Day Six: The 12 Reasons Barack Obama is One of the Greatest Presidents

(12 Reasons Barack Obama is One of the Greatest Presidents Ever, by Matthew Lynch)

“He is for women’s rights. Obama’s very first executive action as President was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a bill specifically designed to annihilate wage discrimination barriers for women. He also fully funded the Violence Against Women Act, which addresses the criminality of sexual assault and domestic violence and provides women with the services needed to overcome such atrocities. President Obama nominated two women to the Supreme Court, including the first Latina justice in American history. Furthermore, Obama has taken exceptional measures to secure grant money for women business owners and get them a fair shake from the Small Business Association.”(Michael Lynch)

I wonder how the women in Barack Obama’s administration feel about their paychecks, which happen to be a full 18% lower than those of their male counterparts . . .

Enough said?

Maybe not just yet.

Ronald Reagan appointed a woman to the Supreme Court, too. In fact, she was the very first female appointee to the Supreme Court. Would Mr. Lynch consider Reagan in the same category as the current president? Simply nominating someone of one gender or another, or one race or another, does not a great leader make, nor does it make the selection any more superior than another. Instead, it should be the content of the character of those who are nominated, and the contributions they make to the court and to the country that matter. Case in point: Barack Obama happens to be the first African American president in U.S. history. As historical as that might be, has that helped unemployment these last five years? International relations? Economic growth?

Sonia Sotamayor is indeed the first Latina justice in U.S. history. She’s also quoted as disagreeing with me . . . that is, she’d disagree with the parameters for selecting a judge that I just laid out. Indeed, in 2001 she gave a speech noting that “the ethnicity and sex of a judge ‘may and will make a difference in our judging.’”

Specifically, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Translation: A Latina woman will make better decisions than a white man.

Somehow that doesn’t quite jive with “all men are created equal” does it? I’m not sure about you, but I’d rather not have the highest court’s decisions decided upon in part by a person who considers her intelligence and wisdom superior to that of another’s, based chiefly on her race and gender. What if the situation were reversed? Can you image Chief Justice John Roberts—prior to his appointment—getting away with saying that a white male and his experiences would afford him the ability to make far better decisions than a black man? Here again, we see that the president chose someone who doesn’t unite . . . but rather divides.

Elena Kagen, Barack Obama’s other female choice, has endorsed “the belief that the Supreme Court should ‘show special solicitude’ toward the “despised and disadvantaged.’” Once again, do We the People want supreme justices –individuals who wield incredible power—making judgments based on a bias towards anyone, based on socioeconomic status? Their responsibility is to uphold the law as written for the good of all Americans, not shift it to benefit those whom they feel inclined to “help.” One need not be of one particular gender or ethnicity to be able to do that effectively.

The president made two ideological choices (naturally—presidents tend to make appointments based on their personal ideology) in his selection of his Supreme Court nominee. This is not surprising. To mark this as a “claim to fame” (as Lynch as done) in determining our nation’s greatest presidents, however, is. Leaders are not made great by the gender choices they make; rather, by appointing people who make truly wise and studied decisions for the good of all. 

(For the record—Ronald Reagan’s appointment, Sandra Day O’Connor, may have been the first female Supreme Court Justice, but that doesn’t change the fact that she made a disastrous decision to uphold Roe v. Wade, subsequently putting a continued federal stamp of approval on the extermination of millions of female infants in the womb.)

Sneak Preview of Day 7: The People’s President 

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