Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fixed Noise: Is Obama Really President?

Well it didn’t take the crazies down at Fox News any time at all to glom on to the botched up oath that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts delivered to President Obama yesterday, did it?

Fox’s Chris Wallace, forever the constitutional law inept, gets it all wrong again.
“You know, Megan, I have to say, I’m not sure that Barack Obama really is the President of the United States because the oath of office is set in the Constitution and I wasn’t at all convinced that ah, even after he tried to amend it that John Roberts ever got it out straight and that Barack Obama ever said the prescribed words. I suspect that everybody is going to forgive him and allow him to take over as President but I’m not sure that he said what is in the Constitution there.”
Or you can watch his idiotic performance here.

Why is this so idiotic?

If the exact recitation of this oath is the acid test by which the very fact that a person becomes President is based, then this country has never had a valid President. Here is what it says in the Constitution:
“Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:--I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Yet every President since George Washington has added the final phrase, “…so help me God.” And by custom that phrase has even been included in the oath that the Chief Justice utters for the President to repeat. Washington added the phrase voluntarily.

So no President has ever taken the oath of office as set down in the Constitution.

Now as to who administers the oath, the Constitution is silent on that issue. But by convention and custom the task has fallen to the Chief Justice. So in reality, Obama did not have to allow the Chief Justice administer the oath. His wife could have done it (and as it turns out, should have).

And given their recent history that as US Senators, both Obama and Biden voted not to confirm Roberts as Chief Justice, perhaps President Obama should have considered the possibility that Roberts might intentionally create this mar on an otherwise near-perfect ceremony.

Not sayin’ that he did it on purpose. Just sayin’.

No, the only real foul-up in the ceremony was including the “Simple Gifts” quintet in the agenda. Now I really appreciated the big names that were called to perform this American classic, and the likes of John Williams to create the arrangement, but what they did to that otherwise pleasant song is truly a crime.

But that’s not the worst of it. The worst of it is while they were sawing through that abominable arrangement the seconds past noon were ticking and Bush’s term had already officially expired.

Had expired, and we didn’t yet have a President.

Well, actually we did. Since Joe Biden had taken his oath of office before the quintet ground out that atrocity, we did have a President. It was Joe Biden, and he continued to be President for a full four minutes.


Anonymous said...

I agree with your assessment of the botched oath.

But it is interesting to note that the WH Counsel suggested and President Obama agreed to re-take the oath from Chief Justice Roberts.

You can't really think Chief Justice Roberts really did this on purpose can you?

Hal said...

No, Anon, as I said, just sayin'.

The WH counsel suggested that the oath be retaken to quiet the sounds of the crazies.

Obviously, Anon, from your comment, that didn't work.

As anyone could have predicted.

Give up Anon. He is your President now. Live with it.

Anonymous said...

I think it was silly to retake the oath.

He is my President.