Obama's unwise slap at Supreme Court galvanizes Republicans
Richard G. Carter | 10/12/2012, 4:17 p.m.
"Politics requires the skill to get someone else to do the unthinkable for you..."--Kenneth Branagh, "Conspiracy" (2001)
The Republican Party, which hopes to unseat Barack Hussein Obama, is salivating over a plethora of league-leading gaffes by the president. Most notable was his recent ill-advised, unseemly slap at the U.S. Supreme Court about Obamacare.
Along with Hilary Rosen, an openly gay female Democratic mouthpiece, insulting Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, as a stay-at-home mother, Obama's unwise comments have coalesced Republicans. Although his loopy vice president, Joe Biden, is known for putting his foot in his mouth, the president has steadily gained ground.
You remember candidate Obama saying he visited "57 states" and talking about "working-class people clinging to their guns and religion." And in a speech in Austria as president, he said, "I don't know what the term [wheeling and dealing] is in Austrian," apparently unaware they speak German in Austria.
Obama also called a Navy medic a "corpseman" instead of "corpsman" with a silent "ps." Ugh! And at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, he told 3,000 attendees that God serves as his top adviser for pushing higher taxes on the wealthy. To wit: "For me, as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus' teaching that 'for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.'...If I'm willing to give something up--as somebody who's been extraordinarily blessed--and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that's going to make economic sense." Huh? What?
One of Obama's latest flubs was a hot mic moment on missile defense with Russia's Dmitry Medvedev. On March 26, he said: "It's important for him [Vladimir Putin] to give me space. This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility."
Medvedev replied, "I understand. I will transmit this information to Putin."
But Obama's thinly veiled threats on April 2 aimed at the Supreme Court over the unpopular Obamacare--opposed by 53 percent in an ABC News poll last week--takes the cake. And he erred egregiously in his remarks. To wit: "Ultimately, I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress...that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law."
Of course, the vote in Congress approving Obamacare was strictly along party lines--and the only majority was Democrats. Every Republican in both houses voted against it.
Indeed, Biden and Obama have cornered the market on unwise public comments, providing Romney, and his eventual running mate, with fodder for the candidate debates. And you better believe his staff are getting their ducks lined up.
Obama's erroneous blather about the Supreme Court's charter in light of its apparent readiness to declare unconstitutional Obamacare's individual mandate is mind-boggling. The high court's ruling, expected in June, could quash the president's signature legislation.
As a result, there have been many, many letters to the editor in daily newspapers taking the president to task for his wrong-headed rant. Here's a sampling:
"Obama states it would be extraordinary if Obamacare were overturned. Could it be that the president does not know that more than 150 laws have been overturned by the Supreme Court over the years?"
"The president claims his health care law should be upheld because it had a strong majority in the democratically elected Congress. The only thing we know is that 100 percent of Congress didn't read it before they voted on it."
"It is almost beyond belief that the president, supposedly a constitutional law professor, would apparently try to threaten the Supreme Court for performing its constitutional role."
"Obama's sad attempt to influence and degrade the Supreme Court in order to prop up his health care failure known as Obamacare continues to demonstrate that he remains a colossal blamer and whiner."
"There he goes again, our presumptuous president stating how the justices should rule on the health care bill, as if the balance of powers doesn't matter."
None of this has been lost on Republicans and Romney. Indeed, a dour Obama plays into Romney's hands as the president comes across as increasingly strident, shrill and arrogant in campaign speeches. Voters don't respond well to perceived anger and bitterness on the part of any candidate for any office.
Romney's strength is private business sector experience yet he lacks charisma. In order to win the upcoming candidate debates with Obama, he must own the stage. However, the president is demonstrably woeful without teleprompters and gets testy under pressure.
Given Obama's sinking job approval numbers, bad economy, huge budget deficit, high gas prices, high unemployment and abysmal record on jobs, he should tone down his rhetoric. What became of "more civility in our discourse?" Where is "hope and change?"
Bottom line: Like the great game of poker, you've got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em. Think about it. And that's the name of that tune.