Illinois Senator Barack Obama appears to be ignorant of one of the most basic political principles of representative democracy, separation of powers. The New York Times reports Sen. Obama as saying that “I’ve been involved in government for over a decade”. Sen. Obama has been an Illinois State Senator from 1997 to 2004, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate. What that amounts to is a decade of experience in the legislative power; but not in government, which belongs to the executive power. One would hope that Sen. Obama was not suggesting that the Illinois State Senate is part of the government of Illinois; similarly, one would hope that he was not suggesting that the U.S. Senate is part of the Government of the United States. Because otherwise Sen. Obama would be implying that the political system in the United States violates the basic democratic principle of separation of powers. We must therefore conclude that Obama does not understand separation of powers. Montesquieu would not have been impressed; we are not impressed.