There’s a reason why Obama’s people keep him away from press conferences. Once he starts getting asked a few tough questions, the illusion that his people try to construct through their talking points of a caring leader who wants bipartisan support to help people, begins to collapse, and the underlying arrogant man seeps through.
In an interview after his speech Wednesday in Galesburg, Illinois, Obama was asked if he consulted White House lawyers before unilaterally delaying the employer mandate in Obamacare.
“People questioned your legal and constitutional authority to do that unilaterally — to delay the employer mandate,” asked the Times’ Jackie Calmes. “Did you consult with your lawyer?”
“Jackie, if you heard me on stage today, what I said was that I will seize any opportunity I can find to work with Congress to strengthen the middle class, improve their prospects, improve their security,” Obama began.
“No, but specifically — ” Calmes interjected.
“But where Congress is unwilling to act,” Obama continued, “I will take whatever administrative steps that I can in order to do right by the American people.”
“And if Congress thinks that what I’ve done is inappropriate or wrong in some fashion, they’re free to make that case. But there’s not an action that I take that you don’t have some folks in Congress who say that I’m usurping my authority. Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the gall to win the presidency. And I don’t think that’s a secret. But ultimately, I’m not concerned about their opinions — very few of them, by the way, are lawyers, much less constitutional lawyers.
“I am concerned about the folks who I spoke to today who are working really hard, are trying to figure out how they can send their kids to college, are trying to make sure that they can save for their retirement. And if I can take steps on their behalf, then I’m going to do so. And I would hope that more and more of Congress will say, you know what, since that’s our primary focus, we’re willing to work with you to advance those ideals. But I’m not just going to sit back if the only message from some of these folks is no on everything, and sit around and twiddle my thumbs for the next 1,200 days.”
We can skip over Obama cynically blaming Congress as an entity for a law that he and his allies rammed through, and portions of which he decided to suspend on a whim.
Obama is being asked, reasonably enough, if he got a legal opinion. His response makes it clear that not only did he not get a legal opinion, but he thinks that a legal opinion is superfluous and if anyone in Congress thinks otherwise, they don’t matter, because they’re not lawyers.
The arrogance stems from the fact that Justice Roberts blinked over Obamacare and approved the most blatantly illegal and unconstitutional power grab since the FDR days, giving Obama the confidence he needs to do whatever he likes.
Obama never really paid attention to legal opinions before either. The legal opinions told him he couldn’t invade Libya. He laughed them off and got away with it.
And so we have a man who at times seems borderline illiterate declaring his unilateral power to ignore the law because he’s a Constitutional lawyer.