Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on January 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

After the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United v FEC, Barack Obama asserted that the court had overturned “a century of campaign reform law”.  He did it again last night in his State of the Union speech:

“Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign companies — to spend without limit in our elections,” Obama said tonight. “Well, I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, and 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.”

Actually, as HA reader Mark points out, the Citizens United decision changed less than a decade of law.  The century of law prohibited corporations from contributing to candidates — and the Supreme Court decision didn’t change that at all.  Spending limits on political speech, including a pre-emptive bar on advertising by corporations and special interests within a certain time range prior to the election, only came into being through McCain-Feingold.  And that was in 2002, not 1910.

Bradley Smith at The Corner demolishes the rest of Obama’s argument on the danger of foreign corporations:

The Court held that 2 U.S.C. Section 441a, which prohibits all corporate political spending, is unconstitutional. Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibiting from making “a contribution or donation of money or ather thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election” under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e, which was not at issue in the case. Foreign corporations are also prohibited, under 2 U.S.C. 441e, from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party, and they prohibited from making any “expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication… .”

This is either blithering ignorance of the law, or demogoguery of the worst kind.

Maybe that’s why the cameras caught Justice Sam Alito shaking his head at the reference.  The Constitutional law professor apparently needs a refresher course on legal research.  Of course, for a man who thought the Constitution was written “20 centuries ago,” maybe eight years from McCain-Feingold seems like almost a century to him…

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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Comment pages: 1 2

SEIU isn’t a special interest right?

royzer on January 28, 2010 at 10:46 AM

If you were a Harvard law student, with designs of a socialist nation in the future, and you wanted a hand in creating that, but your grades, and intelligence were questionable, when it came to laws, ammendments, and the constitution itself….and you were so charming, that a sheepskin was handed to you, just to move you along…much like the public school systems do, that you support so much…you’d screw up laws, precedents, and even dates too. LOL

This man is such a tool, that I’m about to write him myself, and ask if he would spare some time this weekend. I have some pictures I want to hang, and I need a hammer head.

capejasmine on January 28, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Oh, and for a President of the United States to use his soap box at a State of the Union address to publicly chastize the Supreme Court, for a decision he disagrees with, is so below contempt, I can’t even begin to express my anger at that. Shame on this a-hole, and the horse he rode in on.

capejasmine on January 28, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Maybe we should investigate that “Constitutional Law Professor” thing……after all, everything else in his background was exaggerated or just plain made up.

GarandFan on January 28, 2010 at 11:08 AM

I’d argue that the Obamateurism was not that he got the time frame wrong, but that he used the SOTU address to publicly slap SCOTUS around for carrying out their Constitutional responsibilities. They had the audacity to act out of sync with Chicago-style politics.

schafkopf on January 28, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Shame on this a-hole, and the horse he rode in on.

capejasmine on January 28, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Don’t blame the horse. It just ambled in and left a pile.

The pile decided to get up and give a speech.

Yoop on January 28, 2010 at 11:39 AM

SEIU isn’t a special interest right?

royzer on January 28, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Did you notice the purple theme in the clothing last night? SEUI Solidarity.

And get this: A day after bashing lobbyists, President Barack Obama’s administration has invited K Street insiders to join private briefings on a range of topics addressed in Wednesday’s State of the Union.

A handful of lobbyists told The Hill on Thursday morning that they received the invitations and were planning to call in.

Some lobbyists say they are extremely frustrated with the White House for criticizing them and then seeking their feedback. Others note that Democrats on Capitol Hill constantly urge them to make political donations.

RushBaby on January 28, 2010 at 1:04 PM

I was at the panel discussion that was featured on Fox News last night. While I am sick of the “bash Bush” mentality and cannot believe anyone buys into it–I am sorry to report I was wrong. All adult (and especially the Africian -American) Obama supporters use this logic to explain why we “are just not giving Obama enough time.”
The Penn students I sat next to—2 young guys—were just the normal indoctrinated libs and did not even need to consider this –becuaes Obama is doing such a great job in their minds.

mainliner on January 28, 2010 at 2:43 PM

There are some on the right calling on Alito to apologize to Obama. I don’t think he should do that.

Johnnyreb on January 28, 2010 at 8:12 AM

Does anyone know who these putzes “on the right” are that are calling for an apology?? I haven’t seen/heard any of that as yet. I could probably come up with a few of these “compassionate” conservatives though.

outnumberedinparadise on January 28, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Half those people actually believe words spoken by our President.

How about the woman who said, “Hope is in the air.” (or something close) I wanted to get out my can of Lysol and disinfect the air. People can’t pay their bills with hope.

Beaglemom on January 28, 2010 at 8:21 AM

Or even better, the woman who was jumping out of her chair to be sure she got in the old tidbit of “remember he inherited this mess”. When will someone on one of these shows point out that the democrats have controlled Congress for the last THREE years and only they can spend money. If they didn’t like what Bush was proposing they could have easily stopped him. Quit whining and take some responsibility. Oh wait, they’re liberals.

outnumberedinparadise on January 28, 2010 at 3:38 PM

why I’m urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong.”

This from a guy who said he was going to lower the sea levels.

chickasaw42 on January 28, 2010 at 7:03 PM

I realize it’s kind of a reality-TV kind of thing, but I’m surprised no one in the blogosphere has yet remarked on the sour-lemon expression and tepid applause Michelle Obama sported last night, particularly when Barry made it a point to laud her for her public service to military families. He even did a kind of “come on, work with me here” bow to her, while everyone was applauding, and then explained it away by “She gets embarrassed.” It’s enough to make one wonder what’s going on in the Obama household these difficult days.

RebeccaH on January 28, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Comment pages: 1 2