“Did I do that?”
That was the catchphrase made famous by Jaleel White in the early 1990s, playing the wildly popular character Steve Urkel in the sitcom "Family Matters."
With oversized eyeglasses and trousers held chest-high by suspenders, Urkel looked and acted like the ultimate nerd, wreaking klutzy havoc wherever he went and always asking that innocent question in the aftermath of his latest disaster.
Unlike a certain current president, however, Urkel wasn't trying to break things and he was genuinely surprised – again and again – when good intentions failed him and his best-laid plans went awry. President Obama told us at the outset that he intended to break things in order to fundamentally transform our country.
Nevertheless, he acts surprised when the things he set out to break get broken. But he doesn't ask if he's responsible for the damage. On the contrary, he blames others for what he's done and saddles them with the responsibility of salvaging what they can from the wreckage.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is trying to clean up some of the mess President Urkel made with the Affordable Care Act and the never-ending tinkering he's done on it since its passage.
“The Constitution and laws of the United States prohibit the President from picking and choosing the laws that he enforces, yet that is precisely what the President and his agencies have done with many federal laws, including the Affordable Care Act,” Morrisey said, following a motion for summary judgment in the suit he filed against the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services two months ago in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
In November, Obama directed DHHS to stop federal enforcement of market requirements contained within the ACA. Those requirements outlined which private health insurance plans were legal under the new health care law. DHHS enacted a binding rule preventing federal enforcement of the market requirements until October 2016, and shifted responsibility for deciding which plans should be allowed to the states. That made the act unlawful, Morrisey said.
The Court should rule on this lawsuit quickly to spare West Virginia and other states the financial and political burdens of compensating for presidential abuses – and to send an overdue message:
Yes, Mr. President, you did do that.