Conservative Heads Explode When Obama Mocks Their Fear of Unelected Judges:
When President Barack Obama was having a joint press conference with the presidents of Canada and Mexico by his side, a reporter asked about the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning the Affordable Care Act. Obama responded, "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."
Essentially, what he was saying was, "The idiot cocksuckers on the right have been huffing on the bone of 'unelected judges' outrage for years now whenever their shit was at stake, like, say, DOMA. Now that someone else's shit is at stake, all of a sudden 'unelected judges' are good shepherds of the Constitution. You're a bunch of hypocritical fucks. Go fuck yourselves." That last part might be a bit of a stretch, but mostly, that was it. It was calling out motherfuckers for fucking their mothers. It wasn't addressed to the court. It was addressed to conservatives.
However, for the media and some on the right, it was an "oh-my-stars-and-garters" moment. "Unsettling," said the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus. "Unnerving," exclaimed the New York Post's John Podhoretz. "Shocking," said someone or other on MSNBC's Morning Starbucks. It was a "warning" or a "threat" to the Court, they say, when, in reality, it was a mocking of a cherished right-wing talking point.
Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Republican Lamar Smith jumped into the fray and said, "That comes very close to trying to intimidate the Supreme Court of the United States and I’m not sure that’s appropriate...Judicial activism is when the courts would typically try to legislate from the bench and make decisions that are totally out of their jurisdiction. In this case you have a constitutional issue."
But, apparently, if a federal judge decides that the treatment of some Americans is unconstitutional, that's out of their jurisdiction. Here's Smith on August 6, 2010, decrying the decision that overturned California's gay marriage banning Prop. 8: "It is not the role of a single, unelected federal judge to redefine the institution of marriage and impose it on American society. The people alone-through their elected representatives-have that role and responsibility."
By the way, you could do this with just about every Republican who slammed what they perceive Obama said. "He's an asshole," followed by, "Grrr, I hates me some unelected judges."
And on it would go, including the media. Dana Perino, who was George W. Bush's press secretary, yesterday, on Fox "news" show The Five (subtitle: "Circle Jerking for America"), said that Obama "might have missed the constitutional law class where it said if the Supreme Court doesn't have a right to say whether it's constitutional or not...And it was divisive, disrespectful."
And here's Dana Perino in her press secretary role on April 16, 2008, talking about court decisions about the environment: "To us, having unelected bureaucrats regulating greenhouse gases at the direction of unelected judges is not the proper way to address the issue." Yes, certainly, elected bureaucrats and elected judges would be far, far more impartial in doing their duties.
The Bush administration was all up in the grills of the unelected judges. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on November 9, 2005 said, "It is one thing for the people's representatives to consider and adopt laws that draw on the experience of foreign nations. It is quite another for unelected judges, charged with determining the will of the people as they expressed it in the Constitution, to rely on foreign experience as a basis for rejecting the actions of those elected representatives."
And here's the man hisself, George W. Bush, on October 6, 2008, deriding that "[the] concept of a 'living Constitution' gives unelected judges wide latitude in creating new laws and policies without accountability to the people." He was all about the judge-bashing, except for that one decision you might remember.
By the way, what wasn't reported was what Mexican President Felipe Calderon offered after Obama finished speaking on the subject. "I would take advantage of this moment to say that after increasing the budget line for the folk insurance six-fold, and after having built more than 1,000 new clinics in the country, we're getting close to reaching universal coverage of health care -- full, free health care coverage for all people up to 18 years of age, including cancer coverage. Of the 112 million Mexicans, 106 million will have efficient, effective universal health care coverage," Calderon said.
And then, twisting the knife a bit, he added, "So I would say that I would hope that one of the greatest economies in the world, such as the United States, could follow our example in achieving this, because it was a great thing."
Yes, because we can have such a reasonable debate about any aspect of it.