My father, a high school teacher, used to joke “Those that can – do, those that can’t – teach, those that can’t teach – teach teachers”. I never expected that axiom to be true of the President of the United States, until yesterday. Obama’s answer to a reporter’s question clearly demonstrated that you didn’t want professor Obama for constitutional law. Not if you want to pass that bar that is. Methinks President Obama’s previous life as a community organizer fits the teaching teachers part of the axiom pretty well.
If you missed it, President Obama was asked to clarify the previous days remarks. In his clarification the President attempted to cite law. Apparently his teleprompter was broken, because it didn’t go well. His response was so inept that it inspired James Taranto to title his Wall Street Journal piece for that day “The Man Who Knew Too Little“. This isn’t the first example of Obama citing law that didn’t support his argument. When President Obama was just a Senator, he also cited case law that wasn’t really relevant.
President Obama’s assertions aren’t just attracting the attention of the press. His answer defending Obamacare during a joint press conference earlier this week caused a three-judge panel for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to order the Justice Department to explain by tomorrow whether the administration believes judges have the power to strike down a federal law. The judges on the 5th circuit took Obama’s statements to mean that the President didn’t believe in 3 co-equal branches of government, or in the power of the court to review laws. Flying without a teleprompter can be dangerous.
What do these examples of the President’s ineptness in his chosen field tell us about the process that made him a lawyer? President Obama graduated from Harvard, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, does that fact make you more or less likely to consider Harvard for a law school now? What does it tell us about Harvard standards? Shouldn’t the brightest man in the room at least be able to articulate why his law is plausibly constitutional, or at least acknowledge that there are constitutional questions at stake? Shouldn’t he be able to understand why people are upset by the naked attempts to pressure the court? Isn’t an impartial and free judiciary a necessity to prevent the overreach of state power?
Obama’s public statements over the last few days indicate to us that the President needs some schooling. Lessons to be delivered November of this year.