The Tele-Prompter made Barack Obama do it. There’s not other excuse. After all, Barack Obama MUST know that bowing before a foreign monarch symbolizes that monarch’s power over his subjects. We’re not even going to speculate about Obama’s relationship to the Saudis or the fact that he did not pay tribute in such a way, even to HRM.
According to Miss Manners:
“…One does now bow or curtsy to a foreign monarch because the gesture symbolizes recognition of her power over her subjects…”
Flopping Aces is giving Barack & Michelle O a pass for their humiliating behavior. I am not as charitable. Unfortunately THAT was NOT a bow, it was TRIBUTE. There’s a difference between a bow, a tip of the head, and a gesture of pure, absolute submission. What Obama did before the Saudi King was pure humiliating submission. (Video from Malkin’s Blog)
It’s too bad Barack Obama did not have the courage of Ralph Rose. In 1908, in London, at the Olympics, Ross was chosen to carry the American flag during the opening ceremonies. He began a tradition that continues to this day.
“…At the opening ceremony Rose, the US flag bearer, refused (supported by a majority of his mostly Irish-descended US teammates) to dip the flag to the royal box, as other countries did. Martin Sheridan supposedly explained Rose’s action with the terse statement, “This flag dips to no earthly king.” …”
Secretary of State, Daniel Webster wrote:
“…you are no tribute-bearer; that your government pays tribute to none, and expects tribute from none …”
One of the things that angers me is the fact that Obama bowed to the leader of a country where women are treated very badly. I guess Michelle doesn’t have much control after all.
On June 19, 1994, the New York Times took Bill Clinton to task for “inclining” his head toward the Emperor of Japan.
“…“IF I see another king, I think I shall bite him,” Teddy Roosevelt once growled. Offered that opportunity with the Japanese equivalent last week, Bill Clinton turned out to have had quite something else in mind.
It wasn’t a bow, exactly. But Mr. Clinton came close. He inclined his head and shoulders forward, he pressed his hands together. It lasted no longer than a snapshot, but the image on the South Lawn was indelible: an obsequent President, and the Emperor of Japan.
Canadians still bow to England’s Queen; so do Australians. Americans shake hands. If not to stand eye-to-eye with royalty, what else were 1776 and all that about? But Mr. Clinton, alas, is not the only one since George Washington who has seemed not quite to know what to make of monarchs.
There was that curtsy, during the Reagan years, when Lenore Annenberg, herself the chief of protocol, forgot herself entirely and did a little dip to greet a visiting Prince Charles. That prompted a stern warning from Miss Manners against those who might mock the effort that “was once put into freeing Americans from the necessity of bending their knees.” Soon afterward, when Nancy Reagan greeted Queen Elizabeth II behind closed doors, her press secretary acknowledged that Mrs. Reagan had bowed her head but insisted, “It was definitely not a curtsy.”
With the imperial visit last week, official Washington was clearly determined to show that it knew well what courtesies should be showered on the 175th inheritor of the most formal throne on earth….”