Obama to Supremes: Make My Day

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Obama Administration

Don't Mess With the Broccoli

In what’s being called a shot across the bow, yesterday President Obama sent a message to the Supreme Court that overturning the Affordable Care Act would be an “unprecedented, extraordinary step.”

“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,” he said.

In other words, he’s telling the justices that if they mess with the ACA they’re going to destroy their own credibility and forever be considered a bunch of radical judicial activists. And yesterday’s ruling about strip searches helps his case.

Darrell West of the Brookings Institution said,

I don’t think President Obama has much in common with Franklin Roosevelt, but the Supreme Court is on the verge of turning Obama into FDR. By authorizing strip searches for minor offenses and signaling that it may overturn major legislation supported by large majorities in the House and Senate, the Court is giving Obama a big campaign issue to run against unelected justices engaging in judicial activism.

In one case, justices ignore questions of personal liberty, while in the other they cite liberty as the reason for overturning an activist federal government seeking to provide health coverage for uninsured Americans. Most Americans see strip searches in minor cases as more intrusive to their personal liberty. Now Obama can run against an obstructionist Congress and a tone deaf Supreme Court couching political arguments as legal principle.

Yeah, pretty much. Precedent and law mean nothing to them; they just rule as they feel like ruling.

The President also is using some strong language about the Republican budget passed in the House last week.

“It’s a Trojan horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country,” Obama said in excerpts of his speech released Tuesday. “It’s nothing but thinly veiled social Darwinism.”

PS — Note to wingnuts — the armed broccoli is a metaphor offered as humor. I am not seriously suggesting that vegetables take up arms. Well, except in Florida.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 3, 2012 @9:14 am

    LOL – that last line!!!

    Here’s my take on the problem – Obama:
    ““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,” he said.

    Ay, there’s the rub…

    As for the strip search decision, I think they decided in this case, FOR “The Obama’s Broccoli Mandate.”
    I had a friend once, who, when given broccoli on a plate, would make it appear as if he was eating it – and then, he’d pull it out of the damnedest places, to show the rest of us that he hadn’t, in fact, eaten it.
    We must be sure that ALL American finish their broccoli. And so, strip-searches are just another tool in the great shed of Democracy.

    Ok, George H.W. Bush – bend over and spread ‘em!

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 3, 2012 @9:15 am

    Oh, I almost forgot:
    FREEDOM!!!
    LIBERTY!!!

  3. Lynne  •  Apr 3, 2012 @9:28 am

    I wonder if they’ll care. They have already taken the unprecedented step of making corporations citizens.

  4. Dan  •  Apr 3, 2012 @11:19 am

    Oh, corporations were declared citizens by a Supreme Court clerk in the late 19th century. I remember a Nixon Court confirming the ruling. Nothing new there.

  5. Dan  •  Apr 3, 2012 @11:20 am

    Oops, close italics failed…

  6. Bill B.  •  Apr 3, 2012 @11:24 am

    “I am not seriously suggesting that vegetables take up arms. Well, except in Florida.” I think they are ahead of you. Those licenses don’t expire, do they? And if they did, who would come collect/check up on the carrying of the gun?

    Dianne Rheem show today on gun/castle law was unlistenable to me because this topic is so demagogued-to-death already.

    A friend took a concealed-carry licensing class a couple of weeks ago so he could tote his Glock. He was surprised at the number of people who had signed up, mostly 50-plus in age, so you know they were Faux viewers. The fear machine is really cranked up.

  7. Swami  •  Apr 3, 2012 @11:31 am

    I saw where the vote to allow and encourage strip searches was 5 to 4. Without knowing who voted how, I’d wager that I could name 4 of those 5 who voted in favor without being wrong.

  8. muldoon  •  Apr 3, 2012 @12:12 pm

    Citizens United was a really bad call, and even though it may have been intended to give Republicans a financial advantage in elections, even some Republicans have begun howling about it, which kind of makes it a bipartisan–Corporations v. People– offender.

    If ACA is overturned by 5-4, the Roberts’ Court could not pretend to have any claim to judicial impartiality. Reason being, Thomas, who should have–in all decency and out of respect for the Court–recused himself, chose not to do so. And his vote will be viewed as the deciding one.

    Methinks President is simply stating the obvious; with Thomas in the mix, the only way the SCOTUS can retain at least an illusion of impartiality would be to allow ACA to stand.

  9. Anniecat45  •  Apr 3, 2012 @12:42 pm

    vegetables take up arms — I think in Florida they already have.

  10. biggerbox  •  Apr 3, 2012 @1:40 pm

    I don’t think even in Florida the broccoli is allowed to carry openly – it has to be concealed. For some reason, they think concealed is better than open-carry, maybe because the think never knowing who might accidentally shoot you is better? I can’t fathom Florida.

    Anyway, I’m glad Obama seized the rhetorical ground that way, though I have a sneaky feeling that even he must be worried that a Court that was willing to interfere in a Presidential election to install its own choice won’t bat an eye at overturning a major piece of Congressional legislation. After Kennedy’s comments in the strip-search case, where they overturned the principle of the 4th Amendment in exchange for the convenience of prison keepers, I think Obama will have plenty to run against.

  11. khughes1963  •  Apr 3, 2012 @2:28 pm

    Maha, might I recommend that you use a head of broccoli as a shorthand reference to Scalia just as you use a head of cabbage as a shorthand reference to David Brooks?

  12. Chris Andersen  •  Apr 3, 2012 @2:30 pm

    The “Social Darwinism” tag that Obama has given to the GOP budget is a brilliant bit of messaging. The GOP has been engaged in a multi-decade attack on socialism and evolution. Calling their plan “Social Darwinism” triggers both of the frames that the GOP has worked so hard to develop and then turns then against the GOP.

  13. maha  •  Apr 3, 2012 @3:21 pm

    I don’t think even in Florida the broccoli is allowed to carry openly

    Yeah, that’s OK for broccoli, but what about cucumbers? Does concealed carry discriminate against cucumbers?

  14. joanr16  •  Apr 3, 2012 @4:18 pm

    George HW Bush distrusted broccoli for a reason, I now see.



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