Friday, April 16, 2010

Obama bows again. Conservatives are angry. Sensible people couldn't care less.

It's funny what certain people get upset about.

Millions of poor Americans have no health coverage? Boring.
The CIA props up murderous militias and dictatorships in the developing world? Zzzz.
Barack Obama briefly gives a slight bow of the head to a foreign leader? Gadzooks, the sky is falling!

This time it was to Chinese leader Hu Jintao, at the Nuclear Security Summit.

The right whingers, predictably, are up in arms.

"He just can't help himself. What a disgrace" writes Gateway Pundit.

"Obama Bows Again to Communist China, America Hangs Head in Shame" writes Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs. He "kisses the asses of the world's worst despots. Here he bows to communist monsters of China... America's first morally bankrupt President ......more empirical evidence."

Here is the bow in all its glory. See if you can see the bit where the President's lips actually come in contact with the butt cheek of Mr Hu.

Oh, wait, that's it? That blink-and-you'll-miss-it gesture symbolizes Obama's disgraceful moral bankrupcy?

You may remember when Obama bowed to Saudi King Abdullah, many on the Right saw it as confirmation that the President was secretly a Muslim, as they had suspected all along. His bow to a Chinese leader now clearly confirms that as we all knew, Obama is a total communist. Either that or he is secretly Chinese, I'm not sure.

Yes, bowing is a big deal to our American friends. Well, some of them anyway. See, bowing is generally a sign of showing humility to someone you respect. And humility and respect for other countries are not qualities held in high esteem by the American right wing.

For context, perhaps this sentence by Richard A. Grenell (former spokesman to four U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations) can tell you something about the traditional US philosophy about its place in the world, and thus about how it deals with other nations:

In a White House that craves for the U.S. to be the most popular country in the world and is willing to unilaterally give up much of the leverage we have to become well liked and accepted by others, this bowing thing is the tip of the iceberg for understanding how far President Barack Obama will go to make us just another country among many others...
Obama has already made clear that he doesn’t believe the United States is exceptional compared with other nations, so he believes bowing is a polite gesture to an equal. (via Politico)
See? Can't let any other country think they might be equal to the mighty US of A. Gotta remind them how much more awesome you are at all times.
There's a Lewis Black routine from a couple of years back which nicely dissects this kind of attitude.

More about Obama's previous bows here and here.


  1. high-larious!!! Pimping you on Facebook as we speak!!!

    *tips hat*

  2. File this under I. Do. Not. Understand. Americans. How is being mildly respectful to someone in their own cultural vernacular debasing yourself? So bizarre.

    LOVE that Lewis Black routine BTW.

  3. This is just Obama trying too hard. I see Westerners do this kind of thing all the time because they don't understand proper etiquette in these types of situations. It's not really a big deal, but you'd think Obama had some people that briefed him on these types of things first.