Abraham Lincoln said in a speech over 150 years ago that “a house divided against itself cannot stand,” echoing the words of the Jewish religious figure Jesus according to the Christian Bible. Lincoln’s words came at a time when the US was divided over the issue of slavery and the plight of African-Americans.
Today, the “house” – the White House – is divided, which matches the political division of the country along Democratic and Republican party lines. Many Republicans believed that American President Barack Obama would serve one term, then find himself dethroned for a second term. Yet, the American people re-elected their president, whose “Change” campaign is what got them to believe in political transformation in the first place. At that time, it was said that while the American people want a Republican Congress, they also want a Democratic president. In other words, the tension wouldn’t be resolved with a political vote; instead, the president and the Congress would have to work together for the good of the country.
Unfortunately, it seems that neither Congress nor the President have heeded the concept.
On Wednesday, the Republican House officials gathered with Speaker of the House John Boehner and filed a lawsuit against US President Barack Obama. The reason? House Republicans now claim that Obama’s been stalling the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The lawsuit vote was 225-201, with a split vote between the majority of Republicans (who overwhelmingly favored the lawsuit) and Democrats (who overwhelmingly opposed the lawsuit). Democrats took the time to voice their repugnance at the idea that the Congress would file a lawsuit against Barack Obama, with Democratic official John Lewis (Georgia) calling the lawsuit “offensive and insulting” and “a very low point” that “goes a little too far.” Others called the House of Representatives vote “a gimmick,” “a political stunt,” and “a sorry piece of legislative malpractice.”
While Democrats were outraged at the lawsuit, Republicans were overjoyed. Republican House Speaker John Boehner tried to stick to the political issue at hand: “It’s about defending the Constitution that we swore an oath to uphold. Are you willing to let any president decide what laws to execute and what laws to change?”
Boehner’s considered a lawsuit against Barack Obama earlier this month, but some legal experts say that a House lawsuit (collectively), rather than a personal lawsuit against Barack Obama, may provide the support the lawsuit needs to convince the Supreme Court that it’s legitimate and worth looking into.
At the same time, some say that the chances of the lawsuit holding up in court are slim to none, and some believe it’s so laughable that a panel of judges would likely laugh the case out of court anyway. Of the Republicans who voted down the measure (5 total), they chose to do so because they didn’t believe the lawsuit goes far enough; they’d rather see Barack Obama impeached than sued in court.
House Republicans feel that they’re doing what’s best for the country (or so they say), but rumors about impeaching Obama have been circling the political scene since Obama’s first term began. Barack Obama emerged with a decisive national vote in favor of him over competitor Sen. John McCain, though even Obama and McCain’s campaign showed the growing divisiveness over the political direction of the United States.