July 31

Yesterday, the House moved to legally challenge the president over his obligation to enforce our laws.  The impending lawsuit is a grand move, the result of which could offer an epic interpretation of our democratic balance.

President Obama speaks at My Brothers Keeper town hall on Monday. (Jewel Samad/Getty Images)
President Obama speaks at a My Brothers Keeper town hall. (Jewel Samad/Getty Images)

Rather than responding to the House’s lawsuit by showing leadership, it appears this is just one more instance in which President Obama can’t seem to rise to the occasion. If handled correctly, the former constitutional law professor could use this as a teachable moment. But that would require the president to talk about his view of the separation of powers and how he sees the stakes involved. Instead, the bored icon currently stuck in the presidency chooses to be flippant. He says snarky things to partisan crowds and gets attaboys from the sycophants around him. This White House must be the least intellectually challenging and the most insular in history. The Obama administration mostly denies there are any problems, blames others for the calamities piling up at home and abroad, and views their critics as simpletons unworthy of their attention.

The president’s dismissal of most things — including the legal action brought by the House — brings out the worst in others who follow his lead. The Democrats don’t bother to learn what it would take to thoughtfully advocate for or properly defend a position; they just revert to the pedantic talking points of their political handlers and fundraising consultants.

I thought it was a new low yesterday when a real government official — someone working at the White House — tweeted a sophomoric campaign graphic using the hashtag “#DoYourJobHouseGOP.” Yes, instead of engaging in any kind of meaningful dialogue, the White House thought it should just tweet out this banal blather from the president of the United States.  Maybe it is impossible to have a dignified tweet, but one would hope the president would at least try. It is so useless and pathetic as a campaign appeal that I don’t mind directing you to the link. But I find it astonishing that this is what our White House thought was important yesterday. I’m surprised it didn’t also manage to work in a line about impeachment, its fundraising-focused drama du jour.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is acting like he is the only adult left in Washington. At least he is taking a mature, measured approach to the lawsuit and clearly articulating why it is the right action whose time has come – which is more than we can say for anyone associated with Obama and the Democratic party.

 

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Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.