As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Obama Attempts to Intimidate the Supreme Court

President Obama’s remarks today about the Supreme Court consideration of Obamacare reminded me of this classic outtake from one of Woody Allen’s standup routines, circa 1968. Have a listen.

Here’s the relevant portion from Woody Allen:

They took my hood off and threw a rope around my neck, and they decided to hang me. And suddenly my whole life passed before my eyes. I saw myself as a kid again, in Kansas, going to school, swimming at the swimming hole, and fishing, frying up a mess o’ Catfish, going down to the general store, getting a piece of gingham for Emmy-Lou. And I realise it’s not my life. They’re gonna hang me in 2 minutes, the wrong life is passing before my eyes.

Obama’s comments, spoken during a press conference at the White House with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, gave me an out of body experience. I thought, I must be listening to the wrong president talking about someone else’s law, because this is not a recognizable description of what’s going or what happened with Obamacare. Until I realized I was hearing a bully issuing threats dressed up as commentary.

Here’s what he said:

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.  And I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint — that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.  Well, this is a good example.  And I’m pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step.

A strong majority? A STRONG MAJORITY?? The bill passed the House by 219-212 and got only 60 votes in the Senate, the very minimum number needed for any major legislation to get through.

One of the greatest sins of Obamacare is actually that the president decided to pursue legislation that would fundamentally change the country even though he didn’t have a strong majority for it in Congress.

And “judicial activism” generally refers to rulings based on emotion and political views instead of the Constitution and precedent. The judges’ questions about the health care law went right to whether it violated the Constitution. There was no “activism” on the order of, say, finding previously undiscovered meanings in the Constitution to justify a decision.

To say that ruling against an unpopular law barely passed by Congress violates “judicial restraint” would seem a strange new interpretation of the term.

Unless you have somehow convinced yourself that the vote in Congress wasn’t close, and that Woody Allen is from Kansas.

Obama’s statement is so apart from reality that it only works as rhetoric. The Supreme Court, he decreed, would be taking “an unprecedented, extraordinary step” in defying him. This is a broadside, a warning of the anti-Court vitriol to come.

It’s a rank attempt to intimidate. Let’s hope the Justices, if they haven’t voted yet, care more about the independence of the Judiciary than the public flogging Obama has in store.

83 Responses to Obama Attempts to Intimidate the Supreme Court

  1. Typical BO lawyer bluster…if you aren’t winning the argument and don’t have the facts to support your cause, you pound the table. And we know that if he did have a son, it wouldn’t look like Clarence Thomas.

    • The sexual harrasser on the Supreme Court had better be prepared for GINNY GATE if he decides against the Health Care Law. His wife pocketed SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS to fight against the Health Care Law!!? A fact he initially tried to HIDE! He should recuse himself! And we well remember Chief “Justice” John Roberts being hunky dory with the LAW allowing for clapping a terrified little girl in IRONS just for eating her own french fry!And we are expected to believe that NOW all of a sudden, he feels a “legitimate” compunction to stick his nose into the LAW when it is trying to give her Health Care? It’s not working, John, Clarence! It’s just not working!

  2. Did the Constitutional adjunct professor forget the we have three equal branches of government? I hate what he is doing, has any other President treated the Court in such a manner? The Czars and the agencies are running wild, enacting rules that Congress should be involved in. People should be screaming from the roof tops, enough is enough. He studied the Constitution all right, how to get around it.

      • Anneinarkansas, whatever it was, our brilliant President TAUGHT the CONSTITUTION at a prestigious Law School WHILE he served in the State Legislature! Just as brilliant President Obama graduated MAGNA CUM LAUDE from HARVARD LAW SCHOOL While at the same TIME, he’d edited the other editors’ scholarly writing — because HE was PRESIDNT of the prestigious HARVARD LAW REVIEW! President Obama KNOWS the Health Care bill is CONSTITUTIONAL! Just as MEDICARE — a PREDEDENT– is CONSTITUTIONAL! Those conservative “Justices” know it too, all silly brocolli references aside! This is a test of their character. Will they allow their cheap political affiliations to keep them from giving the American people what is legal AND desperately needed. Type in the words, “Spike Ward’s video.”

    • Fact Check.Org says his formal title was “senior lecturer.” Wonder who wrote the lectures. Did he use a teleprompter even then? Sorry – I’m so angry about this latest debacle, I can’t help the snark.

      • ?! “Angry?!” About WHAT?! Type in the words, “Spike Ward’s video.” If people like her DIE because the ARROGANT ( on the take) Conservatives on the Supreme Court just had to play POLITICS, THEN you will see ANGER — the likes of which this country hasn’t seen since the Civil War!!LIVES TODAY are at STAKE!

      • Not Breitbart again! Fat Fart Breitbart dropped dead rather than face the LAWSUITS the courts had just ruled could proceed against his dishonest self.

      • Mike, you’re joking right? What do you think the Bushes were doing? Brilliant President Lincoln had to suspend habeas corpus because the Supreme Court was packed with rabidly racist, treasonous Southern Sympathizers! Or as you like to call ’em, “CONSERVATIVES!”

    • President Obama graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School. At the SAME time he was working hard to get those great grades, he was ALSO working at least 40 hrs. a week, editing the scholarly writing of the editor peers below him — since he was PRESIDENT of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. President Obama KNOWS the Health Care LAW is Constitutional! And SO do Roberts and the REST of the Conservatives on the Court! They’ve heard of Medicare,Social Security and other mandates that have been in place for many DECADES already! The crucial question is will they have the strength of character to do what is RIGHT for the American people despite their own POLITICAL biases.

    • Moe, Chief “Justice” John Roberts had no problem with the LAW when he allowed it to get away with clapping a scared little girl in IRONS just for eating her own lone FRENCH FRY! Yet he INSANELY expects MILLIONS of people to think he HAS to stick his buttinsky nose in when the LAW tries to give her Health Care?! Thank GOD Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sotomayor were asking the REASONABLE questions, making INCISIVE comments, and keeping the “broccoli” nonsense in perspective!

  3. Be warned this to me was a not to thinly veiled treat to the court. His hot mic
    remark to the Russian’s and his continual dismissive attitude toward the Constitution is a warning. If this man is elected again American democracy
    will be a thing of the past and we will live under only one part of government
    a dictator Obama he’s just paving the way..

      • Susie, type in the words “Spike Ward’s video!” THAT is why our caring, BRILLIANT President is fighting so eloquently! NOW, TODAY, people are counting on getting LIFE SAVING treatment that THIS wonderful LAW provides. President Obama graduated MAGNA CUM LAUDE from HARVARD LAW SCHOOL where he had ALSO worked 40 hrs. a WEEK editing the writing of peers below him — since Obama was PRESIDENT of the prestigious HARVARD LAW REVIEW! The President TAUGHT Constitutional Law at a prestigious Law School WHILE he ALSO served as State Senator in Illinois! He KNOWS the Health Care LAW IS CONSTITUTIONAL. So do those posturing Conservative “Justices!” How much will they get from “moneyed” interests if they rule against it? Clarence Thomas’ wife has already received HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of DOLLARS from them!!! He should RECUSE or be disdained even more — if that’s possible!

    • Lizzy, what are you talking about? The Cold War is over! All President Obama was referring to is political reality. Btw, was “Democracy over” when Medicare — a MANDATE– became Law? Was “Democracy over” when Social Security — a MANDATE– went into effect? I just wish SOMEONE in the “conservative” ranks would talk SENSE instead of hyperbolic NONSENSE that has NO basis in FACT! President Obama fights FOR this Country. That’s why Bin Laden, its greatest human enemy, is no more! What you should be worried about is OLIGARCHY if Mittens Romney, the architect of massive MEDICARE FRAUD, gets in there!

  4. The “judicial activism” that he warns against was plainly illustrated by the Justices Kagen and Gingberg who wondered if “they” could save some of this law. It’s not their place or mandate to pick and choose what part of any law should stand, even if there are “boatloads” of money involved. They are to ajudicate on the constitutionality of what’s before them, nothing more, nothing less.

    MrObama’s veiled threats to the Supreme Court are standing on the edge of the knife of treason. He lied about the support for the bill, he omitted the shenanigans that the Senate orchastrated to get the necessary votes for passage, and has tried to intimidate a tri-equal branch of our government for his own personal advantage.

    • Srdem, “veiled threats?” Our brilliant caring President KNOWS that TODAY there are Americans who are ALIVE because of this health care plan! He is eloquently fighting for US — the American people– who he PROMISED he’d get a health care bill passed into LAW! Chief “Justice” Roberts isn’t fooling anyone. He was fine when the LAW clapped a terrified little girl in IRONS just for eating her own lone FRENCH FRY! But he NOW expects MILLIONS of sentient people to believe he just HAD to stick his nose in when the LAW wants to give her health care? BALDERDASH!!

    • ?!?Brenda, “ARROGANCE?!?” WHAT “arrogance?” People who actually KNOW President Obama have said he has virtually NO ego! Brilliant President Obama is eloquently fighting for people who are ALIVE TODAY because of his Health Care plan! Type in the words, “Spike Ward’s video!” Do you actually want the “Justices” to pull the plug on suffering people getting treatment TODAY?! Particularly considering that CONSTITUTIONALLY MANDATED MEDICARE exists as PRECEDENT!?

    • William, Pretending that something is allegedly “UNCONSTITUTIONAL” just for political reasons ( and payoffs to Clarence Thomas’ wife) WOULD be unprecedented. I HOPE!

  5. His whole persona is so wrapped up in Obamacare that I don’t think he can conceive of defeat. It would be such a blow to his psyche that we might see a total meltdown. There’s a fragile, damaged person hiding behind all this bluster. Something has to give. Of course, if he loses the election then he’ll really lose it.

    • Granny, what are you people talking about? Don’t you know that there are AMERICANS TODAY who are ALIVE because of this LAW? President Obama is eloquently fighting for THEM! Look up Spike Ward’s video! Are you people realling willing to cheerfully pull the plug on real human beings!?

  6. Stupid is as stupid does. 27 States are suing over Obamacare, which is more than half of obummer’s 56 states’ country. What’s up with Harvard law school? Obummer has flunked geography, history, constitution, law, economics, math, manhood and truth. The majority of the states believe obamacare is unconstitutional, now we learn that the Supremes are unelected and have no power to overturn an unconstitutional law, but obummer keeps telling us that he is right. I think it is about time for obummer to go back to school or for Sheriff Arpaio to take action.

    • I would love to see this thug in one of Sheriff Joe’s pink jumpsuits eating a balogna sandwich and picking up beer cans and dead armadillos by the side of the road.

      • We’re very neat and tidy here in Arizona, we recycle our beer cans and eat our road kill. The chain-gang crews are only lining up pebbles in a straight line along the road.

    • Jack, Brilliant President Obama did more than just graduate from Harvard Law School, he graduated MAGNA CUM LAUDE from HARVARD LAW SCHOOL — where he at the same time served as PRESIDENT of HARVARD LAW REVIEW! He TAUGHT the CONSTITUTION at a prestigious Law School WHILE he served on the Illinois legislature! He KNOWS the Health Care bill is Constitutional — and just as surely, the “conservative” “Justices” know it, too. Look up, “Spike Ward’s video.” Which of those “Justices” do you think has the heartlessness to pull the plug on her treatment?!

  7. The Obama presidency is schizophrenic…to put it mildly! He is not an ordinary liar – he is pathological. As I have said from Day One, he is a delusional schizophrenic with narcisisstic overtones. He is a sick man! He should be examined by a team of court-ordered psychiatrists in order to determine his ability to finish his term. Under no circumstance should he be allowed to seek another term! The so-called ‘leaders’ of each party need to put their heads together and take action against this nut case! He is out there 24/7 screeching like a mental patient who just escaped the asylum. The worst part is…50% of the electorate is taking him at face value! He must be stopped!

    • I know everyone mentions narcissistic personality disorder but I think he is a classic psychopath as incorrigble con man type. There is no known treatment for such individuals. They don’t get better just move on to new cons but after you’ve conned your way to the presidency where do you? These people are so adept at the con that they can even fool trained psychiatrists.

    • Girly, what kind of Orwellian hell do you expect us to join you in? LOL Candidate Obama promised to get a Health Care Bill passed. PRESIDENT Obama DID it. Candidate Obama promised to get Bin Laden. PRESIDENT Obama DID it! Candidate Obama promised to bring home the troops from Iraq. PRESIDENT OBAMA made good on that promise. Brilliant, honest President Obama tries to be a man of his word! He could do more for this great country with a DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS! VOTE DEMOCRATS2012!OBAMA2012

      • He also promised to cut the deficit in half his first term…but with those tax dollars going to his bi-weekly vacations, that’s another promise broken. Obama is a racist, because he hates white presidents…why do you think he blames everything on Bush? Also, I’ve heard we are coming out of the recession…thank goodness, Bush’s policies are FINALLY taking hold!

  8. My God, what if by simple (very, very simple) majorities they just ‘outlawed’ a whole group of people? It’s happeneded before.
    For a ‘Constitutional Scholar’ that’s a dumb argument.

  9. It’s the Court’s job to overturn unconstitutional laws — how much support a law received in Congress doesn’t have anything to do with it.

    How weird that he even lied about that and claims a vigorous Congressional support of Obamacare!

  10. I’ve heard a few comments from different commentators regarding Obama’s remarks today. Your comments are by far the most precise and to the point. They illustrate what is so obvious. It is hard to understand that anyone could not agree completely. The sad thing is that there are those who could never agree with what you have written. It is not that they can’t see Obama for what he truly is, it is that they won’t see Obama for what he truly is. They have way too much invested. It is not about them actually believing, or having been mesmerized. It is not that they are lemmings following Obama to their death. No, they want so much to convince themselves and everyone else that they are “right.” They could never admit they are wrong. Admitting that would mean that someone else is “right.” And that is a defeat they could not bear.

    • In his book “When Prophecy Fails” Festinger called it cognitive dissonance. And as in the book, Obama supporters wanted so badly to believe that he was the “Chosen One” that when he didn’t lift them from their miserable plight, they in turn have had to find justification for the failure. Aronson also showed this to be true in his Effort Justification experiment. The more effort a person puts into an endeavor, the more likely the person is to say how wonderful the thing is.

      Which only goes to show that Savage just might be right, and liberalism is a mental disorder.

  11. Bravo Keith. Thank you for taking this on. How ironic he mentions an unelected group of people determining whether we live as freemen or slaves. What about the Death Panels (IPAB), Kathleen Sebellius, the EPA, the DOJ, the NLRB, and the multitude of czars who have never been vetted by Congress? We don’t even know who most of these people are, much less have a chance to vote for them.

    This is a clear violation of separation of powers. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time in our history the executive branch breached their constitutional authority. Franklin Delano Roosevelt started the ball rolling after some of his New Deal laws were overturned. He threatened to pack the court with activist judges who would rule in his favor.

    Does D.C. put tranquilizers in the water? Where are the congressional leaders? I’m talking to you Boehner. Stop crying in the corner and stand up like a man. Nancy sure would have.

  12. Keith,

    I have to disagree with you, his arguments/comments don’t even work rhetorically. They do however work on a Timothy Leary sponsored trip to OZ, somewhere over the rainbow.

  13. All legislation is passed by a majority although not necassarily in the dead of night.Especially refusing to let the other party have any input. If the plan was so good then everyone should be included. Congress and.the president get to stay with their cadillac plans . All the waivers afforded to special interest groups is a form of class warfare.The conservatives have been weak on communicating how this administration is a hypocritical on this issue.

    • The communication is weak because there are no conservatives in congressional leadership. Conservative media has been shouting from every mountaintop about the near criminal way this law was put into effect, but the Republican leadership is nowhere in sight. Very telling.

  14. What was obvious to me last night and to Drudge etc. – the supremes voted in private Friday and I’m sure Kagan gave the President the results – hence his bullying of the court. If they voted his way you’d get all sorts of patience and good will, but he’s attacking them setting up his narrative of a fraudulent supreme court decision. What a joke. Early in 2009 people were afraid of him – not anymore.

  15. This shocking speech by our bully president shows he has either no grasp of the Constitutional branches of government or has removed himself from caring into a narcissistic planet of his own making. Either way this is the most shocking thing to me that Obama has ever said.

  16. Do any of the liberal justices have the spine to reject this assault on the separation of powers? It would be gratifying if at least one of them, either solely or in part because of Barry’s statements, chose to vote against this mess that is Obamacare. This man was NEVER a constitutional lawyer or constitutional law professor. He’s too clueless, it just cannot be.

  17. Wonder why Obama feels different concerning the Defense of Marriage Act? Seems like this was passed overwhelmingly by Democrats and Republicans but Obama feels it is unconstitutional and will not even defend it. He REALLY DOES doublespeak!!!

  18. Not the first time he’s treated the court with a lack of respect. Remember his admonishing the judges sitting before him over Citizen’s United at his SOTU? Simply arrogant.

  19. President Obama is right. It is hypocritical of conservatives to whine about an “activist” Supreme Court when they salivate at the prospect of overturning a LAW that so RECENTLY passed. And there IS “precedent” for a Health Care Mandate here in THIS country — we have been “forced” for YEARS to pay for Medicare! That’s a GOOD thing. Ruth Bader Ginsberg proved why she graduated at the top of her class at Columbia when she expressed puzzlement over her conservative colleagues’ amnesia about Social Security which we are “forced” to pay into — whether or not we live to ever collect! Btw, Clarence Thomas should recuse himself. His WIFE was PAID SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS to fight against the Health Care Law! A fact crazy Clarence tried to HIDE at 1st. If he decides against Health Care, how much will she get? This particular Court would NEVER regain what’s left of its already tarnished reputation!

  20. Type in the words, “Spike Ward’s video.” Ms. Ward was a vocal critic of the President’s Health Care plan. She is now an avid supporter — and with good reason! There are people ALIVE today because of the President’s plan! Which of the hard-hearted, hypocritical “activist” “Justices” will pull the plug on their treatment? Will it be Clarence “The Harasser” Thomas who decided that even bystanders in a prison riot ought to expect to get their teeth knocked out by prison guards since everyone knows that it is not mere INCARCERATION that is the punishment — but getting your TEETH knocked while you’re in?! Or will it be the Amnesiac “Broccoli” “Justice” who can’t remember that Medicare and Social Security have been mandates for DECADES now?! Shaking my head.

  21. President Obama criss-crossed this country — going from top to bottom and side to side and back again and again, promising to get a Health Care bill passed till he was HOARSE! He and Hillary debated which of their plans was the better in debates televised before MILLIONS of Americans! President Obama WON that election, in large measure BECAUSE he promised to sign a Health Care bill into LAW!And UNLIKE Bush in 2000, President Obama won fair and square! The Supreme Court did not have to shoehorn him into the White House as it did for Bush. There was no K. Harris doubling as both top elections official in Florida AND Bush’s campaign advisor there! There weren’t thousands of legitimate voters thrown off the voter rolls! There were no off-kilter ballots leading Jewish citizens to accidentally vote for an Anti-Semite instead of the Democratic candidate. There were no hanging chads. There was no FIRST COUSIN smarmily ensconced in the bowels of FOX NEWS changing the results AFTER other networks had called Florida for Gore! In fact, President Obama won both the POPULAR vote AND the Electoral College (something Bush in 2000 could only DREAM of)! This country needs to join the 21st CENTURY! The World Health Organization ranks FRANCE’S Health Care System # l in the WORLD! The USA ranks farrr below!

  22. ?!? Koffler, that’s not “intimidation,” that is a brilliant President fighting for the very LIVES of people who are, at THIS moment, depending on treatments the new Health Care plan provides them. Look up Spike Ward’s video. Then look up the FACT that FRANCE’S Health Care System ranks Faarrr above ours and the fact that President Obama won both the Popular Vote AND the Electoral College in part BECAUSE he promised to sign a Health Care bill into LAW! Then look up the FACT that we ALREADY have Health Care mandates — like Medicare– in this country! Ergo, there is dire need, there is ample desire, and there is PRECEDENCE!

  23. Koffler, are you serious? No wonder you whipped out Woody Allen! Why not just let us see the President speaking.Do you honestly expect any SANE person to think the President’s mild, eloquent statement is “bullying?” And he did win both the POPULAR vote AND the Electoral College with nary a hanging chad in SIGHT! He got many more votes than McCain, in part BECAUSE he promised to sign a Health Care Bill into LAW! That bill passed BOTH Houses of a duly elected CONGRESS! And if John Roberts can’t stick his nose into the LAW to stick up for a little girl clapped in IRONS just for eating a lone FRENCH FRY, then he can keep his nose out of the LAW when it tries to give her Health Care!

  24. Koffler, type in the words, “Spike Ward’s video.” Then tell us which of the “Justices” will be hard-hearted enough to pull the plug on her for political reasons/payoffs (Clarence Thomas)? Alito? Scalia? Roberts? Who? They KNOW the LAW is Constitutional. Politics is the only reason they accepted the case. And if the LAW is struck down then those conservative “activists” would have done so for POLITICS as well!

  25. Mr. Obama, You say judges are “unelected.” Who elected your 30+ czars who make decisions that should be made by a democratically elected congress?