I woke up this morning wondering what the Right-Wingers made of yesterday’s inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States. From what I’ve heard, the majority of Americans were greatly affected by the day and the man, and everyone felt like significant history was being witnessed. So… what was the Right saying about it?
A lot of the comments on some Right-Wing news sites and blogs are already stating “He’s not MY President”. So much for that propaganda we’ve heard from the Right during the last eight years, that told us we were un-American if we criticized President Bush, determining essentially that “like him or not, he’s the president of the United States” and “the President should be supported without question at a time of war”. Blah blah blah. No one is surprised that the Right-Wingers are hypocrites. I imagine now that a Democrat is in office they’ll forget all about that rhetoric surrounding the idea of a “war-time president”.
But the most persistent theme from the Right today seems to have been kicked off by Chris Wallace on the ever reliable (note sarcasm) Fox News.
“Well, again,” Wallace told Fox News viewers, well over an hour after Obama had taken the oath of office today, “we’re wondering here whether or not Barack Obama in fact is the president of the United States.” Fox News replayed the swearing-in moment when President Obama and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. each bobbled the words to the constitutional oath. “They had a kind of garbled oath,” Wallace said.
“It’s just conceivable that this will end up going to the courts,” Wallace speculated.
Needless to say, this rendered the nutjobs on the far Right breathless, as they desperately leapt upon the idea that God might have given them a way to keep the infidel Obama out of office, after all. Of course, like everything else that comes from Fox News, it was something of a joke to everyone else who lives in the real world.
Just to clear things up, here’s the deal; Barack Hussein Obama automatically became the 44th president of the United States of America at noon yesterday by Constitutional law. The taking of the Oath of Office is a formality and a tradition that is followed religiously, but which has no legal bearing whatsoever in and of itself. The Constitution, in its beautiful simplicity, dictates that a duly elected candidate ascends to the office of president at noon on January 20th (whether or not he takes the Oath). If anything matters, it’s the documentation that Barack Obama signed after the ceremony, not the words themselves. The oath isn’t what makes Obama the President.
But for the record, here’s the part the Right-Wing nutjobs are up in arms about.
“Are you prepared to take the oath, Senator?” Roberts asked Obama, who was holding the Bible that Abraham Lincoln used the day he became president in 1861.
The swearing in began simply enough as Roberts started reciting the oath Obama was to repeat, a few words at a time.
“I, Barack Hussein Obama,” began Roberts.
“I, Barack,” said Obama, and before he could continue, Roberts said, “do solemnly swear.”
Obama: “I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear”
Roberts: “That I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully…
Obama: “that I will execute…”
Roberts: “faithfully execute the office of president of the United States…”
Obama: “The office of president of the United States faithfully…”
At that point, Roberts got back on course, leading as Obama followed with “and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
“So help you God?” asked Roberts.
“So help me God.”
The oath as written is: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States….” But Roberts said, “I will execute the office of President to the United States faithfully.” When Obama stumbled in repeating the line, it may have been because he knew the way it was supposed to be said.
As I said, it’s all moot. The Constitution rendered Barack Obama president at noon, with or without the Oath. So for Chris Wallace to contend that Obama might not be president and that this issue might wind up in the courts is simply laughable. But then, what does anyone really expect from Fox News? The sad part of it all is the dunder-heads who watch Fox News and think it’s actually, well, news honestly believe this drivel and think it’s yet another example of the Liberal plot to foist a dangerous Muslim radical onto unsuspecting Americans. They’re the very same people who are even now still whining and maintaining that Barack Obama isn’t even an American citizen.
In the end, it’s actually heartening that this is what the Far Right is talking about. It’s comforting to realize that if this is all they have left in their arsenal, to whine about a few mangled words, the Right-Wing propaganda machine, in the form of Conservative talk radio and especially Fox News, is losing much of its cache. The more they ramble about insignificant things such as this, the more irrelevant they will become. So I hope they keep it up.
In conclusion, I’d like to echo something I’ve been hearing for eight years. Whether you like it or not, Barack Hussein Obama is the President of the United States. Isn’t it time that those who oppose him solely on ideological grounds get over the fact that they lost the election? And really, isn’t it un-American to criticize the President in a time of war? I’m going to have fun throwing that back into the faces of the Far Right in the years to come. Not that I think it’ll do any good. The stupidity of the drones on the Far Right should never be misunderestimated.