I have been thinking more about the “Supreme Court moment” during President Obama’s State of the Union speech yesterday. During that lovely act of un-presidential scolding, the President reminded me of the guy in the schoolyard who is not so tough himself, but who is popular and persuasive and therefore gets the tough guys to follow him around. He gets his minions to hold down the victim of his choosing, and then he throws some punches. He is willing to be bold only when he knows his opponent is defenseless.
For those who are unaware of the offending comment:
With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.
What are the members of the Supreme Court supposed to do in response? Is Scalia supposed to jump up and say, “Wanna thrown down, Mr. President?” Perhaps Alito should yell back, “You’re a liar who feels as if the separation of powers does not apply to your grand plan (despite your claim of deference) and who apparently doesn’t mind that McCain/Feingold tramples all over free speech!” No, I suppose not. Instead, the viewing audience was able to discern a whispered “not true.” Gasp! How dare a member of the highest court in our land take issue with our President attacking one of the Court’s decision in a completely inappropriate setting!
President Obama’s words for the Supreme Court were tacky, childish, and just as inappropriate for the environment as the outburst by Rep. Wilson last year (and perhaps even worse, as the President’s were a deliberate component of his prepared remarks).