Pres. Obama’s disrespect for the military

I was really angry when I first saw this.

Mr. President.  These guys are NOT your valets!  They are NOT hotel doormen!

From the Daily Caller:

Obama breaches Marine umbrella protocol

The commander in chief of the American armed forces today forced a violation of Marine Corps regulations, so he wouldn’t get wet.

According to Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F of the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations chapter 3, a male Marine is not allowed to carry an umbrella while in uniform. There is no provision in the Marine Corps uniform regulation guidelines that allows a male Marine to carry an umbrella.

Nevertheless, during a press conference under a light drizzle with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan this morning, President Obama allowed the First Head to be protected from the elements by an umbrella held by a male Marine corporal.

The relevant portion of the regulation reads, “3035. UMBRELLAS (Female Marines). Female Marines may carry an all-black, plain standard or collapsible umbrella at their option during inclement weather with the service and dress uniforms. It will be carried in the left hand so that the hand salute can be properly rendered. Umbrellas may not be used/carried in formation nor will they be carried with the utility uniform.”

Items not expressly delineated as authorized components of the Marine Corps uniform are prohibited. Male Marines are informed never to carry an umbrella from the earliest phases of training.

Not even the President of the United States can request a Marine to carry an umbrella without the express consent of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, according to the Marine Corps Manual.

The Marine Corps Manual, the guidebook that defines protocol for officers and enlisted Marines, in section 2806 paragraph 2, specifically states: “The Marine Corps Uniform Regulations, published by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, shall be binding on all Marines. No officer or official shall issue instructions which conflict with, alter, or amend any provision without the approval of the Commandant of the Marine Corps.


I saw this.  Amusing.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. MarcAnthony says:

    Isn’t Obama, as Commander in Chief, the ultimate head of the military though?

  2. maryh says:

    He specifically requested the Marines because they’d look good next to him?

    Oath of Enlistment:
    I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

    I read that to say that the soldier swears to obey the orders of the President according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So even though Obama, as the Commander in Chief, is the ultimate head of the military, he didn’t have the authority to do what he did. He should have gotten the regulations changed first.

    Interestingly enough, the part of the oath to support and defend the Constitution does not have that caveat.

    They could have gotten a female Marine to do it, or the male Marine could have changed out of uniform. Either way would have satisfied the President’s order without causing a Marine to break his or her oath.

    It might not have looked as good though.

  3. While this is not good, it is a mere speck compared to the rest of his record and getting upset about it is kind of difficult.

  4. Cantor says:

    In a battle with protocol directives of the Marine Corps Commandant… Section 2, Clause 1 of the US Constitution gives Mr. Obama a trump card.

    Does it look goofy? Of course it does. But so would a soaking wet President.

    In the event, some flunky asked this poor kid to hold the umbrella and he had to choose which ‘goofy’ was less of a problem for carrying out the mission of the United States. You know it’ll haunt him for the rest of his days in the, Corps, and likely beyond, but it was a courageous and well-implemented decision. (YOU try holding an umbrella like that and see how long you last!)

    There’s an excellent video on the responsibilities of the four Marines at the White House at

  5. Clearly I wasn’t the only one put off by this….If the Queen of England can hold her own umbrella, so can the president….but even worse the fact that no one thought to put an awning or hold the event inside on a rainy day.

  6. Tim Ferguson says:

    Isn’t that a covered porch a few feet behind the President?

  7. Stu says:

    Well, it’s not an unlawful order by the Commander-in-Chief. But it does display an aloofness. And yes, just about all of the former Presidents have been photographed with others (including military) holding an umbrella over their head. I don’t particularly care for that either.

  8. FrDulli says:

    What about the secret service? Or an intern from the White House? Somebody else could have done this. I do not think that the president has people in place who know about protocols and customs. It has been demonstrated time and again.

  9. Tim Capps says:

    Umbrella Stand Marine Corps? I think not! It just looks lame, and anyone with an ounce of respect for the military would have done something else. I’m not sure that it violates a regulation though (e.g. is he “carrying” an umbrella as contemplated in the regs? — but then again, I’m a lawyer, and my mind is ruined for actual thinking).

  10. jmvbxx says:

    Mountain out of a molehill!

  11. Nan says:

    It’s still tacky even if he is the commander in chief. It makes it clear that he’s a dumbass.

  12. Deacon Bill says:

    I agree with jmvbxx: this IS a mountain out of a molehill.

    I served on active duty in the Navy for twenty-two years: three years as an enlisted Hebrew (and later, Russian) linguist serving overseas, and the remainder as a commissioned officer, retiring as a Commander. Over those years, all and each of us were asked to do things that others may very well have deemed bizarre. My guess is that the Marine in question was proud to be serving his commander-in-chief as needs dictated. Might someone else have been asked to do this? Might the venue have been changed? Yes on each count. But that’s not what happened, and this Marine was asked to do it. The attitude might just easily have been: “When you want it done right. . . .”

    I wonder, hypothetically, how a Swiss Guardsman would feel holding an umbrella over the Pope, his commander-in-chief? I would expect the same pride of doing something well in accordance with one’s oath and duty would apply.

    God bless,

  13. Gulielmus says:

    No one opposes Obama’s policies more than I– I volunteered during both campaigns for his opponents. But opposition is made more difficult when things like this are blown out of proportion, and it makes those of us hoping to defeat his agenda look unbalanced and hysterical. Previous presidents have had secret service agents and Army aides hold umbrellas for them– and the Army has the same ban on soldiers in uniform carrying umbrellas that the Marines have.

  14. LarryW2LJ says:

    Sorry, but I beg to differ. It’s not making a mountain out of a molehill. It’s about dignity, respect and decorum. The military is not the President’s plaything – there to utilize when it’s raining, but to ignore when they ask for help (Benghazi – yes, Benghazi, it’s NOT going to magically disappear).

    If the “Old Guard” from the Army can stay on post and guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during Hurricane Sandy, the Dear Beloved Leader can make a speech in drizzle. He’s not made of sugar.

  15. Andrew and jmv,

    This is just another example of how Obama sees America – in service to HIM. I can see narcissistic Emperors Diocletian and Nero doing the same thing: “centurion, take that umbrella and cover my head as I glorify myself in yet another self aggrandizing speech.”

    But worse yet it is another example of how Obama sees the Military. Look no further than his covering up of the Benghazi incident. He was more concerned about his appearance before an election and dishonor the 4 men who died there by lying to the country – and the families of the dead – about it.

  16. Jean Marie says:

    While the Swiss Guardman’s would consider it an honor to shield the Pope because of his love and respect for the man, Obama has shown nothing but disdain for our armed forces and simply demonstrated it again. How painful it must be to serve this “Commander in Chief.”

  17. Speaking of Obama, Benghazi, and Emperor Nero . . . didn’t Emperor Nero also blame the Christians for burning Rome?

  18. Luvadoxi says:

    I’m not sure this is a problem–the regulations say an official can’t order it but has to check with the Commandant; isn’t the President, being Commander in Chief, above the Commandant? I don’t like this President, but the picture doesn’t offend me. I think it’s a stretch….

  19. happyCatholic says:

    I agree with FrDulli and Tim Ferguson. There is a porch right behind them or they are other staffers who could have done this. I think it just shows a disrespect for our military, but then, Obama went to sleep or wherever while our ambassador and his staff were under terrorist attack, as well as leave the former SEALS to die who were obviously expecting assistance, so his actions toward the military seem sadly consistent.

  20. Phillip says:

    The President is Commander in Chief of the armed forces and he has the constitutional authority to trump Marine Corps regulations without authorization from the Commandant: the Commandant works for him, not the other way round. It was not an unlawful order, nor was it an order without precedent from other presidents. I don’t like Obama, but to say that this is “disrespectful of the military” strikes me as outrage over absolutely nothing.

  21. LarryW2LJ says:

    And in the end, the President should remember that he works for us, and not the other way around.

  22. I appreciate the comments by those in the military, and I am checking my own reaction somewhat in light of theirs; nevertheless, allow me to say why this bothers me.

    It is not that it violates protocol. it isnt because I think the President needs to hold his own umbrella. He’s doing something, not just walking, so he needs someone else to do it; fine. But get a staffer to do it. Not men or women who are there to guard him. They are ready to give their lives for him; they deserve better than to be treated as fancy hotel doormen.

    Is it a huge thing? No. Just another example of cluelessness and narcissism from our President.

  23. L. says:

    I’m no fan of the President, to say the least, but it seems to me that the regulation prohibits the Marine from using an umbrella for himself. When he’s holding the umbrella over the President, it’s part of the President’s “uniform,” not the Marine’s. I’m tempted to suggest that the act was pointless since the President is all wet anyway, but that would constitute cheap humor.

  24. Bob B. says:

    In the Army, we couldn’t carry an umbrella either – only the Airheads and Squids…

  25. billy says:

    Much ado about nothing. Nobody knows more about the sacrifices of the military then the commander in chief. I’m no fan but this is a cheap shot……

    [You have been wrong in every comment you have, so far, posted on this blog.]

  26. Tradster says:

    OK,I’m curious to know why G.I.Jane feminist equality doesn’t apply to inclement weather?

  27. Panterina says:

    It could be a matter of interpretation of the Regulations: Clearly, they are aimed at the servicemen, so that they don’t use an umbrella to repair from the elements for themselves. Judging by the picture, the Marine is not trying to shelter himself. So, one could argue that the Regulation is ambiguous on the point about carrying an ombrella for the benefit of someone else.

    That being said, I agree that Marines aren’t supposed to be someone’s valet. I also found it odd when, watching The West Wing, the Marines would open the door for the President. I take it it’s a form of respect for the Office of the President, but the “valet” thing did cross my mind.

  28. Papabile says:

    There were plenty of times when I was in the Army that I witnessed enlisteds holding an umbrella over an officer’s head. The regulation in the Army prohibits males from holding one for oneself, not for another.

    Mot recently, I saw this done at Arlington during the burial of a friend who was killed in Afghanistan.

    Furthermore, in the Army (not sure in the Navy/MC), uniform regulations only apply to Colonel and below. Generals literally have the ability to design their own, if they so wish. Virtually none do.

    The Army regulation is thus:
    AR 670-1
    27–27. Umbrella
    a. Type. The umbrella is an optional purchase item.
    b. Description. The umbrella is black, plain, with no logos or designs, and is of a commercial design.
    c. How worn. Females may carry and use an umbrella, only during inclement weather, when wearing the service (class A and B), dress, and mess uniforms. Umbrellas are not authorized in formations or when wearing field or utility uniforms.

  29. acardnal says:

    1) No service member is obliged to follow an illegal order.

    2) Not sure if this regulation has changed but when I was in the Air Force in the 1970s, males were not allowed to use an umbrella at any time when in uniform. If it was raining, you could use the government issued raincoat. That’s it! Of course, a head covering is required when in uniform and outdoors.

  30. Papabile says:

    1) I find it hard to believe it would have been an “illegal” order. It i not a matter of UCMJ, but uniform regulation. A regulation violation to be sure, but as the Commander in Chief, any potential Article 92 violation would be mitigated by the fact he could waive a regulation.

    2) In the Army, males can’t use an umbrella when in uniform either. However, nothing prohibits them from holding one for someone else.

  31. Will D. says:

    Oh, for heaven’s sakes. Once again, this is an example of people letting their disdain for Obama cloud their perception. Marine sentries open the doors at the White House as part of their assigned duties, they are in fact, the President’s doormen (N.B. not Mr. Obama’s doormen, The President’s). As Gulielmus shows in his link, this is not the first time a member of the military has held an umbrella over the president. The Marines are not violating orders because they are not shielding themselves with the umbrellas.

    Now, if you want to ask why the press conference wasn’t held in the 2900 square foot East Room, where they are typically held during inclement weather, that would be a fair question.

    As for acardnal’s first point: put yourself in Corporal X’s shoes. Would you really going to refuse and be disciplined if not arrested for refusing to follow orders and hope to make your case at a court martial, or would you hold the umbrella?

  32. catholiccomelately says:

    Gee whiz, President Obama, hold your own umbrella or stand under the portico ….. seriously! Are you a King?

  33. Dan says:

    This is being taken way out of proportion. The President, as C-in-C, is permitted to have an umbrella held over his head (even by a marine). I’d like to see the rest of the photograph, as I’m sure another marine was probably holding one over the head of the Turkish Prime Minister as well. This appears to be standard practice even with previous presidents (see Gulielmus’ post above), and the regulations simply prohibit carrying an umbrella for personal use. Does anyone honestly believe that the President is bound to request permission of the Commandant before he asks a marine to carry an umbrella for him? Obviously, as C-in-C, the president can have one carried over his head while he’s making an outdoor address.

    There are plenty of legitimate issues that the present administration must be held accountable for (i.e., HHS Mandate, Benghazi, IRS, etc.). Using an umbrella on a rainy day is not one of them.

  34. Traductora says:

    Billy, I’m assuming you’ve never been in the military or had any relatives or even friends in it. This was a combination of contemptuous and ignorant. But that’s Obama in a nutshell.

  35. StJude says:

    Obama is a narcissist. this is just another example.

  36. EXCHIEF says:

    Whether the POTUS as CIC has the authority to make this happen is not the issue in my opinion. The issue is whether it should have happened. It sends a message and like most of what this self-loving, self-serving, lame excuse for a President does the message it sends is not a good one. While he may think he is the smartest guy on the planet I’ll take a U S Marine PFC over him any day and under any circumstance. Every PFC I have ever met has integrity, honesty, character and devotion to God and Country. BHO has none of the above. If I did not hold him in great disdain before Benghazi I certainly do now. He let our people fry and then lied about it. He is, IMO, simply not worthy of having any service member hold an umbrella over his swollen head.

  37. billy says:

    @traductora – I served four years on active duty in the U.S. Army. I wore the uniform of this nation proudly. When given a lawful order I would obey it. I’m not a fan of the president. Nevertheless he is the commander in chief. And I don’t like Obama care or the HHS mandate, but I’m not sure he disrespected the armed forces.

  38. benedetta says:

    The photograph is emblematic of Obama’s attitude in general, who he thinks he is and the degree to which he feels entitled, plain and simple. They open doors at the WH, it’s true, but it isn’t because we in this country have a right to regard them as glorified doormen, and glorified etc etc, whatever I want. That is the issue. Protocol is protocol. The Marines take seriously their protocol there, and Obama likewise should extend the same to the Marines.

  39. Gulielmus’ pictures are a strong rebuttal. It may be that I am too influenced by my disdain for the President.

  40. Fr Martin Fox says: It may be that I am too influenced by my disdain for the President.

    I have to admit that that may be true in my case as well.

  41. The Masked Chicken says:

    If only I had a piano and Tom Lehrer…I feel a song a’comin on:

    Oh, there’s a fella,
    With an umbrella

    Who’s a Marine –
    It’s quite a scene

    Covering Obama
    It’s quite a drama

    Our head of state
    With dripping pate

    Is not allowed
    So, break a vow

    The soldier should grin
    Hold up his chin.

    And then he’ll say
    I’ll just cover him with the UCMJ

    The UCMJ…

    The Chicken

  42. Giuseppe says:

    Speaking of Tom Lehrer, while his Periodic Table song is wonderful:

    Here’s an even better one — in order! With visuals!

  43. Supertradmum says:

    That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. Matthew 5:45 DR

    I would rather potus would be seen holding the brolly over the Marine.

  44. EXCHIEF says:

    “I would rather potus would be seen holding the brolly over the Marine”
    Roger that…the Marine is more deserving

  45. Sword40 says:

    I have to say that Obama isn’t “dumb”. Evil, yes but not dumb. Arrogant, yes, etc.
    My family is Marine through and through. Too bad we still have to guard the guy. Just another tough job to do. Wish he would go back to Kenya or where ever he is from.

  46. PostCatholic says:

    This has been an interesting thread. I wonder how, with everything Mr Obama has to do—manage the government, implement socialized medicine, destroy the Catholic church and religion in general, confiscate guns from Americans like me and you who own them, personally harass conservative political groups looking for tax exemption, cover up Benghazi, and raise two kids—how he finds time to personally and intentionally embarrass the Marine Corps by doing what Title 10 says they must, viz. “perform such other duties as the President may direct.” He’s a crafty one, that Mr Obama. Yessiree.

  47. BLB Oregon says:

    Who is supposed to attend to this? It would be a disgrace if a visiting head of state or their spouse were left to become soaked like a drowned rat while being hosted by the President of the United States. A gracious host, likewise, cannot have his staff hold umbrellas for his guests while he himself refuses one, because it puts the guest in a bad light. Therefore, somebody at the White House should have taken care of this and held an umbrella for the President in anticipation of having to also do it for the visiting head of state, and not let it get to the point that the President even asked a member of the military to take care of this.

    Good heavens, what if they had the Pope at the White House and didn’t keep him dry? Or the Queen? Or, for that matter, the visiting head of state who was actually there that day? It would have been a total disgrace. Yet if Obama had gotten soaked, the guest would have to let themselves get soaked, too. Somebody needs to have been on top of this.

  48. Bos Mutissimus says:

    1) Concur that BHO has less respect in general for the Armed Forces of the United States than his predecessor(s).
    2) In this case, fault for putting the dais in the open on a day threatening rain rests with some WH staffer who should probably have consulted NWS first (or face an audit).
    3) POTUS was correct to afford shelter to a foreign dignitary under the circumstances.
    4) POTUS, whatever his personal faults and misguided (evil) policies, rates an umbrella due to the dignity of the office (notwithstanding any personal disregard he has for it or our country).
    5) The Regs envision Marines’ non-use of umbrellas as a personal item. I doubt very seriously that anyone, Marine or otherwise, would object to, say, a U. S. Marine in uniform holding an umbrella as a courtesy to a lady in the rain. As uncouth as we can be at times, I know of no Marine who wouldn’t willingly go to the aid of someone in need.
    6) Back in the Old Corps, among the many duties assigned to us, Marines were to conduct land operations in support of a naval campaign, serve on armed vessels of the Navy, provide security to naval shore installations, develop amphibious doctrine, “…and shall perform other such duties as the President may direct.” Oh, BTW, this isn’t just the Old Corps, that’s the law (10 USC 5063). Now, I admit, holding an umbrella is mundane in comparison to our otherwise glorious duties, but bottom line: When the President of the United States tells a Marine “Hold this umbrella,” the only response is “Aye, Aye, Sir!”

    There is no shortage of unpalatable duty in the Corps. The indignity is slight.

    Semper Fidelis

  49. BLB Oregon says:

    As for Mr. Obama, he should have asked the Marine to signal to somebody to get him an umbrella, if it came to that. Still, parting of protecting the office of the President is protecting the person holding the office from this kind of a gaffe.

  50. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    I find the gesture disturbing not for all of the reasons which have been mentioned here.

    Did the marine who was holding the umbrella also have duty to protect the President with firearm deterrence — because if he did, he couldn’t do both at once.

    If he [the Marine] didn’t have a weapon, was the President’s declaration a way of saying “I don’t need you for your ceremonial capacity, and I’m in no danger.”

    Even more than this, our president is a disciple of Saul Alinsky, who declared — and I’ll paraphrase — the ends justify the means. I don’t think the drizzle bothered him. I think it was an intentional slight, but I also think that it was a means to an otherwise unrelated end. I’m not being uncharitable because this is the man whose administration intentionally misdirects.

    So, tomorrow, I will pray for the President. Veni creator spiritus, mentes tuorum visita; imple superna gratia quae tu creasti pectora.

  51. If this were a Republican, this would be a non-starter. And I am the first to respect the military and have no brief to carry for the man who is sadly our chief magistrate.

    But the best version of the Tom Lehrer Elements song has got to be:

  52. Maltese says:

    That last picture is priceless, and had me LMAO! I’m going to send it to some friends!

  53. James Joseph says:

    The photograph from the Boston Globe of this incident shows the Marine casting the umbrella over the Star and Crescent; president ducking aside, umbrella perfectly square with crescent and star direct center.

  54. JKnott says:

    Obama was soaked before it started to drizzle – soaked in scandal. I read this Marine umbrella stunt as the real message to the American people that he is, and will forever be, untouchable.
    ‘Ha ha you guns and religion folks, read what I do and not what I say.’
    Irregardless of the admirable commitment to duty by readers on this thread with military background, I think this is a good post by Fr Z. The picture is sad but true.

  55. Dave N. says:

    On some past presidents and their umbrellas: held alone, held by others, held by military personnel:
    (Also see the comments section).

    There are plenty of things about which this president deserves critique. This is not one of them. Petty distraction from much more important concerns.

  56. Bea says:

    My First thought was the Arrogance of this man.
    to use these valiant men (trained for the defense of their country, the presidency and all things American) to be used as pharaonic slaves to pander their “master”
    This action of his shows nothing but contempt for our nation’s military and all it stands for.

  57. VexillaRegis says:

    Even the Queen of England carries her umbrellas herself! They are made of clear plastic, so that everyone can see her. She is no narcisist, but people would complain if they couldn’t catch a glimplse of her when she visits their town, for instance. Imagine EII walking with O in the rain. He would look like a spoiled brat.

  58. Peter in Canberra says:

    the photoshopped umbrella raising is funny.
    it is however seriously demeaned by the addition after “… Americans are under attack” of the text “by Islamic radicals”.
    Of course the Turkish Prime Minister is in all likelihood a Muslim.

  59. billy says:

    Father I’m glad you admitted you were wrong about this… [you have, I seem an active imagination.]

  60. LarryW2LJ says:

    That meme that was linked to asked what the difference was regarding the four presidents and the four umbrellas. The difference is that the first three presidents respected the military and that respect was mutual. And if you’ll notice, the umbrella carrier for President Reagan was not military.

  61. Jack Regan says:

    Can’t he carry his own umbrella like the rest of us do…

  62. VexillaRegis says:

    Billy: Watch out for Fr. Z’s secret identical twin brother, Fr. Zapp.

  63. Fathers (Z and Martin Fox),

    I am forced by conscience to admit that it went far enough past disdain on my part quite a few months ago. Far enough past that I, who have an at least somewhat above average English vocabulary, have no little difficulty finding words with which civilly to express the level of my disdain.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer, LCDR, USN (ret.)

  64. AA Cunningham says:

    “According to Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F”(sic)

    Current regulation is MCO P1020.34G

    The Marines who serve at the White House are stationed at Marine Barracks Washington, located at Eighth and I streets and are on what is known as ceremonial duty. As much as I loathe Barry Soetoro, his disdain for this Republic, his attempts to bury his past, his lack of transparency, his fundamental dishonesty, his lack of respect for innocent life and his hatred of our way of life, we must be careful in making much ado about nothing. This has happened in the past and will happen in the future.

    If you could talk to the Marines who serve in the Executive Flight Detachment at HMX-1 you’d be surprised to learn what they are sometimes tasked to do and how they are disrespected and mistreated by the elitists in the executive branch and in the DLEMM – Dominant Liberal Establishment Mass Media, regardless of which adminstration is in office.

    President umbrellas

    Blowing this out of proportion makes our side look petty when there are much bigger fish to fry.

  65. LarryW2LJ says:

    It’s not being blown out of proportion, as I doubt that this will be listed among his impeachable offenses. That list is way too long.

  66. AA Cunningham says:

    It’s not an impeachable offense and it is being blown out of proportion, Larry. How about someone in the DLEMM asking tax cheat Tim Geithner what his role was in the IRS targeting nonprofits?(cue the crickets)

    There are plenty of reasons to remove this fraud from office. This isn’t one of them.

  67. Johnno says:

    This is really nothing, but what’s ironic is that Obama is loved by the people for the precise things Nixon was impeached for…

    “This month, I spoke at an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Watergate scandal with some of its survivors at the National Press Club. While much of the discussion looked back at the historic clash with President Nixon, I was struck by a different question: Who actually won? From unilateral military actions to warrantless surveillance that were key parts of the basis for Nixon’s impending impeachment, the painful fact is that Barack Obama is the president that Nixon always wanted to be.

    Obama has not only openly asserted powers that were the grounds for Nixon’s impeachment, but he has made many love him for it. More than any figure in history, Obama has been a disaster for the U.S. civil liberties movement. By coming out of the Democratic Party and assuming an iconic position, Obama has ripped the movement in half. Many Democrats and progressive activists find themselves unable to oppose Obama for the authoritarian powers he has assumed. It is not simply a case of personality trumping principle; it is a cult of personality.”

  68. James Joseph says:

    I only have to ask…


    What would Chesty do?

    Probably curse, “Where the hell is that Marine’s rifle?!”

  69. Gail F says:

    I agree with those who say this is making a mountain out of a molehill — but OTOH, we’re talking about a guy who has made a LOT of molehills. Fr Dulli is probably right. It doesn’t seem as if President Obama has anyone on his staff who knows or cares about protocol. In itself, this is no big deal. But as a sign of general disregard for protocol for everyone and about everything, it’s troubling.

  70. Random Friar says:

    As former military, allow me to add my two cents.

    It was improper at worst, and lacked a certain decorum, but if the POTUS tells you to carry an umbrella, you carry the blessed umbrella until he tells you not to. POTUS can certainly override any military uniform regulations, and the military in this country proudly serves under the civilian authority of POTUS, having never had a military that staged a coup, or meddled in the affairs of civil society unnecessarily.

    In sum, it looks dumb, but looking dumb is not necessarily an intentional show of disrespect. There are certainly much bigger fish to fry.

  71. MWindsor says:

    I was an enlisted man in the Coast Guard. A couple of points.

    We were not permitted to carry umbrellas either. But that “carry” has some bearing here. We didn’t carry one on our persons. But if I was stuck at an intersection during a downpour and someone needed me to hold their umbrella over their heads while they got into a car or picked up a bag, I certainly would have done so. We were also taught to be respectful of the public, and that when in uniform we were responsible for our actions while in public.

    And if it were me standing next to he president, and he asked me to hold his umbrella, I’d’ve held the blasted umbrella so as not to diminish the image of the Coast Guard. And I’d’ve even done it for presidents that I didn’t respect. From the Marine’s point of view – he’s the CIC, I’m an E4…this isn’t complicated.

  72. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    James Joseph,

    What, I wondered, might Chester A. “Boss” Arthur, the stealthily effective founder of the ‘Occupy the White House’ movement, who as a British subject apparently caused American soldiers to show undue deference to the Union Jack, have to do with the Marines in particular (other than presumably enjoying John Philip Sousa’s work on whatever levels)? But a little looking about made me realize you meant “Chesty” Puller.

    Gail F has well said, “It doesn’t seem as if President Obama has anyone on his staff who knows or cares about protocol. In itself, this is no big deal. But as a sign of general disregard for protocol for everyone and about everything, it’s troubling.” And well qualified her “no big deal” with “as a sign of general disregard”, presumably with not caring at or near the heart, though it seems disdain or contempt and not mere indifference are involved. (How poor Queen Elizabeth was ‘mauled around’ during a visit, for one painful example.)

  73. AvantiBev says:

    I have read your comments. Most of you men; many of you former military. But I have been a Chicagoan for 57 years. This is CHICAGO pols writ large. Richard the First sat on the throne at City Hall from my birth until I was graduating college! His son ruled not governed. We had a State Senator who was outraged that a woman was challenging his son for that senator’s former seat; the headlines blared that Emil Jones said is was “His Son’s by Right”!!!We have fiefdoms and one party rule. All of this plays into the sense of entitlement that even the lowliest of municipal bureaucrats feel.

    Back in 2008 I tried to warn out of town friends about this guy, his attitudes, his track record, and his overall disdain for the Constitution and us “little people” who were to pay up (taxes) and shut up. It is all of a piece of Leftist Obama’s Seamless Garment. That photo is a glimpse of it.

    I personally think it would be more fitting to have a member of the fawning press corps hold the umbrella since they have spent 5+ years covering FOR Obama anyway.

  74. BLB Oregon says:

    In the pictures in the link Dave N. supplied, the presidents not holding their own umbrellas were either at a microphone or with another dignitary on a reviewing stand. It does not seem like a big deal to have someone hold an umbrella for you under such circumstances….just not a Marine.

    Still, compared to his acts in disrespect for life and marriage, I don’t think that even the Marines would put this on their top ten lists of the acts of Mr. Obama that call for immediate repentance. Had he the courage to have gotten that right, there would be a great willingness to forgive this.

  75. Imrahil says:

    Dear @maryh, if he who can change the regulations and can issue orders issues an order conflicting the regulations, the regulations are eo ipso changed. I’m quite assured that the sense of the phrasing in the oath is that military service is regulated by the regulations, but not an implicit restriction of what the president may do.

    If the manual says “the CiC may not act contrary to this manual except with allowance of the Commandant”, then the manual does not really make sense. Only the Constitution, natural, and positive law can hinder the CiC from ordering whatever pleases him.

    That said, the picture does not look good.

  76. PatB says:

    Carrying an umbrella means you are walking around with it, furled, in case it rains and you want it to keep yourself dry. Being handed an umbrella to hold over someone else is not the same thing.

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