Incredulously, President Obama has been criticized, demonized, and accused of trying to destroy the separation of powers that are the heart and soul of our federal government. And those are the nicer pejoratives. This followed Obama’s comments last week that he believed the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (better known as ObamaCare). Obama opined that the law was constitutional, and while some of his further statements about the Supreme Court overturning legislation dealing with the Commerce Clause were factually incorrect, they didn’t change the thrust of Obama’s honest opinion. It should be noted that regardless of whether the High Court upholds or overturns the law, there is widespread disagreement among the most reputable legal scholars on this issue. If the law was so “obviously” unconstitutional, as many believe, we wouldn’t need nine justices on the Supreme Court to review it. One justice could interpret the Constitution every time and always be right if it was so obvious and easy.
Conservative/reactionary radio and conservative columnists for the most part have taken Obama’s remarks and turned them into some of the wildest and craziest conclusions. I have to believe their demagoguery is primarily for the purpose of scaring the average American into believing that Obama is out to destroy our government. I personally heard Rush Limbaugh call Obama a thug for trying to threaten, intimidate and influence the justices on the Supreme Court to vote to uphold ObamaCare. Limbaugh went even further and said that he would not be surprised if Obama paid a personal visit to the Supreme Court before they render their opinion. Talking heads are saying that Obama is undermining the separation of powers with his remarks. Not one of these commentators that I heard and read pointed out that federal judges have lifetime appointments and can only be removed through a labyrinthine impeachment process. In fact the Founding Fathers provided for lifetime appointments to prevent the very situation the opinionators claim Obama is trying to do.
To show how political and biased the commentators are, let’s go back just a few months to when Newt Gingrich was being taken seriously as a presidential contender. A federal district court judge in Texas had recently blocked a public school from having organized prayer at commencement. (I’m not offering an opinion on the judge’s ruling, only stating what occurred.) In addition to death threats, Judge Fred Biery came under verbal attack by any number of commentators, including Newt. Newt basically said that as president he will have removed those federal judges who do not properly interpret the Constitution. (I assume he means how he interprets it.) He went on to say that he would haul a deviating federal judge before the congress to explain where they came off dictating their views to the American people. Consider that this man, Newt Gingrich, could have been elected president. Can anyone argue that this would be an outrageous, egregious abuse of power? If Gingrich and likeminded thinkers were to carry out their threat, that would be a real, not imagined, assault on the separation of powers. But strangely enough there was no pushback by the conservative/reactionary media. The voice of silence was all you heard. Does it not become clear that the conservative/reactionary media are just setting up a straw man in going after Obama for voicing his First Amendment protected opinion? I’m sure that those who have an irrational hatred of Obama won’t see it that way.