THE scolder in chief is at it again. Does the United States really want another four years of this?
President Barack Obama has been in high pique this week, first offering a veiled warning to the U.S. Supreme Court as it deliberates Obamacare, and then issuing a double-barreled assault on the House Republican budget plan during which he found time to literally make fun of the presumptive GOP nominee for president, Mitt Romney.
The latter of these may be the most disappointing because it is so beneath the office of the presidency. But Obama can't help himself. And so while talking about Romney's use of the word “marvelous” to describe the GOP budget plan offered by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Obama said this Tuesday to a gathering of news executives: “He even called it ‘marvelous,' which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget. It's a word you don't often hear generally.”
What a marvelous display of smugness. Obama's very good at that.
It was on display in 2010 when, during his State of the Union speech, he stared down the Supreme Court justices seated in the front of the room while blasting the court's Citizens United decision that broadened political free-speech rights. His disdain for this court was evident again Monday when the president warned justices that overturning Obamacare would be an example of the sort of judicial activism that conservatives are quick to criticize.
“And I'm pretty confident this court will recognize that and not take that step,” Obama said, giving added meaning to the term “bully pulpit.” He also said overturning a law “passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress” would be an “unprecedented, extraordinary step.”
Actually, as The Wall Street Journal quickly pointed out in an editorial, Obamacare made it through the Senate without one Republican vote, and in the House passed by just seven votes despite what was then a large Democratic majority. As for the president's “unprecedented” claim, well, the Supreme Court throughout its history has overturned innumerable laws it found unconstitutional. “Mr. Obama's remarks suggest he is joining others on the left in warning the Justices that they will pay a political price if they dare to overturn even part of the law,” the Journal wrote.
The president's speech to news execs on Tuesday was classic Obama: Republicans through their budget plan are out to destroy everyday Americans and their way of life — senior citizens, college students, those with disabilities, you name it — Republicans won't give an inch to try to get things done, Ronald Reagan wouldn't recognize the Republican Party today, Republicans this, Republicans that. What he never wants to talk about, with good reason, are his policies that have produced an exploding federal deficit and done little to get the economy turned around.
Ryan's budget plan isn't perfect, but it is serious. Unlike anything Obama has proffered while in office, it addresses some of this country's greatest fiscal challenges including Medicare reform. Romney, moving closer to the GOP nomination after his victory Tuesday night in Ryan's home state, was wise to embrace the plan regardless of his choice of words.