April 4, 2012

Obama is "not spending a whole bunch of time planning for contingencies."

Shouldn't a President plan for contingencies? Obama was talking about the contingency of the Supreme Court possibly striking down some or all of the Affordable Care Act, and his asserted reason for not troubling with contingencies is purported confidence that the Supreme Court will not strike down the act.

I simply don't believe that they aren't planning for contingencies. I believe he doesn't want to talk about contingencies, and I suspect the main contingency is how to present the loss in the Supreme Court to the American people for the purposes of the reelection campaign.

By the way, that quote came in response to a question after Obama angrily scolded Republicans for their budget plan. In these planned remarks, Obama called the Republican's budget "a Trojan horse disguised as deficit reduction plans":
... it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It is thinly veiled social Darwinism. It is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everybody who's willing to work for it — a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward, from the heart of the middle class – and by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that is built to last.
There's video at that second link. He sounds genuinely angry and frustrated. If you're familiar with the history of constitutional law, you will probably connect that reference to "social Darwinism" to the so-called Lochner Era, when the Supreme Court looked more deeply into the reasonableness of legislation. In the case that gives the era its name, Lochner v. New York, Justice Holmes dissented and said, enigmatically, "The Fourteenth Amendment does not enact Mr. Herbert Spencer's Social Statics," which is generally taken to refer to Social Darwinism.

See the resonance with the argument in favor of the Affordable Care Act? Obama has been asserting that if the Supreme Court strikes down the Act, it will be a throwback to the Lochner Era. I think we're seeing his big campaign theme: conservatives — on and off the Court — are the tool of the wealthy in their oppression of the less-than-wealthy.

So let me rethink the disbelief I expressed in the second paragraph of this post, because a different phrase in the post-title quote jumps out at me now: a whole bunch of time. He didn't say he wasn't planning for contingencies. He said he was not spending a whole bunch of time planning for contingencies.

Suddenly, I believe that. It doesn't take a whole bunch of time to slot that Supreme Court loss into the class warfare template. It can be done in the blink of an eye... the jerk of a knee.

56 comments:

SGT Ted said...

Balancing the checkbook is radical now.

Transforming the USA into just another Euro-Progressive Authoritatian State, by holding midnight votes where legislation is narrowly passed by one party and against the will of the majority of people is NOT radical.

Yea what ever. What a Bozo of a President. He's so full of shit.

Rialby said...

So, let's count up the wars that Obama has tried to kick off in the last 90 days:

- religious war (anti-Christian vs. Christian)
- class war
- race war
- age war
- gender war

Did I miss any?

Jeffery said...

Becoming like Europe is the least of my fears. We should be so lucky. Obama seems irritated that a branch of government may conform to old fashioned constitutional law. The problem for most modern progressives goes back to when Whites first came to America, as explained in this satire animated video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tacvR87FzBU&feature=plcp&context=C4660e90VDvjVQa1PpcFMUXSBCP0CXLIqoER3Q8YQdefBDXJLXgv4%3D

cubanbob said...

Obama isn't just an affirmative action hire, worse, a lot worse he is the embodiment of The Peter Principle.

Clinton's last budget was 18.2 OF GDP. Truman cut federal spending after VJ day down to 8% of GDP. There is no excuse for this unprecedented war time spending levels.

If he has no contingencies other than bashing republicans if the bill is upheld then he proves my point of his rising to his level of incompetence.

Matthew said...

Hopefully, those contingencies come in box form for checking.

damikesc said...

Man, I bet Clinton feels bad being called a Social Darwinist. His budget was WAY smaller than Ryan's.

I'm ECSTATIC that he has changed the old-style of politics. I FEEL the change.

...well, not in my pockets. Those have been picked clean by our inept Resident and his cronies.

Pogo said...

Good insight by Althouse.

Obama's rhetoric seems cut-and-pasted from Father Coughlin radio broadcasts from the 1930s.

"I have dedicated my life to fight against the heinous rottenness of modern capitalism because it robs the laborer of this world's goods.

"I need not recall for you that both the laboring and agricultural classes of America are forced to work for less than a living wage while the owners of industry boastfully proclaim that their profits are increasing."

"I believe that when a banker speaks, you can go the opposite way and be right. That has been proved in recent years."

"The New Deal is Christ's deal.
"

Joe Schmoe said...

Community organizing is all about fomenting rebellion and storming the ramparts, right?

Contingency planning is only useful to people with actual executive experience.

Rusty said...

Obama has been asserting that if the Supreme Court strikes down the Act, it will be a throwback to the Lochner Era.


Like that's a bad thing?

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

It's my understanding that the Supreme Court met and held a non-binding vote on the case last Friday. Are there ethical or legal reasons why the outcome of that vote should remain confidential from the president?

If custom is the only thing preventing a "leak" from SCOTUS to POTUS, I would guess he already knows how the initial vote went.

So maybe he's not making contingency plans because he knows SCOTUS plans to uphold the law. Because if he really does not know how the initial vote went, not planning for the possibility that it may be struck down strikes me as a dereliction of duty.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I'm impressed in spite of myself by the fact that he was brazen enough to invoke Simpson-Bowles.

Rialby said...

"so maybe he's not making contingency plans because he knows SCOTUS plans to uphold the law. Because if he really does not know how the initial vote went, not planning for the possibility that it may be struck down strikes me as a dereliction of duty."

I think he was told it the mandate is to be struck down 5-4. I think this latest fit he has thrown is as simple as - how dare they cross me? Occam.

Phil 3:14 said...

Yesterday foretells an ugly fall campaign. And BO doesn't do angry well.

Its funny but in my mind he and Santorum are starting to sound alike..

Hagar said...

The ACA is not the only thing going on in the world.

I quite readily believe Obama is not making contingency plans; he does not think he should meet with serious opposition on any subject and does not see why he should make contingency plans.

Matthew said...

"Are there ethical or legal reasons why the outcome of that vote should remain confidential from the president?"

-- The only "ethical" reason I can think of is that, traditionally, those are secret votes. So, they should be kept secret from everybody.

I honestly doubt there was a leak, so much as everyone saw the same oral arguments that "Plane Wreck" Toobin saw and are responding accordingly.

CWJ said...

Yes, what Hagar just said. Maggot - not so much

Matthew said...

Though, a fair question.

How often has this administration had contingency plans for, say, anything else?

Examples?

Michael said...

The opposite, naturally, is true. They are spending all of their time on contingencies and, more importantly, blame laying.

Tank said...

I am concerned that he may be developing a contingency plan for what he will do if he is not re-elected.

The left voiced concerns that GWB would not leave peacefully. I have that concern now.

Zero has certainly evidenced his lack of respect for --- the Sup Ct, the Constitution, and everyone who disagrees with or opposes him.

Scott M said...

How often has this administration had contingency plans for, say, anything else?

Examples?


That's not fair at all. They obviously had a quick-response plan worked out just in case Shirley Sherrod "goes off the reservation".

cubanbob said...

Just for fun Ryan should have proposed Clinton's last budget adjusted for inflation and population growth.

Matthew said...

Contingency for Simpson-Bowles: Throw it out, reference later when asked what we've done.

Contingency for Arab Spring: Do nothing, wonder why things didn't go so well.

Contingency for Libya: Drop more bombs, hope Congress doesn't ask too many questions.

Contingency for giant oil spill: Play more golf, thank God BP's executive went yacht racing.

Fen said...

/via WSJ

Obama's answer to the question was that he expects to win in court, and "as a consequence, we're not spending a whole bunch of time planning for contingencies." He went on to talk at some length about the "human element"--that is, people who would supposedly suffer in the absence of ObamaCare. Message: Obama cares, though not enough to spend "a whole bunch of time planning for contingencies."

http://online.wsj.com/article/best_of_the_web_today.html

Sorun said...

Obama's life-long contingency plan is to blame someone else.

Matthew said...

Wait, I did forget an important one. Contingency for insulting police: Beer summits.

Christopher in MA said...

Not spending a whole bunch of time on contingencies? Just listening to the jug-eared moron's pathetic attempt at a walkback yesterday, complete with all the long pauses and thoughtful looks that make people think the SCOAMF is pondering anything deeper than his college hoops brackets shows he doesn't spend a whole bunch of time on anything.

James Taranto, among others, is spot on. Little Black Jesus has never been told no. Not by anyone for anything. And when he does meet resistance, he's been able to bypass it with his skin color or pulling opinions and history out of his ass.

Now that he's encountering people who actually dare to have other gods before him, he reveals himself to be the angry, immature, ill-educated punk Sarah Palin told you he was.

One hopes you and a great number of others who put Veruca Salt in the Oval Office will exercise a bit more diligence in exercising the elective franchise this fall.

Seeing Red said...

We can add alienating our neighbors Canada and Mexico.

...Obama's neglect of our nearest neighbors and biggest trade partners has created deteriorating relations, a sign of a president who's out of touch with reality. Problems are emerging that aren't being reported.

Fortunately, the Canadian and Mexican press told the real story. Canada's National Post quoted former Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson as saying the North American Free Trade Agreement and the three-nation alliance it has fostered since 1994 have been so neglected they're "on life support...."

Chef Mojo said...

Wrecking balls rarely make contingency plans.

Scott M said...

Contingency for giant oil spill: Play more golf, thank God BP's executive went yacht racing.

You forgot, take family on vacation to prove the Gulf's okey-dokey, but swim in an inland bay and order no seafood.

Joe Schmoe said...

Wait, I did forget an important one. Contingency for insulting police: Beer summits.

I suspect if any of Michelle's vacations are derailed due to local events, there is definitely a short list of suitable backup destinations.

EDH said...

What is so disingenuous about Obama's constitutional interpretation is that it comports with neither the majority nor dissenting opinions in Lochner.

Holmes' dissent in Lochner was that the states have the prerogative to enact even unreasonable laws that harm the liberty interests of their citizens, "unless it can be said that a rational and fair man necessarily would admit that the statute proposed would infringe fundamental principles as they have been understood by the traditions of our people and our law".

I think that the word liberty in the Fourteenth Amendment is perverted when it is held to prevent the natural outcome of a dominant opinion, unless it can be said that a rational and fair man necessarily would admit that the statute proposed would infringe fundamental principles as they have been understood by the traditions of our people and our law.

Romney should point out two things about ObamaCare vis-a-vis Lochner, and why he's the Republican best situated to argue against it:

1.) Holmes was talking about SCOTUS refraining from overturning state law. RomneyCare is proof that states should and do have a freer hand to adopt legislation, and therefore the federal health insurance mandate was neither "necessary" nor "proper".

2.) Romney can argue the "dominant opinion" of the nation is against ObamaCare, and if elected he would repeal and replace it anyway.

Peter said...

It makes sense to me: obviously you're oppressing me if you don't give me lots of free stuff.

The Drill SGT said...

cubanbob said...
Clinton's last budget was 18.2 OF GDP. Truman cut federal spending after VJ day down to 8% of GDP. There is no excuse for this unprecedented war time spending levels.


Cubanbob beat me to it, but let me extend... O'bama's budgets are at the 25% of GDP level. O'bama demonizes Ryan for trying to get spending down to the 20% of GDP level over the next ten years!!. That's still higher than the good old Clinton years.

Said differently, if we were spending now, what we spent in FY2007 (after adjusting for inflation), we'd be running balanced instead of a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit.

Brennan said...

How often has this administration had contingency plans for, say, anything else?

Examples?


Throwing Boehner under the bus during debt limit negotiations. Contigency = vacay!

Attacking the US Chamber of Commerce with strawmen. Contingency = vacay!

There's a pattern here. Fire, ready, aim, then run away. He is Alinksy's pupil. He's just not very apt.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If he had any intelligence,what he should have done was create a Federal insurance plan for that segment of the population that is truly uninsurable. Not higher rated, uninsurable.

Then you create a Federal insurance plan modeled on the FEHB except is a major medical or cat care plan that insurers could write and sell at a discount because its not a comprehensive plan.

There, I just solved the uninsured problem in less than 90 seconds. Sure its going to cost but it won't cost a trillion dollars and you could have gotten bi partisan support for it. But that wasnt good enough for the Ego in Chief .

Scott M said...

Said differently, if we were spending now, what we spent in FY2007 (after adjusting for inflation), we'd be running balanced instead of a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit.

Drill SGT would take us back to the horrible end of the horrible first decade of this century, back when infrastructure was falling apart, orphan gangs patrolled the blighted cityscapes, and Joe Biden ran amok. There was widespread famine and sickness and the bodies of the dead were piled ten high on street corners.

Why would you take us back to those dark days just to balance some fictional budget, Drill SGT?

Clyde said...

Someone needs to give that poor man an enema before he explodes.

President Obama said, "It is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everybody who's willing to work for it..."

Mr. President, the problem is not with "everybody who's willing to work for it," but with "everybody who's willing to put his hand out for a handout, and let some other sucker work to pay for it." Your administration has escalated the number of people who are having to survive on goverment handouts, food stamps, etc.

The only way things will get better is when you, sir, go back to Chicago. I pray that it is next January and not five Januarys hence, for the good of this nation.

Fen said...

Don Surber: "After watching Clarence Thomas endure the electronic lynching at his confirmation, no one joins the court without the hide of an elephant. Barack Obama is so much static."

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/53704#more-53704

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... The left voiced concerns that GWB would not leave peacefully. I have that concern now..."

I'm pretty confident our military would tell him to go pound sand. They have more respect for our Constitution and our country than he does.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... There was widespread famine and sickness and the bodies of the dead were piled ten high on street corners..."

Dogs and cats living together, MASS HYSTERIA!!!

Panda Jerk said...

AA: I think we're seeing his big campaign theme: conservatives — on and off the Court — are the tool of the wealthy in their oppression of the less-than-wealthy.

The irony here, of course, was that it was the large, corporate bakeries who favored the regulation knocked down in Lochner because it allowed upstart, immigrant-owned bakeries to compete with them. Bernstein's Rehabilitating Lochner (available through the Professor's Amazon portal, no doubt) turns the mythology that surrounds this case on its head.

Not that the media will call the President on this. Or anything else.

Almost Ali said...

Really, what exactly did educated people expect from a jive turkey? And why are so many still expecting it?

Saint Croix said...

Obama's going to have trouble running on his 2011 budget. 97-0. Ouch!

Or his 2012 budget. 414-0. Yow!

It's almost like he's not serious at all.

edutcher said...

GodZero thinks sounding tough makes him tough.

5th Circuit thought otherwise.

Bender said...

The contingency that is being planned is imposing ObamaCare with or without authorizing legislation.

If the Court strikes down the Act, Obama will nevertheless implement many of its provisions by fiat, i.e. executive order, and dare Congress to stop him. Boehner's response to all sorts of despotism until now has been to turn around and bend over, so Obama figures that that is what they will do again.

Richard Dolan said...

"we're not spending a whole bunch of time planning for contingencies."

He uses this kind of syntax when he's in full talking-down mode. It sounds awful and really grates on the ear. Besides which, it's obviously not true.

All he and his team have done for months is work on themes for the campaign. That's the only contingency they care about, and they've have already signaled what their planning is. If/when the mandate is tossed, Paul Ryan will have to move over to make way for Team O's full attack mode on Clarence and Nino as the latest stand-ins for Romney.

edutcher said...

Have to agree with Bender.

I think we're looking at "Mr Roberts has made his decision, now let him enforce it".

That's the Chicago Way, after all.

cubanbob said...

Bender said...
The contingency that is being planned is imposing ObamaCare with or without authorizing legislation.

If the Court strikes down the Act, Obama will nevertheless implement many of its provisions by fiat, i.e. executive order, and dare Congress to stop him. Boehner's response to all sorts of despotism until now has been to turn around and bend over, so Obama figures that that is what they will do again.

4/4/12 10:19 AM

Your are probably right about Boehner but Obama would awe inspiringly arrogant and stupid to do as you say. If the courts were to overturn the bill and the Obama administration attempted to use executive power to implement it the resulting lawsuits would result in a sever spanking of the executive branch and probably curb the executive's ability to implement policies.

Obama has no real contingency plan since in his mind there is no possibility he could lose so why waste time planning for something that will never occur?

Obama must be a super deep cover sleeper agent for the conservatives, all of his actions appear designed to turn the country rightward and the courts to limit federal powers. I know that the he isn't a deep sleeper agent but if he were , what would he do differently?

cubanbob said...

Bender said...
The contingency that is being planned is imposing ObamaCare with or without authorizing legislation.

If the Court strikes down the Act, Obama will nevertheless implement many of its provisions by fiat, i.e. executive order, and dare Congress to stop him. Boehner's response to all sorts of despotism until now has been to turn around and bend over, so Obama figures that that is what they will do again.

4/4/12 10:19 AM

Your are probably right about Boehner but Obama would awe inspiringly arrogant and stupid to do as you say. If the courts were to overturn the bill and the Obama administration attempted to use executive power to implement it the resulting lawsuits would result in a sever spanking of the executive branch and probably curb the executive's ability to implement policies.

Obama has no real contingency plan since in his mind there is no possibility he could lose so why waste time planning for something that will never occur?

Obama must be a super deep cover sleeper agent for the conservatives, all of his actions appear designed to turn the country rightward and the courts to limit federal powers. I know that the he isn't a deep sleeper agent but if he were , what would he do differently?

EMD said...

Maybe the guy is really just a major-league dumbass.

Tarzan said...

The name-sake (if not quite originator) of 'Obamacare' is accusing someone else of launching a Trojan Horse attack?

Which Alynski tactic is this again?

RC3 said...

Doesn't Obama's calling his opponents "Social Darwinists" merit the civility bullshit tag?

Bender said...

You think it far-fetched that Obama will simply ignore the Act being declared unconstitutional?

HE ALREADY HAS.

The Eleventh Circuit, and other courts, struck down the individual mandate. To my knowledge, there was no stay granted in those cases. But Obama nevertheless continued to implement the Act nationwide.

Alex said...

Interesting, none of the usual leftist trolls have weighed in yet. I mean Ann outlined Obama's campaign strategy to a tee - class warfare all the way baby!

CatherineM said...

He likes to mention our traditins and history all the time, yet doesn't actually seem to know it. His speeches are always the same.

mw said...

The Lochner majority opinion found a right to freedom of contract in the Constitution excepting only limits imposed by the police power to protect life, safety and 'morals'.

Holmes didn't find freedom of contract when he checked his copy of the Constitution and that's why he dissented explaining that although Herbert Spencer believed such to be important, it was the duty of the SC to expound the Constitution, not a favorite theory of society. Just read the opinions yourself. The critique you referenced to Obama's reference to Lochner doesn't reflect the content of the dissent and its relation to the current Court.