Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on February 2, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

No doubt the ruling by Judge Roger Vinson eviscerating ObamaCare has the White House discouraged, but Barack Obama’s response to it was hardly presidential. Instead of expressing confidence that an appellate court would see the wisdom of ObamaCare, the White House went into attack mode on Vinson personally by accusing him of “overreaching” and “activism”:

Today’s ruling – issued by Judge Vinson in the Northern District of Florida – is a plain case of judicial overreaching. The judge’s decision contradicts decades of Supreme Court precedent that support the considered judgment of the democratically elected branches of government that the Act’s “individual responsibility” provision is necessary to prevent billions of dollars of cost-shifting every year by individuals without insurance who cannot pay for the health care they obtain. And the judge declared that the entire law is null and void even though the only provision he found unconstitutional was the “individual responsibility” provision. This decision is at odds with decades of established Supreme Court law, which has consistently found that courts have a constitutional obligation to preserve as a much of a statute as can be preserved. As a result, the judge’s decision puts all of the new benefits, cost savings and patient protections that were included in the law at risk.

Under today’s view of the law, seniors will pay higher prices for their prescription drugs and small businesses will pay higher taxes because small business tax credits would be eliminated. And the new provisions that prevent insurance companies from denying, capping or limiting your care would be wiped away.

We don’t believe this kind of judicial activism will be upheld and we are confident that the Affordable Care Act will ultimately be declared constitutional by the courts.

First, the higher prices and taxes aren’t Vinson’s problem if the bill itself violates the Constitution. Judges are supposed to rule on the facts and the law, not on the policy choices they like best. The prices and taxes are Congress’ issue to solve, within the limits of their authority under the Constitution.  Prices might drop and taxes might go down if Congress nationalized all means of production, too, but that doesn’t make it legal or morally right.

Second, the role of the judiciary is to check the power of Congress and the executive.  That’s why actual Constitutional scholars refer to the “checks and balances” of the three-branch federal system.  Maybe Obama learned his Constitutional law at the same place Chuck Schumer learned civics, but applying a check to Congressional overreach isn’t “judicial activism,” it’s one of the main purposes of the federal courts.  “Judicial activism” occurs when judges create laws from the bench in the absence of legislative action.

Next, read this defense of their position:

History and the facts are on our side. Similar legal challenges to major new laws — including the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act — were all filed and all failed. And contrary to what opponents argue the new law falls well within Congress’s power to regulate economic activity under the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the General Welfare Clause.

Quick: name the private-sector goods and services that the federal government requires in the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, or even the Social Security Act.  Answer?  None.  Social Security is a tax system with defined benefits payouts from the government, and no one doubts that the federal government has the power to tax.  The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act require the federal government to enforce the Constitution, not citizens to buy sample ballots or shop at certain stores.  The entire response is a big non-sequitur — and if this is how they defended ObamaCare in Vinson’s court, small wonder they lost, and lost big.

Finally, calling Vinson names while Obama challenged Hillary Clinton’s mandate proposal on almost identical grounds is not just hypocritical, it’s downright silly:

Here’s the concern. If you haven’t made it affordable, how are you going to enforce a mandate. I mean, if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house.

That’s exactly what Vinson says — and then explains that if Congress has the power to order such a thing, then they have no limitations on power at all:

The problem with this legal rationale, however, is it would essentially have unlimited application. There is quite literally no decision that, in the natural course of events, does not have an economic impact of some sort. The decisions of whether and when (or not) to buy a house, a car, a television, a dinner, or even a morning cup of coffee also have a financial impact that — when aggregated with similar economic decisions — affect the price of that particular product or service and have a substantial effect on interstate commerce. To be sure, it is not difficult to identify an economic decision that has a cumulatively substantial effect on interstate commerce; rather, the difficult task is to find a decision that does not.

Instead of insulting Vinson, maybe they should read what he had to say, including his quote of a candidate named Barack Obama.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] 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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Comments

The judge acted stupidly.

csdeven on February 2, 2011 at 8:08 AM

petty and petulant towards the judiciary, just what you would expect from a supposed “con law genius”.

rob verdi on February 2, 2011 at 8:09 AM

And the judge declared that the entire law is null and void even though the only provision he found unconstitutional was the “individual responsibility” provision.

your buddies in congress ommitted the severability clause…ergo the entire law is a no go…did you read the bill?

keepin it classy in the WH…this is up there with dear leader bashing the SCOTUS during his SOTU…

cmsinaz on February 2, 2011 at 8:11 AM

OT, but Fox News is reporting major clashes/civil war in Egypt.

Key West Reader on February 2, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Obama’s brilliant. That guy who disagreed with Hillary is an idiot.

/crr6

fossten on February 2, 2011 at 8:14 AM

and if this is how they defended ObamaCare in Vinson’s court, small wonder they lost, and lost big.

but remember, they’ve got 4 libs on their side in the SCOTUS who will defend it just the same way….

guaranteed

cmsinaz on February 2, 2011 at 8:16 AM

Thin skinned, forked tongue. Nasty bite.

Yoop on February 2, 2011 at 8:19 AM

The judge acted stupidly…by quoting me

csdeven on February 2, 2011 at 8:08 AM

right2bright on February 2, 2011 at 8:20 AM

One cannot argue with an activist running an agenda – as Obama is.

OldEnglish on February 2, 2011 at 8:20 AM

History and the facts are on our side. Similar legal challenges to major new laws — including the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act — were all filed and all failed.

Other things that had been challenged — with failure for the challenge (for a time): Slavery. Prohibition. Male only voting.

apostic on February 2, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Some constitutional scholar, eh?

publiuspen on February 2, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Rules for Radicals, that’s all Obama has, as though that was the only book he has ever read.

Skandia Recluse on February 2, 2011 at 8:22 AM

My thought would be that they think there are no limitations to govt power. Remember what Nixon, I believe, said, ‘if the president does it, it’s not illegal’. Look how that turned out.

Kissmygrits on February 2, 2011 at 8:23 AM

It was also noted in the WH response that amicus briefs in support of the Administration had been filed by, among others, American Heart Assn. and American Diabetes Assn, and American Cancer Assn. Guess I’m an igmo … I didn’t know this.

ziggyville on February 2, 2011 at 8:25 AM

That judge is a racist!

Osis on February 2, 2011 at 8:25 AM

Obama’s right. What did those Founding Father dudes know anyway?///

kingsjester on February 2, 2011 at 8:29 AM

This is all well and good, but how does this affect or detract from the Good and Welfare Clause?

catmman on February 2, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Obamateurism in the making…

Obama phones Mubarak to urge an orderly transition. Gets immediate MSM credit for peaceful settlement of the crisis. Next day, Mubarak stages pro-government demonstrations to provoke conflict with anti-government demonstrators. Violence erupts, with Egyptians fighting Egyptians.

Good work, Barry.

petefrt on February 2, 2011 at 8:32 AM

OT, but Fox News is reporting major clashes/civil war in Egypt.

Key West Reader on February 2, 2011 at 8:12 AM

This is what happens when you watch Fox News: you use the term major clash and civil war interchangeably.

ernesto on February 2, 2011 at 8:35 AM

And contrary to what opponents argue the new law falls well within Congress’s power to regulate economic activity under the Commerce Clause…

D’oh! Need some better spin boys. The lack of activity here is the problem.

Try some BS like this: “Congress has the power to make laws that affect prices, marketplaces, and economic transactions.”

forest on February 2, 2011 at 8:38 AM

There is quite literally no decision that, in the natural course of events, does not have an economic impact of some sort. The decisions of whether and when (or not) to buy a house, a car, a television, a dinner, or even a morning cup of coffee also have a financial impact that — when aggregated with similar economic decisions — affect the price of that particular product or service and have a substantial effect on interstate commerce.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxism

Marxism advocates, and believes in the historical inevitability of, a proletarian revolution, when the proletariat take control of government, and then implement reforms to benefit their class, namely the confiscation of private property which is then taken under state control and run for the benefit of the people rather than for the interests of private profit. Such a system is socialism, although Marxists believe that eventually a socialist society would develop into an entirely classless system, which is known as communism in Marxist thought.

William Amos on February 2, 2011 at 8:39 AM

This is what happens when you watch Fox News: you use the term major clash and civil war interchangeably.

ernesto on February 2, 2011 at 8:35 AM

There goes the troll adding to the discussion once again. I must hand it to crr6, as she actually engages in the topic and tries to argue her points with links and such; most of the time that is… This one truly defines the definition of troll.

Keemo on February 2, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Quick: name the private-sector goods and services that the federal government requires in the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, or even the Social Security Act. Answer? None.

This is a good point. Most everyone seems to agree that a socialistic-style government-run healthcare system is a definite overreach of the government’s role (even the liberals here seem to go to great lengths to scoff at such a ridiculous notion), but it seems to have a lot more precedence then what this bill proposes.

BlueCollarAstronaut on February 2, 2011 at 8:49 AM

The Obamamateurism of the day is Obama telling Mubarak to step down, with one head-cock, and then with the next head-cock, saying it is up to the Egyptian people, not the United States, to choose their government.

The Media-amaturism of the day is their failure to ask why Obama did not ask Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs to step down when Iranians staged massive protests against the theocracy.

Why the difference in approach? (What would a closet Muslim do that is different from what Obama is not doing).

Basilsbest on February 2, 2011 at 8:51 AM

This is what happens when you watch Fox News: you use the term major clash and civil war interchangeably.

ernesto on February 2, 2011 at 8:35 AM

Which one is inaccurate?

BlueCollarAstronaut on February 2, 2011 at 8:52 AM

This is what happens when you watch Fox News: you use the term major clash and civil war interchangeably.

ernesto on February 2, 2011 at 8:35 AM

MS squeaky voice garden statuary…
The news is ‘all over the wires’ from Times of India to the LATimes.

Skandia Recluse on February 2, 2011 at 8:53 AM

What the difference is, is quite simple, the left believes that some leftist Harvard professor determines what is legal for the nation and the right says that which was created by our founders and codified into a standard by which all law must meet -the constitution determines what is legal.

The only issue yet to be properly dealt with, is what happens when the highest court in the land openly makes law out of thin air -as in Roe v. Wade (emanations from penumbras) and no one filed impeachment papers immediately.

To allow the court to decide the constitutionality of its own actions (and not the legislatures) is the ultimate folly – the proverbial fox wathcing the chicken coop, only it has the effect of becoming a chicken coup!

Don L on February 2, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Why the difference in approach? (What would a closet Muslim do that is different from what Obama is not doing).Basilsbest on February 2, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Basilsbest on February 2, 2011 at 9:01 AM

This decision is at odds with decades of established Supreme Court law…

Odamna’s election is at odds with decades of more or less sensible choices made by the American people.

Rely on this! That mistake won’t happen again, Barry.

Crusader Rabbit on February 2, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Crusader Rabbit on February 2, 2011 at 9:02 AM

“A few people learn by watching others, a few people learn by reading but all the rest need to learn by peeing on the electric fence” Will Rogers.

Give that most people have to learn in the school of hard knocks it will most certainly happen again.

chemman on February 2, 2011 at 9:20 AM

This is what happens when you watch Fox News: you use the term major clash and civil war interchangeably

And this is what happens when you cannot discuss, much less refute, the topic at hand: you troll the off-topic posts in the thread.

Fail troll is fail.

Scott H on February 2, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Chuck Schumer and the democrats do not believe that the judiciary is a branch of government, therefore the three ‘legitimate’ branches of government (president, House, and Senate) can ignore whatever the judges say.

jerseyman on February 2, 2011 at 9:28 AM

right2bright on February 2, 2011 at 8:20 AM

Better by 100%!

csdeven on February 2, 2011 at 9:36 AM

This is what happens when you watch Fox News: you use the term major clash and civil war interchangeably.

ernesto on February 2, 2011 at 8:35 AM

You need to empty the feedbag that is strapped to your chin. It’s overflowing with the balls of donkey $hit that roll out of your mouth.

csdeven on February 2, 2011 at 9:38 AM

We don’t believe this kind of judicial activism will be upheld

Odd, coming from the same people who thrive on it.

GarandFan on February 2, 2011 at 10:02 AM

This is what happens when you watch Fox News: you use the term major clash and civil war interchangeably.

ernesto on February 2, 2011 at 8:35 AM

So all ye listen and heed the great sage ernesto, and watch MSNBC instead, where you will learn to use the terms Tea Partiers” and “Muslim Brotherhood” interchangeably instead.

VelvetElvis on February 2, 2011 at 10:03 AM

that the Act’s “individual responsibility” provision is necessary to prevent billions of dollars of cost-shifting every year by individuals without insurance who cannot pay for the health care they obtain

Wonder why the WH doesn’t have a problem with cost-shifting the price of premiums for individuals who can’t pay to the backs of workers.

How about the cost-shifting of running all these new government overseer agencies to the backs of workers?

It’s all a sham – but then, the American people knew that when they begged their “representatives” (I use the term lightly) to stop this piece of garbage from passing.

katablog.com on February 2, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Barry’s pounding the table.

mchristian on February 2, 2011 at 10:28 AM

This is what happens when you watch Fox News: you use the term major clash and civil war interchangeably.

ernesto on February 2, 2011 at 8:35 AM

Yeah you guys. C’mon!!! Fox can’t hold a candle to any other media source. They report the FACTS as they see them. You know…like accusing Palin of murder, or announcing Giffords is dead, when she wasn’t. Now THAT is news. :p

I can’t help but think now, that Obama and company are avidly watching the movie…The Pelican Brief. UGH!!!

capejasmine on February 2, 2011 at 10:41 AM

If leftist trash wants everything they pretend to want, they could always advocate out and out, above the board taxation to achieve those goals.

Too bad, Barry is too much of a pu$$y to do just that, instead, the little guy is hiding as he sends his little machine into attack mode.

MNHawk on February 2, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Vinson better hope
He has no dirty laundry
For Donks to expose.

They are going to go after this judge hammer and claw. It is going to make the MFM treatment of Sarah Palin look mild by comparison.

Haiku Guy on February 2, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Rules for Radicals, that’s all Obama has, as though that was the only book he has ever read.

Skandia Recluse on February 2, 2011 at 8:22 AM

I know for a fact that he read Dreams From My Father…eventually.

SKYFOX on February 2, 2011 at 10:55 AM

The judge’s decision contradicts decades of Supreme Court precedent that support the considered judgment of the democratically elected branches of government that the Act’s “individual responsibility” provision is necessary to prevent billions of dollars of cost-shifting every year by individuals without insurance who cannot pay for the health care they obtain.

When I first saw this line, the thot that sprang to mind: What part of considered went into Obamacare? The only thing exhaustively considered was the means to bend procedures and rules in order to thwart the will of the people in ramming this down our throat.

Likewise, “democratically elected” is hardly true of several congress-critters that either should have been run out of office on ethics and/or winning the office with the help of dead/phantom voters.

AH_C on February 2, 2011 at 11:04 AM

If the concern is that spending on health care will swamp the federal budget with deficit spending, isn’t the logical question, “Why is health care spending part of the federal budget in the first place?”

Oh, that would undermine all the do-goodism that the Dimbulbs have foisted on the taxpayers for eighty years? Imagine that!

ya2daup on February 2, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Quick: name the private-sector goods and services that the federal government requires in the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, or even the Social Security Act. Answer? None.

wrong…

Remember Geno’s Steaks? He wanted to make it “English Only” and got smacked down… that is the “Civil Rights Act” because the courts have interpreted(wrongly IMO) “national origin” to include language.

BTW, this oversight should be one of the GOP’s top priorities on the immigration front… national origin != language.

ninjapirate on February 2, 2011 at 11:11 AM

I know for a fact that he read Dreams From My Father…eventually.

SKYFOX on February 2, 2011 at 10:55 AM

LOL

inviolet on February 2, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Vinson is my favorite judge.

antisocial on February 2, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Obama goes Alinski on a Judge?

Yet another infringement on the Separartion of Powers.

Worst pres Evah.

Geochelone on February 2, 2011 at 11:24 AM

the Act’s “individual responsibility” provision is necessary to prevent billions of dollars of cost-shifting every year by individuals without insurance who cannot pay for the health care they obtain

Why didn’t they just eliminate the dept of education to pay for the healthcare law? Or cut back on foreign aid? The Democrats chose to force an individual responibility mandate; surely the SCOTUS will see the error?

TN Mom on February 2, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Excellent write-up, Ed.

That Nancy Pelosi now focuses entirely on “jobs”, while blaming the Rs for not ‘creating jobs’ s/b a HA thread. The hypocrisy and lies are impertinence pure and simple.

Schadenfreude on February 2, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Chuck Schumer and the democrats do not believe that the judiciary is a branch of government, therefore the three ‘legitimate’ branches of government (president, House, and Senate) can ignore whatever the judges say.

jerseyman on February 2, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Except of course, when judges pull the ‘right’ to do evil out of their a55es.

Slowburn on February 2, 2011 at 5:51 PM

I R a smart, rich lawyer and I have been sayin’ our Potus is a dumb lawyer.

Ed done did well above.

IlikedAUH2O on February 3, 2011 at 2:23 PM