I didn’t make it to Barack Obama’s inauguration in person, but my daughter and her husband were there. You probably saw them during the TV coverage of the event. They were the attractive couple shivering on the south side of the Washington Monument. I’m kidding. My loved ones were lost in an overflowing sea of people spread across the National Mall and stretching out for two miles, all the way from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial.
It was a most historic day. Not only was our nation’s first African American President sworn in; but when have two million people ever gathered anywhere--under the watchful eyes of 8000 police officers, 10,000 National Guardsmen, 1000 FBI personnel and hundreds of other security personnel from the Department of Homeland Security, the National Park Service and the Capitol Police--and no one was arrested? That has to be a record.
· “As of 6 p.m. no one had been arrested by any agency--unheard of for a crowd that size. Quite a testament to the President and the people wanting change for the better.”--unnamed federal agent inside the Joint Information Center, New York Daily News, 1/20/09
It is even more amazing when you consider that all it took to be arrested at a Bush event was to wear the wrong T-shirt. Change has come to Washington.
· “Four years ago, CODEPINK founders spent inauguration night in a miserable jail call, charged with disorderly conduct for unfurling a ‘Stop the War’ banner during the ceremony. This year, instead of handcuffs, we got front row seats--and hugs and kisses from the crowd as we unfurled peace banners, danced the can-can while singing ‘Yes we can-can end war’ and handed out thousands of pink ribbons calling on President Obama to keep his peace promises.”--CODEPINK, 1/23/09
Out-going Vice President Darth Cheney arrived at the Inauguration ceremony in a wheelchair, doing a spot-on imitation of the despicable Mr. Potter from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. The cover story for the wheelchair was that Cheney had hurt his back moving boxes at his new residence; but I believe Cheney is actually undergoing initial preparations to be put into suspended animation. He can then be stored at an undisclosed location until the Republicans manage to steal another election. At which time, Cheney will be revived, to once again spread death and destruction around the world (and make a tidy profit in the process).
Bush-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts was on hand to administer the Presidential Oath to Barack Obama. The Chief Justice managed to foul up the 35-word oath to the point that Barack Obama did not speak the words of the oath in the proper order.
According to the US Constitution, the Presidential oath begins: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States...”
...but Chief Justice Roberts’ version was, “I do solemnly swear that I will execute the office of President of the United States faithfully...”
Obama paused once, giving Justice Roberts an opportunity to correct his mistake; but when that did not occur, he repeated the oath as Roberts administered it (incorrectly). This caused the right-wing lunatic fringe (Fox News) to immediately claim that Obama was not really the President.
· “[W]e’re wondering here whether or not Barack Obama in fact is the president of the United States....They had a kind of garbled oath....It’s just conceivable that this will end up going to the courts.”--Chris Wallace, Fox News, 1/20/09 (Oh Boy! Maybe they can appeal it all the way to the Supreme Court, where Chief Justice Roberts and his fellow Republicans on the Court could stop the vote count--oops, I mean they could rule that Obama’s oath was not valid and appoint John McCain as President.)
That turned out to be wishful thinking. After a little practice, Justice Roberts re-administered the oath later that day; but Abraham Lincoln’s Bible was no longer available, so there was no Bible at the oath-taking. This gave the right-wing lunatic fringe one last opportunity to find fault with Barack Obama’s inauguration..
· “I checked. We have never had a president sworn into office without a Bible.”--Glenn Beck, Fox News, 1/22/09
Glenn Beck is wrong. Theodore Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and John Quincy Adams did not take their Presidential Oath on a Bible. In fact, Adams took the oath with his hand on a book of Constitutional law, which seems quite appropriate, since that is what the new President is swearing to “preserve, protect and defend”.
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