Friendly Fire Gone Too Far

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  • At this point in the presidential election cycle, it’s not surprising that some of the people who once were so excited that Barack Obama won the White House are now down in the mouth, beset with disappointment.  

    The blush is off the rose, reality has dashed certain dreams, convictions have given way to compromise and the politician’s promises have taken a back seat to his job one: to keep and grow power.

    Besides, the friendly fire is meant to motivate the incumbent – to remind him what his supporters expect from him and to light a fire under him to, at last, live up to what they believed with all their hearts to be his true potential.

    After three and a half years, the Obama White House knows full well that it has let down some of its most ardent supporters. While the White House may wish those constructive critics would put a sock in it, it knows that back talk can sometimes be heard from the amen corner.

    But one Obama-ite has crossed the line.

    Robert Unger, one of President Obama’s law school professors at Harvard has taken to YouTube to not only present a list of grievances in harsh, unforgiving terms – “He has delivered the politics of democracy to the rule of money,” he said – but, the capstone to his rant is this: “President Obama must be defeated in the coming election.”

    As a long-time academic at one of the world’s most prestigious universities, Unger is presumed to be a very bright man.  And, although much of his litany of complaints is hard to deny, the professor’s conclusion leads me to believe he picked up a piece of stupid somewhere.

    After all, we are beyond the primary stage, when an alternative to President Obama was at least feasible, albeit probably not viable. Now, we’re down to the fish-or-cut-bait place: It’s either Democrat Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney.  Those are our choices, with all due respect to the daring souls who will show up on various ballots as also-rans, but only that.

    Unger concedes that a Romney presidency would produce some regrettable judicial and administration appointments. So, yes; “there will be a cost.”

    And what a price to pay just so Unger and his ilk can spank the bad boy for not being the revolutionary he could, should and, according to Obama’s 2008 campaign, would have been.

    The judicial appointment is the long arm of any presidency. Years, even decades, after the chief executive is gone and even his library has been tramped through by millions, the decisions of men and women appointed to the court will still be making or breaking people’s lives.

    There are no better examples than these:
    •    Pace v. Alabama (1883), which upheld miscegenation (interracial marriage) until it was overturned 84 years later.
    •    Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which sanctioned de jure segregation, a decision that stood for 58 years until Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.
    •    Regents of University of California at Davis v. Bakke (1978), which cripples affirmative action to this day.

    And who can forget Bush v. Gore of 2000, which gave the presidency to George W. or Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 decision that has allowed rich individuals and corporations to put unlimited money into campaigns and, effectively, buy elections?

    Let the professor tell his famous former student where he believes it went wrong and what he must do to correct it.

    But elect the other guy, who has already proven himself to be a lapdog for the far right, and allow him to stack the court with even more sanctimonious, uncompassionate, rights-cutting, hardline judicial activists in order to teach Mr. Obama a lesson?  To put it plainly, sir: You must be out of your ever-lovin’ mind.

     

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