At a time when world tension is high, the US is involved in a war on two fronts (at least), the economy is tanking and taking the world economy with it and we have innumerable psycho nations seeking nuclear capabilities, we have a President that is an obsequious toady and wants the world to love him.
Obama began his administration with World Apology Tour One. He paraded around Africa and the Middle East, insulting our allies and courting our enemies. Can anyone forget the BOW to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah? Or giving the Russians a big red button to “restart”?
State Department protocol has been that American Presidents do not bow…TO ANYONE. Our Founding Fathers fled religious and royal persecution over 200 years ago and one of the bonuses is that Americans do not have to bow. We do not recognize that we are subservient to ANY Monarch and that is what a bow signifies. Miss Manners agrees (see full article here) but of course, her opinion at this point is probably construed as rightwing extremism and bought her a spot on the Homeland Security watch list.
But symbolic subservience to a foreign ruler is worse. When Miss Manners sees American citizens delighting in bowing or curtseying to royalty, she tries to remind herself that they are just being silly, not treasonous. When an American official does it, we can only hope it was because he was noticing that his own shoelace was undone — and not that he recognizes the divine right of kings in general, or the authority over us of that king in particular.
George Bush did not bow, but it did seem that he formed his own protocol by holding hands with the Saudi Crown Prince…Lady Libertas was not quite sure what to make of that but at least it was more egalitarian than a bow.
Liberty-Minded Americans cringed over Obama’s submissiveness in Riyadh, but apparently that was just a test run. In his meeting with Japanese Emperor Akihito, Obama dipped deep AGAIN! We can be sure that the Liberal Obama Defenders will rush to protest that Obama was simply showing respect, but even in Japanese tradition, it was a sign of weakness.
Jake Tapper from ABC reached out to a “an old friend — an academic with expertise about the Japanese Empire, and in general a supporter of President Obama…” who made the following observations about Obama’s bow to the Emperor (see full article here):
“The bow as he performed did not just display weakness in Red State terms, but evoked weakness in Japanese terms….The last thing the Japanese want or need is a weak looking American president and, again, in all ways, he unintentionally played that part.”
Jake Tapper’s friend states that a bow to the Emperor is not unprecedented and he is referring to the Nixon bow to Emperor Hirohito (Akihito’s father) in 1971. Lady Libertas agrees that the Nixon bow was certainly not as deferential as Obama’s and lest the Liberal Defenders excuse that it was Obama’s height, there is only a 2 inch difference between Nixon and Obama. As well, no other heads of state feel the need to be as ingratiating as President Obama as evidenced by the 46 handshakes collected by UConn Republicans by other world leaders as they met with the Emperor.
Dick Cheney commented to Politico, ““There is no reason for an American president to bow to anyone. Our friends and allies don’t expect it, and our enemies see it as a sign of weakness.”
When Bill Clinton made what was interpreted as a slight bow to the Emperor in 1994, the NY Times slammed him:
“The image on the South Lawn was indelible: an obsequent President, and the Emperor of Japan.” The paper wrote that the “thou need not bow” standard in State Department protocol has been constant since the country’s founding.