By lex, on November 15th, 2009
Washington, I am reminded, is a deeply silly place – although at this time of year, a very beautiful one. So we shouldn’t be overly surprised that legions of the president’s critics on the right are incensed at Mr. Obama’s jettisoning of two centuries protocol in his deeply subservient bow to an obviously flummoxed Japanese emperor. When all you’ve got in your toolkit is a hammer *, every problem looks like a nail, and any nail will do.
It’s a little more interesting however, watching those on the left – even if posting at “The Moderate Voice” – try to defend the indefensible. Even if the whole thing is, as I believe, rather too silly for words. Kathy, a kindly person of my sometime acquaintance through back channel correspondence, albeit one with markedly different political preferences than my own does so, and does so with a certain lack of grace, labeling those who object as “yokels.” Her commenters rightly take her to task, both on substance and tone.
Not every spasm of manufactured outrage on the right – or the left, for that matter – requires a counter-spasm from its increasingly polar opposite. The more customary and probably appropriate response when facing such an inconvenient set of facts is simply to ignore it, and hopefully move on to more substantive matters.
Like firing the White House protocol staff, for starters, who are serving not merely our president but also our country very poorly. Because getting the small things right in foreign diplomacy is important to all of us, since it sets the expectations of foreign leaders – all of whom are, quite naturally, angling for advantage – about the character and intelligence of the man they are negotiating with.
Our president is many things, but he is not nearly as stupid as his people are making him – and us – look.
* 09-20-2018 Link Gone; no replacements found – Ed.