Obama’s bullying pulpit / President goes out of his way to shake America’s foundations (WASHINGTON TIMES COMMENTARY) By Robert Knight 04/07/12)
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I don’t know which was more embarrassing: Barack Obama trying to
bully the Supreme Court - again - or The Washington Post trying to
clean up after him.
Warning the court not to rule against Obamacare, Mr. Obama said it
would be an “unprecedented, extraordinary step” of judicial activism.
He chided conservatives for long complaining about judicial
activism, “that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a
duly constituted and passed law.”
Because this hasn’t ever happened at the Supreme Court, according to
the man who lectured about constitutional law at the University of
Chicago, court watchers must have been smoking something since 1803,
when Chief Justice John Marshall established judicial review in
Marbury v. Madison.
Mr. Obama knows all about judicial activism. He’s fine with the
court’s Roe v. Wade (1973) decision creating a “right” to abortion
and overturning all abortion laws, a ruling Justice Byron White
called “an exercise of raw judicial power.” Mr. Obama’s Justice
Department is working to have a court overturn the Defense of
Marriage Act, which passed in 1996 with overwhelming, bipartisan
His warning to the court was a shocker, and The Washington Times and
Wall Street Journal ran it on their front pages above the fold. Not
so The Washington Post, which relegated this mighty clash of the
federal branches to Page A5. Writer David Nakamura noted that “Obama
made his argument in unusually blunt language that was rare for a
sitting president.” Indeed. Even Franklin D. Roosevelt, who
threatened to “pack the court” when it wouldn’t rubber-stamp his New
Deal, didn’t dare explicitly claim the court could not overturn
legislation that it found unconstitutional. Or maybe he did and Mr.
Obama is channeling him.
The next day, Mr. Obama did some damage control with help from his
friends. In an editorial headlined “A more judicious view,” The Post
summarized Mr. Obama’s clarification: “He made clear that he was not
questioning the court’s power to strike down a statute, just that
exercising it in this situation, involving Congress‘ ability to
regulate commerce, would be remarkable.”
Oh, that’s what he meant. The Post then gently chided Mr. Obama like
a rambunctious child, advising him, “Given the power of the bully
pulpit, presidents are wise to be, well, more judicious in commenting
about the high court.”
Yes, sounding like a president instead of a frustrated Caesar would
In 2010, Mr. Obama bullied the court in front of the nation during
his State of the Union address, brazenly mischaracterizing the
justices’ Citizens United ruling. He had Health and Human Services
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius bully pharmaceutical companies and
insurance companies that wouldn’t knuckle under to Obamacare. He has
made a sport of bullying Israel. He is bullying the oil companies and
crushing the coal industry. Recently, he sent Hillary Rodham Clinton
around the world to bully nations that won’t buy the homosexual
The other day, he even bullied journalists at his fawnathon press
conference, telling them how to report. Face it, folks. America
elected a bully in 2008, and he shows no sign of mellowing.
Mr. Obama has stepped on the Constitution six ways from Sunday since
the day he took power. Speaking of Sunday, Mr. Obama once again made
Christians suspicious of his professions of faith when he told a
group of clergy on Wednesday, according to CNS News, that Easter
reminds us of “all that Christ endured - not just as a Son of God,
but as a human being.”
“A Son of God,” not “the Son of God.” It could have been a slip of
the tongue, or perhaps it revealed more than he intended. The New
Testament says God has only one Son, and it’s Jesus Christ, through
Whom “all things were made” (John: 1:3).
I’d be inclined to give Mr. Obama the benefit of the doubt, because
everyone misspeaks, but he has let slip other clues before and after
gaining the bully pulpit.
On Sept. 5, 2008, on ABC television, Mr. Obama answered a question
from former Clinton press secretary George Stephanopoulos with the
line, “You’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about
my Muslim faith.” Mr. Stephanopoulos quickly saved Mr. Obama by
noting that he meant to say his “Christian” faith.
Three times in 2010, Mr. Obama omitted the words “by their Creator”
when reciting the passage about unalienable rights in the Declaration
of Independence. In November 2010, he said the national motto was “E
pluribus unum” (out of many, one) instead of “In God We Trust.”
In 2009, in Cairo, Mr. Obama quoted from the “Holy Koran,” used his
middle name, Hussein, and indicated that the United States and Muslim
nations have the same commitment to tolerance and freedom.
Also in 2009, he told a press conference in Turkey, “Although we have
a large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a
Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider
ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of
values. I think modern Turkey was founded with a similar set of
WallBuilders, a Christian research group headed by David Barton, has
compiled “America’s Most Biblically Hostile U.S. President,” an
extensive list of Mr. Obama’s statements and actions that suggest
less than fidelity toward Christianity or the Bible and a weakness
for Islam. Taken as a whole, it’s devastating.
On March 6, 2007, New York Times writer Nicholas D. Kristof wrote
in “Obama: Man of the World”:
“Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer,
reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed
delightfully uncalculated (it’ll give Alabama voters heart attacks),
Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as ‘one of the prettiest
sounds on Earth at sunset.’ “
Here are the opening lines of that prayer, courtesy of the Christian
Anti-Defamation Commission: “Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! I witness that there is no god
but Allah! I witness that there is no god but Allah! I witness that
Muhammad is his prophet!”
To a devout Christian, this “call” is not pretty, however it once
sounded to a young boy being raised as a Muslim in Indonesia.
The bully pulpit, whatever it once was, has never sounded quite like
Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union
and a columnist for the Washington Times. (© 2012 The Washington
Times, LLC. 04/07/12)
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