Adolf Hitler, Germany Fuehrer for 12 years, had a favorite phrase: “So oder so.”
It meant: “One way or the other.”
That might sound harmless. But, in Hitler’s case, it carried a sinister tone–as did almost everything else about the dictator who ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945.
When Hitler faced what he considered a problem, he said he would solve it “one way or the other.” Which meant that if he couldn’t get his way, he would apply whatever means it took until he did.
John Boehner, Speaker of the Republican-dominated House of Representatives, seems to be channeling the spirit of the late Nazi dictator.
He has threatened to sue President Barack Obama for issuing executive orders to implement policies whose legislation could not pass the Republican-controlled House.
On June 25, Boehner said he would introduce legislation to authorize the House general counsel to sue the Obama administration. He claimed that Obama has “not faithfully executed the laws” by issuing executive orders.
“We elected a president, Americans note. We didn’t elect a monarch or a king,” Boehner wrote in a memo to his colleagues. But Boehner did not state which specific actions by Obama have been illegal.
Such a lawsuit would be a precursor to a Republican effort to impeach Obama. This would allow the Right to gain through coercion what it could not win at the polls: His removal as President.
And President Obama’s response: “They don’t do anything except block me and call me names. If you’re mad at me for helping people on my own, why don’t you join me and we’ll do it together.
“You’re going to squawk if I try to fix some parts of it administratively that are within my authority while you’re not doing anything?
“I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something while they’re doing nothing.
“What I’ve told Speaker Boehner directly is, ‘If you’re really concerned about me taking too many executive orders, why don’t you try getting something done through Congress?'”
Obama has actually issued fewer executve orders than his predecessors–about one every 11 days, according to the Brookings Institute.
Contrast this with the records of such Presidents as:
George W. Bush, who issued an executive order on average every 10 days over eight years;
- Ronald Reagan, who issued such orders about once every seven days during eight years; and
- Jimmy Carter, who issued more than one order every five days during four years.
Of course, Bush and Reagan were Republicans–and white. And Carter was turned out of office after only four years by Reagan, whom Republicans still idolize.
But Obama is a Democrat–and black. Moreover, he has committed the ultimate crime of twice defeating Republican candidates for the Presidency.
On June 30, President Obama addressed a press conference in the White House Rose Garden.
During this, he outlined the pattern of Republican obstruction he has faced in winning passage of his immigration reform program.
“One year ago this month, Senators of both parties–with support from the business community, labor, law enforcement, faith communities–came together to pass a commonsense immigration bill.
“Independent experts said the bill would strengthen our borders, grow our economy, shrink our deficits.
“As we speak, there are enough Republicans and Democrats in the House to pass an immigration bill today. I would sign it into law today, and Washington would solve a problem in a bipartisan way.
“But for more than a year, Republicans in the House of Representatives have refused to allow an up-or-down vote on that Senate bill or any legislation to fix our broken immigration system.
“And I held off on pressuring them for a long time to give Speaker [John] Boehner the space he needed to get his fellow Republicans on board….
“I believe Speaker Boehner when he says he wants to pass an immigration bill. I think he genuinely wants to get something done.
“But last week, he informed the Republicans will continue to block a vote on immigration reform at least for the remainder of this year.
“Some of the House Republican caucus are using the situation with unaccompanied children as their newest excuse to do nothing. Now I want everybody to think about that.
“Their argument seems to be that because the system’s broken, we shouldn’t make an effort to fix it. It makes no sense. It’s not on the level. It’s just politics, plain and simple.
“Now thare are others in the Republican caucus in the House who are arguing that they can’t act because they’re mad at me about using my executive authority too broadly. This also makes no sense.
“I don’t prfer taking administrative action. I’d rather see permanent fixes to the issue we face.”
But since taking office as President on January 20, 2009, Obama has faced a torrent of Republican contempt and obstruction.