RUSH: This is the one that has a lot of people simply outraged. This is from Rick Warren’s Civil Forum on the Presidency on Saturday night. The question, ‘Senator Obama, which existing Supreme Court justice would you not have nominated?’
OBAMA: I would not have nominated, uhhh, Clarence Thomas. (applause) Uh, I don’t think that he’s — uhhh… uhhh… I — I — I — I — I — I — I — I — uh — I don’t think that he was an exper[ienced] — uh, I — I don’t think that he was a — a strong enough jurist or legal thinker, uh, at the time, uh, for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretations of a lot of the Constitution.
RUSH: Did you?
OBAMA: I would not nominate Justice Scalia, although I don’t think there’s any doubt about his intellectual brilliance, uh, because he and I just disagree.
RUSH: All right, now, two things about this. First, did you hear him catch himself talking about Clarence Thomas’s lack of ‘exper– uh, uhhh, uhhhh, uhhhhhh — strong enough jurist.’ See, he knows he’s got no experience. He knows he can’t win the experience game. And then, talking about inserting race into the campaign, here’s a black guy, Barack Obama, saying that THE black guy on the Supreme Court is an idiot! ‘But Scalia, you know, he’s smart white guy, but I still don’t agree with him.’ By the way, Barack Obama is 47. Clarence Thomas was on the Supreme Court, nominated to the Supreme Court in what, ’91? It’s a long time ago. It’s either 16 or 18 years ago. So Obama’s, what? What’s 47 minus 18? Twenty-nine. What did he know about Clarence Thomas’ qualifications? He knew diddly-squat.
What he knew was what he remembers hearing in college classrooms and from his political buddies about Clarence Thomas, and they sing from the same tune. Everybody has forgotten that Harry Reid said the almost identical thing about Clarence Thomas — Cookie could probably dredge that up from our archives. Harry Reid said, ‘I just don’t agree with his opinions.’ He just insulted Thomas’ intelligence. He almost called him ‘illiterate,’ is what Harry Reid said — and it’s that way of every powerful conservative. The left has this cliched, index card answers for every individual they are asked about on the conservative side they don’t like, and Obama has been taught that.
I refuse to believe that Obama has actually personally thought about it. I don’t think he thinks enough about these judges ’cause he doesn’t have enough time, he’s always thinking about himself. His world resolves around him, and it probably already has. So let’s examine this. He wasn’t strong enough. He wasn’t a good legal thinker. He basically wasn’t qualified. Okay. Kathryn Jean Lopez has written a great piece, a little piece here at National Review: ‘What exactly is Barack Obama’s problem with Clarence Thomas? … Was it that Barack Obama didn’t like Justice Thomas’ vote on the recent child-rapist case, Kennedy v. Louisiana? No, that couldn’t be it. Barack Obama agreed with Thomas on that decision.
‘Justice Ginsburg, meanwhile — a liberal favorite on the Court, whom John McCain listed as one of his least favorite justices during the same forum — opposed giving child rapists the death penalty. So what’s so wrong about Thomas and so right about, say, Ginsberg, Senator Obama? Explain the logic. He can’t, of course, and still win an election — which is why he agreed with Thomas,’ and there are many other cases that she cites here where Obama agrees with decisions Thomas has made, disagrees with decisions Ginsburg has made and yet here came the rote criticism from the memory bank in Obama’s brain, not from anything he specifically and originally thinks.
The Wall Street Journal today with a great editorial on this about Obama’s not just criticizing; what Obama sought to do was ‘demean’ Justice Thomas. ‘Obama took a lower road, replying first that ‘that’s a good one,’ and then adding that ‘I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don’t think…” You heard the quote. ‘So let’s see. By the time he was nominated, Clarence Thomas had worked in the Missouri Attorney General’s office, served as an Assistant Secretary of Education, run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and sat for a year on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation’s second most prominent court. Since his ‘elevation’ to the High Court in 1991, he has also shown himself to be a principled and scholarly jurist.
‘Meanwhile … Obama isn’t yet four years out of the Illinois state Senate, has never held a hearing of note of his US Senate subcommittee, and had an unremarkable record as both a ‘community organizer’ and law school lecturer. Justice Thomas judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama’s Presidential resume by any measure. And when it comes to rising from difficult circumstances, Justice Thomas’s rural Georgian upbringing makes Mr. Obama’s story look like easy street,’ as I mentioned at the top of the program. So he just sat down, he decided he was going to ‘demean’ Clarence Thomas with this answer.
But as the Journal says here: ‘Even more troubling is what the Illinois Democrat’s answer betrays about his political habits of mind. Asked a question he didn’t expect at a rare unscripted event [he] didn’t merely say he disagreed with Justice Thomas. Instead, he instinctively reverted to the leftwing cliche that the Court’s black conservative isn’t up to the job while his white conservative colleagues are.’ Not to mention that before joining the court, Clarence Thomas goes to Holy Cross and then to Yale, in addition to all of these other qualifications — and then there’s Obama. He was a state senator, along with how many used car salesmen who have been state Senators. I mean, it’s nothing of particular distinction when compared to Clarence Thomas’ record. He’s a very junior US senator.
He didn’t have a very illustrious teaching career at Chicago. The New York Times reported all the heavy hitter faculty folks never heard the guy utter an interesting word or write anything, either, when he was teaching law at the University of Chicago. I’m telling you, he’s an empty suit, but he doesn’t know it. He actually thinks he’s The Messiah. Nancy Pelosi is out there saying he is a gift from God. ‘We have never had a leader like this that God has given us.’ So these people are all caught up in the myth and The Messiah thing. But then, when they start thinking about it pretty seriously, they know they’ve got a big, big problem; because they’ve nominated a guy who can’t win, who will not be able to survive — intact, with the rave reviews — upcoming presidential debates. I’ve always thought this was going to be an election that was a referendum, up or down, on Obama, and I am more convinced of that than ever today.
RUSH: Here’s the Harry Reid bite, just to illustrate that what comes out of Obama’s mouth is s dogma. It’s just the standard operating procedure. It’s from the handbook. Clarence Thomas’ name comes up, this is what Democrats say. This is from the December 5th, 2004 episode of Meet the Press. This is Harry Reid from December 5th of 2004 on Meet the Press. This is what Dingy Harry said.
REID: I — I think that he has been a[n] embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I think that his opinions are poorly written. I don’t — I just — I just don’t think that he’s done a good job as a Supreme Court justice.
RUSH: I bet he hasn’t read any of his opinions. But it is just insulting, it’s demeaning, and this is simply because he’s a black Republican. He’s black. They’ve never said anything about Scalia’s intelligence other than it’s extraordinary, or John Roberts’ intelligence (it’s extraordinary) or Alito’s. They’re just wrong on the Constitution, don’t you know? But Thomas, he just dumb ’cause he’s a black Republican, or conservative, or what they think is a black conservative. So their answers are rote. I’m telling you, this is a microcosm for most of what Obama says. It’s what he’s been taught by the blame-America-first crowd that he’s hung around with all of his life.