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Smartest President in History Botches Oval Office Rug Quote

Oops. More unintended consequences from on high. --cd3

By Thomas Lifson[1]

Original Link:
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/09/smartest_president_in_history.html

Woven into the new presidential seal rug adorning the Oval Office is a misattributed quotation, offering us a perfect metaphor for the Obama presidency. Jamie Stiehm reports in the Washington Post[2]:

---
"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." According media reports, this quote keeping Obama company on his wheat-colored carpet is from King.

Except it's not a King quote. The words belong to a long-gone Bostonian champion of social progress. His roots in the republic ran so deep that his grandfather commanded the Minutemen at the Battle of Lexington.

For the record, Theodore Parker is your man, President Obama. Unless you're fascinated by antebellum American reformers, you may not know of the lyrically gifted Parker, an abolitionist, Unitarian minister and Transcendentalist thinker who foresaw the end of slavery, though he did not live to see emancipation. He died at age 49 in 1860, on the eve of the Civil War.

A century later, during the civil rights movement, King, an admirer of Parker, quoted the Bostonian's lofty prophecy during marches and speeches.
---

Apparently, Obama himself believed the quotation to be from King. Stiehm writes:

---
My investigation into this error led me to David Remnick's biography of Obama, "The Bridge," published this year. Early in the narrative, Remnick, the editor of the New Yorker, presents this as "Barack Obama's favorite quotation." It appears that neither Remnick nor Obama has traced the language to its true source.
===

The error perfectly encapsulates the shallowness of Barack Obama's intellect, and his lack of rigor. Obama is a man who accumulated academic credentials while giving no evidence whatsoever of achieving any depth. He was the only president of the Harvard Law Review to graduate without penning a signed article in that esteemed journal. His academic transcripts remain under lock and key, as do his academic papers.

For the sort of people like David Brooks of the New York Times, who are impressed by fancy degrees and a sharp crease in the trousers, Obama may appear to be the smartest ever occupant of the Oval Office. But, as the old joke goes, deep down, he is shallow. Underfoot, literally, there is woven into his background a prominent vein of phoniness.

For some reason or other, Obama has been able to skate through academia and politics without ever being seriously challenged to prove his depth. A simple veneer of glibness has been enough to win the accolades of the liberal intelligentsia. But now that he has actual responsibilities -- including relatively trivial ones like custodianship of the inner sanctum of the presidency -- his lack of substance keeps showing up in visible, embarrassing and troubling ways.

The ultimate irony is this: Obama's idol, Martin Luther King, had a long pattern of plagiarism[3], something airbrushed out of his story by the forces of political correctness, but well recognized by scholars of his written work. Clayborne Carson, the dean of King scholars, and director of the King Papers Project at Stanford acknowledges, "instances of textual appropriation can be seen in his earliest extant writings as well as his dissertation. The pattern is also noticeable in his speeches and sermons throughout his career."

There is no evidence that King attempted to claim authorship of the quotation woven into the Oval Office rug, so far as I know. Responsibility for this act of appropriation appears to lie on the presidential shoulders. Obama has his own pattern of appropriating things -- such as the money due to bondholders of GM and Chrysler, which he gave to the UAW, which he found more deserving, no matter what the laws of bankruptcy said about senior creditors.

When governments screw up postage stamps, the results become far more valuable to collectors, as in the case of the most expensive 20th century US postage stamp, the "inverted Jenny."[4]

In a similar way, the botched Oval Office rug becomes a precious symbol of the Obama presidency, based on an image fabricated out of symbols rather than substance, and misappropriating valuable elements of America's history. The only question remaining is whether or not President Obama will choose to keep the rug in his office.

If the president keeps it, it instantly becomes the most interesting facet of that hallowed space, the first thing any visitor will want to (discreetly, with a quick downward glance) check out and silently chuckle about. Can you imagine the mirth that a visiting head of state would experience?

But if the president decides to excise the embarrassing carpet, what does he do with it? If he burns it, then the flames become a symbol of his failed presidency. If he auctions it off, as he should, it would fetch an enormous price -- enough to help reduce the deficit, or pay for some more fancy clothes and shoes for Michelle -- but then become an everlasting symbol of his ignorance.

As in so many other aspects of his presidency, Barack Obama has put himself into a no-win situation. Fortunately, the victims this time do not include the entire American people, but only Obama's image and the private donors who putatively paid for the rug

Hat tip: Lucianne.com[5]

----------------

Footnotes:
[1] http://www.americanthinker.com/thomas_lifson/
[2] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/03/AR2010090305100.html
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._authorship_issues#cite_note-1
[4] http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8092304/
[5] http://www.lucianne.com/thread/?artnum=562670


Click to view image: 'e45fc1096d3b-sad_obama.jpg'

Added: Sep-4-2010 Occurred On: Sep-4-2010
By: copperdog3
In:
News
Tags: Obama, MLK, Martin Luther King, Oval Office, rug, President, quote
Views: 8259 | Comments: 45 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 1 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • Smartest president in history? The f'?... He brings his teleprompters to speak to grade school students.

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (18) | Report

    • Obama is a great reader not leader.

      Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

      (16) | Report

    • The DemoRats say that Obi is going to be the next Reagan... Second to that comment--- Obi is going to leave a presidential legacy greater than that of Abe Lincoln.

      Might I add, the DemoRats did praise Reagan during the Obi's election... Here is a vid to prove it---

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVuRZZNF18Q&feature=related

      Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

      (6) | Report

    • Michelle, in remembering her first date with Obama, admits she was somewhat taken aback as teleprompters were set up behind her chair at the resturant table but realized later, as the teleprompters rolled and Obama began to recite the words of Paul McCartney's "Michelle" in that unique vocal style we are all now so familiar with, that he, like most, simply could not remember all the lyrics to such a complicated piece.
      "I found it rather endearing that he was so intent on getting More..

      Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

      (3) | Report

    • I am thinking the Manchurian brain washing cleaned him out

      Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

      (-1) | Report

  • The President had an accident on the rug?

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (12) | Report

  • ~he was probably distracted while musing on his great leadership tasks in all of the 57 United States he claimed to have visited.

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (10) | Report

  • "Obama may appear to be the smartest ever occupant of the Oval Office. But, as the old joke goes, deep down, he is shallow. Underfoot, literally, there is woven into his background a prominent vein of phoniness."

    Ouch.

    "For some reason or other, Obama has been able to skate through academia and politics without ever being seriously challenged to prove his depth. A simple veneer of glibness has been enough to win the accolades of the liberal intelligentsia. But now that he ha More..

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (8) | Report

  • Obama is only smarter than the many Fools he sucked into voting for him.
    The rest of us get to say."I told you so."
    Obama is the worst prez ever, bar none.

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (7) | Report

  • I can't stand his sorry ass.

    Plain & simple.

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (5) | Report

  • Before we all jump to conclusions, I want to hear it straight from the teleprompters lips.

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (5) | Report

  • Truly smart people would never believe in liberation theology. He is an emotional zealot not a wise thinker.

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (4) | Report

  • He is the dumbest arse to occupy that office,well since jimmy carter anyway.

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (3) | Report

  • His incompetency over time will continue to generate more disparaging reviews. Maybe there was some truth to the rumor that he was merely a community organizer? Even Chris Matthews is begging him to stop using those teleprompters and act genuine. Sadly, the joke is on America.

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (2) | Report

  • i couldnt read it all....i dont think hes the smartest....i think we are the stupidestass's that allowed this to win over the minds of our 'brothers'

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (2) | Report

  • he spent millions redecorating the Oval Office and going on vacations while his economic policies destroy the nation

    I read last week that he replaced the bust of Winston Churchill with a bust of ML King.

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (1) | Report

  • I read that Obi's wife, the shaved Yeti, designed the rug.
    Bush's wife designed the old one that got a lot more use than this one will.

    Posted Sep-5-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • I don't know about anybody else, but I want to pee on the rug. It ties the room together too well.

    Posted Sep-5-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • I dont have time to paste stuff on my forehead, cause everytime I kneel on my Muslim Prayer Rug they fall off... (burP) the muslim Prez is a genius I gotten chills again - gd idiots

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Comment of user 'ReplicantDeckard' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Call me when something real happens.

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (-3) | Report

    • OK, what's your #? We can discuss this epic failure of a president, the epic failure of his policies, the generic ballot beating, 9.6% unemployment, his 100 lies and broken promises, and the 6 vacations he's taken while the rest of us hang on for dear life.

      Should I call you before or after the football games tonight?

      Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

      (6) | Report

    • Blow your nose and try to get ahold of yourself.

      It's an economic crisis and a shitty administration... not armageddon.

      Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

      (-1) | Report

    • Huh, interesting. I wonder what you do for a living, because people out in California are watching a lifetime of work and success evaporate in 18 months. Not all of them but far, far, far too many.

      Maybe we disagree on the conceptual meaning of the word "urgency" and "armageddon."

      Posted Sep-5-2010 By 

      (0) | Report

    • Well, first of all, Yorbie, neither of us ever mentioned the word "urgency".

      Second, the conceptual meaning of the word "Armageddon" is "the end of the world"..... hence, my admonition not to try and conflate an economic crisis in the US with the end of the world. Get it now, Chicken Little?

      And finally..... who gives a shit about the people of California? They created their own problems.

      Posted Sep-5-2010 By 

      (0) | Report

    • I mentioned it. Its valid, since this president and his boner squad have none of it, hence the reason we are in this "Summer Recovery" bullshit shell game. You had better have urgency, Mr. President, because this ship has taken on a ton of water and your only solution is to roll out more idiotic cliches and bumper stickers.

      Who cares about California? Lots of people do, whether you want to hear it or not. At one time it was the 5th largest free standing economy in the entire worl More..

      Posted Sep-5-2010 By 

      (0) | Report

  • OMG! Appoint a special prosecutor now!!....LOL!

    Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

    (-16) | Report

    • I know there sally, this is not a post destined to inspire higher thought processes for you. I understand. But, try to follow me here, this is a post for which a media-hyped genius with an international, bi-racial, single-mom, upbringing, harvard educated (or was it yale? they all look the same to me), steeped in the racial history and politics of the South (a region he has had very little time to visit), down for the struggle and all, and a bonafide apostle to the struggles of race despite h More..

      Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

      (8) | Report

    • Oh I get the point....Obama is the first person in history to erroneously attribute a quote to the wrong source. I get it.

      Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

      (-4) | Report

    • You see, that is a typical, lame attempt at deflecting the argument. You have not addressed the assertion that the big O is a dumbass, you have merely tried to redirect the argument into one of the idea that he is not the ONLY dumbass. Points for a nice try at a well-worn and losing debate tactic.

      Bush gets castigated for trying to open the wrong door in an endeavor to take a piss. We still see that video from time to time. Meanwhile, you try hard to make the point that everybody does it. More..

      Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

      (0) | Report

    • We get it. Obama is a dumb ass for attributing an old quote to the wrong source. Nobody else has ever done that before..we get it.

      Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

      (-3) | Report

    • Come to think of it, he might actually BE the first one to have it sewn into a custom-made rug for the oval office. Somebody call Guinness world records, we might have a new entry. Thanks for the idea there sally. You rock.

      Posted Sep-4-2010 By 

      (0) | Report