Am I the only one feeling the first day of the Obama Administration was a series of botched moments? Sure, the evening ended well with a deep expression of love between man and wife, but the entirety of the day begged for greatness but only promised the ordinary.
The botching began with Obama’s swearing in — and one can’t help but wonder if White Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts intentionally ruined the swearing in of the first Black President so the moment could not be re-played again and again in history as a final favor to the fanatical Bushites who put him in power — Roberts and Obama stumbled over each other even though they were strangely standing worlds apart on stage:
There is no such thing as a coincidence, and it didn’t take long for the conservative wolfpack media to leap at Obama’s throat to claim he was not actually President because he was not legally “sworn in” —
On Fox News, Chris Wallace just speculated that President Obama might still legally be regular ol’ Barack Obama, because his botched oath doesn’t count.
Wallace was referring to the one slip in today’s otherwise flawless ceremonies, which came at the most important moment: Chief Justice John Roberts said and President Obama repeated back to him: “I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will execute the office of President of the United States faithfully.” The oath’s actual line (which is in the Constitution) goes, “I [Barack Hussein Obama] do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.”
The most interesting botching of the day was the mainstream media’s outrageous, indignant, contempt — not for Bush, but for those in the audience of two million who loudly booed him — and the commentators could not wait to condemn the joyous singing and slaying chants directed at a president who did not serve their bests interests, or the higher morality of our country, over the last, miserable, eight years.
The NBC networks actually lowered the crowd noise to drown out the verbal rebellion while CNN let the overwhelming emotion of the crowd place the final, justified, pockmarks on the Bush Administration.
If we accept the complicity in the mainstream media’s acquiescence to Bush’s unlawful reign, then we must concede the major media’s need to brand the public square lambasting of Bush as “immature” and “uncalled for” and “un-American” because they are just as guilty as he.
One MSNBC commentator actually said this morning that the crowd should have “stood up and applauded” Bush as he descended the stairs for Obama’s swearing in — what that unwise commentator failed to understand and honor was the viral emotion of democracy in action: We can legitimately protest what we do not like; we are free verbally to punish those who have punished us — and we do it all in public, in the bright sunlight and all in utter spite of Bush’s best effort to silence and persecute dissent in America.
The crowd’s reaction to Bush was instinctual, organic, necessary, and admirable — and the fact that not a single person was arrested out of the two million attending — speaks directly to the amicable process of righteous protest in America.
The next botching was Obama’s speech. I thought it was middling, cliché-filled and terribly ordinary. Where was the poetry? Where were the higher thoughts and a call for a better, more sophisticated set of values and morality? What we got instead was a lecture, a non-discrete and tasteless Bush bashing, and a lowering of expectation. You could feel the disappointment in the crowd of two million, who all appeared to be expecting something much more from the promises coveted on the campaign trail across the last two years.
Of course, the middling, mainstream, media loved the Obama speech and called it an “instant classic” and one for “all of America.” We have learned to expect nothing more from the lesser media, especially when it comes to divining purpose and the percolation of genius.
Perhaps if Obama had written his own speech — instead of turning over the worldly task to a 27-year-old kid who wrote it at a Starbucks — we would’ve been better served.
One thing that was not botched on the day was the guttural reaction to Bush’s escape. He leapt onto his helicopter and disappeared into Midland, Texas where we hope he, and his royal family, will forever hide in shame as they all relax in that rich suburb instead of preening on his stage-ready, crafty, “ranch” in Crawford.
Maureen Dowd, a native of D.C. sensed the absolute jubilation in the air:
I’ve seen many presidents come and go, but I’ve never watched a tableau like the one Tuesday, when four million eyes turned heavenward, following the helicopter’s path out of town. Everyone, it seemed, was waving goodbye, with one or two hands, a wave that moved westward down the Mall toward the Lincoln Memorial, and keeping their eyes fixed unwaveringly on that green bird.
They wanted to make absolutely, positively certain that W. was gone.
Garrison Keillor also memorialized our second, national, visceral, emancipation:
But the great moment came later, as the mob flowed slowly across the grounds. I heard loud cheers behind me and there on the giant screen was the Former Occupant and Mrs. Bush saying goodbye to the Obamas in the parking lot behind the Capitol, the Marine helicopter behind them.
The crowd stopped and stared, a little stunned at the reality of it.
They saw it on a screen in front of the Capitol and it was actually happening on the other side. The Bushes went up the stairs, turned, waved and disappeared into the cabin, and people started to cheer in earnest. When the blades started turning, the cheering got louder, and when the chopper lifted up above the Capitol and we saw it in the sky heading for the airport, a million jubilant people waved and hollered for all they were worth. It was the most genuine, spontaneous, universal moment of the day. It was like watching the ice go out on the river.
Bush is gone.
Barack is back.
Let’s hope yesterday is the end of the beginning of the big botching.