STORY #1: Nor a lender be
President Obama may have the best fall-back line someone in his position could ask for: “See, I would have something to show for this, but Congress isn’t moving.” (To the guys who argued with me on Wednesday about the relative power of Congress and the White House: Checkmate, bitches.) That’s been true for a lot of things, but the one that hurts the most, or at least the loudest, is the extension of low-interest student loans.
Now don’t think I’m saying he can actually win with the Congress-isn’t-moving bit. Example on top of example, it makes him look like the prison warden letting the inmates run the show. Of course, if he tried to subvert them, he’d look like this guy. Either way, Congress has created a nice little racket for themselves: They can do absolutely nothing and blame Obama when nothing happens for PR’s sake. I wish I could get paid six figures a year for that!
STORY #2: Something happened
And then there are the times when the White House manages to accomplish something, Congress tries to accomplish something in response and we get a whole lot of this. In an effort to prevent a number of national security leaks that have taken place in the past while, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) said the House intelligence committee he chairs would conduct an investigation. The CIA and the Justice Department said they would not cooperate. Because now is the time to exercise discretion. Yeah, we got that.
They might have better luck using legislative means; Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is drafting a bill that would compel the White House to give two days’ notice before revealing a national secret. I assume the reason for said revelation would be part of that bill, but we’ll see. Sometimes I think the White House carries out intentional leaks to throw off certain hostile countries, but Congress would benefit from knowing that.
STORY #3: It’s nobody’s court
Does it ever seem like when one party could be on the losing side of a constitutional battle, they default to accusations of judicial activism as if that will somehow improve their chances? Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is the one doing that by implicitly warning the Supreme Court not to undo months of work on the democratically passed Obamacare. I would find it sad if anyone actually needed to remind him that effort and popularity (at a given point in time) don’t mean anything when it comes to constitutionality. I look forward to having this conversation again about a different domestic policy of contention during the next Republican administration. Don’t touch that dial.