I normally manage to remain in control of my emotions when I read the newspaper--short, in recent years, of those bouts of anger reading about what our former non-president had done, and fear about the consequences of his actions. I suppose those count as emotions. But I found myself choking up all over again as I read the New York Times report of how Obama spent his first day in the Oval Office. This is getting ridiculous. But isn't it nice, for a change, instead of turning the pages and reading about one disastrous mis-step after the next, to find oneself nodding sagely at each turn of the page: Hmmm, yes, good move. That was the right thing to have done...
There was a column that linguistically explained the likely source of the Chief Justice's flubbing of the words of the oath of office: a pedant's revulsion for the grammatical "error" of a "split verb" in the wording of the Constitution: from the strictly technical point of view, it is incorrect to split an infinitive or a future construction by placing an adverb in between. Thus, "to faithfully execute" should strictly read "faithfully to execute" or "to execute faithfully." Those founders! A strict constructionist, the Chief Justice must have been torn between the words of the Constitution and his reputed pedantry, and his confusion was reflected in his very public foundering on the rocks of mis-spoken lines--an embarrassment viewed by millions throughout the world.
No matter, Obama did the right thing (again!) by insisting that Roberts participate in the return engagement, leaving not the slightest grounds for nigglers--yes, please look again: I spelled that right--of all shades to contest his legitimacy. And isn't it good to hear a President talk about openness and transparency being the hallmark of his office? And signing an order, Day One, to begin the process of closing Guantanamo? And capping the salaries of his staff? And barring lobbyists from his--I mean our--White House?
It's enough to make a grown man cry.
Oh, and speaking of intelligence, a friend sent me this link to a video which I have not seen elsewhere, and which I found quite charming. It does put things into perspective.