The Smartest Man in the World Should Go Back to School

One day in grammar school, the nun told us that we would have a test the following day.  Anyone who couldn’t recite a particular spelling rule had to write it 50 times.  Despite having studied all the spelling rules the night before, the next day I flubbed mine.  So, I went home and wrote the three-liner “’i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ or when sounding like ‘a’ as in neighbor and weigh” fifty times.  We couldn’t “cut and paste” back then but I’m a really good speller today.

Somewhere along the line, President Obama, touted as the smartest President we’ve ever known, must have been absent when government was taught in school.  He just hasn’t grasp the notion that we have three equal branches of government in this country – executive, legislative and judicial.

Not only did he insult the Justices of the Supreme Court during the State of the Union Address back in 2010, but now he’s warning them not to overturn Obamacare and had the audacity to say that it would be “an unprecedented, extraordinary step” if the Court overturned “a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

The President, aptly called “The Anointed One” by Sean Hannity (who I seldom watch), and in this particular instance shows the appropriateness of the self-important moniker, quite frankly, doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  As the former President of the Harvard Law Review, he should know better.

So, what exactly does he think the Supreme Court does?  It’s up to the Supreme Court to decide whether any law is constitutional.  And what difference does it make if the entire body of Congress unanimously passed a law?  If it’s not constitutional, it’s not constitutional.  Period.  It’s not up to the executive or legislative branches to make that decision.  It’s up to the judicial branch.

Following these ridiculous comments from our President, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals required the Department of Justice to submit a homework assignment consisting of a three-page, single-spaced letter on whether the Executive Branch believes that courts can strike down laws that are found to be unconstitutional.  I love this slap on the DOJ’s wrist.  It’s absolutely priceless and reminiscent of my late-night assignment some 50 years ago.

For how long now have we heard about former Vice President Dan Quayle’s spelling gaffes, President Bush’s mispronunciation of “nuclear” and former Vice Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin’s reading habits or lack thereof.

Yet, when Mr. Obama thinks there are 57 states, or that the United States built the “intercontinental railroad,” or says stupid stuff like “When I meet with world leaders, what’s striking — whether it’s in Europe or here in Asia…” (when he’s actually in Hawaii), or claims that 10,000 people died during tornadoes in Kansas when, in fact, only 12 died, he gets a pass from the über-liberal media.

People who want to become citizens of this country have to take a test and must learn about the three branches of government and our political system.  If I were Empress, I’d require people who want to vote to take a test as well.  I’d also require our government officials to take a similar test – in public – along with their Oath of Office.

With just seven months away, I’m hoping for good news on November 6th and that President Obama will have to start looking for a job.  I’m going to remain optimistic and suggest to Mr. Obama that he start filling out applications now for remedial classes starting on January 21, 2013, to hone up on his basic knowledge so when he goes on the lecture circuit and is paid mucho bucks, he won’t look as foolish as he does now.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Author Bio:

For over twenty years, Leona has tried to heed her husband’s advice, “you don’t have to say everything you think.” She’s failed miserably. Licensed to practice law in California and Washington, she works exclusively in the area of child abuse and neglect. She considers herself a news junkie and writes about people and events on her website, “I Don’t Get It,” which she describes as the “musings of an almost 60-year old conservative woman on political, social and cultural life in America.” It’s not her intention to offend anyone who “gets it.” She just doesn’t. Originally from Brooklyn, and later Los Angeles, she now lives with her husband, Michael, on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest, which she describes as a bastion of liberalism.
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  • Will Swoboda

    I think we put way too much faith in intelligence and education. The Germans were considered some of the most intelligent and educated people in the world and look what they did during WWII. Wisdom and common sense are essential.
    Thanks Leona,
    Will Swoboda

    • Chief98110

       You hit it on the head, common sense  is lacking in our government starting at the top.  Our Prez just doesn’t get it and he has the thinnest skin of any politician I can recall.
      I believe that he see the demise of Obama Care as a personal attack.  I am just waiting for him to call the Supreme Court “racists”. That is his ace in the hole since he can’t justify or explain Obama Care or as it should really be known, Pelosi Care.
      The President can only campaign on rhetoric and empty promises. Worst yet the press just keeps giving him a pass. This country is in serious trouble and we need common sense to turn it around not, “hope and change”.

  • Roxiebell

    The gaffe (one of many) I will not forgive or forget is when he read from a teleprompter and said “corpse-man” (corpsman) “THREE times” when giving an medal to a Navy Corpsman. I could not believe my eyes and ears and was so insulted that it appears our CIC doesn’t know the rank and file of our Military or worse yet, doesn’t care!! 

    Some dear friends visited us recenty from California and were totally “unaware” of Obama’s many gaffes and they were stunned to learn of the “corpse-man” and 57 States gaffes, because where they get their news from it was NEVER reported. I suggested they watch Fox News, primarily the Hannity show.

  • FloridaJim

    The myth of Obama as “the smartest man in the room” belies the fact he can’t avoid daily lies, he can’t give a speech without a teleprompter, he can’t avoid praising muslims and condemning Christians and his group of marxist friends are so out of touch with real Americans I do not buy “the smartest man in the room” bunk.

    • Drew Page

      I’m not buying the arguement that President Obama is ignorant of the provisions and intent of the Constitution.  I believe that he is very aware of the rights, responsibilities and limitations the Constitution places on the federal government.  I believe he understands the Constitutional intent of separation of powers for the purpose of having checks and balances.   It is just that he doesn’t like the Constitutional limitations placed on government.   Remember, this is the guy who said he wanted to fundamentaly transform America.   What better place to start  such fundamental transformation than the Constitution?   Before becoming President, Mr. Obama was quoted as saying that the Constitution was a list of negative rights, limiting the power of the government.  

      When Congress gets in the way of what he wants, he appoints regulators to do his bidding.  “If Congress won’t act, I will.”   Remember that little act of defiance?   

      When the Judicial branch gets in his way he floats a trial balloon with the Supreme Court on the eve of their deciding on the Constitutionality of the ‘individual mandate’ included in Obamacare.   He states that overtuning Obamacare would be unprecedented and an incident of judicial activism and lack of judicial restraint.   He questioned whether unelected judges could overturn the “will of the people” expressed through legislation, passed by a     ” large majority” of  their representatives in Congress and the Senate.   Witness how quickly he backed off those statements when challenged.

      President Obama is not stupid, but he isn’t really that smart either.   He is however, crafty and devious.    He is a socialist.  I don’t believe that he cares about the good of the people as much as he does about what’s good for him.  Regardless of how passionate the proponents of socialism are, no matter  how much they crow about just being like everyone else, the guys at the top of any socialist regime are always wealthy and all those people who put them in power are never any better off for having done so, in fact they are usually worse off.   The people living under such communist and socialist regimes would tell you that, if they weren’t in fear of their lives. 

      • cmacrider

        Florida Jim:  Well said.  However, I do think that Obama’s intellectual prowess is over rated and overblown by the media.  His socialist/class warfare/elementary Keynsian beliefs/ are actually quite outdated when you recognize that we live in a global economy driven by information technology.  Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes are not exactly at the forefront of intellectual thought in the 21st. century yet I’ve never seen an inkling in anything Obama says or does which does not indicate he is caught in their paradigm. 

        • cmacrider

          Sorry should have included Drew Page in my reply.

      • FloridaJim

        Excellent reply, thank you.

  • Dave O’Connor

    The smartest guy in the room, a non-practicing lecturer on Constitutional law, parallels the notion that an epidemiologist wants to kill plagues and diseases.  But, if his goals are perverted, think of the damage he could do.
    At the moment, we should see that Obama’s efforts are subjecting his motives to serious scrutiny.
    (That is, for some of us – But will it be enough?) 

  • truevalues

    What about that time when he was campaigning out west and he said that he had visited 57 states, and only had to visit a few more.  I guess hie teleprompter stopped woeking, so he said what he believed.
    His liberal friends don’t care how many goofs he makes; they always cover for him.

  • Brhurdle

    I think the sterotype of super intelligence created for Barack Obama has been shattered by his actions. While his delivery of a written speech leaves the impression of an eurudite individual, his spontaneous performance demonstates a much more average person that posesses quite ordinay intelligence. Perhaps that is the reason his college transcripts have been kept secret – it would reveal very modest academic accomplishments for an individual that had been the beneficiary of agressive affirmative action considerations.

  • Jeff Metz

    Separation of Powers? Well my 9th grade daughter is learning about it as I type this in her AP History Class.  Seems our founders were more than a tad worried about these types of actions by a sitting president.  Then again, the President is used to scolding the Supreme Court, having done so previously in a State of the Union Address.  Smartest ever?  Yea.

    Jeff Metz

  • Chief98110

     I regularly argue cases in the Second District Court of Appeal in Los
    Angeles which has 8 divisions of 3-4 Justices sitting, and if I were
    told to write a paper on such a basic point, I would respond with, “do I
    have to wear the dunce cap and stand in the corner?”

    • Ron F

      Chief, since I think the Justice had no right to demand that the Attorney General’s office write such a paper explaining the President’s position, I wish the Attorney General would have refused so we could have a Constitutional crisis over the power of the judiciary.  This seems as nutty to me as Newt Gingrich’s idea that justises should be called before Congress or some other body to explain their decisions.

      • Drew Page

        Maybe so, but you saw how quickly Eric Holder complied with the Judge’s order and how quickly President Obama restated his initial comments on the Court’s authority.

        • Ron F

          Drew, I do not understand that the Supreme Court has the Constitutional authority to rule on the Constitutionality of any law passed by Congress.  It is not in the Constitution.  It is an authority the Supreme Court assumed in Marbury v. Madison and his been recognized since but there is nothing in the Constitution granting the Supreme Court the authority.  As for President Obama’s statement, I just read a column by Douglas W. Kmiec, the head of the office of legal counsel for President Reagan, who was responsible for implementing his judicial appointment strategy and he said: “the president is 100 percent correct that striking down the health care law on the thin arguments made against it, in light of the deference due Congerss and the lack of case or historical support for the challenge, would indeed be unprecented and a special betrayal of the judicial ethic the conservaties used repeatedly to appoint peopl to the bench. . . .  I count Justice Sam Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts as two of my dearest friends, but were they to rule against the president and the congress in this matter, they will be ruling against their prior selves in carreer and appointment.”  I disagree and hope the Supreme Court finds the entire law unconstitutional.  My only point is that President Obama’s statement was not out of line and does not demonstrate that he is not intelligent or that he does not have any understanding of the Constitution.

    • Drew Page

      If you do not understand that the Supreme Court has the Constitutional authority to rule on the Constitutionality of any law, not only should you wear a dunce cap and stand in a corner, you should be impeached as a judge and be required to surrender your law license.   If I were you I woulds sue the law school that gave you a J.D. and  demand a tuition refund. 

  • Ron F

    I still have not found where in the Constitution it authorizes the judicial branch to rule on the Constitutionality of laws passed by the legislature and signed by the President.  This was created by the judiciary in Marbury v. Madison.  In any event, I believe that there were two cases during President Clinton’s term when the Supreme Court s found that laws enacted by Congress violated its authority under the commerce clause.  One was the law sponsored by then Senator Biden regarding the sale of guns near schools and I think the other was the Violence Against Women Act.

    • Drew Page

      Ron  —  Maybe it’s in the same place in the Constitution that says it’s legal to murder living babies prior to their passage through the birth canal.

      • Ron F

        Drew, most of us thought that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision because there was nothing in the Constitution regarding abortions or right to privacy or gave the Supreme Court the power to invalidate all of the state laws regarding abortions.

  • Bruce A.

    Regarding judicial review.   We learned about this in 12th grade history by studying Marbury vs. Madison.  It seems our president is not a Constitutional scholar after all.

  • LeonaSalazar

    Attached is the link to the 3-page single-spaced letter Eric Holder was
    required to file with the Court of Appeals.  I write appellate briefs
    and, all I can say is, if the appellate court asked me to file a
    response regarding something so elementary as the three branches of
    government, I would be horrified.

    • Ron F

      And what right did a Justice of the Appellate Court have in requiring the Attorney General to file a letter stating the Justice Department’s opinion regarding  judicial review.  The issue had not been contested, as far as I know, in that proceeding.  What part of the Constitution authorizes that?  Why isn’t that judicial activism?

      • cmacrider

        Surely you jest….. a Superior Court has the inherent right to deal with Contempt … both in the face of the Court and outside the walls of the Courtroom.   The fact that the Appellate Court merely asked for a brief on the point of law is an example of judicial moderation …. they should have had the community organizer picked up and put in jail pending a full hearing on the matter of Contempt of Court. 

        • Ron F

          As I understand it, it was not a brief in the case.  The opposing side is not briefing the issue.  The Justice asked for a letter explaining the the President’s position.  The fact that the Justice Department was involved in the case means the Justice Department recognized the jurisdiction of the Court and had not raised the issue in the case.  I see nothing in the Constitution that allows a Justice to require any person to explain a position that is not an issue in the case.  Just as I do not think any other branch of government has the right to require the Court to explain a decision.

        • Ron F

          I just wanted to make sure I was correct about the Constitution.  Section 2 of Article III of the Constitution provides regarding judicial power:

          “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;–to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;–to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;–to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;–to Controversies between two or more States;–between a State and Citizens of another State;–between Citizens of different States; –between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects. 
                In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

          Where does that give the Appellate Justice the power to order the executive branch to explain a position? 

          • cmacrider

            Try looking up the inherent powers of a Supreme Court Judge which have existed as long as common law has been in existence.

          • Ron F

            But we have a Constitution in this country which specifies the powers of the Court.  And even under the common law, judicial power was limited to cases before the Court.  The Court did not have unlimited power to require the  executive branch to explain a statement by the President.  Geogre Bush frequently criticized the federal judiciary.  We would be screaming about the separation of powers if a Appellate Court justice required the executive branch to submit a paperexplaining the President’s position.

          • Ron F

            The common law does not take precedense over the Constitution.  And the Justice that ordered the paper was not a Supreme Court justice.  He was an Appellate Court justice.

          • Drew Page

            Judge Smith didn’t order the President to explain his position on judicial review.  He ordered the Attorney General, Eric Holder, to provide that written position because it was a government attorney arguing a case before Judge Smith over  provision(s) of Obamacare.   If the President’ really believes that the supreme Court has no right to overturn Obamacare, in whole or in part, then it would follow that a lower court would have even less authority to do so.   Apparently Judge Smith received his legal training where the vast majority of Constitutional lawyers received theirs. 

          • Ron F

            The President did not say the Supreme Court had not right to overturn the health care law.  I believe he said that it would be an unprecedented, extraordinay step and I believe that in the speech he made it clear he was talking about the deference given to Congress in commerce clause cases.  In addition, the United States had not raised the issue in the case.  The Justice raised the issue in the case.

  • Roger Ward


    Of course, you’re correct — except for one thing:  Obama will be reelected, not vanquished.  The reasons are amply covered in Goldberg’s book “Bias” and Groseclose’s book “Left Turn.”  The overwhelming bias of the left-leaning media (except talk radio) make it impossible to get clear and unbiased information out to the people, so the left is winning that battle and consequently, the Presidency.  It pains me greatly to contemplate another Obama term …. the damage he is doing and will continue to do is incalculable …. but I don’t think there is any chance for a conservative to win.  If I’m wrong (and I hope fervently that I am), I’ll apologize to your readers after the election and they can all take potshots at me.

    What we should be focusing on are two areas of equal importance to the Presidency (actually, they are probably more important):  control of the Senate and appointments to the Supreme Court.  With control of the Senate, we can lock down Obama’s socialist agenda and profligate spending.  With fair representation on the Court, we have a last ditch means of overturning other unconstitutional laws …. and you know that Obama will continue to try to get them passed.

    • LeonaSalazar

      As I wrote, “I’m hoping….”  My pessimistic nature thinks like you do — that Obama will win a second term.  However, it would be far too depressing to hold that thought for the next seven months.  I’ll deal with it on November 6th but, until then, hope springs eternal….

  • Ron F

    If the Supreme Court finds the act unconstitutional it would not be unprecedented but it would be extraordinary.  It is extraordinary for the Supreme Court to find an act unconstitutional and the Supreme Court has given deference to the legislative branch in the past when it comes to Commerce Clause issues.  I think the last time the Supreme Court found an act of Congress was beyond the reach of the Commerce Clause was in 1996 when if found a gun control bill sponsored by then Senator Biden unconstitutional.  In addition, the Constitution does not grant the Supreme Court the right to decide the constitutionality of acts of the other branches of goverenment.  It is a roll it assumed in Marbury v. Madison.  There is also been some authority, and conservative commentators have argued, that Congress has the powere to remove Supreme Court review from a case but I do not believe that it has ever been tested.

  • Mike Jackson

    My guess is you and I probably had the same nuns in school.

    If our current president is the smartest in history,then ample proof exists that there is excess chlorine in the presidential gene pool.

    I hope he’s looking for a new job after November as well, but am afraid of inflicting the guy on the private sector.  (Does Enron need a new CEO?)

    He’s also had more passes from the media than a Times Square Courtesan on December 31.

    • LeonaSalazar

      Thanks, Mike, for writing.  Yes, I’m sure all nuns are genetically related somehow. 
      Regarding Mr. Obama’s job prospects after November (hopefully), perhaps Jeffrey Immelt, on the President’s Economy Recovery Advisory Board, can help him out.