We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, July 30. 2012
He also has an interesting idea, which he mentioned to me a few days ago in email. I told him if he expounded on it, I'd guest-host the post. And here you go.
President Obama could very well find an avenue to a Supreme Court seat. Think about it for a bit. Let the idea simmer on the back burner before you reject the idea as the ranting of a lunatic.
Excuse me, make that Chief Justice Obama.
Some would argue this is about as scary as it gets.
A review of Obama's past actions indicate he is far better suited to a life of intellectual academia than leadership. His examples of leadership are poor. His stature on the international stage is small. He seems awkward and out of place. When he veers off the teleprompter, few are impressed with his oratory prowess. These are not personal attacks. They are clearly reported facts. To say otherwise is denying the overwhelming volume of contrary evidence and speaks only to how one 'feels' about the man.
Obama on the Supreme Court is exactly where he wants to be. In fact, I think he was surprised to find himself on the ticket and then the frontrunner in 2008. Then he was surprised to actually win. Let's not forget two million votes in less than a dozen swing states would have been a solid loss for Team Hope & Change. I think it's possible that SCOTUS has been the target all along, if only unconsciously. The Presidency is just a stepping stone along the path.
Supreme Court. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. This is a 30-year power ticket. He can continue shaping America to his progressive vision without dealing with those pesky reporters. He won't have to explain himself. He won't have to compromise. Ever. He can vote, then go play golf. His staffers will write his opinions. He'll edit, of course. But, after a while, he'll find a couple staffers who get it spot on the first time. More golf. More books written. More transformation of this greatest nation the earth has ever seen. He won't even have to deal with polls. He won't care what Rush Limbaugh or anyone else thinks. He will do what he damn well wants to and no one will be able to do a thing about it. He'll be free to hack away at the Constitution a little every day. Slowly and surely his fundamental transformation into a nation no longer resembling a United States the overwhelming vast majority of us know and love will happen.
How? Easy. The President can appoint anybody he wishes to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. This person can serve for two years before mandatory confirmation hearings and subsequent approval by Congress. Just because no President has ever appointed himself doesn't mean it can't be done. Obama has a track record of exploiting the rules for his benefit. His state Senate seat was won by eliminating the competition from the primaries on technicalities. A prominent Alinsky strategy; work the system from within to maximum advantage. Play by the rules, but play on your terms. There are no qualifications for the Supreme Court.
And the argument for Obama is strong: A wildly popular (they will say this, for sure), democratically-elected President. An elected US Senator. A graduate of Harvard Law School and editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. A Nobel Peace Prize recipient. A lifetime of selfless service to his community and nation. It will take a political will currently not resident in Washington, DC to deny a man with these qualifications. Besides, if you dare to oppose his confirmation, then you are unquestionably a racist — according to liberal orthodoxy. Should you wish to continue raising the issue of his birth certificate, it matters not. There is no 'natural born' requirement for SCOTUS robes.
Never gonna happen, you say? Never could happen, you shout? Never say 'never', buddy.
Guess who this sounds like?
— Riding a wave of popular support, he won an easy presidential victory.
— He often alienates his own key constituencies, yet is still cited as a genuine "progressive"
— He's expanded government hiring exponentially.
— He does not enjoy the easy relationship with the press that previous presidents have, choosing not to offer himself for interviews or photo opportunities as often as the previous president had done.
— One of his main goals is to further the idea of world peace. Given his judicial sensibilities, he believes that international arbitration is the best means to affect the end of war.
— He proposed new taxes on corporate net income. It was designated an excise on the privilege of doing business as a corporation.
— He's a big supporter of free immigration.
— He's reluctant to use federal authority to enforce Constitutionally-mandated laws.
That's a description 100 years ago of ex-president William H. Taft, who then went on to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Still want to claim it can't happen?
Taft remains the only person to have led both the Executive and Judicial branches of the United States government. He considered his time as Chief Justice to be the high point of his career. Allegedly, he once remarked "I do not remember that I was ever President."
Of course, there is another option open to Obama. There is always another way. The Rules for Radicals playbook is clear. It doesn't matter how you get there — you just have to get there. Another way is simply to step down and resign as President. Uncle Joe will do as he's told and place Obama on the Court.
Certainly a Justice will be persuaded to resign. Health concerns will be cited.
If he loses the election in November, expect to see either option by Christmas. If he wins in November the SCOTUS appointment is a guarantee. Bank on it. You can't lose.
How could any DC politician not vote to confirm someone elected President twice by our democratic process? A president with all the previously mentioned credentials will not be denied a seat on the high bench. Expect to see Obama step down around the 3rd year of a second term. He will not have a campaign to gear up for, and he loves campaigning. He will resign, so as to be fair and give others a chance. Uncle Joe Biden may or may not be VP then. I'd wager not. Regardless, this allows the VP some much-needed job experience going into the 2016 election. Few times in the last sixty years has either party reigned for three straight terms. A sitting VP who inherits the Obama Presidency will be hard to beat in 2016.
The Democrat Party and Barack Obama in particular are masters at the political game. There is no haphazard bumbling around. There are grand plans afoot. All you have to do is listen to what they say. President Obama said he was going to transform America. He has started. Once on the bench, he will finish the job.
This plan is in motion. I'll bet you. Are you willing to wager your nation on it?
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
I told Dan in a pre-post email this morning, "Isn't it comforting knowing you've written a piece where everyone reading it hopes you're WRONG!"
Like everyone else, I hope he's wrong as hell. But if he's right, we'll have scooped pretty much everybody on the planet. I'm sure others have mentioned it, but no one I've seen.
The most telling point is that a precedent has already been set in Taft -- and you know how judges love precedent. The road has already been paved.
It's a sign in the roadway:
Qualified? He wasn't qualified to run for president. As for the Supreme Court, I don't think he's ever READ the Constitution and, as a lecturer on Social Justice, he distorted the values of the Declaration of Independence.
Spare me, Doc.
Qualified? He wasn't qualified to run for president.
Did his lack of qualifications for President stop his running for President- and being elected?
Re qualifications: in 2008 I compared job experience of US Senators who became President. Obama on the experience metric: Vice President: no experience; Cabinet member: no experience; House of Representatives: no experience; Governor: no experience; Military: no experience. The only US Senator who became President who shared Zero's zero score on this job metric was Warren Harding. At least Warren Harding had executive experience in the private sector in running a newspaper.
jma- please direct your argument to the post's author.
--the dovetail flying backwards, beautifully.
No; no wager here. But the man's history shows that he is, first and foremost, lazy, a would-be thinker, not a doer if it means he has to work for it. He wrote nothing for the Harvard Law Review, and now you think he will want to show up on the bench and author important opinions that would have his name on them? Take full responsibility - kind of inescapable - for something? Anything? I'm prepared to wager against that. Too crazy.
I'd agree with Everyman. I don't see him wanting to do the work of being on the court any more than he wants to do the work of being president.
No, I think he'd rather enjoy being an ex-president most of all: endless time for golf, plus he can fly around and give speeches and be paid a fortune for doing so.
Personally, I think he'll emulate Bill Clinton, doing the talk show circuit thing and just generally being the adulated star wherever he goes. But none of us here really know what makes the guy tick (anyone here read his books?), so if he's got more commitment than we think, Dan could very well be correct.
He would work as hard at the court as he does at being President: not very hard- fundraising excludecd. Get a law clerk to write his opinions.
First of all, this unlikely scenario is MORE likely not less likely if Obama loses the upcoming election and the Dems lose control of the Senate. Justice Ginsburg has publicly stated her wish to retire as soon as possible as long as her replacement is chosen by a Democrat in the Oval Office. I predict she will resign immediately after the election. Hence, the switcheroo of Obama --> Ginsburg could be carried out after the election is over. This would have to be by presidential appointment because, regardless of the election's outcome, the Dems will lack the Senate supermajority needed to override a filibuster in a lame duck session. A victory by the Repubs to win the Senate would force the Dems' hand since a Republican Senate would never confirm an Obama appointment to the SCOTUS. A temporary presidential appointment of Obama to the SCOTUS would eventually have to be confirmed by Senate vote, and if the Repubs are in charge of the Senate at the time, there's no way Obama would be confirmed for a permanent seat on the bench.
Secondly, note that in any event such an appointment would NOT change the "Liberal" v. "Conservative" balance of the Court since Obama would be filling a seat that's already occupied by a judicial and political Liberal (none of the Conservatives on the Court has indicated an intention to resign soon). The question then arises as to how effective a justice Obama could be given the highly political nature of his appointment. My guess is that the "Conservative" side on the Court would be hardened in opposition, even offended by such a blatant political move. I'd also expect that a swing-voter like Kennedy would not take too kindly to such an appointment. The net result then, I predict, would be a guaranteed 5-4 solid Conservative majority on the majority for the duration of Obama's temporary stay on the bench. Plus, of course, since Obama always thinks he's the smartest guy in the room and can't help being arrogant to everyone within hearing range, he'd be bound to insult other members of the Court and lose their support for whatever legal position he'd take.
And finally, AFAIK, appointments to the position of Chief Justice are life time ones, and we already have someone who occupies that chair. I don't think even Plugs Biden would dare to remove John Roberts and make a temporary appointment of Obama in Robert's place. The revulsion would be universal and might even create a Constitutional crisis.
I'm a happy clinger, not a bitter one. Still clinging to my first wife, for instance.
Well, looking at all the "scenarios" for a potential Obama judicial appointment is a lot of fun - but its not going to happen.
First of all, he cannot escape confirmation. And he would be forced to produce his collegiate records, any papers he had written, scholarly articles on law and precedent - the reason being that there aren't any - nothing. In this day and age, no politician would be willing to put his career on the line to nominate a cypher for Supreme Court, never mind Chief Justice. Additionally, he hasn't practiced law in a long time giving up his license to practice almost in the same year he was admitted to the bar in Illinois, he has no trial experience and as far as scholarship required for the Supreme Court, the only thing he's done was a lecturer in Constitutional Law at U of C.
I do however agree that he's looking towards something "more" than being President - and that's King of The World via the United Nations. He wants to the Secretary General where he will be adored by all the sycophants from around the world and can make lofty pronouncements and proclamations. Good salary, free travel, all expenses paid - that's what he wants.
It would be a hoot to have the US either withdraw from the UN or drastically cut funding to the UN when Obama is Secretary General of the UN
There's no requirement for anyone to be a lawyer or have any legal experience at all to be appointed to the High Court. Of course, if Obama were nominated for the position, a comparison with Harriet Miers or Harold Carswell would be an inevitable comedown for The One.
And btw, here's an odd highlight from ancient history. To replace Lewis Powell on the bench, who had retired, Ronald Reagan settled on Douglas Ginsburg, so the story goes, but before he could be officially nominated, Ginsburg withdrew his name after it became known that he had smoked marijuana while at Harvard Law School, thus leading to the selection of Anthony Kennedy instead. And, irony of all ironies, today we have a man in the Oval Office, President Choom, who spent more than a few of his glory days at the elite Punahou school smoking dope. Apparently being stoned a few times disqualifies you from being a justice on the SCOTUS but being repeatedly stoned out of your mind qualifies you to occupy the White House. Talk about raising the bar for fancy lawyering but lowering it for the guy who has access to The Nuclear Football. For the record, Ginsburg was white...not that that makes any difference, of course. Just sayin'.
Well folks, I don't 'want' him on the SCOTUS. However, I think it likely he wants to be there. It is perfect for him. And bad for us.
I don't even think you need valid law creditials to sit on the bench. As far as I can tell, there are no qualifications to be on SCOTUS. Whether he has or has never read the Constitution is imaterial. Staffers, as pointed out in my post, write the SCOTUS opinions. I'm sure not all, and some Justice's might write all of their own. You can bet Obama would have staffers write for him.
His agenda for change will demand he do more than fly around playing golf. might not be succesful, but I truly think he will try.
Two words - Harriet Meyers. She was much more qualified for a seat on SCOTUS than the President and she never even made it to the nomination/confirmation process.
This is a different day and age than Taft's - there are avenues of citizen protest that didn't exist then and Obama appointing himself, or being appointed, would raise holy hell even among some Democrats.
Just can't see SCOTUS as a viable option for Obama. Remember that at one time, President Clinton was pushed for SCOTUS and he was five times more qualified than Obama. How'd that work out for him?
Please don't publish stuff like this. It gives them ideas.