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To Charles De Gaulle…



To the wife of Italian Prime Minister Giovanni Gronchi…



To Pope John XXIII…



Maybe he just liked to sneak a peek at their shoes?

(h/t: Gaucho Politico & Lawyers, Guns & Money)

  • Alistair

    WOW!! Justin you’re simply the best man!

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    Of course, there’s a difference in both intent and interpretation between the type of bow we saw from Ike and the full from-the-waist bow that someone told Obama it was okay to display before Akihito.

    And the meaning of bows in Japanese society is far different from what it means in the West.

    Is this the biggest deal in the world ? No.

    Is it offensive to everything America stands for any President to bow in an obsequious manner to royalty ? Yes

  • Mike A.

    “Is it offensive to everything America stands for any President to bow in an obsequious manner to royalty ? Yes”

    Everything your America stands for. Don’t speak for my America.

  • http://www.donklephant.com Justin Gardner

    Now we’re arguing different types of bows? Come on…

    It isn’t a big deal at all. And that’s the point of this post. It happens ALL THE TIME between leaders of different countries.

    Also, let’s get one thing straight…it’s offensive to you. It’s not offensive in general.

  • jacob

    Doug:

    Is it offensive to everything America stands for any President to bow in an obsequious manner to royalty ?

    Everybody’s got something that “offends everything America stands for”. For some it’s illegally wiretapping American citizens, or government-sanctioned torture, for others it’s public health care. My pet peeve is people that wear (or otherwise disrespect) the American flag in vacuous displays of patriotism.

    Either way, I respectfully disagree with “obsequious manner”.

    My not-sarcastic question is this: Do you really think the monarchs of the world will see this bow and try to make us their bitches?

    It seems so terribly 18th century.

  • http://sidewaysmencken.blogspot michael reynolds

    Remember when the GOP was the Party of Ideas? Now it’s the Ministry of Funny Bows.

    A brain-dead party obsessing over nonsense.

  • http://www.musicbyday.com Marvin

    Didn’t the right wing loons already have a hissy fit earlier in the year about some bow Obama did? WTF is wrong with these people?

  • the Word

    I guess ugly is in the eye of the beholder Doug “to my eyes” offensive to everything America stands for” are the type of campaigns and the level of debate of the right wing. Elevating silly to a place of respect in a morally bankrupt party.

  • http://frankhagan.com Frank Hagan

    A bow in Asia is a sign of respect, and I’m not sure why its such a big deal (beyond the normal partisan “derangement syndrome” where any perceived fault is magnified a million times).

    I did think it was funny that President Obama would bow to a Saudi; my understanding is that bowing to rulers is not a custom in Muslim countries due to the equality of all (men) under Islam. I think you are supposed to show friendship and respect by holding their hands, a practice that set the left off when Bush did it.

  • zsingerb

    Here’s the thing about the bow. If both parties bow equally, at the same time, it’s a sign of respect. If one bows lower than the other, it’s a sign of subservience. I doubt the Emperor bowed to Obama. Obviously he did not do it at the same time. Thus, Obama was showing his, and America’s subservience. This disrespects us, the citizens of the United States. Clear enough? And this protocol, like many things, causes friction and wars. Those who think it is not important also probably don’t support other social conventions. It is these conventions that allow differing societies to get along without killing each other. Raw honesty doesn’t.

  • http://www.xanga.com/jandjinjapan Jason L.

    Hmmmm….

    Pobe Benedict and the Italian PM’s wife are also both bowing to Ike at the same time. I guess he is respnding in kind….and who’s t osay DeGaulle DIDN’T bow to Ike first or later? Seeing that the Japanese Emperor didn’t, and neither did King Abdullah, it makes quite a contrast to these “smoking gun” fotos…doesn’t it?

  • Josh

    “Here’s the thing about the bow…This disrespects us, the citizens of the United States. Clear enough? And this protocol, like many things, causes friction and wars.”

    Wars caused by a Democrat bowing (but not a Republican) … is totally absurd.