So much of an idiot, in fact, that according to Tapper’s source, at least one Japanese paper isn’t running the photo out of embarrassment. This tool actually groveled himself into a minor international incident.
The good news for O-bots? It wasn’t unprecedented. Nixon evidently made a modest bow to Hirohito in the early 70s. The bad news?
“Obama’s handshake/forward lurch was so jarring and inappropriate it recalls Bush’s back-rub of Merkel.
“Kyodo News is running his appropriate and reciprocated nod and shake with the Empress, certainly to show the president as dignified, and not in the form of a first year English teacher trying to impress with Karate Kid-level knowledge of Japanese customs.
“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.
A senior White House official (read: Axelrod or Emanuel) assured Politico this morning that no Japanese observers “would say anything other than that he enhanced both the position and the status of the U.S., relative to Japan.” Consider that spin exploded, thanks to ABC.
And yet, having said that, I’m not convinced that the “groveling” explanation for the bow is necessarily the correct one. For one thing, his protocol office is famously run by imbeciles. They may very well have simply given him bum advice: “Be sure to hunch way the hell over and stare at the ground. They all do it that way.” For another thing, and somewhat notably, Japan isn’t a stop on The One’s world apology tour. It could have been, but he declined the opportunity to turn it into one. So why give the emperor the full Hopenchange treatment, then? Is it just … reflex at this point? Or is it actually a sign of how keenly aware Obama is of the messianic hype that follows him around the world? Maybe he figured that, as the newly anointed global Jesus, he’d better go out of his way to show deference to Japan’s divine ruler lest it seem like he was “pulling rank.” Think of it as “Superman II,” if the main characters had landed on Earth convinced that they had to “rebuild Krypton’s relationships” with the universe. In that case, you don’t kneel before Zod; Zod kneels before you.