President Obama often takes full advantage of the bully pulpit to excoriate political opponents or to register his displeasure with decisions that didn’t go his way. The naked attempt to pressure the Supreme Court in his remarks during the recent joint press conference continues the pattern. The President’s remarks were at times dishonest. More surprising is that the Presidents speech shows just how shallow his knowledge of the Constitution and human nature really is.
“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,”
The law passed by a very narrow majority (220-215 in the house with 39 Democrats voting against it). That certainly wasn’t a strong majority. The program was so divisive that massive protests were held in opposition to the bill and its passing energized the nascent Tea Party. Even today a majority of Americans oppose Obamacare.
“With respect to health care, I’m actually — continue to be confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the law. And the reason is because, in accordance with precedent out there, it’s constitutional.”
There is no precedent where the Federal government has forced people to purchase a good or service from a private company.
“That doesn’t even speak to the 30 million people who stand to gain coverage once it’s fully implemented in 2014.”
A more honest answer:
The CBO’s estimate is that 20 million people that will loose coverage because the perverse economic incentives encourage employers to drop coverage for their employees. No one knows what the net gain will be. (Based on other Obama success stories like Cash for clunkers, Solyndra, etc – I predict that the number of net newly covered individuals will be much less than 20 million)
Final Ironic Statement:
“So there’s not only a economic element to this, and a legal element to this, but there’s a human element to this. And I hope that’s not forgotten in this political debate.”
A Simple Truth:
Our founding fathers set up a system of government that is limited in power by design. Such a design wasn’t because the founding fathers wanted an ineffective government but because they understood the human element all too well. The fact that our founding fathers so clearly understood human nature is evident in their writing. A great example can be found in The Federalist papers, from The Federalist No. 5;
” If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”
President Obama’s quest for more Federal power should worry everyone. Once granted, government power is hard to roll back. One can argue that conservatives have been trying to roll back power granted to the government during the Great Depression that was never ceded back to the people following the end of the financial crisis. That is the very reason our constitution was written to provide limited powers to the government. Regardless of the good intention, excessive power concentrated in the Federal government is dangerous, and often destructive. FDR’s policies extended the great depression by 7 years!
From his state of the Union address to his comments aimed squarely at the Supreme Court, President Obama has demonstrated that the “Chicago Way” and the bully pulpit are his go to political tools.