By Jueseppi B.
The National Park Service this morning formally announced its intent to proceed with the modification of the Mt. Rushmore monument in Keystone, South Dakota to incorporate the bust of President Barack Obama. The modification to the monument is scheduled to begin in late 2015, with a target date of September, 2018 for completion. The official announcement will be made tomorrow morning at the NPS’ Washington DC offices.
Satire or truth?
From The Huffington Post:
By Bill Lucey 11/19/2012
It seems every week or so, a political pundit or newspaper columnist, metaphorically speaking, propels the president to Mt. Rushmore status. In fact, Mount Rushmore and Mr. Obama are invoked so frequently in the same sentence that I began to wonder if in fact there is a movement in place to chisel the 44th president on the South Dakota mountainside.
Aside from a few Facebook pages and other minor petition drives on the Internet, there doesn’t appear to be any major Barack on Rushmore movement.
And for good reason.
According to the U.S. National Parks, there’s simply no room for any more additions to Mount Rushmore. Besides, the rock that surrounds the sculpted faces is not suitable for additional carving. David Barna, chief spokesman of the National Park Service, informs me that when Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore died in 1941, his son Lincoln Borglum closed the project and indicated that no more carvable rock existed.
Since 1989, the National Park Service has worked with RESPEC, a rock mechanics engineering firm, to study the structural stability of the sculpture and to install rock block monitoring devices that assure long-term preservation of the sculpture. “RESPEC supports our long held belief,” Barna says, “that no other rock near the sculpted faces is suitable for additional carving.” RESPEC additionally believes that if additional work were undertaken it is possible that exposing new surfaces could result in major instabilities within the existing carving.
Aside from the structural barriers, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial strongly believes the four presidential figures in place in the Black Hills of South Dakota and the ideals and meaning for which it was originally founded is fully representative without any new additions.
Read the entire story at The Huffington Post.
Now from the National Journal:
5 Reasons Why Obama Isn’t Ready for Rushmore
Ron Fournier | Editorial Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: To make it easier to follow and join the conversation with Jill and me, here are the first two takes:
Guns, Debt and Climate Change Give Obama Shot at Immortality, By Ron Fournier
Obama has Already Cemented His Legacy, Like It or Not, By Jill Lawrence.
Perhaps we should wait until his second term begins before carving Barack Obama’s face in Mount Rushmore. Is that asking too much?
The other day, I wrote that Obama has ashot at immortality if he leads the nation to substantial progress on gun violence, the national debt and climate change. My colleague and old friend Jill Lawrence filed a provactive rebuttal today: “What does a president have to do these days to get his face carved into a mountainside?”
There are limits on what Obama can do, Jill wrote, and he “already has notched two or three accomplishments that cement his legacy.”
Based on Jill’s commendable piece, here are five reasons why I think Obama is not Rushmore-ready (at least not yet):
1. The Affordable Care Act was a major political triumph: Passing a bill that promises health care to all Americans has been a goal of presidents, on and off, since Theodore Roosevelt. But you can’t call it a policy success, nor should you immortalize Obama, before knowing whether it works. Simple counter to Jill: The bill has not taken full effect.
2. Ending the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gay troops certainly earns Obama a spot in history books, but not the pantheon. It’s a small-bore regulation that affects only a minority of the population. Symbolically, of course, it’s an important piece of social change, but Obama has hardly led on gay rights (google “Biden” and “gay marriage”).
3. Historians will likely give Obama credit for steering the country away from the brink of economic collapse in 2009. He’s got a good legacy-in-progress. But, really, Mount Rushmore? Franklin Roosevelt led the nation through a long Depression and world war, and yet you don’t see his face carved into a South Dakota mountain. At the opening of his second term, FDR had his hardest work ahead of him. So does Obama.
4. Jill makes the fair point that “not even Superman or James Bond” could get this Congress to seriously address globe-choking pollution. You could say the same about guns and the national debt. Let’s stipulate for a moment that House Republicans are obstructionists; they will defy anything Obama wants. Okay, now what? Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and the Roosevelt faced adversities that, in their times, seemed impregnable. Great presidents overcome great odds.
5. Jill says that Obama victories on guns and debt would be “transitory” and thus not worth Rushmore. True, Obama would need enduring success to be lionized forever. Which points to the problem with hinging immortality, as Jill does, on the Affordable Health Care Act: What is more transitory than a polarizing law that hasn’t taken full affect?
Jill’s headline is: “Obama Has Already Cemented His Legacy, Like it or Not.” The closing clause suggests that anybody who hasn’t immortalized Obama doesn’t like him. I don’t think that’s what Jill meant, but I want to make it clear that this isn’t about liking or not liking Obama. Debating whether Obama might be a good or great president is, after all, a distinction that about 47 percent of the U.S. population would think gives him too much credit.
Read the entire article at The National Journal.
National Parks spokesman Michael Angelo stated he believed the inclusion of Obama on the statue would represent a symbolic healing of racial tensions:
“Naturally we expect some pushback from certain political quarters, however we believe that over time even staunch critics of the President will begin to adopt amore historical perspective as to the nature of his service.”
UPDATE: Some reactions are now coming in from Republicans:
stated that he won’t be visiting the monument as he owns no homes in South Dakota and doesn’t care for the people there. ”Flyover territory for me.”
“Thomas Jefferson should be added to the monument, not Obama. After all, he wrote the friggin’ Constitution, didn’t he?”
refused to respond to reporters’ questions.
Witnesses outside of Fox News’ headquarters on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan this morning reported hearing several muffled “explosions” or “pops” apparently emanating from behind the walls of the Fox studios. Ambulances were dispatched to reports of oddly duplicative, catastrophic head injuries. This story continues to develop…
The Daily KOS provided the very striking satire.
What do you think? Does a President who ends one war started by a past POTUS and winds down another war started by that same past POTUS deserve to be chiseled in stone besides four past POTUS?
Does America’s first Black President, one who has fought obstruction, racial hatred, lies, misinformation of facts, character assassination and disgusting displays of disrespect to the office of President Of The United States based solely on his skin color, WHILE still achieving accomplishments no other past President can claim….deserve to stand besides Teddy R., Old Abe, George W. and Tommy J.?
If you think old ass John McCain screamed about Black American Ambassador Susan Elizabeth Rice’s POSSIBLE nomination as Secretary Of State….
Just you wait until the issue arises, with some serious consideration, about adding Barack Hussein Obama next to the four great white hopes of America’s past.
All those old racist caucasian males in D.C. would stroke out.
Filed under: Black History, Causes, Comedy, Democrats/Democratic, Football, Fun & Games, Good News, History, News, Photographs, Politics, POTUS Obama, Race, Racism, Satire, The White House, World News Tagged: | Barack Obama, Black Hills, Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore, National Park Service, South Dakota, United States, Washington DC