Our intrepid congressman in the House of Representatives, Tom Rice, was bragging this summer about how he was largely responsible for getting that highly-responsible and effective body to sue a sitting president, Barack Obama, for the first time in U.S. history.
He went on C-Span and visited places in the Myrtle Beach area to make sure everyone knew that was his top priority, and that he was laying the ground work for the move long before his fellow Republican colleagues approved the measure in an official vote a few months ago. Things like bringing better-paying jobs to a low-wage Seventh Congressional District, or greater health care coverage to poor residents, or other such matters, came secondary to stopping King Obama.
This is what Rice said in Aynor in December 2013:
The Democrat-controlled Senate would never consider an impeachment, Rice said he knew, so he began to think what could be done to “get the president to enforce the law.”
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Conversations with legislative lawyers brought him to the resolution, which would seek a declaratory or injunctive order for Obama to follow the law.
“I think the president is a person who will go just as far as he can,” Rice said.
He said after the meeting that he doesn’t know what date the resolution will get to the House floor for a vote, but noted that 34 House members had signed on so far as co-sponsors.
The resolution must be approved by the Judiciary Committee before it will go for a full vote, he said.
The question was one of about a half dozen Rice fielded in the meeting, the first part of which was his summation of what he has done since his election in November 2012.
Rice said more than once that his primary focus is getting jobs in the 7th District.
The world was going to end if Rice didn’t succeed.
Well, it’s been 4 months since the House voted to follow Rice’s lead - and still no lawsuit.
What’s more is that because of the delay, it will be even more useless than most people realized when Rice was bragging about it.
Some attribute the delay to electoral politics — suggesting that Republicans were worried it could rile up the Democratic base — though the GOP is mum on why the suit has yet to be filed.
Whatever the reason, the delay means the core of the suit could effectively be moot before the Obama administration even has to respond to it in court. The case was expected to center on an employer mandate provision that Obama twice delayed but is now set to kick in for many employers on Jan. 1.
“I thought this was a constitutional crisis and the republic was in jeopardy because Obama overstepped his bounds. Now, they can’t even get around to filing it?” asked former House Counsel Stan Brand, a Democrat. “It, to me, emphasizes the not-serious nature of it.”
Rice made a big deal of the lawsuit during his campaign for re-election. Given that he hasn’t even delivered on that, why wouldn’t we be better of with his Democratic challenger, Gloria Bromell-Tinubu, an economist and someone who wouldn’t vote against the Violence Against Women Act in a state with an extremely high domestic violence rate, as Rice did?
Rice’s calling card has been this as-yet non-existent and soon-to-be irrelevant lawsuit. Does that really make him worthy of re-election?