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A Lightbulb Exploded!

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Kami Vega

Professor Marta Lauritsen

Core Humanities 203

8 March 2017

Atypical Response

        ”A lightbulb exploded!” is just one of many interesting quotes from within the first three chapters of The Oath, a book written by Jeffrey Toobin to illustrate the Obama White House and the Supreme Court workings. Inside the first three parts of the novel, Toobin goes on to exemplify Barrack Obama’s experience and expertise in law and the Constitutional knowledge he possessed leading up to his term in Presidency vs court justices and court decisions on new and past cases. The courts and Obama up to this point in the book haven’t had much experience or fraught situations except for the election of 2008 and the nomination of new justices. The book lists references of Obama’s pasts, justices’ pasts and ideologies as well as multiple crucial cases with flowing interpretations throughout the Courts history.

        In chapter one of The Oath, Obama’s past with Harvard and his presidency there, as well as his experience as a lawyer moving to politician is well descripted. Obama was a very highly focused and individualized up and comer with the conservative outlook on the Constitution and his liberal outlook on life. He did not let any one of his circumstances nor situations shift his core characteristics. This book seems to elevate Obama’s spotlight achievements up to his winning the Presidential campaign.

        Obama emphasized his opinion and stance for the Second Amendment according to Toobin. “I believe that the Second Amendment means something. I do think it speaks to an individual right,” Obama stated at a news conference after the massacre at Northern Illinois University (Toobin). He had a very keen understanding of politics which enabled him to understand the conservative needs and the democratic needs of the people whom he would eventually ask of their votes for President of the United States.

        The ideologies set forth in the first chapter are relevant as a U.S. citizen as many agree that the Second Amendment is for an individual’s rights. Thankfully, that is a wide belief for that Amendment as of now. There will always be those who wish to take away rights, and ‘we the people’ have the audacity and responsibility to defend those rights. Some believe that the Second Amendment right to bear arms on an individual case goes back to the natural law of nature when you have a right to defend yourself and your property.

        Obama did a lot for civil rights before he ran for President of the U.S. Civil rights are very important and that is something people fight to retain. Without civil rights, all other rights would vanish away. People could be treated as any one person depicted, evil would reign free. The U.S. today would not thrive without the understandings, Amendments, Constitution, and laws that include a moral compass, individual rights (to privacy, bear arms, etc), and the responsibility to not stray too far from the idea of government run by the people, for the people.

        In the second part of The Oath, the author give more information on Obama and a nominee for the Supreme Court chief justice, John Roberts. Roberts went to Harvard as did Obama, however, Roberts was ahead of Obama in the years he attended, he even completed his four-year run within three years instead graduating with the same honors. Obama had his issues with Roberts according to the book, he did not pass Obama’s expectations for a new chief justice and so his vote was cast down. Obama believed Robert’s record showed he ruled in favor of the strong against the weak, contrary to what Roberts claimed about his stances being the opposite.

        “For Roberts, the law ultimately, was about winning” (Toobin). While this was happening around the Supreme Court level in government, Obama declared his candidacy for Presidency in 2007. He was running against John McCain, a senator from Arizona, running for the Republican Party. Obama stayed clear of political damnation when he endorsed and declared to back Justice Souter and Justice Breyer. One was a Republican choice, the other a Democratic choice of the people. By listing these judges, he did not discriminate nor anger either party, thus ensuring he still was able to gain the most votes for his political opinions and goals through this point in his career and running.  

        Obama won the Presidency by winning the electoral votes and the popular vote over McCain in his first election to the U.S. Presidency. While the popular and electoral win is a huge non contemplated victory, the difference of that election verses the election in 2016 was not the same outcome. President Trump had won the electoral votes, but not the popular vote in the U.S.. He still won the presidency and since then the electoral college has been questions on its relevancy within the voting system.

The electoral college is very relevant to the U.S. voting and states voting to ensure a fair system even for the little states vs the big city populations. Generally, traditions and mindsets in areas tend to mold the populations of that area as well. For instance, small town people’s mindsets will most likely differ from big city people’s mindsets. Small town folk will have a lot more hunters, be more friendly and slower paced. They will usually know a majority of the inhabitants near them, while big city folk tend to be more weary of the outdoors and generalized as solitary and fast paced people.

        Obama made it clear with a large influential topic for Americans that he believed the woman with the help of her doctors, family, and her circumstances was the best one to decide on abortion, while McCain made it clear that he did not agree with Wage v Roe. The topic helped get Obama his win in 2008. While that is a largely debated topic still today, it is argued on who should be forced to pay for abortions, as tax payers, doctors, insurance companies, etc. There are many that believe abortions should not be paid for by taxpayer’s monies, that is a question of forcing those with a moral belief that abortion is murder to condone and assist with this moral dilemma while that should not be the case in many opinions.



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