcome specifically so that one can then complain about that outcome.

• House Republicans might contend this is their only recourse, but that would be a lie. The simple fact is that the House can draft and adopt articles of impeachment at any time, but GOP leadership knows they have nothing.

• Hence, a lawsuit that will go exactly nowhere if it is ever filed; House GOP leadership already knows this.

• What is left, then, is a fundraising device. GOTO delegitimizing narrative. It’s not even a FOR/NEXT loop, but, rather, infinite spinning down the rabbit hole.

• When a Republican or one of those fake-independent conservative libertarians tells you government doesn’t work, remember that is not actually a policy assessment, but, rather, a policy goal—the GOP’s raison d’être.

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Benen, Steve. “The House GOP’s crumbling anti-Obama lawsuit”. msnbc. 27 October 2014.