President Barack Obama recently defied Republican threats to file suit against him for his use of executive orders. "If House Republicans are really concerned about me taking too many executive actions, the best solution to that is passing bills," the president said. "Pass a bill, solve a problem."
Republican obstruction is so extreme that House Speaker John Boehner can't even get what he wants done, much less what the country needs. House Republicans have blocked countless jobs plans, stonewalled immigration reform, stopped a hike in the minimum wage and prevented emergency unemployment benefits from even getting a vote.
So Obama has begun to act — often belatedly and timidly, in his supporters' view. He has halted deportation of the "dreamers," kids of undocumented immigrants who were, like their parents, not born in the United States, and promises more action on immigration. He has ordered that the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act not be enforced against gay couples. He has issued a bevy of minor, common-sense measures on gun control. His push for executive action on climate change will have real impact. And recently, he lifted the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour, shaming Republican obstruction of this long-overdue measure.