President Barack Obama was a constitutional law lecturer at the University of Chicago School Law School. He was not a “professor” as he’s been called, as he wasn’t tenured nor did he conduct regular classes. He lectured to some classes and is said to have taught a few. Either way, whether lecturer or professor, one would imagine anyone holding either of those positions would be well-versed in the Constitution. I believe he is. I also believe he’s not happy with those who formed the Constitution — the literal foundation for out country. In fact, in 2001 — then lecturer and State Senator Obama appeared on a radio show to talk about the Constitution, what it does and doesn’t do, and why he thinks it missed the mark in some ways. He actually attacks the founding document for not redistributing wealth:
"If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it Id be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states cant do to you. Says what the Federal government cant do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that."
That interview speaks volumes for the disdain Obama has for the foundation and, I believe, the founders. I won’t even get into the ridiculousness of the statement that the document is a list of negative governmental liberties which it clearly isn’t. It, of course, is a framework and dictatorial for the positive rights and liberties those in this great land are afforded — and which cannot be abridged by said government. So, why is this important in light of this past week’s assault by the president on the Supreme Court of the United States? This president has a history of disdain for the Constitution, so this past week’s comments should not have been a surprise.
Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the United States Constitution provide the framework for how the government of our great land would be formed. There would be three separate but equal branches of government and a system of checks and balances to make sure none of them has more power than the others. The Executive would be the president and his cabinet. The Legislative consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Judicial consists of the Supreme Court and other inferior courts as deemed necessary. The Legislative drafts bills, the Executive signs into law or vetoes. If the bill is vetoed, that’s the Executive’s check and balance on the Legislative. If the veto is overturned, that’s the Legislative’s check and balance on the Executive. If there are questions on the constitutionality of the law, the Judicial is asked to review it. If the Judicial can strike it down in a check and balance of the Executive and the Legislative. That’s an overly-simplistic view, but paints the proper picture.
When President Obama took office, he had just served four years in a Democrat run Senate, While the House was Democrat controlled as well. Although he rarely took time to vote on the issues presented to the Senate, he found plenty of time to rail on the Bush administration. It seemed he thrived on the checks and balances system of government when he was railing against an opposing administration and he was not yet the Chief Executive.
Remember when he said the troop surge wouldn’t work in Iraq, in fact it would make things worse? Don’t take my word for it: Obama said it. I could be wrong, but he and the other Democrats attacking Bush and McCain for the surge actually sounded like they wanted it to fail, so they could be right. There was never an apology or retraction as he was proven wrong.
Fact is Obama was a bully then, and after losing the majority in the House in 2010, he started showing that tendency again as president. As it became obvious that the Republican House would not blindly sign off on everything he wanted (ala the Democrat House and Senate for the last two years under Bush). What did Obama do? He decided he’d just circumvent the Congress. Instead of embracing the checks and balances he allegedly understands and lectured about in Chicago, he just went around what the Constitution calls for. Don’t take my word for it:
“But, we’re not going to wait for Congress. So, my instructions to Jeff and Jean and Valerie and all of the advisers who are sitting around the table is, scour this report, identify all those areas in which we can act administratively without additional congressional authorization and just get it done”
In other words, “I’m the president. The Congress — specifically the Republican run House — will not allow me the power I feel I deserve. Therefore, I’ll ignore them and grab that power whether you or they like it or not.”
That was but one time of the many this president has made statements exactly like that or close. Clearly, if the Legislative branch is not constructed exactly as he wishes, the idea of separate but equal powers of government doesn’t apply. Fast forward to this past week. President Obama’s disdain for the Constitution reared it’s ugly head once again. This time, the target was the Supreme Court.
President Obama has nominated two justices for the Supreme Court during his presidency, as is his right and duty, after other justices stepped down. Both are known liberals and he feels they’ll rule his way on issues important to us all. Unfortunately for him, the court still leans a little to the right. In other words, as legislation and governmental activity is brought to the court for review, the justices will generally, but not necessarily, lean the opposite way of Obama. That hasn’t been a huge issue until the unthinkable happened. President Obama’s signature piece of legislation started facing challenges.
The Affordable Care Act better known as Obamacare, is 2700 pages of socialistic spending, health industry take-over and government expansion garbage in which the lynch pin is a mandate for people to buy health insurance. Nobody read it. You didn’t. I didn’t. Legislators didn’t.
The spin to get the bill through both houses, even though both chambers were run by Democrats, was that it would now allow for those with preexisting conditions to be covered. It would also allow for the “46 million Americans” who don’t have coverage to get affordable coverage. The cost? 900 billion dollars over ten years. What we’ve found out since is that the 46 million stated included illegal immigrants. Whoops. Then the number got pared down to 30 million in future speeches. In the last two weeks, the CBO has revised its estimate for the cost of Obamacare to be upwards of 1.7 to 2.0 trillion dollars and there are new reports of a 17 TRILLION dollar hole in Obamacare. 900 Billion 17 Trillion, Who’s Counting?
With all that in mind, the court challenges have all been based on one thing in the 2700 page monstrosity: the individual mandate. It basically says, all Americans will either procure health insurance or can be fined for not having it. What happens if you don’t, can’t or won’t pay the fine? You can face further penalties including the same penalties you would face for not paying your income taxes. No matter what you’ve heard, yes you can face jail time the same as you can with unpaid taxes. Another very important part of this part of the law is there is no severability. In other words, if this part of the law is deemed unconstitutional, then the entire law would be as well and it would be thrown out. After years of challenges, the suit brought by 26 state attorneys general was heard before the Supreme Court. It didn’t go well.
The US Solicitor General, the lawyer arguing the case for the administration, was horrible. Donald Verrilli Jr rambled and stumbled and seemed unable to answer simple questions by the justices. In fact, the liberal judges on the bench were better advocates for the Obama administration than their own lawyer was. The mood of conservatives and, frankly, most Americans (north of 70 percent according to polls) was very good. Although a decision is yet to be rendered, President Obama laid into the court and decided to throw a preemptive temper tantrum. I don’t know exactly what the goal was, but in a few short moments, Obama again showed his disdain for the separation of powers.
The president wondered out loud how an “unelected group of people” could overturn what he calls a constitutional law. That wasn’t the most egregious part of his comments although I do remind you the justices are, in fact, voted in by the Senate. You remember the Senate, right? That’s the body of the 100 men and women you and I sent to Washington to represent us The part the Press Secretary Jay Carney had to try to explain and spin and just flat out lie about was to follow:
”I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”
Unprecedented? Mike Opelka of The Blaze reported on my am show in Houston that, on average, the Supreme Court has overturned a law once every two years. And, worth mentioning, saying it was passed by a strong majority is just plain fallacious. Obamacare passed by a slim 219-212 margin. It would have failed 219-212 had Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak and six others not switched sides after being assured Obamacare did not indirectly fund abortion. The president even signed a worthless executive order promising as such. Stupak and the others agreed to vote for the bill and that’s how it passed. Of course, experts agree abortion is, in fact, covered in the law.
The job of the court is simple. Hear cases brought to it about the behavior of government and other entities on the people. Then decide whether the Constitution allows for the behavior. If not, then strike it down. If so, the behavior (act, law, ordinance, rule regulation, et al) stands.
Bottom line is, this president has acted more like a dictator than we’ve seen in this country in generations, and it appears that Americans are finally starting to see it. He is not THE GOVERNMENT, he runs but one branch of the three which have equal powers.