The last time President Obama addressed the Congress the most controversial part probably occurred when Rep. Joe Wilson shouted “You lie” when the president’s claimed that illegal immigrants would not get special treatment under health care reform.
Political pundits and the mainstream media talking heads called this an unprecedented breach of protocol (the most polite comment made).
Last night, the president himself committed an unprecedented breach of protocol when he claimed the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision would “open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections.”
“I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people,” the president said, looking straight at the Supreme Court justices sitting stoically in the front row.
Although he prefaced his criticism with the words “with all due deference to the separation of powers” he ignored the spirit of that principle by misinterpreting the courts decision.
The president, purportedly a Constitution scholar, expressed his disdain for the separation principle later in the speech as well. Since Congress blocked a bill to establish a fiscal commission to review the budget for “programs that we can’t afford and don’t work,” he said he would sign an executive order to set up the commission anyway.
Other than an opening remark noting the Constitutional origins of the State of the Union address, the president never cited a section or article of the Constitution to justify any of the programs he proposed.