I’m speechless that he’s speechless. After 10 months of conservatives grumbling about his world “apology tour” and rhetorical diminution of American exceptionalism, replete with a bow to the king of Saudi Arabia(!), he’s suddenly shocked to find they’re not keen on seeing him go perpendicular for the emperor of Japan? If he simply doesn’t care, fine. But “speechless”?
“Obama’s attitude was, this is an elderly gentleman in a country where this kind of greeting is customary,” said the official. “It does not seem extraordinary to show this kind of gesture to him.”
“The Fox News poll said that 67 percent of Americans thought [the bow] was a good thing for him to have done,” the official continued. “When the president heard that some people had complained, I’d characterize his reaction as: The notion that the United States is somehow humbling or humiliating itself by showing respect for a local custom, when it is transparently the most powerful country in the world, leaves me speechless.”
It wasn’t customary, though. It was “jarring and inappropriate,” even by Japanese standards, and “evoked weakness in Japanese terms.” As Ace explained, it’s not that the bow shows America “humbling itself” or whatever, it’s that it makes Obama look like an eager-to-please chump who believes that silly gestures like this in any way advance American interests. And if he looks like a chump to our allies, you can guess what non-allies are thinking. Here’s Cheney from this morning’s Scott Hennen Show laying into him about the KSM show trial and the bow, which he calls “fundamentally harmful.” Skip ahead to 9:30 for the latter. Exit question: For all the hype about his skill at media manipulation, The One’s really not that great at optics, is he? From that weird fake presidential seal during the campaign to his bizarre Greek Obamapolis staging for the DNC acceptance speech to the repeated bows, which cost him more in political capital than they earn, you’d think the new great communicator could do better.