Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:01 am on April 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

By the time Barack Obama made his pre-emptive attack on the Supreme Court as they consider the ObamaCare lawsuit, I was already on my way out the door to my vacation — but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve an addition to the OOTD canon.  For today’s entry, we’ll just let two media fact-checking organizations take the unusual step of scolding the President for blowing a Con Law issue that would get a first-year law student a dime from John Houseman and an early exit to the service or food industries.

Just to refresh everyone’s memory, this is what Con Law lecturer Barack Obama told the nation about judicial review:

“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.”

Politifact found Obama’s contention that the Supreme Court overturning the law would be “unprecedented” and Obama’s idea of “a strong majority” both rather extraordinary.  That is, if by “extraordinary” you mean utterly false and indefensible:

There’s simply no support for the assertion that the law was passed by a “strong majority.” It was passed along party lines in a sharply partisan climate, and the 60 votes in the Senate were the minimum needed to keep Republicans from bottling it up in a filibuster.

But the “unprecedented” idea is more nuanced. It’s without question that the Supreme Court overturning a law passed by Congress — by any margin — is a common and routine occurrence, and by no means without precedent. Volokh gave us a close analogy with the case of Boerne vs. Flores, a religious freedom law that glided through Congress but was held unconstitutional by a majority of the court, including two of its liberal justices.

However, Obama’s elaboration a day later at least gives us more to think about. He argued that invalidation of the health care law would represent a court action unseen since the Great Depression on an issue that affects every American. Ornstein echoed that interpretation, saying that a ruling by the court which overturns a major social policy and challenges prior court rulings would be unprecedented.

But we’re taking Obama literally, and that historical perspective was not reflected in his original statement, which is what we’re ruling on. He simply said the law passed with a strong majority and overturning it would be unprecedented. Wrong and wrong. We rate the statement False.

And for that matter, Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post had the same two objections, giving Obama two Pinocchios for his argument:

First of all, the president has a rather distorted view of what constitutes a “strong majority” if he thinks the Affordable Care Act vote makes the cut. Not only was the victory achieved by a margin of just a few votes in the House, but the supporters were from only one political party—his own.

Second, Obama’s remarks implied that the Supreme Court would be acting in extreme fashion by overturning the health-care law. That isn’t necessarily true. Some would say that invalidating an economic regulation isn’t extraordinary at all.

In fact, the president delivered a sort of factual history lesson on Constitutional law, which he then used as the basis for his argument about judicial overreach. When all was said and done, he had suggested twice that the justices are in danger of becoming the next despicable group of activist judges — like the so-called Lochner court.

On balance, the president earns two Pinocchios—which means creating “a false, misleading impression by playing with words and using legalistic language that means little to ordinary people”—for his comments about the pending Supreme Court decision.

Both are rather scalding takedowns for a supposed expert on Constitutional law, but it’s really even more basic than either states.  Obama argued against the entire idea of judicial review in his original statement, expressing the idea of any Supreme Court determination of unconstitutionality about a law passed by Congress would by definition be extreme.  He later tried walking it back, but only after getting roundly criticized — by, among others, the president of the American Bar Association, albeit after the fact (via Instapundit):

President Barack Obama’s remarks on Monday speculating about the Supreme Court’s potential decision in the health care legislation appeal are troubling. Particularly worrisome was his suggestion that the court’s decision in this case could serve as a “good example” of what some commentators have cited as “judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint” by an “unelected group of people.”

We’re gratified that the president recast his remarks Tuesday. He clarified appropriately that “the Supreme Court is the final say on our Constitution and our laws, and all of us have to respect it.”

Federal judges are, by design, not elected officials. Article II of our Constitution reserves for the president the authority to appoint Supreme Court justices and all other officers of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate. In fact, President Obama himself has offered more than 123 nominations for Article III judgeships, including two lifetime appointments to our nation’s highest court.

The legitimacy of judicial review was settled more than 200 years ago in the landmark case Marbury v. Madison, which established such review as a key safeguard of the separation of powers doctrine. The Framers of our Constitution clearly understood that an independent judiciary is critical to the maintenance of our democracy and freedom.

It is incumbent on all of our elected officials—including those aspiring to hold office—to continually demonstrate that the courtroom is not a political arena. It is a measure of a free society that individuals are able to openly disagree with court decisions, but we should expect our leaders to refrain from partisan statements aimed at judges fulfilling their constitutional role and responsibilities.

Finally, our great friend Michael Ramirez came up with the perfect editorial cartoon for Investors Business Daily:

Click on the link to see the last note on the left chalkboard.  If Obama is so unhappy with unelected officials with no accountability to voters making life and death decisions, then why did he propose the Independent Payment Advisory Board as part of ObamaCare?

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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Activist court! Activist court! Romney! Mormon! Scalia! Activist Court!

/liberal4life

NoFanofLibs on April 11, 2012 at 8:06 AM

Seriously, Barry is so vain and thin skinned it wouldn’t take much at all to turn him into a ranting, raving lunatic. All it takes is challenging him.

wildcat72 on April 11, 2012 at 8:06 AM

Obviously you people have forgotten that I won! #@Obama

Rovin on April 11, 2012 at 8:08 AM

UnPresidented.

NeighborhoodCatLady on April 11, 2012 at 8:09 AM

My ex-wife had a memory like Obama…and she was a slut for money too…

Um, we can say “slut” still, right?

ProfShadow on April 11, 2012 at 8:11 AM

September 9, 2009. The President’s address on health care reform to a joint session of Congress. Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina. “You lie.” A rather nice summary of the Obama administration.

DaveDief on April 11, 2012 at 8:11 AM

why did he propose the Independent Payment Advisory Board as part of ObamaCare?

Somebody has to tell grandma she’s getting a pain pill instead of a pacemaker.

forest on April 11, 2012 at 8:13 AM

Seriously, Barry is so vain and thin skinned it wouldn’t take much at all to turn him into a ranting, raving lunatic. All it takes is challenging him.

wildcat72 on April 11, 2012 at 8:06 AM

I agree. On April 3, I was in an airport while Obama was ranting against Paul Ryan. It was blaring on all the overhead tv’s. Obama sounded positively unhinged.

esr1951 on April 11, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Demagogues like Obama rely on stirring up emotions with strawmen.

onlineanalyst on April 11, 2012 at 8:16 AM

Obama sounded positively unhinged.

esr1951 on April 11, 2012 at 8:14 AM

That’s because he is. Some political observer noted on a blog yesterday that he looks scrawny and fatigued, and maybe that’s because he is always having a fit about something.

chai on April 11, 2012 at 8:18 AM

Still waiting for the inevitable “BOOOOSH” on this topic. This may be the ONE area that somehow isn’t Boosh’s fault. Maybe.

search4truth on April 11, 2012 at 8:23 AM

esr1951: With regard to Obama’s being unhinged about Paul Ryan, check this out.
Why Obama hates Paul Ryan…
http://spectator.org/archives/2012/04/11/why-obama-hates-paul-ryan

and why we cannot allow Obama to play his lying demagogic ploys any more.

onlineanalyst on April 11, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Obummer is no dummy — this wasn’t an Obamateurism, and his original comments were not intended for con law experts or the president of the ABA. They were intended as a reelection campaign sound bite aimed at the hordes of uninformed voters out there who are programmed by the Parrot MSM.

KS Rex on April 11, 2012 at 8:25 AM

The Framers of our Constitution clearly understood that an independent judiciary is critical to the maintenance of our democracy…

Dear President of the ABA,

We’re not an effing democracy. We’re a constitutional republic.

hugs and kisses,

WordsMatter

WordsMatter on April 11, 2012 at 8:25 AM

I agree. On April 3, I was in an airport while Obama was ranting against Paul Ryan. It was blaring on all the overhead tv’s. Obama sounded positively unhinged.

esr1951 on April 11, 2012 at 8:14 AM

So proposing a budget with a somewhat less humongous deficit isn’t unprecedented extremely radical right-wing Trojan horse social Darwinism that’ll lead to the death of thousands of cuddly kittens?

forest on April 11, 2012 at 8:27 AM

I always hear ØBlama “calling out” his adversaries, opponents, potential foes and anybody else that he thinks can make him look macho and decisive. So I guess this emotional step into the manure of Constitutional Law error constituted “calling out” the Supreme Court?
.
It’s not a good idea to be “calling out” people who can make mush of your already thin resumé. What a dork!

ExpressoBold on April 11, 2012 at 8:31 AM

That was worth reading!…Probably twice.
I think everytime Juvenile JugEars lies…unlike Pinoccio…his nose does not grow…his ears do!

KOOLAID2 on April 11, 2012 at 8:34 AM

You forgot the other part of this Obamateurism which is that he is trying to have the justice department overturn the DOMA in the courts and that bill was passed 342–67 in the House and 85–14 in the Senate. Unlike Obamacare that bill did in fact have a strong majority in both the House and Senate.

JeffinSac on April 11, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Obama’s brilliant. Smartest guy in the room.

Just ask him.

Not anyone else though.

NoDonkey on April 11, 2012 at 8:38 AM

I wouldn’t even trust the man to flip my burgers.

DuctTapeMyBrain on April 11, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Con Law lecturer

Some time in the past some liberal media editor confused “lecturer of con law” with “lecturer for convicted lawbreakers”. The rest is history.

Yoop on April 11, 2012 at 8:42 AM

I wouldn’t even trust the man to flip my burgers.

DuctTapeMyBrain on April 11, 2012 at 8:40 AM

…or scoop my ice cream if I owned such a business since he freely gave it away to his friends. The idea of redistribution of other people’s goods started fairly early with this lad.

onlineanalyst on April 11, 2012 at 8:43 AM

So proposing a budget with a somewhat less humongous deficit isn’t unprecedented extremely radical right-wing Trojan horse social Darwinism that’ll lead to the death of thousands of cuddly kittens?

forest on April 11, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Somebody is going to have to come up with a clever, and understandable, way of refuting the lies and straw men arguments that Obama employs. Something along the lines of Reagan’s “There you go again” comment is needed.

esr1951 on April 11, 2012 at 8:44 AM

KS Rex on April 11, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Yes, this was no mistake about Constitutional law or forgetfulness about Marbury v. Madison. Øbama is no intellect, but no law school graduate can be that clueless.

No, this was a deliberate misrepresentation, a deliberate misrepresentation directed to people he thought would not know any better. The only mistake here is he underestimated the media reaction to his misrepresentation. He thought the media would, if not covering for him, at least give him a pass on it.

petefrt on April 11, 2012 at 8:45 AM

esr1951 on April 11, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Absolutely. He must be challenged constantly. Everytime he opens his mouth a lie pops out. It needs to be highlighted every single time.

BetseyRoss on April 11, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Obummer is no dummy — this wasn’t an Obamateurism, and his original comments were not intended for con law experts or the president of the ABA. They were intended as a reelection campaign sound bite aimed at the hordes of uninformed voters out there who are programmed by the Parrot MSM.

KS Rex on April 11, 2012 at 8:25 AM

^ This. Obama will take the “scalding takedowns” with a wink and a nod, knowing that his supporters have lapped up what he said. Right now, they are railing on about an activist, unelected, “politically tainted” Supreme Court that should, if Obama’s reelected have some members impeached. Expect to hear 5-4 over and over again as proof of the need to change the court. It’s right out of FDR’s handbook.

And, remember, when the Democrats lost long time control of the state congress in Wisconsin, it wasn’t fair and they bolted the state to close down the government. Fair has become a code word for progressives taking power.

Fallon on April 11, 2012 at 8:51 AM

When all was said and done, he had suggested twice that the justices are in danger of becoming the next despicable group of activist judges — like the so-called Lochner court.

Allthough this quote was from lthe Washington Post, obama also used the term “activist judges.” Most of you understand what “activist judges” really means, but as most presidential marxist statements, he has changed the meaning to fit his narrative. For those of you who don’t or mis-understand, or even believe him (like l4l), an activist judge is one who creates new law from the bench, not one who overturns old or bad law, as is part of the judges’ constitutional duties. This PoS president is trying to co-opt the conservative term for the many liberal judges that legislate from the bench, and avering that “you do it, why can’t we?”

Since the liberals have already proposed impeaching any judge that disagrees with them, I think we shuld take them up on that. If obama is replaced by a new president and we conservatives gain control of the Senate, we should consider impeaching the more eggregarious of the liberal extremist judges, that do not consider American law, and judge cases strictly on their political leanings.

Old Country Boy on April 11, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Only two Pinocchios?

the_souse on April 11, 2012 at 8:56 AM

This alleged “Presidency” is “unprecedented”.
So is the failure of The Supremes to ‘police’ their own. Elena Kagan has no f’ing business hearing this case as the conflict of interest is gobsmackingly obvious.

ChicagØbama’s entire “career” has been an “unprecedented” lie.
I imagine that Slappy thinks BillyJeff got away with lying to America, so why not a Half-Rican American? I mean, Barry IS among the “protected” groups of Americans, er, at least those who have real citizenship.

If the decision to overturn ObamneyCare is the conclusion arrived at by The Supremes, would it be “unprecedented” to have the House Judiciary Committee investigate the inherent conflicts of interest and the blatant politicization of a Democrat/EuroSocialist Court?
‘Tail-Gunner’ Joe was right. Subversive vermin have infested OUR country.

Hell, what more does ØbaMaØ want – he already has the Politburo (Senate) on his side.
Just UndØ It
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on April 11, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Most of you understand what “activist judges” really means, but as most presidential marxist statements, he has changed the meaning to fit his narrative. For those of you who don’t or mis-understand, or even believe him (like l4l), an activist judge is one who creates new law from the bench, not one who overturns old or bad law, as is part of the judges’ constitutional duties.

Old Country Boy on April 11, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Yup.

Fallon on April 11, 2012 at 8:58 AM

One more thing I forgot: Since obama is upset about regulatory decisions made by UNELECTED judger, why isn’t he upset about regulatory decisions made by his UNRLRCTED and UNCONFIRMED czars? I guess that doesn’t fit the marxist narrative of this constitutional scholar. casesar chaves, fidel castro, daniel ortega anyone?

Old Country Boy on April 11, 2012 at 9:07 AM

The only mistake here is he underestimated the media reaction to his misrepresentation. He thought the media would, if not covering for him, at least give him a pass on it.

petefrt on April 11, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Agreed – the reaction in the media must have surprised him — thus the ridiculous walk-back the next day: “I know I said the Supremes were an extreme bunch of unelected activists, but I really meant they have the final say on all law and the constitution. Fox News is leading a right-wing conspiricy that is distorting my words!”

KS Rex on April 11, 2012 at 9:09 AM

He just doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut. Of course, he’ll blame it on his staff.

Sabercat2 on April 11, 2012 at 9:16 AM

One more thing I forgot: Since obama is upset about regulatory decisions made by UNELECTED judger, why isn’t he upset about regulatory decisions made by his UNRLRCTED and UNCONFIRMED czars? I guess that doesn’t fit the marxist narrative of this constitutional scholar. casesar chaves, fidel castro, daniel ortega anyone?

Old Country Boy on April 11, 2012 at 9:07 AM

♫♪ BINGO! ♫♪

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on April 11, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Agreed – the reaction in the media must have surprised him — thus the ridiculous walk-back the next day: “I know I said the Supremes were an extreme bunch of unelected activists, but I really meant they have the final say on all law and the constitution. Fox News is leading a right-wing conspiricy that is distorting my words!”

KS Rex on April 11, 2012 at 9:09 AM

The LSM won’t even allow Obama to trash the power of the courts to strike laws and be activist (of course, this is NOT such a case) because the courts have been the Holy Grail of advancing socialism over the past decades. He had better stop doing this or he will get criticism from his allies.

Of course he WONT stop, especially when Obamacare is struck, he takes everything personally and will launch the rant of all rants…

wildcat72 on April 11, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Con Law lecturer Barack Obama

Cannot be repeated enough!

He is no constitutional expert, why does this narrative keep getting repeated. I loath the MSM and all of the lackeys that repeat this bs.

D-fusit on April 11, 2012 at 9:28 AM

/liberal4life

Imitation of liberal4life is NOT the sincerest form of flattery.

my opinion is good riddance and will not bring up

gerrym51 on April 11, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Rameriz summed it up nicely.

Bmore on April 11, 2012 at 9:39 AM

So, if he loathes so-called “unelected bodies” overturning “duly constituted” law, he’s against the decision in Roe v. Wade?

mr.blacksheep on April 11, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Ramirez at his best. Wow.

ted c on April 11, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Unelected judiciary?

How about the 6 unelected Dems who put his Obummercare over the top?
Gillibrand, Burris, Bennet, LeMieux, Kaufman, and Kirk.

And never forget that worthless piece of Executive Order that Stupek sold his soul to the devil to have signed on the eve of the vote count. 219-212 is not an overwhelming majority and without trickery, it never would have happened.

elm on April 11, 2012 at 10:18 AM

He just doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut. Of course, he’ll blame it on his staff.

Sabercat2 on April 11, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Silly, it’s always Bush’s and the Republican’s fault for…

A. Existing
B. Putting extremist conservatives on the court
C. Not recognizing Obama’s greatness
D. Being raaacist
E. Being greeeedy
F. Not eating our peas

Gladtobehere on April 11, 2012 at 10:21 AM

The Independent Payment Advisory Board may be

unelected officials with no accountability to voters making life and death decisions

but their HIS unelected officials with no accountability to voters making life and death decisions. See the diff?

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on April 11, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Con Law lecturer Barack Obama

“Con”, that means he’s against it, right? Seems to be anyway…

ghostwalker1 on April 11, 2012 at 10:44 AM

The RNC needs to keep chipping where Obama is weakest. His EGO.

GarandFan on April 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Unelected judiciary?

How about all the cabinet position holders and their staffs that are in the process of filling in as many gaps as there are pages in a law that had to be voted on to see what was in it?

EconomicNeocon on April 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM

If BO wants to run a fair campaign he should demand that virtually all of the MSM stop protecting him.
Then he should agree to be hooked up to a polygraph every time he speaks.
But Obama is such a good liar he could probably beat most polygraphs.

bailey24 on April 11, 2012 at 11:12 AM

You forgot the other part of this Obamateurism …

JeffinSac on April 11, 2012 at 8:37 AM

.
Dog gone good point!

ExpressoBold on April 11, 2012 at 11:13 AM

To all the HA people – I apologize for my typos. I didn’t catch them when I proofed, and I didn’t preview. Have a good chuckle.

Old Country Boy on April 11, 2012 at 11:15 AM

The only thing false about that cartoon is that Obama is wearing a crown instead of a dunce cap.

RebeccaH on April 11, 2012 at 11:26 AM

But Obama is such a good liar he could probably beat most polygraphs.

bailey24 on April 11, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Not really. If he was a good liar, we’d never know it.
And, on the rare occasions that he got caught in a lie, he’d be able to wiggle out of it without making a total buffoon of himself.
Lil barry lies because that’s what he’s done all of his life and because he has no respect at all for the intelligence of the American people; and no one has ever called him on it, no matter how blatant the lie.
As a liar, d’ohbama is an abject failure – as he is in almost everything else he attempts.

Solaratov on April 11, 2012 at 11:50 AM

<blockquote>57 50 States

LMAO – Awesomely awesome!

Tim_CA on April 11, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Restating the obvious: that Ramirez cartoon (above) proves WHY Obama isn’t/wasn’t “a professor.”

This is a key irritant to me, that he’s continually stated to be one (“a professor”) when he never was. The guy was a part-time, paid lecturer and he never addressed the Constitution entirely, but merely lectured for a short time and part-time on the 14th Amendment only.

He was never hired as faculty and was, therefore, never “a professor” nor especially not “a Constitutional professor” which some also claim.

EVEN Obama’s own campaign workers acknowledged in his 2008 campaign that the claim he was “a professor” was inaccurate, yet it continued to be repeated (by them, by his campaign, never clarified when he was wrongly said to be such).

But Ramirez’s cartoon really proves that, that he wasn’t/isn’t “a professor” nor “a Constitutional professor”…

had he BEEN one, he’d not be making his ongoing inaccurate abuses and misrepresentations about the Constitution if not our very nation’s form of government, that Obama clearly is not knowledgeable of or about.

Lourdes on April 11, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Seriously, Barry is so vain and thin skinned it wouldn’t take much at all to turn him into a ranting, raving lunatic. All it takes is challenging him.

wildcat72 on April 11, 2012 at 8:06 AM

I agree. On April 3, I was in an airport while Obama was ranting against Paul Ryan. It was blaring on all the overhead tv’s. Obama sounded positively unhinged.

esr1951 on April 11, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Paul Ryan is really in Obama’s head. He’s so clearly in some emotional state where Ryan is concerned…

It’s obvious that Obama’s bugged about Romney but add Paul Ryan in there and Obama becomes, as you put it, unhinged.

Maybe Obama understands that Ryan’s a whole lot more intelligent, handsome and expressive than Obama is…

Lourdes on April 11, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Con Law lecturer Barack Obama

Cannot be repeated enough!

He is no constitutional expert, why does this narrative keep getting repeated. I loath the MSM and all of the lackeys that repeat this bs.

D-fusit on April 11, 2012 at 9:28 AM

I’m glad to read that other people notice this, too.

It’s a big deal to me and was during Obama’s 2008 campaign. One of those lies that he told in plain sight that was then repeated while being an untruth, became cause for his followers to swoon and his reputation to be inflated vastly.

Lourdes on April 11, 2012 at 12:16 PM

the president earns two Pinocchios

why only two? It was not only a lie, but a blatant lie by the POTUS.

Next, there can be no doubt that Owe’s statements were knowingly false, not just a “mistake”. However, Owe KNOWS his base doesn’t check facts, only listens to sound bites and merely parrots his words no matter how false and how dumb. Owe’s base simply does what he tells them and would vote for him even if he came out and said he was a Marxist dictator. They look to him to redistribute the wealth. I wish Jay Leno or David Letterman would do a “man on the street” segment and ask people if Marxist dictator was a good thing or a bad thing – but of course they are both in the tank for Owe, so they won’t reveal how dumb some of the voting public is.

katablog.com on April 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM

The guy was a part-time, paid lecturer and he never addressed the Constitution entirely, but merely lectured for a short time and part-time on the 14th Amendment only.

He was never hired as faculty and was, therefore, never “a professor” nor especially not “a Constitutional professor” which some also claim.

and when to you believe the media will ever report this? Any chance that Romney will even mention it? Nah!

katablog.com on April 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM