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Feet on the Furniture

A reader forwarded this email that has been making the rounds of the tinfoil hat crowd:

Does this photo of President Obama in the Oval Office convey anything to you about his attitude? Would you speak with the Chief of Staff, your Chief Economic Adviser, and your Senior Adviser with your feet up on the Resolute Desk — a gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880?

We should inundate the White House with emails demanding he keep his feet off of our furniture. This arrogant, immature & self-centered man has no sense of honor, or of simple decency. While this posture is disrespectful in any culture, it is absolutely never done in any executive setting. Further, in over half of the cultures of the world, it is recognized not only as disrespectful, but as an extreme insult.

He thinks of himself as a king — and not as a servant of the people, humbly occupying our White House for his term in office. Electing him was an enormous mistake — and will cost us in many ways, for generations.

There is a slightly longer version of the same email on the wonderful urban legend site, along with a clear rebuttal of the points in the email.

But the best part are these photographs:

Now, I’m not willing to go so far as to accuse the people who are forwarding this letter of racism, since it is clear that Bush and Ford were being respectful when they put their feet on “our” desk, while Obama’s feet were getting all uppity on the furniture.



  1. Lovely desk, apparently a string of uncomfortable chairs.

    And, um, photo op–these shots are staged. Most of the President’s real work is done in his other office, just off from the museum-esque Oval office.

    Still, the racism in the email is just part of a lot of racism lately. As a country, we’re paying for that racism, because it’s a relatively large part of the justification to not compromise with or work with this President. Guess what, White America is getting a tiny taste of the frustrations Black Americans face daily. Isn’t it about time we stopped the racism? (I know, not going to happen. *sigh*)

    Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 6:22 am | Permalink
  2. Jonah wrote:

    I’d be willing to bet that “tin foil hat” crowd will claim that the pictures of bush and ford were doctored. Thats how paranoid they are about the “elite media”.

    I think the DNC should have a “task force” to shoot down some of these rumors. I remember team Obama had one for the election. Why is it important to have a task force? Because independents without a job and unable to make mortgage payments and insurance premiums are some day, if not already, just going to be frustrated enough to believe crap like this.

    Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 6:45 am | Permalink
  3. Mad Hatter wrote:

    I remember starting to pay attention to these kinds of e-mails 8 – 10 years ago. I was always getting them from my republican friends and relatives. After initially just deleting, I started responding with the Snopes and other truth websites rebuttals. Most still continued to forward these type of things even after knowing that they were not true.

    Rarely have I received these sorts of e-mails critical of republican politicians or issues. Has anybody ever tried to determine the source of the e-mails? The paranoid me wonders if there isn’t a department in the republican party whose sole duty is to create and start these viral e-mails. I think they are very effective. Anybody seen any reports on this?

    Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink
  4. starluna wrote:

    The authors of this email have it so wrong. What the picture of Obama clearly shows is his sexism, not his disrespect of furniture. Bush Jr was obviously much more of a feminist than Obama is. đŸ˜‰

    Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink
  5. ebdoug wrote:

    I would suspect Karl Rove and his ilk of contriving this hate. I forget who the people are who trained Karl Rove.
    Ironically the only true one that I’ve seen is this one

    Which is a private e-mail to a friend and was put in circulation.

    Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  6. Sammy wrote:

    That viral email also includes photos of Obama – GASP!!! – tossing a football in the air and to staffers. OMFG, the audacity of the man! Next we’ll hear that he used slang. Or ate a breakfast burrito. Or went jogging. Or loosened his tie. Or married an African American woman.

    Monday, February 22, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  7. Sammy wrote:

    By the way, Mad Hatter, I also started responding with links to sites that refuted the emails, and the response was to call me a liberal pig, blinded by what the liberal media has force-fed me. Even though I’m not a liberal. I’m just not right wing.

    Oh, and the funniest part is that a lot of these emails are so brazen that they include the Snopes link to back up their email…and the damn link actually REFUTES the email! Because they know the intended lemmings will never actually follow up.

    Monday, February 22, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  8. Tomato Cain wrote:

    The desk Ford is using does not appear to be the Resolute Desk. I think it ignorant of the other two to use the historic heirloom as a footstool.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink