The word "nescience" is listed in many dictionaries. It comes from a Latin word that literally means "not knowing" or the absence of knowledge or awareness. In common usage many years ago, it is very seldom used now and it once was not quite as harsh as the word "ignorance" even though some dictionaries today list ignorance as a possible synonym. Even very well-educated individuals can be nesicent about some topics in a world of great specialization of knowlege.
I once knew a nuclear physicist who told me he could not tell the difference between a yellow rose and a marigold flower. He was not ignorant, but only nesicent about a natural science outside his own highly specialized field. All of us are nescient about some matters be it cooking or music or biology or auto repair. That does not mean we are ignorant in general.
But is is a major problem for the success of free government, democracy, and the rule of law when people who claim a high level of expertise in a special field such as public policy are nescient of basic information even inside their supposed area of expertise.
Suppose that someone gets elected to Congress who has never read the Constitution and really does not understand that the Legislative Branch is supposed to be co-equal with and a check or balance to the other two branches. Then there is a problem.
President Obama met this week with Democratic senators at the White House and in essence told them he would act alone using executive orders, without authority from Congress, if in his sole opinion Congress was "getting in the way" of what he wants to accomplish. Remember that he was not speaking to House Republicans but to senators of his own party when he said this.
If the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-West Va.) (1917-2010) were still alive, Byrd might have gone ballistic at such arrogance on the part of the Executive Branch even headed by a fellow Democrat. Byrd respected the Senate and believed in the Constitution and the separation of powers and apparently President Obama thinks the separation is not very important to him.
Is it possible that the president who is often touted as a former instructor in constitutional law is nevertheless nescient about the separation of powers and the rule of law? Based on his public statements, it appears he might be.