Conffederate
Confederate

April 12, 2010

Get That Man A Spine

How many times has this occurred now? Three? For someone who tries so hard to cultivate the image of a intellectual and sophisticate, he seems doggedly determined to cast himself as an unteachable buffoon, once again bowing to a foreign dignitary that is his equal.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 12, 2010 08:48 PM
Comments

Eeeeek!!! YOU ARE A RAAAAACIST!!!! He is the smartest president in history!!!

Posted by: paul mitchell at April 12, 2010 09:13 PM

Wait, so you honestly think Hu Jintao feels like he's got the upper hand on the leader of the world's most powerful nation because he received a courteous bow? How delicate are your sensibilities?

Posted by: Jefff at April 12, 2010 10:26 PM

God forbid our leader should show some courtesy to another foreign leader. Handshakes and bows are the same thing in Asian countries.

Your President is being courteous. Period.

What are you, a wilting flower or an unintelligent cowboy? Would you have Obama wrassle him to the ground to show superiority?

Posted by: CJ at April 13, 2010 01:57 AM

An inferior always bows to a superior. It is meant to show that the other is so much greater than you!!

Posted by: gDavid at April 13, 2010 04:40 AM

You don't bow as you're shaking hands, you do one or the other, not both.

Doing both at the same time is the diplomatic equivalent of wearing a belt and a suspender with your shorts.

And he keeps doing it.

Posted by: Veeshir at April 13, 2010 07:34 AM

Thank you, Veeshir. I didn't realize that the actual etiquette breach was the bowing and shaking hands. Akin to not looking a European in the eye when you toast, I guess.

Still, the whining about superiority and getting him a spine is a separate issue, right? And I still don't get the fuss about it. Seems willfully petty.

Posted by: Jefff at April 13, 2010 08:14 AM

It's some kind of a fetish with this guy. Anyway, leave him alone, he will need the practice, because he is going to have to bow quite a lot to the new Congress coming in after the November elections. Hehe. I will enjoy it oh-so-much more then.

Posted by: templar knight at April 13, 2010 09:05 AM
Wait, so you honestly think Hu Jintao feels like he's got the upper hand on the leader of the world's most powerful nation because he received a courteous bow? How delicate are your sensibilities? Posted by Jefff at April 12, 2010 10:26 PM

I think Hu Jintao feels as though Obama has properly learned his place.

Bowing is not courtesy. Holding a door open is courtesy. Bowing is an act of deference which is why heads of state don't do it. Until Obama.

Posted by: Pablo at April 13, 2010 09:38 AM

Now, Obama may think it's a courtesy, which makes him a rube.

Posted by: Pablo at April 13, 2010 09:38 AM
Handshakes and bows are the same thing in Asian countries.

Uh, no. Find an Asian head of state bowing to anyone, ever. Good luck.

Posted by: Pablo at April 13, 2010 09:41 AM

Four if you include the mayor of ... Tampa?

Posted by: Gus Bailey at April 13, 2010 11:44 AM

Good points Pablo.
Bowing is a sign of deference. When our leader and representative bows, it shows that the US defers to King Fahd(sp), Emperor whatshisname or Premier Hu and subsequently Saudi Arabia, Japan and China. (apparently Tampa as well, but whatever.)

Posted by: Gus Bailey at April 13, 2010 11:47 AM

Has anyone outside the conservative American community put forth this interpretation of the gesture? I've been searching, and I'm only seeing conservative web sites making a deal out of it. I'd be particularly interested to see if any Chinese people are interpreting the bow to mean they've put Obama in his place.

Posted by: Jefff at April 13, 2010 12:07 PM

You can tell nobody respects him by how he's treated by world leaders. They don't have to say it, they show it all the time.

What foreign policy coup has he achieved?
Sanctions on Iran? Russia and China are playing the shell game and Obama still hasn't figured it out.

The point of what I wrote was to add some background on his ignorance.
Not only is it obsequious to bow all the time (notice the Chinese guy ain't bowing back), but he's doing it ignorantly.
He's done the same thing over and over.

That tells me he's not listening to the career protocol people (neither is Hillary, you can tell from her "overcharge" button and asking who painted Our Lady of Guadalupe).

He's making us look foolish, and deservedly so.

Posted by: Veeshir at April 13, 2010 12:18 PM

How about looking up the practice of bowing, Jefff? Nah, that'll never work.

Posted by: Pablo at April 13, 2010 12:24 PM

Does anyone have any pictures of other heads of state bowing to Obama? This sort of thing happens all the time, right?

Posted by: Pablo at April 13, 2010 12:26 PM

The snark in me wants to say the President has vision problems. In everyone of the bows, his eyes are focused on the hands. Almost like he is afraid he will miss.

Posted by: steve b at April 13, 2010 12:32 PM

Right, and all the assertions you're making probably seem very obviously true to you. From my perspective and from what I've read, it is not obvious at all that world leaders don't respect him. I'm sure we could have a long and heated exchange of news stories from an array of sources with all kinds of conflicting analysis and never come close to agreeing on that.

But I'm just curious to see some concrete evidence that anyone outside of the conservative media actually thinks Obama made himself look weak by bowing.

Posted by: Jefff at April 13, 2010 12:33 PM

Pablo - the assertion you are making is not about what the bow might mean generally. You are making a claim about what it means in this instance. I'll grant that Obama is not fluent in the Chinese custom of the bow. But if you want to make a deeper claim than that -- say, that Hu Jintao feels he's put Obama in "his place", I would just like to see some evidence. Or maybe even see someone without a declared antipathy for Obama agree with you.

Posted by: Jefff at April 13, 2010 12:41 PM

Jeff, do you understand what bowing means or not? Did you bother to look into it?

And yes, while I hypothesized what Hu might think of the thing, the fact is that heads of state do not bow to each other, except for Obama.

From my perspective and from what I've read, it is not obvious at all that world leaders don't respect him.

So, other world leaders bow to him, then? Who? When?

Posted by: Pablo at April 13, 2010 02:01 PM

Pablo, I never said that other leaders bow to him. Clearly, it's something that Obama likes to do. A style thing, I guess. Does this make him look weak? It does TO YOU. It's very obvious you don't like Obama's style. But you're claiming something about how it makes him look to others. If your claim were correct, I'd imagine there would be a better way to show me than by bare assertion.

Posted by: Jefff at April 13, 2010 02:12 PM

And yes, I understand what bowing often means in certain cultures. But it doesn't necessarily follow that what it means between two Chinese citizens is the same thing it means when the President of the US does it. But again, if it did mean the same thing to anyone but American conservatives, it should be pretty easy to demonstrate.

Posted by: Jefff at April 13, 2010 02:28 PM

BTW, I love the circular logic.

A: I can't believe Obama bowed!
B: Why does bowing matter?
A: Because then no one else respects him.
B: How do you know they don't respect him?
A: Because they don't bow!

Posted by: Jefff at April 13, 2010 02:42 PM

Bowing is exactly what you do to someone who owns your butt, and could unload your t bills.

Posted by: Old Rebel at April 13, 2010 03:17 PM
Does this make him look weak? It does TO YOU.

So, you still don't understand the tradition of bowing, then?

Posted by: Pablo at April 13, 2010 03:43 PM

Pablo, you could smugly sniff your nose at me or you could unequivocally prove that I'm wrong. If I am, it should be easy to do.

Posted by: Jefff at April 13, 2010 04:12 PM

Hmm. Let's us recall, please, that the founders of our nation were determined that there be no remnant of class or fealty to royalty in America. To that end, various of the founders, including our early presidents, went out of their way to avoid such shows of subordination as bowing. The point? Americans, particularly American presidents, bow to no one. Prior to Obama, no one has so broken from the protocol and practice of America.

Bowing, in Asian cultures where bowing is common, have a variety of rules. Bowing, when done mutually, is a demonstration of mutual respect, but even then, status is always a factor with those of lower status bowing more deeply or longer.

Notice in the photograph that only one person is bowing. To those cultures that do bow, such as the Chinese, this indicates that both people involved know who is subordinate and of lower status. You don't suppose the fellow to whom Obama is bowing is so happy merely because he's glad to see Obama, do you? He's delighted, perhaps even amused, that Obama continues to prostrate himself--and his nation--at every opportunity.

Bowing, particularly when done by an American president, is anti-American and sends precisely the wrong message to our allies and enemies, unless that is, that president is trying to send a message of weakness and subordination.

Posted by: mikemcdaniel at April 13, 2010 05:15 PM

Actually, Mike, Obama is not the first president to bow. At least HW and Nixon also did. Though Nixon didn't make the handshake mistake.

Once again though, you're all conjecture about what this particular bow means to anyone but yourself. And I can see why all of you conservatives are prone to take each others words for it, but what about outside your little planet? Does anyone here know how to support an assertion?

Posted by: Jefff at April 13, 2010 05:27 PM
Pablo, you could smugly sniff your nose at me or you could unequivocally prove that I'm wrong. If I am, it should be easy to do.

Oh, yes it should. Is bowing an act of deference? Yes or no?

Posted by: Pablo at April 13, 2010 05:40 PM

Pablo, if you think I have been saying that bowing is not generically a sign of deference, then you have either not read or not understood my comments.

My question to you is whether this bow actually meant Obama was declaring himself weak or inferior or anything else to anybody but the conservatives who already hate him.

And actually, that's a weaker version of my original question, but let's just start with something easy.

Posted by: Jefff at April 13, 2010 05:54 PM

Is there any leader of any hostile country that this weak fool has met and hasn't bowed to?

Posted by: emdfl at April 13, 2010 06:22 PM
My question to you is whether this bow actually meant Obama was declaring himself weak or inferior or anything else to anybody but the conservatives who already hate him.

Does anyone think he was declaring himself weak or inferior when engaged in an act that signifies deference? There are only two reasonable conclusions: either he's deferring to the person he's bowing to (which would be a "Yes") or he doesn't understand what he's doing (which would be a "No, he's just ignorant.")

Neither of them are helpful. If he wants to break the protocol mold, he should start teaching world leaders to fist bump, because they're not going to bow back to him. Which, then he looks stupid.

Posted by: Pablo at April 13, 2010 06:40 PM

Oh, and was that what Obama really meant? Either it was, or he's ignorant. You make the call.

Maybe you'd like to review some apology tour greatest hits, or his diplomatic outreach to the new Kazakhstan govt.

Posted by: Pablo at April 13, 2010 06:46 PM

The leader of a huge slave state that has adopted some crony capitalism to keep from collapsing under its own population, and that has created a 30 million male surplus in its population, is arguably not the equal of even the worst president of the United States...Jintao is still a dictator who stifles dissent and crushes real improvements in his people's lives...like free speech on the Internet.

Posted by: kalashnikat at April 13, 2010 07:15 PM

Ok Mr. Apology Tour, now we're getting somewhere. If all you were trying to show me is that Obama made some perhaps-ill-advised but still superficial and ultimately meaningless sign of deference to the leader of China (about whom I agree with kalashnikat), then there'd be no argument.

But that's not what you're saying. You're trying to project your view of Obama as weak and overly-apologetic on the rest of the world. And while I'm sure you could perform a right-wing liturgy reciting why we all should see the man as weak, you can't even quote or link to one person outside of the American conservative scene saying this particular gesture was symbolic of anything real at all. Come on! Even if I'm right and this isn't a big deal, there's got to be one lone voice you can point to out there.

Posted by: Jefff at April 13, 2010 07:49 PM

"...project your view of Obama as weak and overly-apologetic on the rest of the world. "

no need to do that - statements by Ahmadinejad(sp), Chavez, and the Russian leadership prove that they DO view him as weak. In a way I agree that the bowing is not as important as the radical anti-Americanism that mars 0bama's past associations time after time. You can bet that foreign nations have researched who exerted a formative influence on the Kenyan when he was young, and what sorts of policies they espoused. Based on their research it's likely that they see a man at best ambivalent about his nation, and at worst deeply dismissive of it. Barring, of course, some miraculous repudiation of the poison he's ingested from Reverend Goddam America, Frank Marshall Davis, Bill Ayers, Sunstein, & countless others.

Posted by: Nine-of-Diamonds at April 13, 2010 08:02 PM

"You can tell nobody respects him by how he's treated by world leaders."

Seen the Medvedev/Stephanopoulos interview?

STEPHANOPOULOS: What do you make of Barack Obama the man?

MEDVEDEV: He's very comfortable partner, it's very interesting to be with him. The most important thing that distinguishes him from many other people I won't name anyone by name he's a thinker, he thinks when he speaks. Which is already pretty good.

Search youtube, since I can't post a link here. Video evidence the enemy too?

Nice try, though.

Posted by: CJ at April 13, 2010 08:21 PM

Guys, Jefff is a classic butt-kissing idiot, and you'll never confuse him with the facts. Heck, he's so smart he figured out the "Nixon did it, too!" defense all by himself, never mind several million spineless apologists beat him to it a few weeks ago...

All Hail Obama! Master Of Our Fates! Supreme Leader of our Country!

Never Question The Supreme Leader!

Posted by: Casey at April 14, 2010 12:11 AM

No Casey, I didn't bring up Nixon to defend Obama's bow. There are enough differences between the two to give you guys room to argue for why Obama's bow was worse -- if you were interested in that.

I mentioned Nixon because it was evidence that disproved a specific claim. You want to talk about facts? That's a fact. Another fact is that nobody here has been able to produce evidence that this bow matters to anyone outside the American right wing, much less in foreign countries. Yes, you've explained to me how it fits in oh so snugly with the rest of your world view, but you've also shown that you're helpless in explaining yourselves to someone who doesn't already share that world view.

Is there a better test of whether you're in an echo chamber?

Posted by: Jefff at April 14, 2010 08:48 AM

"Another fact is that nobody here has been able to produce evidence that this bow matters to anyone outside the American right wing"

False. A conservative website (smalldeadanimals, possibly) quoted a reliable source as saying that 0bama's first bow in Japan WAS in fact a gaffe that confused and embarrassed the Japanese onlookers (who will, no doubt, be maligned by present company as part of Amerikkka's right wing). Of course, the Japanese were kind enough to "go along" and not embarrass the Kenyan. Will try to dig up the link.

Posted by: Nine-of-Diamonds at April 14, 2010 11:00 AM

Did Jefff (or others with hypocritical views) make all kinds of judgements about W Bush's "swagger" and his manner of Texas-English?

Jefff clearly defends a bowing protocol which, on the surface doesn't have deep meaning to Americans, but does to other cultures.

Was Bush showing signs of weakness or arrogance or ignorance, as so many liberals are wont to claim, because of his body language and manner of speaking?

If so, prove it. Other than at a littany of liberal, lefty websites and the lefty MSM will you find anyone who thought so....

In your own, similar words Jefff, "My question to you is whether Bush's "swagger" or "Texas English" actually meant Bush was showing himself arrogant or ignorant or anything else to anybody but the lefty liberals who already despised and hated him.?

Works both ways....but the big difference is, Bush's "swagger" and English didn't exhibit, purposefully or otherwise, any major American weakness. Nor did it give off an air of "I'm President, I'm weak, and I apologize for America" like Obama does.

Posted by: sharprightturn at April 14, 2010 05:31 PM
Yes, you've explained to me how it fits in oh so snugly with the rest of your world view, but you've also shown that you're helpless in explaining yourselves to someone who doesn't already share that world view.

I don't read Chinese, and I suspect you don't either, but how do you suppose the Chinese State media is framing this? Keeping in mind the radical right wing history of bowing...

Your worldview is an Etch a Sketch, Jefff.

Posted by: Pablo at April 15, 2010 09:12 AM

The fact that the bow was not returned speaks to what the Chinese Premier thought. Additionally, where is the Office of Protocol in all of this? Certainly they know the meanging of the bow - its their job not only to know, but to advise Ubumma accordingly. So is he not listening to his staff, or are they incompetant too?

Posted by: Michael Smith at April 16, 2010 03:30 PM