About Sonny Perdue’s health-care lawsuit

Please keep talking about the intimidation post below. But for those who have had their say on that, here’s something I’ve been thinking about since Gov. Sonny Perdue first asked Attorney General Thurbert Baker to join the multi-state lawsuit against ObamaCare:

Does anyone else think this helps Baker, a candidate for governor, in this summer’s Democratic primary?

Baker of course has declined to join the suit, and Perdue has now moved on to pursuing a lawsuit via a “special attorney general” (in this case, a private attorney/firm doing the work at no charge). Some people have accused Perdue of playing politics. But if he was, he may be helping Baker more than hurting him.

It cannot hurt Baker’s standing with Democratic primary voters for him to refuse to participate in a lawsuit whose aim is to strike down the biggest Democratic legislative victory in a generation. Giving primary voters something to associate Baker with besides the Genarlow Wilson case will help Baker’s campaign.

And it also cannot hurt Baker’s chances of forcing the party’s front-runner, former Gov. Roy Barnes, into a primary run-off. That would be a huge break for the Republicans, who are certain to have a run-off that could be nasty and quite expensive. If Barnes is able to win the Democratic nomination outright in July’s primary vote, he would get a very big leg up on the eventual GOP nominee.

I have no reason to believe Perdue had such a Machiavellian outcome in mind. But the effect could be the same. Just one more reason why it’s so fun to watch the horse race.

P.S. — For anyone who thinks I’m merely taken by the GOP’s political genius…this impeachment business is more likely than not to backfire on them. Bad move imo.

100 comments Add your comment

Icarus

March 25th, 2010
2:29 pm

Impeachment of Baker: Worst. Tactical. Move. Evar.

Hillbilly Deluxe

March 25th, 2010
2:31 pm

Between his decision not to pursue the lawsuit and the proposed impeachment move, Thurbert Baker must be in possession of a golden horseshoe or a truckload of four leaf clovers. No campaign manager could ever come up with a better way to help his cause.

CJ

March 25th, 2010
2:33 pm

If anybody wants to take a look, click here (pdf) to read the bizarre lawsuit that lacks a single legal precedent in it’s complaint.

Funny how the “tort reform” crowd is the most likely to file frivolous lawsuits. Strange how the “judicial restraint” crowd cries out for “judicial activism.” Ironic how the “will of the people” crowd seeks to overturn acts of elected representatives in Congress.

Drifter

March 25th, 2010
2:51 pm

As someone who hasn’t voted for a Democrat in at least 10 years, I have to say Republicans seem to have lost their minds over this health care issue. The legislation passed, it is going to apply here in Georgia and it will never be undone. Time to get over it and move on.

scrappy

March 25th, 2010
2:53 pm

Is it actually written somewhere that the state AG has to do what the state governor wants? I thought both were elected positions, and not tied to each other…??? Can the gov actually impeach the AG just cause he said no to the gov?

Jefferson

March 25th, 2010
2:57 pm

What about the flag ? Sonny said we were gonna vote on it. He is an ass kisser from way back.

Charva

March 25th, 2010
3:01 pm

At this stage it would do no good to jmpeach Baker. I do, however, find merit in the constitutionality issue. It can help Georgians, ( most of whom had Reps that voted that against the HC bill), to pursue the states opt out position. I applaud the Governor for taking his oath seriously and standing for the States rights. Thank you Governor Perdue!

@@

March 25th, 2010
3:03 pm

Kyle, caught your last post downstairs.

For everyone who thinks this is a one-way street: http://bit.ly/bBLNOk

Now I’ll wait for someone to explain that Rush, et al. also stoke the flames on the left…

When I posted about the shooting at Cantor’s office, some leftist over at Bookman’s said it was the conservatives’ fault. That the left couldn’t be blamed for inciting violence.

So even if dems win their health care push (against the will of the people) their supporters are free to shoot at those who are voicing dissent.

I don’t get leftists. They’re a weird bunch. Must be the victim mentality put forth by their party members.

DannyX

March 25th, 2010
3:05 pm

What I see is that there is not even a hint of bipartisanship coming from Georgia Republicans. First Governor Perdue tries to influence the votes of two Democrat US Congressman. Now he is planning a lawsuit that could end up costing Georgia a lot of money, and he’s also sideswiping the elected AG.

Maybe Sonny should host a town hall meeting on the subject!

ER RN

March 25th, 2010
3:11 pm

I applaud Perdue in taking control of this matter. As an ER nurse, I see the effect on this bill more than most. If this bill is soo amazing why is Obama exempt from it? Higher taxes, increased unemployment, and decreased level of healthcare. Thankfully, some have the brains and guts to say no seing what is to happen. For those who say its done and get over it, we call that lazy. Do you think the founding fathers of this nation said “well..lets just except defeat, there is no point”? Absolutely NOT. They were REAL men with determination and wisdom.

@@

March 25th, 2010
3:17 pm

Interesting strategy although I’m not sure Sonny’s creative enough to come up with one. I haven’t seen any polls on Georgia, but if the people say act….he should. The emphasis on pro-bono works in a Republican’s favor. As far as instructing AGs, Obama’s fingerprints are all over Eric Holder. His stance on prosecuting terrorists does not serve him well with the overall majority of Americans.

In a larger context, Sonny has asked Baker to stand up for Americans. Obama has encouraged Holder to stand up for terrorists.

About my 3:03 when I said leftists were weird….even when they win, they feel like losers. If only they knew but that’s not a requirement. If the government says jump, they ask how high.

Weird! Weird, I say.

Charva

March 25th, 2010
3:23 pm

DannyX, Really! You are going to talk about who is arm twisting! The Dem leadership was bragging on how they were going to use all the political muscle they could muster. They are proud of those tactics.

Road Scholar

March 25th, 2010
3:25 pm

Perdue is trying to pile on! A lawsuits merits is not determined by who or how many sue. Let the others do it, win or lose. Besides, how will you pay for it? More furloughs or more underfunded education?

Road Scholar

March 25th, 2010
3:26 pm

Scrappy: Only in Louisianna under Huey P. Long!

Kyle Wingfield

March 25th, 2010
3:28 pm

DannyX and Road: It appears that the legal work will be provided by a private firm, pro bono.

Charva

March 25th, 2010
3:28 pm

Look up what pro-bono means. Then check out class action.

Charva

March 25th, 2010
3:36 pm

There is a reason why Georgia law provides for the Governor to seek help from the private sector. That is just in case the AG does not represent the citizens when the Feds over step their bounds and disregard States rights.

Mr. Ed

March 25th, 2010
3:36 pm

Where is the impeach Sonny website? I would contribute to that worthy cause!

Where are the Flaggers when you need them?

Remember – Sonny Lied!
To bad the Flaggers are now Teabaggers – busy protecting the right of insurance companies to continue gouging and ripping us off.

Audrey in Georgia

March 25th, 2010
3:38 pm

Stand your ground, Mr. Baker! The governor continues to waste time and money. The governor
should focus on education and jobs, especially since transportation is too complicated for him.
Progress will not be made until republicans are out of office! Impeach the governor!

Charva

March 25th, 2010
3:41 pm

Well, it is good to know where the name callers are on this subject.

DannyX

March 25th, 2010
3:43 pm

Pro Bono doesn’t mean its free. There are huge court costs and expenses that they most surely will pass to the state.

And Charva, of course there will be no Town Hall meeting hosted by Perdue to discuss health care reform or the lawsuit. Thats just a Newt Gingrich soundbite, like we heard today. Can you imagine Sonny hosting a town hall meeting in Atlanta on transportation?

No in Georgia bipartisanship is off the radar. In fact you score more points by being the opposite.

The mere thought that Georgia Republicans would try bipartisanship is laughable, isn’t it?

Zinc

March 25th, 2010
3:48 pm

I think Sonny was trying to score some last minute relevancy points with the Republican party. Or maybe he realizes that his legacy on this state is abyssmal and this is the only thing he can do. Education, transporation, nah, too complicated.

skeptic

March 25th, 2010
3:49 pm

If Purdue wants to waste his time by having Georgia join other states in a suit, fine–provided it doesn’t cost the State of Georgia anything. From what I’ve read, the chances of gaining a legal victory are nil. The Governor and the AGs in other states who are pursuing the legal challenge have to know that. I view the pending suit as mere political campaigning. That’s my problem with the suit. It isn’t as though we don’t have enough frivilous lawsuits right now.

DannyX

March 25th, 2010
3:50 pm

And what if Georgia were to lose?

Surely you would expect the State to pick up all the expenses of the winning side, right?

Tort reform and all? You know, it helps protect us from frivolous lawsuits?

ER RNnotalinguist

March 25th, 2010
3:54 pm

Well the founding fathers man not have “accepted” defeat, but they also probably would not have spelled it wrong either. I hope your medical files are better written than the blather you just wrote. BTW it doesn’t matter what the FF want at the moment, they are dessicated corpses. This bill is to help people in trouble now, not 1776. Sonny? Real man? Only if you mean really fat and stupid.

Tyler Durden

March 25th, 2010
3:55 pm

I agree with Kyle that this is both self-serving and self-defeating for the GOP. It won’t win ANYTHING in either the courts or the court of public opinion. Moderates and Independents are likely turned off by such antics, and the only folks clamoring for this are the Liptonites and hardcore neocons (AKA preaching to the choir). It might serve to fire up some Dems voters in November, tho, by reminding them what they can look forward to if they lose their elections. Not exactly smart strategery, but then again, the GOP hasn’t specialized in that lately.

Dang it, Kyle. Here you go making sense again…

The Snark

March 25th, 2010
4:00 pm

Today, the right-wing is up in arms over the OUTRAGE that the Attorney General will not sue the United States of America. It’s such an OUTRAGE that the only response is IMPEACHMENT!

Tell me, Kyle … you’re seem like a pretty fair journalist, certainly more so than the other self-professed “conservatives” … if all the lawsuits filed against the healthcare bill result in dismissals a year from now, will there be an article saying “Hey, it turns out Baker was right”?

Charva

March 25th, 2010
4:01 pm

DannyX I do not know why you are addressing me on those subjects. I have not mentioned Newt , Town Hall or transportation. I am more concerned about the all the people in Georgia that will be affected by the HC law. You seem to only be only interested in your yard, and not the state of the republic.

Kyle Wingfield

March 25th, 2010
4:05 pm

Snark: I doubt I’ll say exactly that, because I think Baker may well have been acting for political reasons as well as legal ones.

For the record: If I had to bet on it, I’d bet that the lawsuit will fail. That said, I think it’s worth pursuing on the chance that it does succeed. It’s a low-risk, high-reward gamble imo.

Kyle Wingfield

March 25th, 2010
4:10 pm

And before someone says it: I would be comfortable doing it even under loser-pays rules…as long as the GOP itself or private individuals are paying.

DannyX

March 25th, 2010
4:19 pm

Sorry, too late. Doesn’t count.

Kyle Wingfield

March 25th, 2010
4:20 pm

LOL, DannyX.

Junior Samples

March 25th, 2010
4:22 pm

ER RN,
“As an ER nurse, I see the effect on this bill more than most”

What has transpired so far, since the bill hasn’t taken effect yet?

Besides, if Sonny wanted to make a change in Washington, he should have ran for the Senate or Congress. As a Governor, your jurisdiction is within the state lines.

Federal law trumps state law.

JF McNamara

March 25th, 2010
4:27 pm

Charva,

The will of the people was represented. We are a Republic and not a Democracy. That means you vote for respresentatives who vote on laws. Its not a Democracy or a poll-ocracy (nation run by gallup polls), its a Republic.

For those of you saying the will of the people wasn’t represented, you don’t understand how America works. America voted to send the Congressmen there to serve the Republic, and that is what they have done.

Just because they didn’t do what you wanted them to do does not mean the will of the people wasn’t represented. Its just that your will wasn’t represented.

The whining Republicans are clearly the loudest, but you are the minority as represented by the congress and Presidency. That matters. Whatever else you think matters as representation of the people’s will does not.

Charva

March 25th, 2010
4:27 pm

I hope you are wrong. Kyle, go LOL with DannyX and I will go on to more productive pursuits. Have a good evening!

DannyX

March 25th, 2010
4:36 pm

Charva, certainly you don’t think we should be enemies do you? Kyle and I disagree on most everything, but I’m far from seeing him as an enemy. You too for that matter.

Churchill's MOM

March 25th, 2010
4:37 pm

Hopefully this no cost lawyer won’t end up costing the state like no cost work cost the City of Atlanta.

Linda

March 25th, 2010
4:43 pm

Half of the 32 million uninsured will be dumped into Medicaid. Even tho the fed govt will pay for a few yrs., 5% & up to 10% will eventually have to be paid by the states. The costs to the states were not calculated in the real cost of the bill. It will cost GA $500 M & up to $1 B per yr. that we do not have or will have without higher taxes.
The impact to our state, our businesses, our employees & residents will be much more than the cost of our joining with other states in the lawsuit.

Charva

March 25th, 2010
4:46 pm

Junior It is simply not true that the Feds trump the States. They are trying to make it that way, but that is not what is in the Constitution. JF That is rich coming from an obvious liberal. If I am not mistaken, it is liberals that call for majority rule. The Governor is only trying to stand for our states rights. That is why we have the courts.

Newt's Butt Cutt

March 25th, 2010
4:47 pm

This is simply political tactics 101. The rotund flash from Bonaire knew how Baker would respond before the request was ever made. The recall issue is a bad idea. The GOP still runs this state. They can afford to be magnanimous.

The Snark

March 25th, 2010
4:50 pm

Disappointing response, Kyle. Baker took an oath to follow the law, not take “gambles” when the payoff looks good in comparison to the risk.

And isn’t it true that if Baker wanted to score political points in this very red state, he would have jumped on the bandwagon to attack the healthcare bill?

The Snark

March 25th, 2010
4:52 pm

Charva, we lost the civil war. That argument went out the window at Appomattox. Majority rule in this country is expressly limited by the Constitution, and the Constitution says federal law is supreme.

Kyle Wingfield

March 25th, 2010
4:53 pm

Not if he wants to make it out of the primary, Snark.

Charva

March 25th, 2010
4:54 pm

DannyX No offense taken. This is my first time on a blog. I was hoping my input might be thought provoking. No more , no less. Thanks for reading.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 25th, 2010
4:56 pm

Dear Kyle, while my endorsement means nothing, I think your analysis of the politics of the litigation is brilliant. Baker’s refusal to pursue the litigation requested by the Guv should improve his showing in the dem primary, which can only help republicans. As the ACLU has filed frivolous public litigation for years, I have no ethical qualms about anything that may be filed to preclude the health care legislation; what’s good for the goose…

I am less dubious of the potential for success in the litigation than you; depends on the arguments, as always. This is an area without precedent in American jurisprudence; I can count five justices who may believe the Congress has twisted the interstate commerce clause too far. The tax consequences for failure to purchase a private product may offend their sensibilities, and the plain language of the 16th Amendment may not redeem.

As to impeachment of Baker, I agree, bad idea, unless that enhances Baker’s standing with leftists. I have the same ethical problem with impeachment of Baker that I had with the Obama/Holder/leftist effort to damage the Bush administration attorneys who offered researched opinions on harsh questioning.

Charva

March 25th, 2010
4:58 pm

Snark Fed law is supreme as LIMITED by the Constitution.

CJ

March 25th, 2010
4:59 pm

Kyle wrote, “For the record: If I had to bet on it, I’d bet that the lawsuit will fail. That said, I think it’s worth pursuing on the chance that it does succeed. It’s a low-risk, high-reward gamble imo.

This from a guy who claims to supports tort reform to stop frivolous lawsuits.

Algonquin J. Calhoun

March 25th, 2010
5:00 pm

The guy elected to return the confederate battle flag to the statehouse wants to impeach the black attorney general. Who would have believed it possible?

JES

March 25th, 2010
5:01 pm

The Constitution was written in such a way to protect the states from being under the thumb of the federal government. States have rights, and if our AG won’t speak for his people, then the governor has every right to step up for the citizens of Georgia to protect our right to be a sovereign state. The founding fathers were brilliant men who knew what they were founding this republic on, and the current administration is smearing everything that they risked their lives for. A big government means less civil liberties (ie choosing whether or not you want health insurance) and while that may not mean much to many of you, I’d like to keep my own free will. So thank you, Gov Perdue, for actually caring about the great state of Georgia, and for stepping up for the people who elected you into office.

JF McNamara

March 25th, 2010
5:02 pm

I’m not an obvious liberal. I’m a split ticket voter. I have voted for Republican and Democratic Presidents as well as both parties down to the local level. What I am is a pragmatist who understands how the American government system works.

Maybe I seem liberal because I will call B.S. on both sides, and the Republicans aren’t doing their part to govern. They should’ve negotiated and legislated with the Democrats instead of playing stupid political games. In fact, many of their ideas are in the package, but they were so bent on it failing for the sake of failing they lost sight of the real goal which is to help the American people.

The country is run on majority rule. If it weren’t, it wouldn’t matter that the Dems on the Congress and the Presidency. I don’t get your point.

Sonny doesn’t care one iota about States rights. He wasn’t complaining about state’s rights when he took the stimulus money, or about medicare being here, or about any of the thousands of things the federal government does here in Georgia. He is doing this as political grandstanding in a Republican State.