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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Their Intellectual Honesty Has Bowed Out, Again

Over the past 48 hours or so, conservatives have insisted that Obama has someone "breached protocol again" by bowing when greeting the Japanese Emperor Akihito. Straight away, I knew that this was nothing more than another example of their flail around on the carpet and shriek as loud as you can strategy, so there really wasn't as much substance to their side of this non-issue to begin with. So since people like Ed Morrissey insisted that there was some piece of verifiable evidence that heads of state ABSOLUTELY do not bow to other world leaders, I thought I would try to find said piece of procedural language. And considering that Ed, and other bloggers were citing each other, it's safe to say that searching Google would do nothing but turn up tons of results that all said the same thing yet didn't provide a true source.

And that's when Twitter came in handy. SEK over at Lawyers, Guns, and Money has found something that the reactionary conservatives in this country might want to take a look at.

For those of you that aren't familiar with the man doing the bowing in these photos, that's former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. You know, one of the men that helped us defeat the Nazis and Japanese back in the 40s. I think it's a fair assumption that people like Morrissey and "The Purse-Lipped-One" Michelle Malkin aren't going to admit that there is not set protocol when greeting heads of state from other countries. However, and this is something that conservatives REALLY don't want to even begin to understand, when greeting someone of a different culture, there are customs when greeting others.

For instance, bowing and Japanese culture are widely recognized around the world.

When dealing with non-Japanese people, many Japanese will shake hands. Since many non-Japanese are familiar with the custom of bowing, this often leads to a combined bow and handshake which can be quite complicated to execute. Bows may be combined with handshakes or performed before or after shaking hands. Generally when bowing in close proximity, as necessitated when combining bowing and shaking hands, people turn slightly to one side (usually the left) to avoid bumping heads.

Looks to me like Obama is following Japanese tradition and it is reciprocated. This is how diplomacy works - show the person you are going to be speaking with that you understand their culture and aren't some blithering buffoon who's likely to puke in your lap.

But back to the Ike side of this story. Should this actually be something that conservatives respond to, it is likely that they will create some line of reasoning that shows that he truly didn't matter in the landscape of American history or that his status as a Republican is irrelevant to the discussion.

Let's remove Obama from the equation for a moment. What do wingnut conservatives know about the cultures of other countries? Is this why they are so against diplomacy - they're afraid that they'll make a fool of themselves for being so unblushingly ignorant?


mblib said...

Of course the Republicans know that this is a non-issue. This is simply Rovian strategy. Keep up the constant drum beat of negativity and criticism. Most Americans have the attention span of a toddler. They will catch a small clip of this on the news and will never take two minutes to look for the truth or even another point of view. After months of Faux news and viral emails minds are changing and the sheeple don't even remember why they ever liked Obama in the first place. It's disgusting, but it works.

cheap said...

Theses pictures show the fully respect to each other..

perris said...

I wonder how the wing nuts would react if obama did not bow or kiss the ring before the pope

great blog, just got linked to it and I believe it will become a daily visit for me


perris said...


I forgot to suggest, you might want to find some pics of our's and other heads of state being recieved and recieving the pope

I'd like to see that

Anonymous said...

The Republicans do it chiefly to annoy Democrats. I think the goal is to see if they can make Keith Olbermann's head explode.

Anonymous said...

My wife was a commissioned officer in the US Coast Guard. Prior to being introduced to Queen Elizabeth, my wife was instructed by US State Department personnel on the correct way to bow to a foreign potentate. She was told to bow with respect, but not obeisance. However, this may be too fine a distinction for the conservative pundits to perceive.

Terrier said...

Come on - every good Bircher knows that Eisenhower was a commie stooge! And the modern Radical Republic is nothing but a Bircher with a dose of the Klan for leavening.

Liberal AND Proud said...

Look...they are simply fomenting this nonsense to incite that simple minded subset of the nation that has no conception of the world beyond their back yard.

Anonymous said...

If Obama didn't bow, it'd be proof that he's arrogant. And a Muslim.

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