Sunday, September 5, 2010

Crash: Obama's Magic Carpet...Crash AND Burn!

by swede

Oval Office rug gets history wrong - via Wa Po

First, all the brouhaha about the administration spending huge sums of money on the Oval Office makeover while the president shagged fairway shots at Martha's Vineyard is unfair and unbalanced. Note well the depressingly deplorable condition of the "room of gloom" before:

But now, hope and change aesthetic ascension!

The circumference of the purported $300K - $500K rug is woven with famous quotes from notable Americans. One moving excerpt reads, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." - ascribed to Martin Luther King. The problem is, it was not King's quote. It was penned by one Theodore Parker at the dawn of the Civil War. King used it, and properly attributed it to Parker. (Interesting bio on him in the WaPo article linked.

The veneration of King in our culture is proper and fitting. He was a remarkable human being with an indomitable passion and spirit for truth and justice. He would, I rather suspect, be appalled today - not at the Glen Beck rally at the National Mall, but at the likes of hypocrites like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton claiming to carry his legacy in the form of demagoguery, and racism mandated in law and regulation.

I also suspect that had he known how many streets were to be named after him, he may have preferred the title "Marty King". The challenge of getting "The Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr Ave" to fit on a readable street sigh has perplexed modern civilization.


  1. This is a nontroversy swede. There are no attributions on the carpet, only the quotations. In addition, MLK paraphrased and revised the original Parker quote and made it his own. He used this "new" quote frequently, and many, many folks (including conservatives) attribute it to MLK. The WaPo piece was poorly researched. Don't believe everything you read.

  2. Huh. I suppose you can't believe anything you read in the MSM. So the report that the rug people didn't research the quote was not researched by WaPo - who's research must always be researched for accuracy before being accepted. Should have known.

  3. At the American Thinker, Thomas Lifson opines on what such a gaffe says about the president:

    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.

  4. Rags, the quotation in question is in fact from MLK. Dig a bit deeper...intellectual laziness does not become you.

  5. RJ, Dr. King was a plagiarist from way back. If you want, I can provide cites that I think you will find authentic.

    I noted you don't provide any. Hmmm...