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Supreme Court Fainting Couch

“Ultimately, 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.” – Pres. Obama

If there is a more sarcastic observation to be made about the modern day Supreme Court I haven’t heard it.

It’s hard to believe that the White House is in “damage control” over Pres. Obama’s shot across the conservative wing of the Supreme Court, but that’s the Reuters headline.

Lawrence Tribe weighed in as well, saying Pres. Obama “obviously misspoke.”

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, is spinning like a top.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Pres. Obama knows the history of the court and its rulings, just as well as he knows the partisan make-up that’s come to rule it. He knows the court’s job is to keep us all on the constitutional path. It’s just that’s not what the Supreme Court is noted for in recent history.

I don’t think there is any doubt that Democratic concern is moored in the worries a highly partisan Supreme Court will let ideology be their guide.

That doesn’t require “damage control,” if you’re willing to be honest about why you shot a rhetorical canon across the justice’s bow. But he’s not Harry Truman, so he’s not willing to be blunt about it, no matter how unseemly it might be to tell the truth, so one of his word salads caught him up.

Obama clearly sees this Supreme Court case on ACA as a challenge to his very presidency, something akin to what Al Gore faced when Bush v. Gore was decided.

It’s not damage control that’s needed, it’s honesty to say exactly that, because it happens to be true.

On the other hand, Pres. Obama and his administration have only themselves to blame, because of how they allowed the health care bill to be concocted and rolled out, which is how he got into this mess in the first place.

But why everyone is treating the Supreme Court like it hasn’t earned a ration of grief over what has become one controversial ruling after another on big issues is beyond me. Strip searches for traffic violations, anyone?

However, the Supreme Court is the final say, with Pres. Obama clearly concerned the Administration and Democrats in Congress might have blown it. That’s the story.

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7 Responses to Supreme Court Fainting Couch

  1. fangio April 5, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    I believe it was in his Friday column that Krugman said he was shocked at the general lack of understanding some of the ” justices ” had in regards to how health insurance actually works. He also said that by the second day it was obvious that some of them were looking for any reason to strike it down. Thanks to the collaboration of the democrats their are three or four people on the court who should not be there. During the last two days of the Alito confirmation hearings John Kerry sent an urgent email ( from Switzerland, where he was skiing ) to warn that Alito was a dangerous nominee and should not be confirmed. I guess he didn’t know about the hearings until after he had left.

    A while back a ten year old girl was arrested on the DC metro for eating on the train. She was handcuffed, fingerprinted and put in a holding area until her mother came to pick her up. The mother sued and when the case reached the appelllate court the judge said the metro police had every right to arrest the girl because they were enforcing a zero tolerance policy against eating in the subway. The judge was John Roberts. Scalia compares health insurance to broccoli; what can you really expect from people like this. The supreme court is no longer supreme, if it ever was.

    • Cujo359 April 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      I have been in shock about how little Krugman seems to know about the insurance industry, and about its effects on the rest of us. How any liberal economist could think that an unregulated and politically powerful industry is a good way to ensure that we all get the health care we need is beyond me.

      No, it’s not beyond me. He doesn’t have to live with the consequences.

  2. whitepaw April 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Question…. Will it be considered a partisan decision if ACA is upheld with a 5-4 decision, or just if it is overturned? I have not heard anyone worry about the assumption that Obama’s two appointees, as well as Ginsburg and Breyer, will likely vote to uphold. Agree the court is partisan, but it goes both ways, or am I wrong because most here agree with the liberal wing?

    I also agree mostly with the liberal wing, but I will not be disappointed if ACA is overturned. Hate the mandate without a public option. I agree with Taylor that Obama really has no one to blame but himself for the handling of the ACA.

    • Cujo359 April 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      In recent years, it’s been the “conservative” justices who have done most of the “legislating from the bench” as conservatives liked to put it back when they were the ones on the losing end of Supreme Court decisions. Nowadays, it’s the liberals who tend to go with precedent. I suppose this affects our thinking, in that the liberals seem like the traditionalists nowadays.

      Liberals generally like the commerce clause of the Constitution, and use a broad interpretation of it to support federal policies they agree with. I tend to not like it quite so much, because it also is used to allow the federal government to effectively overturn state laws about medical marijuana. So there’s an ideological divide on the court, too, and that divide is usually a 5-4 split these days.

      Given how little relationship there seems to be between ideology and politics these days, I consider those to be separate realms.

  3. casualobserver April 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    “There’s no doubt in my mind that Pres. Obama knows the history of the court and its rulings”

    Your opinion is noted…….as for me, after his factually incorrect statement, I was left pondering the possibility that “changing history” was simply one of the basic components of “change that we can believe in”

    “Agree the court is partisan, but it goes both ways, or am I wrong because most here agree with the liberal wing?”

    Whitepaw…..excellent question. To answer your question, let’s consult the godmother of liberalism, the old gray lady. The linked chart counts the questions asked by the liberal judges of the “conservative” lawyers as opposed to those asked of “liberal” lawyers. As you can see, the partisanship is every bit as equally played…..they just happen to be one player short to make it effective.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/03/30/us/hints-in-courts-questions.html?ref=us

  4. JoeCHI April 6, 2012 at 6:11 am #

    But why everyone is treating the Supreme Court like it hasn’t earned a ration of grief over what has become one controversial ruling after another on big issues is beyond me.

    This isn’t an issue because of the SCOTUS’s rulings. It’s an issue because Obama made a factually incorrect statement regarding constitutional law.

    Add to this Obama’s dismal record at negotiation and litigation, it’s no wonder why Obama never really made a living as a lawyer. He’s a terrible one.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong