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April 08, 2009


If one looks at the video to which Brendan helpfully links, it is clear that what Brendan refers to as Obama's "apparent bow" deserves no such qualifier. It is a bow pure and simple. Who are you going to believe--a White House aide who lacks the courage to go on the record, or your lying eyes?

In 1994 the New York Times, in a Week in Review piece, noted how close President Clinton had come to bowing to Japan's emperor and reminded its readers that American citizens (much less heads of state) do not bow to royalty:

Canadians still bow to England's Queen; so do Australians. Americans shake hands. If not to stand eye-to-eye with royalty, what else were 1776 and all that about? But Mr. Clinton, alas, is not the only one since George Washington who has seemed not quite to know what to make of monarchs.
This time, inexplicably, the Times has chosen to pretend the incident never happened.

Brendan claims that Gaffney's criticism of Obama's bow to King Abdullah feeds a misperception that President Obama is a Muslim. However, Brendan cannot point to words where Gaffney said that Obama was Islamic. Perhaps one has to know the code. :)

I appreciate you two gadflies nitpicking Brendan's words but completely failing to address the batshit craziness that Gaffney displays. It wouldn't be the same here without you guys.

Fair enough, rone. To get serious, I disagree with Gaffney's interpretation of the bow. As Hanlon's razor says, "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity," (although in this case, I'd substitute "inexperience" for "stupidity.")

However, I don't buy Brendan's interpretation. First of all, King Abdullah is not a religious leader. It would be different if Obama had bowed to an Imam.

Secondly, Brendan's criticism seemed to me to have an unexpressed portion -- namely that it's impermissible to criticize Obama in a way that could feed the misperception that he's Islamic. In effect Brendan refuted Gaffney's expressed point by finding an illigitimate (supposed) implication of it. Brendan didn't have to do this. Gaffney's comment was silly enough that it could have easily been refuted directly.

P.S. If this incident and report did feed the misperception that Obama was Islamic, then most of the blame should go to President Obama. He's the one who made the mistake of bowing on camera to a "King" who happened to be Islamic.

Obama isn't a secret Muslim, he's a secret Jew. Didn't anyone hear about Obama's secret Seder (a Jewish religious observance)?

On a more serious note, doesn't anyone get the right wing's sense of humor? On literally the same day that the right wing was fauxraged about Michelle Obama 'touching the Queen,' 'oh, no!' the right wing was simultaneously fauxraged about a bow to a King.

After all, every right winger knows that the correct way to show respect to a King is, as Republican Bush did, kiss the King and then hold the King's hand for a walk.

And the right wingers should know how to treat royalty, after all, they were loudly condemning Michelle Obama's failure to follow proper royal etiquette with her brief, warm, tender arm around the Queen (which the Queen reciprocated).

The Republican Party's leadership: Duplicitous hypocrites.

Pity the poor Russians and their leaders.

It seems Prime Minister Putin is a bit challenged with respect to State Decorum himself.

I suppose he thought he was in Houyhnhnm-land.

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