The Grand Surprise: The President Should Nominate Himself For The Supreme Court Seat



 “The sun light streaming through the window illuminating the President’s hand.” 2009. Official White House photo by Pete Souza) 

So did anyone publish this yet, like the New York Times? This is well written, I hope one of the major newspapers picks it up.

Sent from my Boost Mobile Phone.

——– Original message ——–
Date:02/15/2016 11:01 AM (GMT-05:00)
Subject: Op-Ed: Why The President Should Nominate Himself

Walter Rhett
124 Simmons Avenue
Summerville, SC 29483
843 425-7970 (Cell)

A grand surprise of Barack Obama’s presidency has been his good cheer: his quiet side involves a complex series of ideas and associations that find humor in the horrible. He sees the incongruities and contradictions in America’s democracy and public ideas as well as anyone; its outrageous nuances with which he has seven years experience. He has said he is itching to get out, but has more to do.

The death of Justice Antonin Scalia presents a remarkable occasion to lift from the loss smiles of passionate surprise if the President nominates himself for the unexpected open seat! Its striking incongruity makes brilliant sense and has his trademark touch of humor, both self-effacing and ambitious, inclusive of others, a step on the crystal stair gently challenging the status quo. First, he could continue as President while the Senate decides to vet a Harvard law review editor, Constitutional law professor, twice elected President by more than five million popular votes–in political terms, a centrist whose views have been validated by two national referendums against different opponents–a man similar to the Supreme Court’s first Chief Justice, South Carolina’s  John Rutledge, a compromise choice out of favor with both sides of the then prevailing political wisdom.


It is well known the President’s terms have produced much disappointment on the left and great angst on the right. In times of division, this balance of dislikes has been the middle ground of our American politics. Abraham Lincoln’s nomination engulfed the conflicts between Whigs and Republicans. The southern Democrat Lyndon Johnson broke faith with his party’s entrenched racist legacy to move the nation toward racial equality. Chief Justice Earl Warren, a California Republican who was a tough law and order attorney general nominated by President Eisenhower guided America through its greatest period of social change.

In contrast, Associate Clarence Thomas, an African-American brought up in the segregated South, a beneficiary of affirmative action, with less than two years experience on the bench before his appointment to the Supreme Court, has shown little affinity for the traditional legal interpretations of liberals or in expanding the American promise.  And far from the “national disgrace” that Thomas declared his own confirmation hearings to be, President Obama’s nomination offers Republicans a chance at reconciliation.

Apart from politics, President Obama would bring a remarkable wealth of experience to the court. Internationally and domestically, he has in-depth knowledge about judicial affairs and how the court’s decisions affect not only those seeking redress but the lives of millions of others. He understands the dynamics of an imperfect world. He listens, questions, evolves, and has been tested in political winds, his government having been closed for sixteen days. Even to his enemies (albeit they would deny it!), he is an opponent they can live with–proven in data they ignore: lowered deficits, steady employment growth, record profits, strong equity markets, record deportations, replacing bellicose quarrels with diplomacy, favoring soft power and gradual progress and consensus. His view of the world is not theory, but tempered by his first hand, close up look. A seat on the court would draw upon this vast expertise while walling off his weakest decisions, on foreign affairs.

Joe Biden would be joyful and more than ready to take over the Presidency for the last eleven months. If not confirmed, the President would feel no loss of his legacy. It would only be one more marker of Republican rejection of the common sense views of one the most popular–and unpopular–Presidents of our times. One whose Zen-like wit has kept him engaged and reflective about the heavy responsibility of governing and the entangled yearnings of humanity. His inner confidence is not easily deceived by convenient fallacies. If Republicans reject him, it would again show their passing lip service to governing as they pursue the prize of absolute power.
Walter Rhett is a verified commenter for the New York Times. He writes a blog under his name at SFGate and writes, edits and publishes Black History 360*. His last book curated the Southern Photographs of Dorothea Lange, 1936-1939. (Purchase here.)

In the White House, President Barack Obama gets down eye to eye for a heart to heart interaction with a young constituent, over her concerns.


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