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Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Window Into His Divisive Soul

State of the Union speeches regularly infuriate the opposing party, and to that extent Barack Obama met and exceeded expectations last night.

One aspect of the speech deservedly is receiving most attention: The crude attempt to intimidate the Supreme Court in front of the Congress and the nation. Here's the relevant text:
With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests -- including foreign corporations -- to spend without limit in our elections. (Applause.) I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. (Applause.) They should be decided by the American people. And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.
The video shows the Supreme Court, surrounded by cheering and standing Democratic Congressmen and Senators, sitting mostly stone-faced in the face of the Congressional mob, except for Justice Alito who apparently mouthed the words "not true."

The details are well publicized, and Instapundit has a good round-up of why the President's attack was both false and unprecedented.

Put aside for the moment that this is the same President who had his campaign disable credit card security features on his campaign website so that there would be no way to ensure compliance with federal campaign laws. This post is not about mere hypocrisy, which is a common trait in politicians.

The attack on the Supreme Court during the State of the Union was a window into Obama's divisive soul. I have posted numerous times before about Obama's need to identify and campaign against enemies. He did it during the campaign and he does it every day in office.

Last night it was (mostly) the bankers and Wall Street (which donated more money to his campaign than to Republicans) and the Senate Republicans who were his target. But it those were the only attacks, it would have been merely another typical political speech.

The attack on the Supreme Court exposes the intolerance of this President. The politician who campaigned and allegedly champions the rule of law actually has very little use for the rule of law when it does not advance his political agenda.

Last night was an attempt at intimidation, a chance to work the referees on the sideline during a home game with the guarantee of crowd approval.

Bob Herbert in the NY Times asked recently "Who is Barack Obama?" We found out last night, again.

Barack Obama is a divider, not a uniter.

Update: Here is an historical perspective as to how unprecedented it was to confront the Supreme Court Justices during a State of the Union speech:

President Barack Obama's pointed criticism of the Supreme Court in tonight's State of the Union address, which we reported on here and here was beyond unusual; it was almost unprecedented. The third branch rarely even merits a mention in the State of the Union speeches, according to a search we've made going back to Woodrow Wilson's speech in 1913 in this University of California Santa Barbara database. (Thanks to editor David Brown for the research.)

Presidents have mentioned the Supreme Court by name only nine times since that Wilson speech nearly a century ago, according to the search, and it would be hard to categorize many of those nine as criticisms. Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had a lot of grievances with the Court, never mentioned it in any of his State of the Union messages. And Richard Nixon, who campaigned against the Warren Court, mentioned the Supreme Court in a State of the Union talk only once, in 1972, in a bland, welcoming way.

Related Posts:
Barack Got Enemy
A Clintonian Defense of Our Nixonian President
Obama and Rahm Emanuel: When Will You Stop Being Surprised?

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  1. NRO has a comment over on their blog as to why Justice Alito might have said that. Apparently, when the President noted that the decision opened the floodgates for all sorts of special interests "including foreign corporations" to spend without limit in the elections, he was wrong. The prohibition on foreign corporations is contained in a different part of the US code, which the SC did NOT overturn.

  2. I saw the reference jawats is referring to also. I wonder if Obama's former students want their money back? Obama doesn't seem to understand the checks and balances concept.

    The Supreme Court overturned a mere 100 year law, Obama wants to overturn an over 200 year old Constitution.

  3. Obama is vulgar, tacky and arrogant. And a bully, to boot. I was STUNNED when he attacked the Court like that. And when all the Dems leapt to their feet to applaud it, I almost cried. What on Earth is happening to our country??

  4. Because of my ideology, I've disagreed with him on policy from day one.

    But I made a comment on another blog a couple of weeks ago that I am coming to the conclusion that he is not merely an ideologue, but a very bad man. Rather than attempt to find common ground with his critics, he demonizes them. He's deliberately trying to create anger in the public against insurance companies, bankers, Wall Street, Republicans, Fox News, The Supreme Court, and others. I've never seen anything like it.

    I don't know how he thinks villifying the successful - those who create jobs - is good for the country. He very much is a divider, and one very bad dude.

  5. So Obama is OK with Soros bankrolling everything left of center, but not with "America's most powerful interests or Foreign entities" having equal opportunity to do the same. Just wanted to be clear.

  6. HAAAAA!!!!! Obama, you are too funny! Oh cute cute Obama...You are worried special interests will bankroll campaigns. Yes, free speech can really wrinkle plans, can't it? Hm, how CAN we get rid of it?! Well...At least you, as always, have our best interests at heart. I can sleep better at night knowing this.

    Oh Obama...You are such a cute little liar. I'm so glad Soros, the unions, and record money pouring in from the Middle East (gosh darn foreign corporations!) bought your election. Can you imagine if they hadn't?! We poor, dumb Americans would have missed out entirely on the utter joy and fun that is watching YOU try your damndest to destroy the greatest nation in the history of the world! You see, the alternative would be, had we had a capitalist in the White House, that I could have found a job by now, and would have never had all the time in the world to learn all about your little radical, marxist, domestic terrorist friends. Just thank heavens things have played out as they have.

    Now can we replace Alito with Sunstein already?! My cat needs a lawyer!

  7. I could not watch the great one last night as my wife has put her foot down on my cursing the TV. Instead I caught the highlights, which were bad enough. I can’t think of a worse picture than the one of the President standing above the Court and chastising them for a decision which embodied the concept of freedom of speech. For us who are not lawyers, we consider the nine justices as the embodiment of the Constitution and thus the guardians of our freedoms. To follow their public humiliation with the Democratic legislatures standing to cheer was one of the most disgusting moments in the history of our country. If anything will embolden the Tea Party movement, this short video will do the job.

  8. The good news is that after last night, we don't have to worry one bit about the USSC ruling in this administrations favor.

  9. After BHO's despicable performance last night, I pray SCOTUS will grat certiorari to one of the many eligibility cases they've been asked to hear.

  10. I found 58 occurrences of "Supreme Court," 1 of "High Court, and 59 of "the court" or "the courts" in a quick text search of all prior SOTUs.

  11. Right, no president has ever criticized a Supreme Court decision, or even campaigned on fighting to overturn it. If you hate Obama, fine, that's your privilege, but try to find intelligent ways to do it.