20 January 2009

Oh, Great

Now we get four years of half the nation's whackadoos arguing that Barack Obama is not really the president because John Roberts screwed up the oath, and the other half screaming that the Chief Justice screwed up the oath on purpose for exactly that reason.

P.S.: At 7:50 pm on January 21, Drudge is flashing that President Obama has been re-sworn by the Chief Justice in the White House.

13 comments:

Susan's Husband said...

If President Obama were actually interested in leading and uniting, he could just have another swearing in at the White House this afternoon, which would take all of 5 minutes. But that would be the humble and gracious thing to do so I expect nothing of the sort.

P.S. I am sure you'll come back with how this just feeds the whackos, but what's more important -- spending a few extra minutes out of respect for tradition, or being egotistically obstinate about it in order to not feed the whackos? It just reminds me so much of a situation comedy, where I end up screaming at the actors "JUST BEND A LITTLE AND THE PROBLEM WILL GO AWAY!" but of course they always go with obstinance and end up making things worse. It's just another reason I don't watch main stream entertainment.

David said...

No, I agree, they absolutely should. In fact, the participation of the Chief Justice is just tradition. Obama can simply recite the oath himself and they can do a press release to that effect: "In a private ceremony this evening, in front of Mrs. Obama and senior aides, President Obama recited the oath of office a second time in the form set forth in the Constitution."

Harry Eagar said...

I didn't watch so I don't know what you're talking about, but for the past 4+ years I have been campaigning to just let the president swear the oath, instead of having the Chief Justice lead him through it, 3 words at a time, as if he were coaching an inmate at an institution for the feeble-minded to remember his name.

If millions of American boys and girls could memorize the Gettysburg Address, then we could expect chief magistrates to memorize an oath that isn't any longer than the ingredients in a Big Mac.

David said...

Harry:

You'll end up seeing it a million times, I'm sure. Roberts screwed up twice. Instead of pausing after "I, Barrack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear..." as Obama clearly expected him to do, Roberts just kept going and misplaced "faithfully," putting it after "laws of the United States." Obama clearly thought about correcting it, Roberts screwed it up again, and Obama decided to just go along. I think that in the end he said all the words, but not in the Constitutional order.

erp said...

Is Roberts that clever?

Harry Eagar said...

Well, why does the Chief Justice lead the chief magistrate through the oath? Is the assumption that presidents are too stupid to memorize 35 words?

I wrote a column about this 4 years ago and repeated it at Restating the Obvious a little while ago. Why doesn't the CJ just ask, 'Will you swear the oath?'

Peter Burnet said...

I hear there is a rumour floating around the blogosphere that John Roberts's law degree is a forgery.

Now, that's what I call a constitutional crisis.

Susan's Husband said...

It pains me to write this in a public space, but I agree with Mr. Eagar. SWIPIAW and I memorized our wedding vows so that we could say instead of repeat them. And let me tell, I was certainly nervous at that point that the brandy she'd chugged before the ceremony would wear off and she'd sober up before it was too late to escape.

P.S. Mr. Cohen your suggestion would be a perfect Obama-ism - a supposed response that instead of healing, pours salt in the wound. After all, how would Obama survive if he couldn't point to "distractions"?

David said...

AOG:

How so?

Susan's Husband said...

I thought you were just being subtly snarky, in that just like the CLOB and the Blagojevich issue, rather than addressing the issue directly and forthrightly, Obama simply issued a press statement certifying his spin.

The whole point of the oath (and ceremony in toto) is its public nature.

Susan's Husband said...

Well, if this is true then congratulations to Obama for making the concessionary gesture.

Harry Eagar said...

Almost, but not quite, like renewing your wedding vows. Like resoling a shoe.

Never understood that.

Susan's Husband said...

No, not at all like that. SWIPIAW and I effectively did that, along with a second honeymoon. It's a deeply personal thing.

To some extent, this is about following The Law and making sure, as Obama takes the most powerful position in the nation, that we are correspondingly careful about dotting every i and crossing every t. Such officials should be held to a higher standard than ordinary folk, not a lower one.

But it's more about what Mr. Cohen brought up in original post, to the benefit of Roberts, Obama, and the rest of the sane citizenry.