Obama’s attack on the Supreme Court

Law professor Randy Barnett writes at the Politico blog (I’ve edited it slightly):

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 of 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? Contrary to what we heard during the last administration, the Court may certainly be the object of presidential criticism without being threatened in its independence. But this was a truly shocking lack of decorum and an act of disrespect towards the Supreme Court for which an apology is in order. A new tone indeed.

That’s what happens when you elect a radical leftist and hostile alien to be President of the U.S. Another teachable moment.

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A. Zarkov writes:

In my opinion, Obama suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Here’s what the Mayo Clinic says about NPD:

“Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.”

Obama showed no empathy for the justices sitting right before him who had to endure the applause for Obama’s attack, and the embarrassment of having a close up of their faces broadcast globally in real time. The White House had released a text of the speech to the press so they were prepared to zoom in on the justices right after Obama attacked their recent decision—and they did. I suppose it didn’t occur to Obama to put himself in their place, and ask himself, “how would I feel?” No there is only one person in the Obama universe—him. Now I realize that even an expert on mental disorders couldn’t diagnose NPD without an in-depth examination of the subject, but he does seem to exhibit the symptoms. What happens when he becomes the target and has to endure humiliation? Will he crack? How do we handle a president who suffers a mental breakdown in office? I don’t think anyone really knows.

LA replies:

As I said in another entry today, I agree with R. Lowry that conservatives’ portrayal of Obama’s demeanor was overwrought. He did not seem like a person stressed out let alone falling apart. He was in good form and his delivery was less mechanical and annoying than usual.

Alan Levine writes:

I find it a little hard to agree with the complaint about Obama’s attitude toward the Supreme Court. (I do agree with you on the point that he showed no signs of demoralization or breakdown in his speech.) Professor Barnett’s arguments show more about the exaggerated amour propre of the shyster—excuse me, legal—profession than knowledge about the way the Supreme Court has usually been regarded.

Whatever one thinks of either Obama or the particular decision he criticized, the Supreme Court has not usually received the exaggerated respect it got in the last century, on which, by the way, liberals and shysters have capitalized. (Although, if I recall rightly, Franklin D. Roosevelt showed little respect for the Court. He may have made comments as harsh as Obama’s.) In the first half of the history of the United States the Supreme Court was frequently insulted or even just contemptuously ignored, and by some of our greatest presidents. Lincoln came close to throwing the Chief Justice into the hoosegow.

And that disrespect was for a good reason, since, as Raoul Berger once pointed out, the Supreme Court has usually been wrong!

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 28, 2010 01:51 PM | Send

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