Separation of Egos
Please visit Robert's editorial sponsor.
Separation of powers is one of the strongest arguments against Obama's second term.
An American Tyranny
But ever since the payroll tax cut resurfaced in early February, President Obama has been without an election opponent. Even though Mitt Romney pretty much has the nomination sewn up, the GOP has yet to officially choose a nominee, and things have been relatively quiet in Congress for the past couple of months. President Obama did choose to take a potshot at the Ryan budget, stating that the GOP budget proposal would result in doom, gloom and inaccurate weather forecasts. Even that doesn't make very compelling campaign rhetoric.
More recently, President Obama decided to take on the Supreme Court'which, depending on who you ask, is a horrible idea for a President fighting for re-election. The Court just heard oral arguments in the case over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act's insurance mandate. After the thrashing the U.S. Attorney took from the Court, it isn't surprising that President Obama is fearful about the future of the key accomplishment of his otherwise lackluster term. After all, from a strict Constitutionalist standpoint, the insurance mandate is clearly unconstitutional.
Besides the fact that the Commerce Clause has never before been interpreted as allowing the federal government to require the purchase of a good or service, the government already regulates interstate health insurance purchases. Under those regulations, the insurance mandate isn't even regulating interstate commerce, which is what the Commerce Clause expressly allows Congress to regulate.
In light of the fact that his banner accomplishment was doomed by its very nature, President Obama decided to threaten the Supreme Court of the United States. In the President's own words:
With respect to healthcare, [I] 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. That's not just my opinion, by the way; that's the opinion of legal experts across the ideological spectrum, including two very conservative appellate court justices that said this wasn't even a close case.
I think it's important'because I watched some of the commentary last week'to remind people that this is not an abstract argument. People's lives are affected by the lack of availability of health care, the inaffordability of health care, their inability to get health care because of pre-existing conditions.
The law that's already in place has already given 2.5 million young people health care that wouldn't otherwise have it. There are tens of thousands of adults with pre-existing conditions who have health care right now because of this law. Parents don't have to worry about their children not being able to get health care because they can't be prevented from getting health care as a consequence of a preexisting condition. That's part of this law.
Millions of seniors are paying less for prescription drugs because of this law. Americans all across the country have greater rights and protections with respect to their insurance companies and are getting preventive care because of this law.
So that's just the part that's already been implemented. That doesn't even speak to the 30 million people who stand to gain coverage once it's fully implemented in 2014.
And I think it's important, and I think the American people understand, and the I think the justices should understand, that in the absence of an individual mandate, you cannot have a mechanism to ensure that people with pre-existing conditions can actually get health care. So there's not only an 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.
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. And I'd just remind conservative commentators that for years what we've heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint'that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And I'm pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step.
There are just a few things wrong with President Obama's analysis of the situation:
First and foremost, if the Supreme Court were to overturn Obamacare, it would not be an "unprecedented, extraordinary step." The Supreme Court's job is to impartially judge the constitutionality of "duly constituted and passed laws." It doesn't matter whether the law was passed by "a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress" (which, by the way, Obamacare wasn't'it barely passed, and it passed in large part due to backroom deals between the White House and individual Congressmen).
Basically what President Obama has publicly stated is that he has no clue what judicial activism really is'kind of sad for a former professor of Constitutional Law. When the Supreme Court looks at the Constitution, determines that a document that makes no mention of abortion, and decrees a fundamental right to abortion, that is judicial activism. If the Court looks at the Constitution and determines that Obamacare's insurance mandate doesn't actually fall under Commerce Clause powers, that isn't judicial activism. That is the Court doing its job.
When it gets right down to it, if Congress has the right to pass a mandate that requires every American buy health insurance, then Congress could pass a law mandating every American purchase whatever product or service they see fit. Quite a stretch for a clause stating that Congress can regulate interstate commerce.
President Obama himself even made the argument against the individual mandate when he was running against Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary. If President Obama himself made a logical argument against his very own insurance mandate in the last campaign, why should we take his word that there is a constitutional argument to be made in favor of his very own insurance mandate this time around?
Regardless of whether the argument is logical or constitutional, President Obama's current opposition to the Supreme Court isn't new, and it isn't encouraging. Our government was created with built-in separation of powers for very good reasons. Our founders didn't want any one political party or branch of government to gain too much power. That is one reason why America has lasted for as long as it has. Separation of powers is, perhaps, the strongest argument against President Obama's bid to continue his Presidency. He has continually lobbied against separation of powers, complaining whenever another branch of government gets in the way of his desire to implement whatever measures he chooses, trying to make the case for a Barack Obama dictatorship.
When Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about President Obama's apparent animosity toward the separation of powers, the excuse was as lame as lame can be: President Obama is too good for the rest of us. The "Constitutional Professor" was speaking in "shorthand," and we mere mortals just cannot understand such high-handed rhetoric that emanates from the mouth of The Obama.
Seriously, though, can someone please explain to me how someone speaks in "shorthand"? I heard President Obama's words from his own mouth, and it seemed pretty clear to me that he had decided to take on the Supreme Court.
When it gets right down to it, President Obama has a problem with the separation of powers as defined in the U.S. Constitution. If he can't get his way, he will whine and complain, hoping that the populist support of his useful idiots will turn the political tide in his favor. He was allegedly even caught remarking not that long ago that he envied the Chinese president, because he didn't have to deal with dissent the same way the American President has to. President Obama's election wasn't just historic due to his race; America elected its first juvenile president in 2008. We need a President who will lead our nation responsibly, get us out of debt, and reinforce the importance of freedom to the world. We don't need a President who whines and cries to the cameras whenever he doesn't get his way, all the while dreaming of the day when he can rule as dictator.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)