President Obama Calls Out The Supreme Court And The Military #SOTU

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

President Obama indulged himself multiple times throughout his speech. Two indulgences actually elicited outraged and/or stony reaction from those he targeted.

First, the Supreme Court. President Obama opined about the separation of powers and then he launched. Here’s how Allah characterizes it :

When you hear the president of the United States demagoging the First Amendment, you sit there and you take it, son.

I was U-streaming during the speech at that time and was stunned. I asked the listeners the question that Randy Barnett asked (via Instapundit):

In the history of the State of the Union has any President ever called out the Supreme Court by name, and egged on the Congress to jeer a Supreme Court decision, while the Justices were seated politely before him surrounded by hundreds Congressmen? To call upon the Congress to countermand (somehow) by statute a constitutional decision, indeed a decision applying the First Amendment? What can this possibly accomplish besides alienating Justice Kennedy who wrote the opinion being attacked.

Barrett calls Obama’s outburst a “shocking lack of decorum”. That’s an understatement. Dan Riehl rightly notes that if this segment becomes the focus of the speech, it’s bad for Obama.

My second question after this nonsense was, “Who the hell does this guy think he is?” To my mind, he is just a President. He is a man like any other. He will come and go and grow and fade like any other President. We have Carter, Clinton, Bush I and GW Bush walking the planet like men. Former presidents, certainly. Worthy of respect for holding the office, definitely. Still, they are men.

Barack Obama is just a man. He diminishes himself and the office of the Presidency by being so disrespectful to another branch of the government.

Obama’s disrespect of the Supreme Court is, shall we say, unprecedented.

And then, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell pander.

President Obama has taken heat from gays because he’s basically told them to wait their turn–mostly because any gay special rights issues tick off Americans. That President Obama spoke of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell last night tells me two things:

One, he knows that it will irritate Americans generally and military-types specifically, but figures he has nothing to lose.

Two, he thinks gay people are stupid. He knows that what he blabs about may or may not change anything, but saying something is symbolic. Liberals love symbolic. He cares. Or at least he’s hoping that works. It worked for Clinton.

President Obama ain’t President Clinton.

Lying came to Bill Clinton like bacon to, well, any food, but Obama’s prevarications, cast in the hauteur of John Kerry does not work. It just pisses people off.

Tom Maguire says:

Or so one might think, but what do I know? As to the possibility that we are embarking on this social experiment in war time because Obama dropped the ball on health care and needs to play to his base, well, I’m sure the politics had nothing to do with this and Obama is motivated exclusively by his belief that this is the Right Thing To Do. In any case, talk is cheap – let’s see whether Obama pushes to get this done, or blames mysterious forces and Evil Republicans (who control the Senate by 41-59) when nothing happens.

The Generals on the front row (not unlike the Supreme Court) sat, stony-faced while President Obama garnered a standing “O” from the Dem side. They know what the policy will mean for the military.

John McCain says:

In his State of the Union address, President Obama asked Congress to repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. I am immensely proud of, and thankful for, every American who wears the uniform of our country, especially at a time of war, and I believe it would be a mistake to repeal the policy.

This successful policy has been in effect for over 15 years, and it is well understood and predominantly supported by our military at all levels. We have the best trained, best equipped, and most professional force in the history of our country, and the men and women in uniform are performing heroically in two wars. At a time when our armed forces are fighting and sacrificing on the battlefield, now is not the time to abandon the policy.

Code: I’m proud of the gay people serving, too. We are at war. This is a bad idea.

I had no opinion about gays in the military, really, and wondered why it was a big deal. Steve Schippert, a former marine, explained it to me and what it would do for recruiting and cohesion. So, okay.

Here’s the thing: The military is not civilian life. The point is to win wars not change society.

In both the case of the SCOTUS call out and the gays in the military pander, the President made a big mistake. There is only downside for these actions. He has provoked a power equal to his. He has made a promise that it’s doubtful he can keep.

Why do this? Desperation or dummy, either answer is not a good one.