The president’s bullying comes back to haunt him — though he’s right to compare himself to the Court-villifying FDR.
On Monday, polling company Rasmussen released results of a survey of likely voters showing that in less than one month the percentage of Americans who rate the Supreme Court’s job performance as good or excellent has spiked up 13 points, from an all-time low of 28 percent to a two-and-a-half year high of 41 percent. This time frame includes the Court’s hearings on Obamacare as well as the thinly-veiled Obama warning to the Court not to strike down his signature law.
In other words, now that Americans have been reminded what the Court is there for, they are more positive about its theoretical and actual function.
In the Rasmussen poll, the change in opinion of the Court among Republicans has gone from 29 percent favorable to 54 percent favorable. Not surprisingly, Democrats aren’t on board the Supreme Court favorability train: Rasmussen doesn’t give the numbers but says that Democrats’ “views of the court are largely unchanged.”
Most important politically, “among voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties, good or excellent ratings for the court have increased from 26% in mid-March to 42% now.”
Also among the poll results — and more bad news for Democrats — twice as many Americans believe that the Supreme Court “does not limit the government enough” (30 percent) as those who think it “puts too many limitations on what the federal government can do” (15 percent).
How does picking that fight feel now, Mr. President?
It is lucky for Republicans that President Barack Obama lives in a radical leftist echo chamber which reinforces his delusions that he’s the second coming of FDR — as well as of Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, just to name a few.
Obama is a poor student of history, and not just of Supreme Court history despite his prior position as a “Senior Lecturer” in constitutional law. And without understanding the past, the president thinks of FDR’s 1930s attack on the Supreme Court as part and parcel of Roosevelt’s being elected to the presidency four times.
This explains Obama’s rhetoric all but daring the Court to strike down Obamacare, or at least its individual mandate provision — a dare that Judge Jeffrey Smith recently challenged the administration to defend. The defense, in the form of a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder, reeked of “you can do it, but you really shouldn’t” condescension, and notably did not claim to represent the views of President Obama, but simply of the Justice Department.
What the echoes from Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, and Debbie “We can call it ‘Obamacare’ now” Wasserman Schultz will miss is that attacking the Court was not a political success for FDR, with support for Roosevelt’s court-packing plan falling under opposition among the public within about one month of the plan’s announcement, and never recovering.
The public may not love the Supreme Court but that does not mean they support its assault by other branches of government. Now, as in 1937, Republicans, out of some mixture of principle and politics, were forceful in defense of the Court’s independence. But then as now, it was not only Republicans who objected to the presidents’ tyrannical overreach.
In a 1937 editorial, presaging public reaction against Democrats and FDR the following year, William Allen White, the Progressive editor of the Emporia (Kansas) Gazette, railed against Roosevelt’s assault on the independence of the Supreme Court: “But while crying against these economic royalists [much like Obama’s demonization of “the 1 percent”] he would seem to have harbored subconsciously a seven-devil lust to become an unconstitutional royalist himself.”
White continued: “[T]hose who scorn the orderly processes of democracy, those leaders who by instinctive indirection slip around our laws and annul the basic implications of American democracy, they become a menace more deadly than the economic royalists whom Roosevelt denounces.”
Perhaps Obama’s self-comparisons to the anti-constitution FDR are not so far-fetched after all.
In the 1938 mid-term elections, Republicans gained House seats for the first time in a decade, picking up a stunning 81 seats in the House of Representatives, or 18.6 percent of that chamber. Even the Republican tsunami of 2010 only caused a GOP pickup of 63 seats, or 14.4 percent, although Republicans began the most recent mid-term elections with twice as many seats (178) as the party held during their hapless years going into 1938 (88).
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?