By Elizabeth Yore
Did he really question how an “unelected group of people” could overturn a law approved by Congress?
Did he actually state, “I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented (inaccurate), extraordinary step of overturning (inaccurate) a law that was passed by a strong majority (factually incorrect) of a democratically elected Congress.”
Ah, take heart, loyal subjects, the King of Hearts decided to play, not the race card, but the populist card.
The blatant disregard for the solemnity, integrity and power of the Supreme Court provides a unique insight into the crass ambition of the President, who is by the way, a licensed attorney in Illinois. As an attorney, he holds a higher ethical duty to the administration of justice than ordinary citizens. As President, he should always model respect for the Court and its deliberations.
With kingly arrogance, and the slick tactics of a community organizer, Obama launched a preemptory strike on the Court. Even first year law students know that stepping up to a microphone and threatening a deliberating appellate court panel after it just heard oral arguments is unethical.
Apparently, Professor Obama never learned the cautionary admonition about the important rationale of an unelected Supreme Court articulated by Chief Justice Warren Burger, that “Judges rule on the basis of law, not public opinion, and they should be totally indifferent to pressures of the time.”
Why did Obama launch such an attack on the Supreme Court? There is only one explanation; you can take the man out of community organizing, but you can’t take community organizing out of the man.
The community organizer at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. relishes fomenting political pressure on the legal system. As if his disdain and disregard for Civics 101 isn’t troubling enough, his intimidation of the Court bodes danger for the country. By demeaning the court’s status as “unelected,” he undermines the highest court’s authority in the public domain.
The message of his threat is unmistakable: I, and the overwhelming majority (not true, a slim majority) of Congress who voted for this Affordable Care Act, are elected by the people, you, mere mortal Justices, are not. Therefore, your decisions are not to be respected if they go against my wishes.
Once again, Obama dusts off the community organizer’s favorite tactics, demonize your opponent, sidestep the process, influence decision makers by intimidation and here’s the key: employ all these tactics before important decisions are made so you can bully them into submission. This is yet another power grab by Obama, who is frustrated by those irritating and pesky two other coequal branches of government.
In his autobiography, We, the Judges, the very liberal Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas explained the importance of the constitutional checks and balances upon the three branches:
“Those in power need checks and restraints lest they come to identify the common good for their own tastes and desires, and their continuation in office as essential to the preservation of the nation.”
Justice Douglas captures the paramount concern of the framers of the Constitution to protect the country from a President who believes that he can impose by edict, his ‘tastes and desires’, on the public, the Congress, and the Courts, for the sole purpose of his reelection. Obama mightily resists all ‘checks and restraints’ on the executive branch. When his desires aren’t fulfilled, he lashes out and creates handy scapegoats. Instead of taking the blame, like a man, he blames his predecessor, or the rich 1%, or Wall Street, or the Catholic Church, or the white policeman, or the “unelected” Supreme Court.
Politics is sport, but in Chicago, it is a blood sport with royal bloodlines.
The public should be familiar with his politics of demonization. It is not the first time that his ire was focused on the highest court in the land. The first time that the monarch humiliated his judicial servants was during his 2010 State of the Union, when he blasted the majority court in a 5-4 Decision in the Citizens United vs. FEC stating:
“Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections,” Obama said. “Well, I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that’s why I’m urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong.”
This blatant breach of decorum signaled that anyone, including Supreme Court Justices, who dare cross the Executive, will be subject to public humiliation. It is reminiscent of the rules for Shakespeare’s aspiring King, Macbeth, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.”
The President displays his Alinsky talents with both the high and mighty of the Supreme Court, and the lower peons in the legal system. Lest we forget, the Obama-manufactured beer summit controversy when a Cambridge police officer arrested Obama’s friend, Harvard’s own Professor Henry Gates. Instead of patiently waiting for the wheels of justice to turn, Obama, ever the community organizer, inserted his own ‘taste and desires’ on a situation which he exploited for his own political benefit by race baiting and agitating the base. Again from the his bully pulpit, Obama issued his angry edict by pitting the police against the community, using the convenient race card, and dividing, not unifying, all without knowing the facts! Never one to let the facts get in the way of a good political firestorm, read carefully his choice of words which capture the agitation lexicon of a community organizer, hardly worthy of a President:
“I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that [Gates case]. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”
Arrogantly, Obama’s admits that he wasn’t there and doesn’t have all the facts, yet he nevertheless, opines and plays the race card.
Attacking the police and courts are classic Saul Alinsky tactics. Every community organizer’s radical agenda is limited by these two institutions, the police and the courts. Accuse the police of racism, the court of incompetence and corruption, and you have undermined their authority. Obama exploits the powerful bully pulpit of the Presidency to prejudge and disparage a small local police department, by impugning the police officer without the facts, just as he prejudges and demeans the Supreme Court by ridiculing them.
This is an impatient King. He spares no time for court deliberations, for meticulous police investigations, nor for the careful weighing of the facts and law. Why? Only he, and his political agenda matter. He insists on dolling out his brand of street justice, using the immense power of his office to shortcut the administration of justice.
The politics of character assassination is the trademark of the King who shows no respect for institutions. Why are these community organizing tactics so destructive to the administration of justice?
Millions of American seek justice from the legal system. The judicial system is where voices are heard, facts are weighed, legal precedents are argued, complaints are aired, and Americans seek and find justice. The courtrooms replaced the streets of dueling gun slingers of the Wild Wild West. Peaceful coexistence exists because the framers crafted a justice system that thrives in somber, respectful, courtrooms, free of intimidation, and ex parte communications.
Lawyers, including Obama, are charged with defending the integrity of the judicial system for the sake of their clients, and ultimately, the country. The judicial system should never be used as a whipping boy for partisan politics. However, the political stakes are high for the King. If his signature legislation is found unconstitutional, in the words of Justice Douglas, his ‘continuation in office’ may be in jeopardy.
He is president, not King. He was elected, not anointed. His power is shared with two other branches of government.
The soaring, hopeful rhetoric of the 2008 campaign has been replaced with the cynical, blaming, threatening, self-centered demagoguery of a community organizer. It is dangerous, and it is breathtakingly monarchial. The strategy of personal destruction was hidden in the Uniter’s 2008 campaign, but it has reemerged with a vengeance throughout his governance.
Were we duped by hope and change?
Our founding fathers fled the despotic monarchy of King George III, who famously remarked,
‘Lord Chancellor, did I deliver the speech well?’
‘Very well indeed, sir,’ was the enthusiastic answer.
‘I am glad of that,’ replied the King; ‘for there was nothing in it.’
© Elizabeth Yore – 2012 All Rights Reserved.
Elizabeth Yore served as Special Counsel at Harpo, Inc. Previously, she was General Counsel at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services for 8 years and the General Counsel at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.