Obama on Clarence Thomas

Revealing again Senator Obama’s arrogance was when, at the presidential forum, Pastor Rick Warren asked each candidate which Justices he would not have nominated. A lead editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal examines his revealing response.

Barack Obama likes to portray himself as a centrist politician who wants to unite the country, but occasionally his postpartisan mask slips. That was the case at Saturday night’s Saddleback Church forum, when Mr. Obama chose to demean Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Pastor Rick Warren asked each Presidential candidate which Justices he would not have nominated. Mr. McCain said, “with all due respect” the four most liberal sitting Justices because of his different judicial philosophy.

[Barack Obama]

Mr. 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 that he, I don’t think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution.” The Democrat added that he also wouldn’t have appointed Antonin Scalia, and perhaps not John Roberts, though he assured the audience that at least they were smart enough for the job.

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 D.C. 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, as he bids to be America’s Commander in Chief, Mr. Obama isn’t yet four years out of the Illinois state Senate, has never held a hearing of note of his U.S. Senate subcommittee, and had an unremarkable record as both a “community organizer” and law school lecturer. Justice Thomas’s judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama’s Presidential résumé 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.

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, the rookie candidate didn’t merely say he disagreed with Justice Thomas. Instead, he instinctively reverted to the leftwing cliché that the Court’s black conservative isn’t up to the job while his white conservative colleagues are.

So much for civility in politics and bringing people together. And no wonder Mr. Obama’s advisers have refused invitations for more such open forums, preferring to keep him in front of a teleprompter, where he won’t let slip what he really believes.

EDIT: Friday August 19th

Mervi’s comment reminded me of Clarence Thomas’s courageous response during an infamous senate hearing. It’s interesting to consider whether or not Justice Thomas will make any public response to Senator Obama’s insulting remarks.

11 thoughts on “Obama on Clarence Thomas

  1. Wow. Even though this was written back in 2008, it has come in handy for me, as I am working on writing an essay on Justice Clarence Thomas and his courage during difficult times.

    Thank you for posting this, Ms. Buxton! God bless you.

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  2. Pingback: Obama on Clarence Thomas ·

  3. renaissanceguy

    You would think that a man so obsessed with race would be glad that a member of his race is sitting on the Supreme Court.

    We musn’t let Obama confuse us. Race is not what matters to him–only political ideology and political power for his party. If the Republican candidate were black, and the Democratic candidate were white, Obama would still endorse the Democrat.

    For him to question Thomas’s experience has to be the greatest irony of the entire election season. Is Obama prepared to be President?

    I agree. His disputing of Clarence Thomas has to do with the conservative views of the Justice, not of his race.

    “That’s above my pay grade,” his answer to the abortion question was astonishing.

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  4. dean

    Mervi, of course you are right. But until everyone closes their eyes to skin color, or other characteristics different from theirs, we run the risk of being called something we are not.

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  5. Dean, a question please.

    In the forth coming political season, how would one point out a difference with Mr. Obama and not be called raciest?

    I see this as one of the major questions and difficulties.

    Mervi

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  6. So very sad! OH how sad, that one African-American would feel so about one of his brothers.

    Having read some comments by Justice Thomas, and in the process of reading his book, “I am my grand-father’s son.” I do feel sorry for My Obama’s approach to this GREAT Justice.

    I will stop here even though both my mind and fingers would like to add more.

    Mervi

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  7. dean

    I certainly hope those who just adore Mr. Hussein, will feel the same after 1 year of his reign. I suspect many will wish the Bush Presidency was still going on. By the way, Sis. Buxton , the hand shake was mutual between the candidates. I saw a different camera angle, it shows Sen. McCain having to reach around the moderator to reach Mr. Hussein, there was the hesitation that I spoke of. Peace

    I believe Senator McCain was the “hands down” winner in Saturday’s presidential forum. He was sharp, decisive and animated. Senator Obama is no doubt an intelligent man, with a genial personal presentation, but (laying aside my differences with his philosophies,) he just does not have enough experience to be our president.

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