The oath of office

Today in Washington, President-elect Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States during a ceremony in which he will swear to âÄúfaithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of [his] ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.âÄù The American people should not allow him to cross that oath. During the past eight years, the misleading invasion of Iraq, the passage of the USA Patriot Act , the slashing of Habeas Corpus , the acceptance of torture and the tyranny of warrantless wiretaps mark not only the failure of an American president, but the failure of the American people to hold him to the oath of office. Where America should have punished this unconstitutional behavior, voters rewarded it with four more years. Inauguration is a time for Americans to challenge themselves to properly scrutinize the president during his tenure. But there is also reason, today, for all Americans to put their faith in a man who brings great promise to the presidency. For President Obama, there may soon come a time when the faithful splinter, the rhetoric sours and the luster fades. While blind faith in a president makes tyranny, excess criticism creates an atmosphere of undue suspicion. Neither condition constitutes the government this country is capable of maintaining. Remember on this day to approach President ObamaâÄôs agenda with a deft balance of open-mindedness and honest scrutiny. Hold him to the high standard the oath of office mandates âÄî the standard the American people deserve.