Fox News Channel host Neil Cavuto vented his frustrations with the House Republican conference on Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on Tuesday. While it may have been unfair to focus his ire entirely on Bachman, Cavuto had a point. He insisted that a plan to sue the Obama administration over their profligate use of executive orders, and Bachmann’s insistence that the House should defund the executive branch, were both feeble and laughable.
In this interview which went completely off the rails, Cavuto said that this lawsuit was an “enormous waste of effort,” and where her “rage” was when Democrats — including President Barack Obama — criticized the Bush administration over their use of executive orders.
“Because I think you knew then that was a waste of time then. I think you know in your heart of hearts this is a waste of time now,” Cavuto observed. “By the way, Rome’s burning.”
He added that Republicans did not take Democrats threats to defund the executive during the Bush administration, and the same impotent threat is today being made by Republicans. “I think Democrats will be in their right mind to laugh you out now,” he said.
Cavuto seems to be dismissing the planned lawsuit as a political stunt, which is interesting considering Democrats have been doing that for some time. White House Press Sec. Josh Earnest said the GOP was suing Obama simply for “for doing his job.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the suit “subterfuge.”
A report in Politico details the staggeringly high price establishment Republicans are paying in both treasure and intraparty comity in order to put down the insurgent conservative candidacies they largely accommodated in 2010 and 2012. The stakes are too high, establishment GOP figures wager, to allow novices to take the reins and sacrifice winnable races ahead of what may be the last, best opportunity to recapture the Senate.
NBC’s First Read team notes that House Speaker John Boehner’s Lawsuit is a political calculation as much as it is an attempt to exert congressional authority. “In a midterm year, headlines like ‘Republicans to Sue Obama’ serve to prove to the GOP base that party leaders in Washington are prepared to throw the kitchen sink at an unpopular president,” they wrote.
Judging by Cavuto’s reaction, conservatives may not be satisfied with mere empty gestures from the Republican leadership.