Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Straw Officer Of Movie Night

Last week, I heard 2 different questions that I thought would be interesting enough to address in detail here (I do plan to cross-post this to a FaceBook note tho).

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The first question was something to the effect of, "Did you see the news conference with the President-elect?"

To which I responded, "No, it's a straw office and completely irrelevant, why would I waste my time watching?"

After attempting to explain "straw office" (combine a straw man argument with a political office) to the person (he could not understand), he said, "What do you mean it's irrelevant? How can Obama be irrelevant? It says right on the front of the podium, 'The Office of the President-elect' -- how could that possibly be irrelevant? He's the President elect!"

I gave him a simple answer (which he still didn't understand, thank you crummy public education system), but decided to write out a more detailed response here. Knowing that people who read blogs would at the very least understand me, even if they (you) don't agree with my position.

I personally believe Obama must be insecure (or the world's biggest grandstander) to allow that to be placed on his podium. Yes, of course, he IS the President elect, and everyone knows it, but what you see on the podium is a made-up title for a non-existent "office."

There is no "office" of President-elect. By adding "The office of" and placing it around the seal of the President of the United States, Obama has created a placeholder title with absolutely no standing, political or otherwise. Until the day he's sworn in he is a nobody, with no official status (Just like every other President before him). After the ceremony is when he holds The Office. Until that time, he's technically only the (winning) "Democratic Candidate for President."

Just why he has done it is open to supposition, but it's my opinion that rather than make normal press releases, he felt it was imperative to keep his face before the American people AMAP (as-much-as-possible). He's too proud to make all of his speeches (as President elect) without overt recognition of himself, so they're most likely just working on image-building.

Furthermore, I cannot recall any other President-elect in history that felt the need to hold "official" press conferences prior to assuming office and used "The office of President-elect" displayed on a podium as a title. It's an immature, unprofessional placebo -- a back-handed attempt to pressure the out-going President.

[EDIT: Come to think of it, I could probably expand this post using chronological campaign references, historical comparisons of previous Presidential candidates, and write a best-selling book: The Audacity of Hype. Anyone want to set me up with an advance?]

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For question #2, someone else asked me if I was going to record the inauguration. Without thinking about the possibility of offending him, I laughed and answered, "No, I'm not even going to watch it."

He said, "Why not? This is history being made! The nation's very first black President will be sworn into office!"

So I proceeded to explain that:
1. No, Mr. Obama is not our first "black" President, his race is actually quite well mixed, but I do hope, whenever we finally get one, that the first black President does a good job.

2. I don't care if someone is black, brown, yellow, red, purple, or green-with-pink-and-blue-polka-dots -- the color any man or woman's skin is irrelevant to their performance. If any person "of color," "without color," or anywhere in between is elected to any office in our government, I only care that when holding their office (President, Governor, Senator, Congressperson, or anything else), that they govern responsibly -- in a manner that seeks to promote our country above their own ideology.

3. This is only a "passing the baton" ceremony for the office of President, eventually, there will be another President. I don't recall ever going to a basketball game for the primary purpose of watching the cheerleaders; I'd rather watch the game -- so I'm going to pass, just as I did for Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr., and Reagan (I was too young to remember the ceremonies before Reagan). I'm sure the highlights of the Obama-bash and all of its "beautitudinous glory" will be all over the news, anyway. (Come to think of it, I was always kinda leery of the guys that didn't like basketball, but still went to every game and only watched the cheerleaders -- creepy-ness.)

And finally,
4. I'd rather stay home, ignore the fluff and circumstance, and instead spend time with my family -- maybe we'll watch a movie.

I've since decided I like that third point (of #4) quite a bit. In fact, we might even rent The Manchurian Candidate -- for obvious reasons.

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