What? We’re Faking the Inaugural?

Since Chief Justice John Roberts totally flubbed his first presidential swearing in he’ll get to do it in private this time, and then role play for the public afterwards. Huh?

Because inauguration day falls on a Sunday in 2013, plans are for Roberts to officially administer the oath of office in a private ceremony that day. The public inauguration on the Capitol Building’s West Front — at which Roberts will administer a second, symbolic oath of office — will take place the next day.

So what if it falls on a Sunday. Let the public see the real thing, even if Roberts screws it up again.

50 thoughts on “What? We’re Faking the Inaugural?”

  1. Yeah! What the hell, Roberts! 👿

    The Military Channel’s new special was shown last night at 10:00. The movie film shot by a doctor that shows the Arizona being blown to smithereens has been digitalized and now it reveals so much more. The show was put together very well, especially for those of us who have not been to Oahu’s Pearl Harbor.
    The most surprising revelation: Winston Churchill was absolutely giddy to hear of Pearl Harbor, because he needed the USA to get into the war and come over to Europe to help crush Hitler.
    I had forgotten that FDR never declared war on Germany, didn’t have to when Hitler declared war on the USA when Pearl was destroyed.

  2. Tinfoil hat redux: Of course the official ceremony will be held in private….so we won’t see his hand on the Koran.
    Somehow I think President Obama could be sworn in holding Washington’s bible in one hand, Reagan’s in the other, while wearing Lincoln’s stovepipe hat and somebody somewhere will question his legitimacy.
    I get the low key Sunday is a nod to Christians and old sensibilities. Kind of ironic considering Sunday means Football to more Americans than Amen.

    Tinfoil hat redux redux:Thank goodness for Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt. Talk about the right people at the right time. ‘Nuff said.

    Sidenote:Bill Murray as FDR. Wow – inspired casting. Looking forward to seeing this movie.

  3. The little county where I was raised whne they would elect a woman to a particular office it was like that office suddenly became a woman’s job and only women would run for the office from then on. Don’t know if it is still that way as I haven’t been back in a while. Have you noticed how they seem to have made the SOS into a womans job?

    jack, yeah, this phenom seemed to be the case in russia with prevalence of female docs.
    add to that an automatic lowering of pay and percs when the ladies move in.
    craig, when the church recognizes female priests, that’s when you might see a woman pres.

    “church” means from mormans to muslims and all the male centric sects between

  4. Roberts flubbing the oath… first thing I thought of upon hearing of the fake inaugural news.

  5. We’re Faking the Inaugural?

    why not? for awhile there 2000-08 we had a fake president.

  6. Wouldn’t we be gypping a lot of DC employees out of a paid holiday if the inauguration was held on Sunday? C’mon Craig, quit trying to hurt the middle-class. 😉

  7. Craig… I agree that Hillary is probably the only woman who can get elected president in the next cycle or maybe 2…
    however… my objection is really to this phrase…

    Convinced she’s the only shot at a woman prez in my lifetime

    the emphasis being “in my lifetime”… seeing how people are now routinely living into their late 80s/early 90s, that would mean you think you can foresee what Americans attitudes will be into the next 30-35 years.

    30 years ago was 1982. Did you predict back then that you, as a gay man, would be able to marry your partner today?… did you foresee that this country would elect it’s first openly bi-sexual person into Congress?

    I keep hearing that today’s 20 something year olds and teens have very different attitudes towards things such as race, gender, and sexual orientation than us baby boomers. In 30 years they will be in their 40s & 50s.
    IMO, it’s shortsighted to say you know for sure they won’t elect a woman. I say… I have no idea what will happen, but I sure hope I’m around to find out… :smile:

  8. Private ceremony is best for Roberts. Republicans are still pissed about his Obama care opinion. He may face cat calls in the public ceremony.

    By the way, I wonder where the republicans will be holding their stop Obama meeting this time? Will it be on Sunday or Monday? Guess DeMint won’t be attending. 😉

  9. I can’t say if Churchill was giddy or just immensely relieved to have an ally that brought a lot to the table.
    If he was giddy, to paraphrase Churchill himself, there was much to be giddy about. England would survive.

  10. I think jace is right on… Churchill was not ‘giddy’ about the loss of American lives, but rather the swing of American opinion about the stakes of a world war, given the actors and aims of a 40’s era world domination scheme.

  11. Inauguration Day is such a constitutionally important day that it should be held on the 20th. Having it done in the White House on that day fulfills the requirement.

    The ceremony itself should be broadcast live on c-span and every other network that wishes to carry it. It should be attended by the other constitutional officers of our country.

    The major public ceremony on the 21st should be billed as “One More Time for Good Luck!”

  12. I just don’t see potential Dem. candidates standing aside and waiting for HRC to decide, and I don’t think that she wants to decide right now. She wants to rest.
    Probably would like to see which the wind is blowing after the 2014 mid term elections.
    If the economy and unemployment are where they should be and the War in Afghanistan is over, 2016 could be another good year for Dems. In which case HRC could win in a walk.

  13. When I am in the business of inviting historical figures to dinner, Winston Churchill is always at the top of my guest list. 😉

  14. Greetings from the desert.

    IMHO, the president’s second term should be sworn in at a television appearance on C-SPAN on the 20th regardless of the day and save the money toward the deficit or some other good cause. It’s just a drop in the bucket but with enough drops real money could be saved. A billion here and a billion there and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

    Go Navy!

  15. The show host said Hitler declared war on the USA the day after Pearl Harbor, and said it was Hitler’s greatest blunder, drawing the USA into the war across the Atlantic. They left out the part of the USA declaring war a few days after Pearl Harbor.

    However, they were very , very clear on the point of Churchill being “giddy” at the news of Pearl Harbor, as Churchill equated the loss of US military lives as “one or two days of the bombing (in London)” and he was very happy to have the US into the fray.

  16. eprof says: IMHO, the president’s second term should be sworn in at a television appearance on C-SPAN on the 20th regardless of the day

    couldn’t agree more, eprof. this situation really is bizarre. the current white house plan to have a private swearing-in with only its official photographer to record the moment really stinks. this should not stand.

  17. yep, dexter, we should be thankful that hitler was a raving lunatic. had he actually been a sensible dictator he might have won the thing. he could have whipped Churchill, but not after he took on Stalin and Roosevelt, and let Japan go nuts. thank God he was such a dumb ass

  18. sjwny

    Bill Murray getting acting raves, the movie not so much. Fell off potential 10 best lists rather rapidly and other contenders appeared. Right now the knock down drag out seems to be Zero Dark 30 vs. Lincoln vs. Les Miserables … This year’s Oscars likely to go to somebody’s war somewhere … Jamie’s Place For Stuff

  19. Pat
    Interesting link,
    I wonder what would happen if the priest told his higher ups, “Sorry but you don’t have the power, Only God can remove me from the priesthood”

    Then if a few of his “friends” would show a little courage and support him. “If” is such a big word.

    I found this quote in the article to be interesting.

    in 2010 the church included the “attempted ordination of women” among the list of grave crimes against its law, under the same category as the sexual abuse of minors. Grave crimes are punishable by defrocking or excommunication.

    The Catholic church leaders and the Chinese Communist party have a lot of the same problems. It is not going to end well for either of them. The world is changing and those old farts are stuck in the past


  20. As I am more interested in the problems in China then the Vatican,
    I found this post by James Fallows of The Atlantic to be interesting

    The contradiction is this:
    China’s system must change, so that its now too-suspicious, too-controlling political institutions relax to meet the demands of an increasingly sophisticated economy run by increasingly urbane, educated people;
    China’s system can’t change, because of all the entrenched interests with something to lose.
    Both statements are true now; both can’t simultaneously remain true in the long run; but which will give way to the other no one can say for sure.

  21. The wife is out of town for another 10 days, Setting in the house just me a dog and 2 cats

    Ain’t Misbehaving.


  22. Thank God the US Army Service Academy at West Point’s football team, the Black Knights, are not the Army’s hand grenade team in the war…they’d blow themselves up by fumbling all the live grenades! And so again… the Middies shove another loss down Army’s throat in Philadelphia. It was a close one at least. My dad, a WWII era Navy vet paid no attention to football except he did have a mild interest in the Army-Navy game. He’d not watch it, but he would ask me who won. He’d joke with me when Navy won, as I am an Army vet.

  23. httpv://youtu.be/NkzApjFY9ak

    Sunday Serendipity.

    In keeping with my Advent state of mind,a somewhat contemporary twist on a tune from 1140 AD. Enjoy! 😉

  24. Inauguration Day is such a constitutionally important day that it should be held on the 20th.

    flatus, i agree and the oath should be administered asap so there is no gap or question of authority or orderly function of govt. we live in strange times where malice lurks in public gatherings and an immediate private (small political family only gathering but televised) would quiet my fears of untoward evil attempts to destabalize.
    edvb, we still could avoid ” gypping a lot of DC employees out of a paid holiday” but just not have all the hoopla.

  25. This Monday inauguration address thing isn’t as out of the ordinary as we seem to think. As Wiki points out:

    “Inaugural ceremonies have been held on five different calendar dates in the year: April 30, March 4 and 5, and January 20 and 21. Washington gave his first address on April 30, 1789 and his second one on March 4, 1793, which was the commencement date for presidential terms. This March 4 date was changed to January 20 by the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    Sunday exceptions
    “From the years 1793 to 1933, the addresses were given on March 4 with only four exceptions. Because March 4 fell on a Sunday in each of their respective inaugural years, Monroe, Taylor, Hayes and Wilson each gave an address on Monday, March 5. Since 1937, addresses have been given on January 20 with only two exceptions (other than following a premature end to the presidential term). Presidents Eisenhower and Reagan each gave an address on Monday, January 21. The next inauguration day that will fall on a Sunday is January 20, 2013.”

    Not sure why the oath will be re-administered for the cameras. As for me, I’ll be at work on Monday the 21st unless Mrs. P has a Scrooge-like epiphany and grants her No.1 employee the day off. (But thanks to the magic of electronics, I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to miss the address even if I tried my best.

  26. Jace, what an interesting piece of music. What is that sitar-like instrument – obviously in open tuning since no fingering of the fingerboard is occurring? ❓

  27. Pogo, i don’t see how avoiding Sunday for religious reasons can be sustained going forward. Many inauguration days will likely fall on significant dates in other religions that more and more Americans follow. This is a slippery slope. The only neutral path is what the Constitution itself calls for — separation of church and state.

    January 20 is the constitutional date, period. Give the speech on Monday, if we must, but don’t do a fake swearing in.

    If this Sunday thing was such a problem why didn’t the 20th Amendment address it?

    But my even bigger problem is this hideous White House plan to do the real swearing-in privately with no media coverage for the public to watch.

  28. Poobah, I hear your concerns, and being a staunch Separation advocate, you’ll have to look elsewhere to find someone to defend moving a state ceremony to Monday for religious reasons.

    But that’s not what’s happening. The State ceremony – the inauguration of the President elect – will happen on Sunday as required by the 20th Amendment. The fake swearing in photo op and parties (unofficial Bacchanalia) will occur on Monday. Is it silly? you betcha. But it isn’t more than show biz.

    Now here’s where we agree – the private swearing in should be covered as if it were official (after all, it is). Where the hell is CSpan when you need them? Besides, it needs to be documented in high definition (> 720 p.) to be shown in the displays at the Obama Library. I’m all for public displays of ceremonial acts – just don’t make me watch the swearing in of new members of Congress, the cabinet, the Courts, etc., but the President – even though I couldn’t care less about the ceremony, it should be public. (Otherwise how do we know he was sworn in? Kinda like that COLB thing) 😉

  29. But my even bigger problem is this hideous White House plan to do the real swearing-in privately with no media coverage for the public to watch.

    craig, who said “no coverage”? the article you linked says

    Both the White House and the committee note that “private” simply means the event is not open to the public and that press arrangements have not been formalized.

    why are chuckie and the boys so impatient?

    yes, wh spokespeople screwed up (again senselessly and insensitively) with the term “private”. maybe explain limitations of space dictate that it not be open to the general public and all the prima donnas of the press. public doesn’t always mean everybody and his dog. a witness or two, one camera and live mic are enough for posterity. the constitution says times up at noon on the 20th and that’s when they should start swearing, chuckie or no chuckie.
    forego the festivities (wastes time and money). wh should make a point, be a model emphasizing the need for all the officials to work every minute available on solving our economic problems.

  30. Pogo,

    Had to google it myself, but this is what I found.

    The tambura, tanpura, tamboura or taanpura is a long-necked plucked lute (a stringed instrument found in different forms and in many places). The body shape of the tambura somewhat resembles that of the sitar, but it has no frets – and the strings are played open. One or more tamburas may accompany other musicians or vocalists. It has four or five (rarely six) wire strings, which are plucked one after another in a regular pattern to create a harmonic resonance on the basic note (bourdon or drone function). An electronic tanpura is often substituted in contemporary Indian classical music performance.

    I was very taken by the melding of an East Indian instrument with a song from, tenth century Europe

    Hildegard von Bingen was by all accounts quite a lady. She insisted on being a composer/performer at a time when such activities were for men only. Apparently she persevered and had a long and successful life. She left us quite a trove of music, and with it the ability to assume if not completely understand something of the music and performance practices of the time.

    The long solo melody lines might well have been sparely accompanied by some instrument of the day either plucked or some type of drone. The melody lines are quite florid and intricate in comparison to much of the music of the time especially the chant.

    I am glad you found the work to be interesting, and I am glad that I came upon it. After listening to it a couple of times I began to think that perhaps the use of the tamboura was a good choice, and that the results were remarkable. East integrated with West to provide a good and perhaps relatively authentic sounding performance.

    In case you couldn’t tell, I like talking about this stuff. 😉

  31. patd, i think we media worry worts are sensitive because this hasn’t exactly been the most transparent WH in history, and these initial announcements bore the markings of a trial balloon to see what they could get away with it, requiring a vocal response

  32. Craig,
    Very good threads! I agree with you regarding Hillary.
    I wish things were different and woman were in the lead as far as running for president.. Women in my eyes, very practical for the most part, so i hope for a woman as president soon..

  33. Jace, I’m sorry to say that I enjoyed her voice and the song, but I hated the instrument as I hate thesitar. I realize that marks me as parochial and
    unsophistocated so I will accept that charge. My ear can’t stand the twanging any more than it can accept the twang of metallic “strings.” I have several of Hildegard’s cd’s of chants and love them, so I guess this really does qualify as a song. I inherited not one squat of my mother’s musical genius
    and don’t know about the differences between an 8 note scale and any others, except that I don’t like
    asian music or arabian music. What I know of Jewish or Hebrew music I do like. The only western music I dislike is acid rock or metallicsounds – I understand
    Jimi Hendrix (?) was known for long riffs (?) and will appreciate that he deserved credit as a wonderful musician, but I’m damned if I can understand how the screeching noise can be pleasing to any one.

    Don’t know why I went on so long about it. You giv
    me an oppertunity an’ I tuk it.

  34. Oh Bethy,

    No problem. The selections I post are not intended to be universally appreciated in every or any aspect.
    They are what strikes my fancy at a given moment.

    I find that I am a slave to the classical tradition of Western music, and I try to break out of that as much as possible because it is good for me personally.

    Art an any form is such a personal and subjective experience that I don’t expect nor even desire that any one find my posts as interesting or enjoyable as I do.

    It is satisfaction enough that you took time to listen and comment.

    Good on you. 😉

  35. I can’t imagine Obama foregoing the photo ops and pomp of a second inauguration — or bowing to the Fundy’s lunacy. I get a feeling he’ll be safer being sworn in in the WH. Inside. Just a funny feeling. The RWNJ’s are going crazy over his second term. How many threats have there been? Countless, I’m willing to bet. Let’s accept it. It’s for Obama’s good.

  36. Dispatch from Richard Engel:

    Syria- “There are tremendous economic difficulties for the rebels. The Syrian currency is worth about half of what it was worth before the war. A loaf of bread costs 20 times more than it did just a few months ago and fuel is expensive and in short supply. But despite all of this the rebels are making advances. They are pushing onto President Bashar al-Assad’s military bases. There is no hope here for a diplomatic solution, the rebels don’t want one. The only solution they will accept is a military victory.” – from Facebook

    And from the San Francisco Chronicle we read of Seattle’s City Hall being flooded with gay couples marrying:

  37. Folks, just when you thought that the voter identification laws that were struck down in your fair land would see off any of this nonsense, we get our own born and bred idiot advocating the same in Oz. Whiny Piney aka Christopher Pyne has complained about the changes to our electoral laws. At present, to be enrolled, you need to formally apply. The new law will automatically enroll people and change their enrollment details according to any public change of life circumstances. That will add about a further 1.5 million to the electoral rolls and thus make everyone eligible to vote, able to vote. Pyne has declared that this is just a political scam to get people to vote. Gasp. People in a democracy actually voting??? Who would have guessed.

    Pynes ideas have just hit the press today. We are all gobsmacked that this idiot could actually be a potential Prime Minister. His idea is to establish identity laws similar to those thrown out in your great land as undemocratic poll taxes. Isn’t it good to know that idiocy is not a national trait but something shared by politicians all round the world.

    You can read about this farrago here:

    Pyne brands electoral reform Labor rort

  38. This is the same half-wit who has air brushed out the GFC from Australian economic history. Pyne claims that there was no GFC in Australia and the current government just tossed money around like a drunken sailor. Had his side been in government, Oz would have been in a sea of stability with surplus budgets and high economic growth. Indeed he says without a hint of embarrassment, that if he were in government, he would have “got through the global financial crisis quite easily”.

    Pyne caught red-handed with the airbrush

  39. Jeffrey Sachs, of Columbia University, is one of the top world economists. His book, The Price of Civilisation: Economics and Ethics after the Fall, argues that America’s greatest problem is moral, not economic. The root of America’s economic crisis lies a moral crisis. In essence, “America’s political institutions have broken down, so that the broad public no longer holds these elites to account.”

    ”On many days it seems that the only difference between the Republicans and Democrats is that Big Oil owns the Republicans while Wall Street owns the Democrats.


    “A society of markets, laws and elections is not enough if the rich and powerful fail to behave with respect, honesty and compassion toward the rest of society and towards the world. America has developed the world’s most competitive market society but has squandered its civic virtue along the way.

    ”Without restoring an ethos of social responsibility, there can be no meaningful and sustained economic recovery.”

    How do people feel about this?

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