First Lady flub: no touching the Queen

posted at 8:47 am on April 2, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

This seems to be getting a lot of traction in the headlines, so let’s talk about Michelle Obama’s supposedly grand faux pas in meeting Queen Elizabeth II in London.  Time Magazine reported that the British (which include the “English”) sputtered with indignation when the First Lady touched Elizabeth’s back.  The reaction seems a little exaggerated, considering the circumstances, but it still broke protocol:

The rules are set in stone, and so the eagerly watching British media sputtered when the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, briefly put her hand on the back of Queen Elizabeth II as the two chatted at a reception. …

Of course, there are corollaries to this. One must certainly touch the Queen if the monarch offers her hand (though you should return this not with a firm handshake but just a touch). On Wednesday, Michelle Obama put her hand on the Queen only after the Queen had placed her own hand on the First Lady’s back as part of their conversation. So there is room for theological argument as to whether the American reciprocity of touch was allowable given the social dynamics of the situation. …

In any case, the touch lasted just a second or two, and the Queen did not seem particularly perturbed — though she appeared slightly surprised as she drew away.

I’m not much a fan of royalty and the pomp that accompanies the monarchy, so I tend to see this as a much lesser offense than getting the name of the country wrong.  The gesture from the Queen would normally prompt a human response of reciprocation.  Time’s explanation of the miraculous healing powers of the Queen’s touch is interesting from a historical perspective, but since Americans don’t tend to believe such things about monarchs (we made that clear in 1776, although the Princess Di infatuation may have confused some people), Mrs. Obama’s treatment of Elizabeth II as a mere mortal is somewhat understandable.

Of course, diplomatic protocol exists for a reason, and it’s clear Mrs. Obama didn’t adhere to it, if she ever got instruction on it in the first place.  As it turns out, she might not have had it, since her husband hasn’t gotten around to staffing the White House protocol office.  Apparently, no one told Barack Obama that the State Department had staff to fill the gap, either:

Only a few weeks on the job, Obama created a minor diplo-mess when British Prime Minister Gordon Brown came to the U.S. for a visit. Obama’s historic Oval Office desk, a gift from Queen Victoria to Rutherford Hayes, is made from the timbers of the HMS Resolute. Brown proudly presented Obama with a pencil holder carved from its antislavery sister ship, the HMS Gannet. Classy! Obama lamely reciprocated with a DVD set of Hollywood movies, including “Psycho.” When Brown got back home, he discovered they didn’t work in his European player. “At a minimum you don’t want to give offense,” says a former White House official who helped orchestrate foreign visits for a previous president. “That was really phoning it in.” (The official, like others quoted here, asked not to be named disparaging a sitting president.) Apparently it was a rookie mistake. According to a person close to the situation, Obama hasn’t yet appointed a chief of protocol and his staffers, still unpacking, didn’t realize that the State Department has an entire office dedicated to foreign visits.

Hiring a chief of protocol isn’t as high a priority as staffing, say, the Treasury, but the position is quite obviously critical to not looking like Ugly Americans when traveling the globe as head of state.  I don’t think anyone has called this the Greatest Transition Ever in a while now.  I think the bloom has left that rose, and this is just another example of the problem.  Obama really had no clue as to the scope of this job.

So yes, Mrs. Obama committed a a small breach of protocol, but it’s not on the same level as the Angela Merkel back rub or replacing “Great Britain” with England.

Note: Comments copied from Headlines post.

Update: The offending gesture, from the Daily Mail:

Eh.  I just can’t get terribly worked up about this, since the Queen has her arm wrapped around Mrs. Obama.


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Just remember that there’s no common law marriage in NJ. You’re disposable.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 4:09 PM

You’re just mad nobody would think about supporting your ugly, lard ass….

RepubChica on April 2, 2009 at 4:21 PM

You’re just mad nobody would think about supporting your ugly, lard ass….

RepubChica on April 2, 2009 at 4:21 PM

Had to think about that one for a while, huh? You really should get something in writing, btw.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 4:22 PM

I don’t want to know – seriously. If I wanted to hear about trash I’d put on Jerry Springer.
capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 4:09 PM

That’s right. You’d like him. He’s a Democrat.

Rains let up. Time to make your tax dollars mean something.

Stay classy you libs.

hawkdriver on April 2, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on April 2, 2009 at 4:19 PM

You guys never even have to say. I know it already.

hawkdriver on April 2, 2009 at 4:25 PM

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Yeah, you’d be suprised what learning to work your man can do–everything’s co-owned or in my name…including all accounts, personal and small business…thanx for the misplaced concern….

RepubChica on April 2, 2009 at 4:25 PM

hawkdriver on April 2, 2009 at 4:23 PM

You take care, comrade….have to get rolling to…clean up my trailer, and go to Walmart for flip-flops….Nascar’s on tonight and gotta get my man sum beer!

RepubChica on April 2, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Yeah, you’d be suprised what learning to work your man can do–everything’s co-owned or in my name…including all accounts, personal and small business…thanx for the misplaced concern….

RepubChica on April 2, 2009 at 4:25 PM

That’s a good start! You know that at some point you will be replaced so you learned to “work your man”. I would continue until you “work” part of that $500K house.

Better get back to “work”.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 4:30 PM

maleman on April 2, 2009 at 3:59 PM

look here you tawdry piece of sh!t, perhaps honor means little to you, but it means a lot to most civilized people. Looks like watching cartoons is more your speed, so run along now and keep your prepubescent tantrums to your unfortunate biological family.

runner on April 2, 2009 at 5:10 PM

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 4:09 PM

You’re a jealous angry, spiteful person bereft of love and touch and know it. I’ve got ten times what you have from money on down to love–call your bluff on it….

RepubChica on April 2, 2009 at 4:14 PM

If you want to shut capitulus up, just engage it in a debate and ask it to display a little intelligence. It then gets as quiet as a church mouse.

ddrintn on April 2, 2009 at 5:11 PM

I’d get tested and get to the bottom of things though.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Go ahead. We won’t wait, though. You are on your own on this one, you crappy little troll.

And do let us know when you have completed ALL of the meds this time. Until then, please stay in your room and contain your filth.

tcn on April 2, 2009 at 5:13 PM

I don’t want to know – seriously. If I wanted to hear about trash I’d put on Jerry Springer. Just remember that there’s no common law marriage in NJ. You’re disposable.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 4:09 PM

Like this: what’s this about “trash”, capitulus? Are Bill and Hillary “trash”? How does that square with lefty ideas?

ddrintn on April 2, 2009 at 5:14 PM

The proportions of the individuals in the provided photo make me LOL

Rusty Shackleford on April 2, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Everything’s bigger in America.

unclesmrgol on April 2, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Where was the Queen’s dhimmi son, Charles?

Disturb the Universe on April 2, 2009 at 9:04 AM

Funny that you ask. He was being blocked by Obama’s limo, which had to be asked to MOVE:

The President and monarch met after Mr Obama’s driver was politely asked to move the bulletproof limousine which is transporting Mr Obama through a locked down British capital.

The Cadillac was blocking the Jaguars of Prince Charles and preventing his entrance to Buckingham Palace.

KittyLowrey on April 2, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Like this: what’s this about “trash”, capitulus? Are Bill and Hillary “trash”? How does that square with lefty ideas?

ddrintn on April 2, 2009 at 5:14 PM

No. That bunch of hillbillies in Alaska though – that’s another story.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Like this: what’s this about “trash”, capitulus? Are Bill and Hillary “trash”? How does that square with lefty ideas?

ddrintn on April 2, 2009 at 5:14 PM

No. That bunch of hillbillies in Alaska though – that’s another story.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 5:15 PM

They aren’t? What’s the difference? You’ve got a bubba that can’t keep it zipped…sounds “trashy” to me.

ddrintn on April 2, 2009 at 5:17 PM

But that bust was treated like toxic waste for some reason. Obama hates Churchill for some reason.

petunia on April 2, 2009 at 10:16 AM

That does appear to be the case. Today he made another peculiar statement referencing that gentleman that smacks of arrogance and dismissiveness:

Obama says negotiating is easy if it’s just Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill in a room, talking over brandy.

But he says that’s not the world we live in now.

LINK

KittyLowrey on April 2, 2009 at 5:18 PM

See, RepubChica? Make it defend its prejudices and dogmas.

ddrintn on April 2, 2009 at 5:22 PM

No. That bunch of hillbillies in Alaska though – that’s another story.

true, there are some democrats in Alaska, who voted for that bowing-to-Abdullah ass-kissing clown

runner on April 2, 2009 at 5:26 PM

I believe it’s ‘lets’ not ‘let’s’. The apostrophe indicates the possessive tone.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 3:09 PM

No, in this case it means a contraction. “let’s” is “let us”. So hawkdriver is wrong, but certainly not in the way that you indicate. And in spite of the extra apostrophe, almost everyone here understood.

If your rule on apostrophes was universal, “it’s” would mean “of it” rather than what it really means — “it is”. “its” is the possessive case of the indirect pronoun “it”.

And “lets” is an indicative verb, so it can’t have a possessive case, anyway.

unclesmrgol on April 2, 2009 at 5:36 PM

2 observations. A. $500K doesn’t buy that much in NJ B. You’re a puta.

But it’s ok. Be proud of your lifestyle.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Classism is just as ugly as the next ism. You supplant skin color, ethnicity or religion with financial status.

I’m sure Chica doesn’t need or want my help, but just I don’t get calling her a whore.

Your comments don’t mean anything to me anymore. You’re still invited to come with us though. The first plane leaves tonight.

hawkdriver on April 2, 2009 at 2:48 PM

I have to think about whether or not I am sorry that my comments will be lost on you. I actually appreciate your wit and gusto. For as much shit as I talk, I am drawn to those like myself — smart, cantankerous and kinda loud.

The one thing you prove is that every deployment is an act of undeniable graciousness. Service members, their families and friends all part ways knowing that their struggles are impossible to quantify and likely to be glossed over.

I do not wish to amend my sentiments regarding the uniform not being a cape. But I should append them. No matter what else someone has done in their lives, fighting if only for a day on behalf of all other Americans is heroic. The first thing my kids do in the presence of police, fire and military members is wave or walk up and say “thank you.”

My disagreements with your sense of humor or decorum can never match the shared valor of America’s military members. I’ll be glad if when you do go that you do not give thought to those here at home with whom you disagree.

Focus on your mission and your safe return. My petty grievances are an unworthy distraction.

The Race Card on April 2, 2009 at 5:36 PM

You know what though? I’d rather live in that dirty tent they’re pitching for us as we speak, knowing that regardless of what you think, I’m keeping my family safe back here in their homes.

Until you posted your message, I did not realize you were fighting in Afghanistan not Iraq. Still a lost cause, but at least a noble one.

maleman on April 2, 2009 at 5:37 PM

No. That bunch of hillbillies in Alaska though – that’s another story.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 5:15 PM

But we hillbillies do know our grammar.

unclesmrgol on April 2, 2009 at 5:37 PM

It sounds like the Queen and the Obamas are friends to me.

maleman on April 2, 2009 at 1:48 PM

They are not “friends”.

The only two presidents the queen has welcomed to Windsor Castle (as opposed to the customary site of welcoming visiting dignitaries at Buckingham Palace) are Reagan and GWB. If the Obamas are ever invited to the former they can be considered her “friends”.

KittyLowrey on April 2, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Until you posted your message, I did not realize you were fighting in Afghanistan not Iraq. Still a lost cause, but at least a noble one.

maleman on April 2, 2009 at 5:37 PM

In case you haven’t noticed, we have won in Iraq, and we will win in Afghanistan.

unclesmrgol on April 2, 2009 at 5:38 PM

That bunch of hillbillies in Alaska though – that’s another story.

crapitulus on April 2, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Actually, Alaska has almost 10 percent more high school graduates (88%) than the US as a whole. And exactly the same percentage of college graduates. And Alaska’s median and per capita incomes are higher than the national average. The median income in fact is almost 15% higher than the national average.

Let me guess-you call them “hillbillies” because of Sarah Palin’s husband belonging to a secessionist group.

Of course, it was perfectly OK for O’bama and Biden to vote in favor of the Akaka Bill, which would allow the state O’bama claims to have been born in to secede from the Union. After all,

Leftists are more equal than others. George Orlwell told me so,

Del Dolemonte on April 2, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Until you posted your message, I did not realize you were fighting in Afghanistan not Iraq. Still a lost cause, but at least a noble one.

maleman on April 2, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Wow, now it’s getalife’s nephew showing up.

I know it was before you were born, kid, but we started fighting in Afghanistan in 2001. We started fighting in Iraq in 2003.

BTW my cousin’s husband, who is an Air Force JAG (Judge Advocate General) is currently finishing up a 6 month deployment to Baghdad. His job? Training Iraqi Judges. He’s reporting that they have been welcomed with open arms and treated great.

As for Afghanistan being a lost cause, that’s an insult to the son of a friend of mine, who was killed by a roadside IED in October 2008. After a career in law enforcement, he enlisted at age 36 and volunteered for Afghan duty. He also volunteered to ride “point” in the convoy, to protect his much younger colleagues.

BTW, when he was over there he earned quite a reputation-despite being in his mid-30s he physically outperformed those half his age.

Now go deliver your mail, Clavin.

Del Dolemonte on April 2, 2009 at 5:47 PM

The proportions of the individuals in the provided photo make me LOL

Rusty Shackleford on April 2, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Inga: He would have to have an enormous Schwanstucker!

Dr. Fredereick Frankenstein: Goes without saying.

Sorry. Your comment just keeps on giving.

unclesmrgol on April 2, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Let’s try that again-notice to self, hit preview first.

Until you posted your message, I did not realize you were fighting in Afghanistan not Iraq. Still a lost cause, but at least a noble one.

maleman on April 2, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Wow, now it’s getalife’s nephew showing up.

I know it was before you were born, kid, but we started fighting in Afghanistan in 2001. We started fighting in Iraq in 2003.

BTW my cousin’s husband, who is an Air Force JAG (Judge Advocate General) is currently finishing up a 6 month deployment to Baghdad. His job? Training Iraqi Judges. He’s reporting that they have been welcomed with open arms and treated great.

As for Afghanistan being a lost cause, that’s an insult to the son of a friend of mine, who was killed by a roadside IED in October 2008. After a career in law enforcement, he enlisted at age 36 and volunteered for Afghan duty. He also volunteered to ride “point” in the convoy, to protect his much younger colleagues.

BTW, when he was over there he earned quite a reputation-despite being in his mid-30s he physically outperformed those half his age.

Now go deliver your mail, Clavin.

Del Dolemonte on April 2, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Del Dolemonte on April 2, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Michelle could have sat on the queen and she wouldn’t have made a scene. If she were to say anything regarding the O’s it will be construed as racist. So, put up with the crass, common Americans and hope they leave quickly.

UnEasyRider on April 2, 2009 at 5:51 PM

I’d taunt you about being comfy at home with my family and friends while you prepare to go across the world to fight for a lost cause, but why hurt your feelings? Deep down it must already be frustrating enough.
maleman on April 2, 2009 at 3:59 PM

“Male” “man”…hmmm.

I guess you really need to drive the point home to the women in your life who otherwise would never guess your sex. Just like I said on the Bill Maher thread, without fail, the men who disparage military men the most are the type of men who are the least, well, manly.

CarolynM on April 2, 2009 at 5:52 PM

I hate to defend Worfwoman, but who cares? She touched another human…*GASP*

SouthernGent on April 2, 2009 at 5:57 PM

As I understand it, Queen Elizabeth is a very classy lady, and goes out of her way not to point out the protocol shortcomings of those who are not familiar with the British Monarchy.
That being said – really, who cares? The Obamas are socially inept buffoons. We already knew that. The rest is just gravy.

uncivilized on April 2, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Hawkdriver, you truly have poor logic skills.

Oh well, I’ll just go back to being a fat lazy liberal. It must really burn you up to know that guys like me get to sit back, relax, and feel sorry for you and your lack of reason.

I’d taunt you about being comfy at home with my family and friends while you prepare to go across the world to fight for a lost cause, but why hurt your feelings? Deep down it must already be frustrating enough.

maleman on April 2, 2009 at 3:59 PM

“male”man:
You, sir, appear to be quite the shithead. Thus, what I’m about to tell you will, most likely, go in one ear, rattle around in the great expanse of your skull, (you know, where your brain would be), and pass right out the other side. No matter – perhaps someone can draw you some little stick figure people and explain it to you that way.
I would be very, very surprised if hawkdriver didn’t feel just a bit sorry for you, my emasculated liberal friend. You see, you wallow about in the lap of liberty, content in the knowledge that it is yours to keep, no strings attached. Therefore, you have little idea what a gift that liberty is, and no clue how hard others have had to fight to get and keep it for you. Fat, liberal, complacent, and lazy is no way to go through life, son.
Hawkdriver – and others just like him – know exactly what it means to work and sweat and, yes, fight, for the freedom that you take for granted. That freedom has a rare, sweet flavor that lazy liberal nobodys like yourself can never appreciate. For that, I am truly sorry.

uncivilized on April 2, 2009 at 6:20 PM

OT superficial comment: COULD SOMEONE IN THE IMAGE DEPARTMENT TELL MICHELLE THAT SHE NEEDS BANGS?? The high hair makes her forehead look near-klingon.

Mommypundit on April 2, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Just for the record, I meant MO not MM. whew.

Mommypundit on April 2, 2009 at 6:47 PM

Rusty Shackleford on April 2, 2009 at 1:44 PM

What was that old Eddie Murphy bit? Your wife’s a bigfoot isn’t she? I walked up to her and she said ‘Gunny goo goo.’

austinnelly on April 2, 2009 at 7:24 PM

The Race Card on April 2, 2009 at 5:36 PM

I’d be an as@ to not acknowledge your last comments; moving actually.
I’ll admit, I look less closely at the things being said around me on these threads by other Conservatives than I do at the trolls that I’m responding too. I suppose it’s the idea that you’d be stupid to shoot the guy in the foxhole next to you when you’re still being attacked. Over the top comments are made here. Truly. Over the last eight years, what’s over the top has been blurred for me though. One thing is for certain, no one on the left ever pulled their punches in what they said about President Bush and his wife. To include animal references to the President himself and vicious personal attacks about one of the sweetest and most soft spoken women to ever have lived at 600 PA Ave. They still happen.
You can find comments a lot of us have made about folks on both sides making overtly racist comments here on Hot Air and telling them to knock it off. A lot of times taking pleasure in the fact they ultimately got banned. I don’t know about the ones in particular from that day. A great deal of the jabs being thrown out, I wouldn’t personally use. On the other hand, I’m not sure I could always tell someone to knock it off because I can’t always point to something that’s definitively racist. I might defer to someone of that particular background; never really got the chance on that thread. In one comment you voiced your opinion, displeasure and determination that all of us in the military from that thread were cowards. We went right from even considering your take on it and straight to WTF. And she wouldn’t even have to be the first lady if I really thought it was racist or even just a bigoted comment. No American deserves verbal ridicule because of their skin color.
I can’t even get the N word out. If a black friend or co-worker asked me to say it just for fun I’d stumble on it. Not because of some mystic power it has but just because of the hurt that it’s always been expressed to me that it causes when it’s said by someone who isn’t black. I would say that if it holds that power though, then no one should use it. I understand completely that it doesn’t have the same meaning when a black person uses it. But I do think it’s at the very least a double standard. Like I believe it’s a double standard to use the term white trash. How much more obviously racist and bigoted can you be than to determine the value in a person is trash because they are white. Yet Eleanor Clift used the term on Meet the Press and no one batted an eye. I hate that word as much as the other. Difference is I can’t say anything about it. No one cares.
I honestly didn’t understand you jumping right to using coward with us, but I’m not black either. In 32 year of working, eating, sleeping and fighting with some of the greatest Americans of all ethnic backgrounds, I find myself in possession of friends and people who I would die for and vice versa from them all. I still care what my words here would mean to you or Baldi if she happened across them. It would kill me to hear her or you say, you really did cross the line and I can’t believe you didn’t know it. For the rest of Hot Air commenter’s, I’d just say that Race Card a sincere spokesman and if he took offense then they should respect it.
I’d like to write more but my guys are here and we’re ready to go flying. Race Card, we’re okay. I’ll look at the threads again when I get back in and you do have my apology if you think we should have spoken up then. I just hope you can see too and believe me when I say, the last eight years really have blurred the lines about what’s stepping over the line.

hawkdriver on April 2, 2009 at 7:56 PM

Dude, who cares!!!

Didn’t we found America to rid ourselves of pompous Monarchs?

Wonder if she still has a “groom of the stool”

These people amaze me…..

Constitution1st on April 2, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Are you implying that the military is an irregular society??

Answer.

blink on April 2, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Correct.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Are you implying that the military is an irregular society??

Answer.

blink on April 2, 2009 at 6:37 PM
Correct.

crapitulus on April 2, 2009 at 7:59 PM

All of us from military families are waiting to hear you “rationale” for this statement, backed by credible and multi-sourced examples.

As far as I know, the only thing “irregular” about our military is that Republican military officers outnumber their Democrat counterparts 8 to 1.

And considering that the most recent ranking Democrat officer in the military, Wesley Clark, nearly started World War 3 in Kosovo and was then removed from his command, I’m willing to live with such an irregularity.

Give it your best shot, though. Tell us why the military is irregular.

Del Dolemonte on April 2, 2009 at 8:22 PM

All

of us from military families are waiting to hear you “rationale” for this statement, backed by credible and multi-sourced examples.

You have entirely too much free time on your hands.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 8:24 PM

BTW the fine media blog Newsbusters-which unlike its Soros-funded counterpart Media Matters does not need a regular page for corrections-has a ton of stories re. the Michelle O’bama gaffe.

The best expose? Maybe this one:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2009/04/02/abcs-yunji-de-nies-skips-ipod-gaffe-obamas-highlighted-gop-errors

“Good Morning America” reporter Yunji de Nies on Thursday gushed over Michelle Obama’s appearance in London for the G-20 summit, thrilling about the First Lady’s fashion and the fact that “Mrs. Obama hasn’t lost touch with her sensible chic American roots.” In contrast, GMA ignored the controversy over Mrs. Obama touching the Queen of England during her visit, which many consider a breach of protocol. Similarly, the show’s hosts and reporters downplayed the fact that the Obamas gave Queen Elizabeth II an iPod loaded with Barack Obama’s speeches.

This is despite the fact that the very same de Nies filed a report on Tuesday on the history of overseas presidential trips. She insisted, “But one unlucky misstep and everyone remembers.”

She then proceeded to feature supposed gaffes from Republican Presidents George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

Two days later, however, de Nies ignored the missteps of the Obamas and filed an absolutely laudatory segment on the First Lady. She rhapsodized, “The First Lady showcased her signature sleeveless style, her bare arms reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy, the last First Lady to cause such a stir across the pond.”

Josef Goebbels would approve.

Del Dolemonte on April 2, 2009 at 8:25 PM

You have entirely too much free time on your hands.

crapitulus on April 2, 2009 at 8:24 PM

Translation:

“I can’t prove my allegation about the military being an irregular society, so I will change the subject and insult my debate opponent”.

I’ll give you one more chance. Give us examples of the US military being “an irregular society”.

Del Dolemonte on April 2, 2009 at 8:27 PM

Correct.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 7:59 PM

I believe you to be right also. The military has the concepts of honor, duty and courage, coupled with a careful balance of individual and group responsibility, all of which appear to be sorely lacking in civilian society.

There’s a reason, of course, that so much of that is missing from our America — and it has quite a bit to do with the freedoms guaranteed to us by those who subject themselves to military discipline, which include a freedom to be selfish with our resources — a right to spend them on what we want rather than what society might want us to spend them on.

It’s not clear how much longer the least part of this freedom will last, for the blueprint for society is looking more and more like what those in the military endure for our sakes. But, in the end, they had the individual choice to bind themselves to service, and it’s not at all clear that we civilians will have a similar choice.

When society is totally militarized, that is fascism.

unclesmrgol on April 2, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Del Dolemonte on April 2, 2009 at 8:27 PM

Sigh. It’s insular and more homogenous than the rest of society. Rank and service time matter. In the rest of the world no one cares.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 8:30 PM

What a fake outrage Ed. Every expert I listened too today said it wasn’t a faux paux. The queens spokesperson herself said it wasn’t. If you wants to bash the Obama’s with substance fine, but don’t lower yourself by making things up.

athensboy on April 2, 2009 at 8:33 PM

Dude, who cares!!!

Didn’t we found America to rid ourselves of pompous Monarchs?

Wonder if she still has a “groom of the stool”

These people amaze me…..

Constitution1st on April 2, 2009 at 7:57 PM

The answer is “no” — the British eliminated the position long before Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne.

And, while we founded America to nevermore be ruled by a monarch, we still give them deference as titular (and sometimes ruling) heads of state — and, occasionally way too much deference of the type President Obama showed when he bowed to King Abdullah. An American President bowing to a King is so out-of-bounds as to be nearly incomprehensible.

unclesmrgol on April 2, 2009 at 8:40 PM

It’s insular and more homogenous than the rest of society. Rank and service time matter. In the rest of the world no one cares.

crapitulus on April 2, 2009 at 8:30 PM

(laughter) Your total ignorance of the US military is duly noted. And totally unbased in reality.

All studies show that the demographics of the military are basically identical to the demos of the US as a whole. That includes income, race, edication, and region/cultural origin. In fact, studies have shown that the average military member is more intelligent than the average American. 98 percent of all enlisted recruits are high school graduates, as compared to 75% of the US population.

Of course, these are all facts that your Congressman Chuckles Rangel refuses to tell you. How’s that draft of his coming along, anyway?

In “regular” American business, rank and service time also matter. That applies to both corporations and professional sports teams.

And have you ever heard of the Leftist higher education scam known as “tenure”? Absolutely no difference.

In fact, I could legitimately argue that academe is just as irregular as the evil military is. And they all think exactly the same, too!

As for the rest of the world, they have militaries too. Even the Swiss.

Del Dolemonte on April 2, 2009 at 8:52 PM

What a fake outrage Ed. Every expert I listened too today said it wasn’t a faux paux. The queens spokesperson herself said it wasn’t. If you wants to bash the Obama’s with substance fine, but don’t lower yourself by making things up.

athensboy on April 2, 2009 at 8:33 PM

I may be inclined to agree.

Every expert I read today (including ones who wrote long before this visit) said it was a faux pas should Michelle Obama have touched the Queen first. One touches the Queen lightly, and only in the same manner as the Queen first touches you.

The Indians are quite familiar with British royal protocol:

It is considered a breach of protocol to touch the Queen.

Observers were quick to point out that when the former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating put his arm around the Queen in 1992, he was branded the “Lizard of Oz”. When his successor, John Howard, was accused of doing the same, a spokesman insisted: “We firmly deny that there was any contact whatsoever.”

Of course, here’s the rest of the Indian take, which makes Michelle Obama behave acceptably, according to protocol:

As they moved closer and continued to chat, the Queen put her hand on the back of Michelle, who did the same for a few moments. Before she departed, Michelle told the Queen: “I really enjoyed our meeting.”

And it was reported that the Queen was so taken by Michelle that she said: “Now we’ve met, will you please keep in touch?”

So, the order was “Queen touches first”, which is acceptable. And it sounds like Mrs. Obama and the Queen are off to a very good friendship.

I’ve decided that, should I ever have an audience with the Queen, I’m bringing the best postage stamp from my collection and giving it to her. She may already have it, but you never know…

unclesmrgol on April 2, 2009 at 8:53 PM

Every expert I listened too today said it wasn’t a faux paux.

athensboy on April 2, 2009 at 8:33 PM

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2009/04/02/abcs-yunji-de-nies-skips-ipod-gaffe-obamas-highlighted-gop-errors

Del Dolemonte on April 2, 2009 at 8:54 PM

Sigh. It’s insular and more homogenous than the rest of society. Rank and service time matter. In the rest of the world no one cares.

capitulus on April 2, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Strange…Americans are often accused of being insular. And here, “rank” and “time in grade” do indeed matter. I have bosses, and, in my amazingly almost-union shop, “bumping rights”.

unclesmrgol on April 2, 2009 at 8:55 PM

hawkdriver on April 2, 2009 at 7:56 PM

+7%…….

Seven Percent Solution on April 2, 2009 at 9:23 PM

Eh.  I just can’t get terribly worked up about this, since the Queen has her arm wrapped around Mrs. Obama.

Agreed. Given the Queen moved first, this one gets a pass. Michelle shouldn’t have done it, but at least this was a gesture of friendliness. She is to be criticized of being too affectionate to a figure like the Queen, and for being ignorant. On an unconscious level it’s a power play, but from the conscious mind, one can assume she felt compelled to reciprocate a friendly gesture. By contrast, the gift to Brown by Obama is far more serious because in the best case scenario that really is, as the quote suggests, “phoning it in”. Michelle’s actions were inappropriate, but at least informal and affectionate. Besides, what else should she have done with her arm once the Queen moved so close to her?

tartan on April 2, 2009 at 9:37 PM

And have you ever heard of the Leftist higher education scam known as “tenure”? Absolutely no difference.

In fact, I could legitimately argue that academe is just as irregular as the evil military is. And they all think exactly the same, too!

Del Dolemonte on April 2, 2009 at 8:52 PM

To expand this earlier portion of my post, I forgot to mention one major difference between the military and Leftist academe-in the latter enterprise, one is not held accountable for his or her actions. With tenure one can do something outrageous (see Ward Churchill) and get away with it, In fact, Ward got away with it again today.

When one screws up in the military, on the other hand, one is held accountable for their actions. Even if the charges turn out to have no merit, the military bends over backwards to go after bad apples. Something Dean Wormer would never do to a precious football coach or head of the English Department.

Del Dolemonte on April 2, 2009 at 9:46 PM

blink on April 2, 2009 at 9:24 PM

Wow, that is what is called a bitch slapping. It was beautiful to watch.

As you said, most military folks live off-base. As I said, I come from a military family and in my entire lifetime we lived on-base exactly once. And on that base, we were shipped off-base to go to public schools.

Del Dolemonte on April 2, 2009 at 9:49 PM

They are doing so many wrong things so fast that you have to sort of feel sorry for them (almost).

BTW, would it be out of the question to say the obligatory “I’d hit that” to MO. I’m definitely not saying I will *shudders*

FontanaConservative on April 2, 2009 at 10:03 PM

With tenure one can do something outrageous (see Ward Churchill) and get away with it, In fact, Ward got away with it again today.

Yeah in the academy there’s an epidemic of people shooting off their mouths. In the military there’s an epidemic of sexual harrassment and assult of female soldiers (and that’s according to the VA). But academia is totally worse.

DeathToMediaHacks on April 2, 2009 at 10:06 PM

Some reports are saying it isn’t clear who moved first.

If it wasn’t the Queen, then this gets no pass.

Alana on April 2, 2009 at 10:23 PM

But academia is totally worse.

DeathToMediaHacks on April 2, 2009 at 10:06 PM

Great, we finally agree on something.

carbon_footprint on April 3, 2009 at 12:13 AM

You know what though? I’d rather live in that dirty tent they’re pitching for us as we speak, knowing that regardless of what you think, I’m keeping my family safe back here in their homes.

Until you posted your message, I did not realize you were fighting in Afghanistan not Iraq. Still a lost cause, but at least a noble one.

maleman on April 2, 2009 at 5:37 PM

No, please go back to thinking I’m a doofus. I’ve been to both and believe both to be noble ventures. And I don’t believe either is a lost cause. On the other hand, trying to understand liberals is.

hawkdriver on April 3, 2009 at 1:49 AM

Sorry that I’m late to this parade…All this B.S. about the obamanations and their WH staff not knowing about the State Dept’s Office of Protocol is not believable. The teleprompter kid has a multitude of Clinton WH retreads on staff (see Rahm) that know where ‘things’ are in the government and who does ‘what’.

Hasn’t anyone connected to this (mis)administration ever watched TV coverage of previous Presidents interacting with foreign heads of state?

Plus, there should be common sense to fall back on…

Gohawgs on April 3, 2009 at 3:58 AM

Your answer demonstrates your unfortunate ignorant belief in tired, poorly founded misconceptions of the military. Your “Sigh” demonstrates an ugly arrogance associated with your ignorance.

blink on April 2, 2009 at 9:24 PM

Sigh. You’re so ponderous. Go read the Limbaugh Letter or something.

capitulus on April 3, 2009 at 8:15 AM

capitulus on April 3, 2009 at 8:15 AM

Sign. You’re so typically liberal. Go abort a baby or something.

hawkdriver on April 3, 2009 at 8:26 AM

Or sigh, take your pick.

hawkdriver on April 3, 2009 at 8:28 AM

hawkdriver, are you being deployed ?

runner on April 3, 2009 at 8:36 AM

hawkdriver, are you being deployed ?

runner on April 3, 2009 at 8:36 AM

Yeah, I was Stop Lossed a couple weeks ago. Our first plane with the advanced party left from Pope this morning. I have 2-4 weeks.

hawkdriver on April 3, 2009 at 8:41 AM

hawkdriver on April 3, 2009 at 8:41 AM

Godspeed to you, and thank you.

runner on April 3, 2009 at 8:43 AM

runner on April 3, 2009 at 8:43 AM

Thank you.

hawkdriver on April 3, 2009 at 8:48 AM

Sign. You’re so typically liberal. Go abort a baby or something.

hawkdriver on April 3, 2009 at 8:26 AM

Are you back from your little trip already? There’s no time like the present to deal with your anger issues. Be sure to tell them about the mean people in Williamsport.

capitulus on April 3, 2009 at 9:31 AM

I’ve been laughing out loud at a lot of the posts today, which is why Hot Air is my favorite blog these days. So many great posters. Not catapultus, of course.

If I may interject a lighter note about royal protocol: In the early ’80s, I was a young reporter in the Army Reserve covering the gigantic Boy Scout jamboree near Washington, D.C. The king of Sweden, whose name was something like Gustav XVI, was a big Scouting fan and planning to attend.

My editor told me to get on the king’s military helicopter for an aerial tour of the campgrounds, even though the king didn’t want any reporters along. I eagerly agreed to do it, and got on board. I had never seen a picture of the guy, but I figured he’d be easy to spot — as if he would be wearing a crown and ermines. That’s how young and stupid I was.

When he and several attendants walked to the ‘copter, they were all in business suits. When they were on board, everyone had headsets except me, so I couldn’t tell anything from the way the conversation went.

As we flew around, there was one fairly friendly guy sitting near me, and he had a gold crown pin in his lapel. We exchanged some smiles, and I let him look at the ground below through my telephoto lens. Nice, friendly guy.

There was one guy who sat staring out of the window, not making nice with me or anyone in the crew. I should have guessed who he was, but I stuck with the nice guy, and took several photos of him.

When we landed and the whole gang prepared to get out and meet the military dignitaries, I followed the nice guy to get some good shots — and he walked over to the king’s limousine and got in the driver’s side. Aaaarrrggggh. The king was, of course, the not-so-friendly guy who had ignored me during the flight.

I had not a single photo of him to show my editor.

By the way, the Army pilot, when waiting to pick up the kind and his gang, hovered just a foot or so off the ground, so they would have to do just a bit of scrambling to get on board. I was able to hear him that he wasn’t impressed by any ol’ king. Go Army!

KyMouse on April 3, 2009 at 10:05 AM

By the way, thank you for your service, hawkdriver. God bless you as you continue serving. I was in the Army Reserve for nine years and not particularly good at it, as the above story indicates, but I greatly admire anyone else who is in uniform. I’ll be praying for you and your family.

KyMouse on April 3, 2009 at 10:14 AM

Are you back from your little trip already? There’s no time like the present to deal with your anger issues. Be sure to tell them about the mean people in Williamsport.

capitulus on April 3, 2009 at 9:31 AM

Those little trips cost us 15 guys over the last two years in my Brigade. But by all means, get it all out lib. Wear your heart on your sleeve. It’s good to know where we stand with you guys.

hawkdriver on April 3, 2009 at 12:44 PM

hawkdriver on April 2, 2009 at 7:56 PM

I’m simply honored to have you represent and protect American interests anywhere in the world. Thanks.

Your comment is great. I appreciate your time and consideration.

I know that I am a button-pusher. But you demonstrate, again, why we I must be careful with our my presumptions and accusations. I tend to play it wild and loose. I like facts, but I love passion. Sometimes I let my passion get ahead of my manageable facts.

Frankly, other than the words people use here online, I have little to go on in determining someone’s true feelings. The same way in which I feel misunderstood is probably similar to some of those whom I have labeled.

What you have said about your personal disposition and standards probably goes for many people. It’s hard to remember that when I am busy digging into someone. In the same way you genuinely recoil to think you’ve offended — so do I.

I try to remind people that my words, no matter their searing zing, are not much more. We all have bigger more important things to do than goes on here. That being said, I am sorry for calling you and our Veterans “cowards.” It was stupid and inexcusable. I would be terribly offended if anyone called my father, cousins and numerous friends who served “cowards.”

I’m very glad you wrote what you did about the term “white trash.” Incidentally, I made mention of this somewhere at HA today. Synchronicity — it’s more than just an album by the Police.

I think it would be great if HotAir took up collections or donations for care packages for those active military duty commenters. I know most of you guys would downplay that idea, but I bet many readers would be glad to kick in.

I’m pretty sure, I’m not done adding to my list of absurd remarks. No matter how far I insert my foot into my mouth in the future, you have my respect and gratitude.

The Race Card on April 4, 2009 at 2:11 AM

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