"....Greg Gutfeld (was up late last night) noted the bowing controversy and called it, using Andy Levy's phrase, a "blog issue." By which he meant a topic that gets predictable heat on blogs, but when you try to discuss it in the "real world," the reaction is "ehhh."
That may be so. To be honest, I had a bit of trouble drumming up a lot of passion about this. My real beef here isn't that what Obama is doing is wrong.
My actual beef is that the crap Obama is doing is irrelevant. No one gives a flying fuck if you bow to them, or you say nice things about "working together to reach our collective goals," or this ridiculous conceit that just because of Obama's "personal presence" -- a historic presidency, drenched in drama, topped with butter-baked crumbs of hope -- is going to make a lick of difference. Nations pursue their own policy goals -- period. You change the goals a nation might pursue by offering carrots and sticks, by buying them off or making it so costly to pursue a particular goal they refrain from doing so.
"Diplomacy" is merely a polite manner of announcing these carrots and sticks.
So my point, then, is that what Obama is doing is perfectly trivial, and to get all outraged about it actually invests his empty and feckless symbolism with a power it doesn't have. Obama's bowing to a Saudi king does nothing to improve our relations with the Islamic world. And neither, frankly, does Cheney shaking his hand as an equal. Neither matters -- and the problem here is that Obama is convinced these things not only matter, but are well-nigh determinative.
This malignant narcissist thinks that nations will change their fundamental national goals based simply on the (purported) fact that Obama is charming, nice, and awesome.
It's not so much that he's doing the wrong things -- he is; but these things are utterly trivial. It's that he's investing far too much time thinking about trivialities, convincing himself that the trivial trumps the substantial, that he invests no time or effort at all in substantive manners. Look at Iran. Rather than facing the grim reality he needs to confront Iran and make it too costly for Iran to continue building nukes, he convinces himself that if only he can be charming and nonthreatening enough he will neatly avoid having to face that reality.
He is indulging in fantasy at the expense of reality, and therefore at the expense of US national interests.
Now, all that said, all that acknowledgement that maybe this is a "blog issue," as Greg Gutfeld said, let me note again something that makes it not just a "blog issue" at all: Obama lied. Gibbs lied. White House sources lie. They all denied down the line that they were offering a sycophantic servility -- bowing like an inferior -- to royalty, and they now are forced to admit it was a lie all along.
They were deliberately bowing to royalty, and just lying about it to the American public. Because, I guess, sometimes a lie is "diplomatic."
So it seems while foreign royalty gets deep bows, the American public gets lies and fast-talk about it.
Actually... also taking it out of the realm of "blog issue" is that any symbolic act stands for something concrete and real. And Obama isn't just showing the symbolism of deference, weakness, and appeasement; he's actually practicing deference, weakness, and appeasement. His symbolic gesture then is simply confirmation of objective reality."
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Alright: Unlike the last time I did this....
....I won't completely rip off Ace, but with regard to Zero's penchant for bowing down to foreign leaders, here he makes a very good point.