Disclaimer: As a libertarian, I find little to agree with in President Obama. In domestic policy, he in essence stands for the government buying its way into private businesses by way of bailout cash. He who pays the piper, as it were, calls the tune. In foreign policy, he is a vast improvement over the warmongering, torture-defending Bush administration, but he is still far from the ideal in foreign policy: non-interventionism and neutrality.
Having said that, I can only shake my head in amazement at how a few factual statements and awkward gestures on Obama’s part have brought out the sheer lunacy of Sean Hannity and other right-wing talk radio nutcakes.
The first point is the trumped up lunacy over Obama’s alleged “bow” before Abdullah, the Saudi Arabian king. It may be true, in fact, that Obama bowed slightly before the Saudi king, while simultaneously grasping his hand with both of his hands. This is a very common American gesture that, in other contexts, would be considered mere courtesy. This is especially true, as Obama is much taller than his Saudi counterpart.
Now, supposedly (say the right-wing, warmongering nutcakes), this is an unforgivable show of obeisance and fealty to a foreign leader. Hannity and Newt Gingrich have gone absolutely berserk over this tempest in a teapot. It is obvious to anyone who views the video that Obama’s slight bow, if you can even call it that, was just a polite gesture of greeting. Observe that both Hannity and Gingrich have suddenly discovered–years after the fact–that the majority of the 9-11 attackers were in fact Saudis. This, they say, makes this slight bow especially egregious.
Wow. The hypocrisy is sometimes absolutely breathtaking, isn’t it? Did we hear such condemnations of Saudi Arabia when Bush was literally holding hands with a Saudi prince?
Or, take Obama’s statement that America has often been arrogant in dealing with Europe. This is just a plain statement of fact. The right-wing nutcakes have gone over the edge on this statement, too. How DARE Obama criticize the US? We’re not arrogant! We’ve got military stationed in over a hundred countries, but that doesn’t make us arrogant! We attack third world, economic basket case countries on trumped up charges and outright lies, but we’re not arrogant!
Again, I’m no supporter of Obama, either in domestic or foreign policy. But if Obama tries to mend fences with the Europeans, and eat a little crow over our obvious misdeeds of the past, I say: what’s the harm?