No Apology From Obama For Supreme Court Attack

supreme court

A couple of the Obama administration’s flacks made the rounds Sunday defending  the President’s remarks towards the Supreme Court decision on campaign finance (link here). That’s entirely appropriate, however, they neglected to apologize as they should for the inappropriate manner and forum in which the remarks were made.

I wrote this at that point in time:

I’m not inclined to let pass Obama’s criticism of the Supreme Court’s decision on campaign finance. Let me say categorically that Obama is entitled to his own opinion about the Court’s decisions and, as well, to publicly, express those opinions. The forum in which he chose to air those opinions was inappropriate to say the least. In fact, he took a cheap shot at the six justices in attendance and should apologize for it. The fact that the substance of his criticism was faulty (link here) only serves to compound the error. The nine men and women justices and a few pieces of paper are all that stand in the way of tyrannies that many of those who cheered the President’s slur would likely be willing to visit upon us in furtherance of their own ambitions. It was hardly one of his finer moments.

As reported by Yahoo News Chief Justice Roberts had this to say this week about the event:

Chief Justice John Roberts said this week that Obama’s unusually open criticism was “very troubling” and questioned whether justices should attend the annual address.

“To the extent the State of the Union has degenerated into a political pep rally, I’m not sure why we’re there,” said Roberts, a nominee of Republican President George W. Bush who joined the court in 2005.

Roberts said anyone is free to criticize the court and that some have an obligation to do so because of their positions.

“So I have no problems with that,” he said. “On the other hand, there is the issue of the setting, the circumstances and the decorum. The image of having the members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering while the court, according the requirements of protocol, has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling.”

If you think about it, this sort of behavior didn’t start with the State of the Union address. Recall, that Obama was pointedly critical of the Bush administration in his inaugural address. While his points may have been valid it was another case of perhaps saying the right thing at an inappropriate time.

The President’s men probably felt duty bound to offer their defense of the remarks. Unfortunately, they missed the point entirely. Nobody I know takes offense with Obama having a different viewpoint they just didn’t like the occasion and manner in which he chose to express that opinion. Had his defenders acknowledged that perhaps his remarks should have been made at a different time and place, they would have put themselves in a better position to then offer their criticisms.

Sometimes when you mess up you should fess up. It’s not necessarily always a sign of weakness.

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