If you haven’t been following the story, it seems the smart guys on Barack Obama’s marketing team were inspired to create their own version of the Great Seal of the United States and place on the podium when the Great One speaks. Powerline covered it over the weekend; there was speculation about the legality of the thing at the Weekly Standard; and finally speculation from Obama’s own campaign about the practical wisdom of the thing in the wake of the blow-back. It seems Americans still don’t like to see their great national symbols trifled with; not even when the trifler is a Messianic figure. Messiahs can become pariahs when they mess with stuff like that.
But there is an interesting irony to note in the Obama team’s Latin. They replaced "E Pluribus Unum" (out of many, one) with "Vero Possumus" (Yes, we can). The formerly "post-racial" candidate whose very existence is a kind of physical embodiment of the great motto replaced E Pluribus Unum with a mere expression of will. This famous talker and paragon of eloquence (or so we are told to believe) replaced one of the noblest expressions of political expression with the political equivalent of a grunt. Yes we can what? Well, the possibilities are endless of course. But not in the same sense that they were with E Pluribus Unum. The end of E Pluribus Unum is contained in the expression--the goal is stated. With Obama it is as ephemeral and ambiguous as the man himself. Everything is tentative and subject to "Change." None of the possibilities implied by "Yes we can!" is anywhere close to the perfection of E Pluribus Unum. I think it is telling that Obama’s team felt free to change it. That won’t be the last thing they try to change. Believe in that.