Observations from the Cheap Seats

  • Lost in most reports about President Obama’s appalling disrespect of the Supreme Court in his incredible mid-speech challenge of its ruling in Citizens United and Justice Sam Alito’s response is that our esteemed Commander-in-Chief was flat out wrong.  In an attempt to deflect any post-speech scrutiny, the White House released this morning excerpts from Justice Steven’s dissent to support the President’s misstatement that the Supreme Court had cleared the way for foreign corporations to donate to federal political campaigns, as follows:

If taken seriously, our colleagues’ assumption that the identity of a speaker has no relevance to the Government’s ability to regulate speech would lead to some remarkable conclusions.  Such an assumption would have accorded the propoganda broadcasts to our troops by ‘Tokyo Rose’ during World War II the same protection as speech by Allied Commanders.

Two observations regarding this misuse of Justice Stevens’ dissent to support the President’s unabashed gall.  First, the Supreme Court majority’s opinion contained no statement from which it could be reasonably concluded that Justice Stevens was properly tracking their opinion. In fact, Justice Kennedy in writing the majority opinion, expressly states that:

We need not reach the question of whether the government has a compelling interest in preventing foreign individuals or associations from influencing our nation’s political process.

Second, and far more startling for me, the White House apparently finds it objectionable that ‘Tokyo Rose’ might have had equivalent free speech rights to Allied Commanders in World War II.  It’s too bad that this same White House doesn’t find it equally objectionable when it chooses to give war-time terrorists the same fourth, fifth and sixth amendment rights as everyday American citizens.

  • On Hardball with Chris Matthews, Jonathan Turley in his speech post-mortem chastised Justice Alito for his “injudicious” moment.   C’mon, Professor Turley!  The President of the United States took the occasion of his State of the Union to make a classless political jab at the Supreme Court.  It is not ‘injudicious’ in the least for there to have been an inconsequential, reflexive response to the President’s disrespectful conduct towards the Court.  Professor Turley . . . you want the Supreme Court’s presence to be apolitical, then tell our President that his pontificating insults at the Supreme Court have no place in a State of the Union speech.
  • So Hillary was in London last night . . . convenient.  For those that read this post, if you believe for a second that Hillary Clinton tried her darndest to make it back for this speech, but just couldn’t or was directed by the President to stay, I have a bridge in Tampa to sell you.  Our Secretary of State wanted no part in applauding the train wreck that is known as the Obama presidency.  I remain steadfast in my prediction that we may well see a resignation at Foggy Bottom by the end of this year if the economy continues to tank and White House equivocation continues on foreign and domestic objectives.  Hillary Clinton wants to be President of the United States – bottom line.
  • ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ is going to end. . . yeah, and Guantanamo is going to close.  Does this president never learn?
  • How bad is it for this White House, right now?  The President chastised the Republicans that he shouldn’t have to have a legislative supermajority in order to pass sensible legislation.  BUT Mr. President, you HAVE HAD a legislative supermajority, a cloture safe majority . . . and you STILL haven’t passed one single significant piece of legislation.  That’s like having a dollar in your pocket and complaining that you can’t buy the fifty cent candy bar, because your brother didn’t give you his quarter.  What???!!!