President Barack Obama either believes most Americans don't know their history (quite possible) or that they will believe him simply because he says they should.
This week, he commented on the possibility the Supreme Court will rule his national health care law unconstitutional.
"Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress," Obama said.
That is precisely the purpose of the nation's highest court - to safeguard the rights of Americans, even if their presidents and congresses thumb their noses at the Constitution. The court has done just that many times during the past two centuries, beginning with the Marbury vs. Madison ruling in 1803.
It should do so again - even if it displeases Obama.
Obama's comment may have been an attempt to intimidate high court justices. If so, it backfired. One lower-court federal judge already has demanded an explanation of the president's comments.
If anything, Obama's statement may, and probably should, prompt Supreme Court justices to think about the arrogance too often demonstrated by presidents and lawmakers - and to remind them, by striking down the health care law, that they are not permitted to ignore the Constitution.