Dear El Presidente Obama, a minor point of etiquette

Tihs has possibly not occured to you, or perhaps your protocol people are not doing their jobs. I dunno. I don’t care. Heck, maybe HIllary is just screwing with you. Whatever.

You are the fucking President. You do not bow to Royalty. Ok, so I had misgivings about the whole Abdullah thing. Fine. It happened once, no biggie, it was embarassing but not fatal. Then MIchelle had that whole “touchy-feely with Queen Elizabeth” moment, but fine, she’s not you.

But I expect you would have learned, dammit.


And yes, I’m sure that Andrew Malcom is right (he’s the L.A. Times writer on this story), and a few of the older generation will appreciate it. It doesn’t matter. This is disrespectful to your own country, which does not bow before any foreign nation, just as you’re not supposed to fucking bow before their heads of state. I don’t care if Akihito does has the giant word Emperor before his goddamn nameplate on his desk, you’re the goddamn President of the United States: you are equal in international diplomacy, and even if you weren’t, you shouldn’t be bowing before a figurehead.

Even if you somehow can’t grasp it, this is decidedly weak sauce and encourages a lot of other governments to pressure you in ways they wouldn’t otherwise dare. Politeness is one thing; snivelling is quite another.

One GIANT :rolleyes: over this whole stupid public embarassment, even if msot people can’t grasp how obnoxious this behavior is.

Bowing in Japan is used as a greeting, like a handshake. I’m fairly sure I’ve seen world leaders shake hands and I would interpret bowing upon meeting a Japanese leader as simply observing the local greeting etiquette.

Did Akihito bow back?

Do you have cites of other presidents bowing instead of merely shaking hands?

Shows what you know! Clearly, this is merely the prelude to further humiliations and abject surrender of American sovereignty. As everybody knows, the correct way to address the Japanese Prime Minister is to await the opportunity to blow chunks all over him, preferably at a formal state dinner. The Japanese are great admirers of correct diplomatic protocol, they even added a new verb to their language in our honor: busharu, to hurl, upchuck, perform the Australian yawn…

Reagan bows at nazi SS graves in Bitburg

The proper protocol is of course back rubs and/or noogies, followed by “In your face, [country]! USA! USA!”

Well, to be fair, Alabama has really bad knees these days, so it’s hard for the whole country to get a good waist-deep bow going on, not to mention the ensuing massive seismic disruption, which would piss off pretty much everybody outside California. (They’re used to it.)

Shit, just be glad he didn’t cop a feel!

I thought the proper response was to barf on them.


Oh puhleeze. The only people who give a shit are people who want to knock Obama at every turn.

Get some preparation H for that sore ass of yours.

You sound butthurt.

Heh… which means, if I remember my Japanese correctly, the past tense is bushita.

And, frankly, the attitude “this country bows to no other” is about as jingoistic as wearing a “these colors don’t run” T-shirt. I’m no Obama fan, but this rant needs a serious dose of perspective. The sitting President may be going a little overboard on the displays of courtesy and respect, but I’d much rather that than thinking a down parka is acceptable dress for a Holocaust memorial ceremony.

Wow. I googled “Obama bow” and all the links are to right wing websites bitching and moaning about this.

How embarrasing for them. Bowing is the standard greeting in Japan, not a sign of subservience.

P.S. We do not lower our flag to foreign leaders like other countries do at the Olympics. There is no rule that the President shouldn’t bow. That is completely made up. All Presidents bow when it is appropriate.

I don’t know what’s better: what was said or that is was said by you. I only wish I had thought of it first!

So does he.

A giant :rolleyes: to anyone who thinks this is news.

What’s wrong with a down parka?

It’s gay

Everything, when it has Dick Cheney in it.

If I was at an outdoor Holocaust memorial ceremony in winter, I’d be wearing a down parka if I had one and it was cold enough.

I don’t know the specific incident being referenced, but a down parka doesn’t strike me as inherently insensitive in any context.

ETA: having read the article, it’s the STAFF 2001 ski cap that’s stupid, not the parka.