Blogworld -- well, some parts of it anyway -- is all abuzz regarding President Obama's bow to the King of Saudi Arabia during the recent G20 summit.
I am -- quite frankly -- astounded by the number of people who are (pardon the expression) bending over backwards to explain this act as "a simple gesture of courtesy".
Ye gods and little fishies.
Let us attempt to take a look at the whole thing from a neutral perspective.
The first thing we should contemplate is the simple question of: were the other Leaders of the World bowing to King Abdullah, or was President Obama the the only one? Are the other Leaders of the World that lacking in "simple courtesy"?
Secondly, were the other World Leaders bowing to each other? Again, if not, is every other World Leader lacking in "simple courtesy"?
Thirdly, did President Obama bow to any World Leaders other than King Abdullah? If King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was the only World Leader bowed to by President Obama -- why? Are the other Leaders of the World not entitled to "simple courtesy"?
Last, but certainly not least -- was this "simple gesture of courtesy" returned? Did King Abdullah courteously return the bow?
Those question must be asked -- and answered -- before anyone can truly claim that the now-infamous bow was "a simple act of courtesy".
Despite enraged claims to the contrary, Americans do bow -- especially those in the South and Southwestern part of the country. That heavy nod you see given during introductions and to those passing? That is a bow (albeit heavily truncated) as is the ever-so-charming tip of the hat, or touching of the hat brim; and both are very definitely gestures of courtesy and respect -- and this is important -- between equals.
As an aside, a bit of bowing trivia: the term "bow-and-scrape" comes from the scraping sound of the foot (shoe) moving back across the carpet to stabilize a particularly deep bow.
In a very real sense when Barack Obama took the oath of office in January, he became the representative and embodiment of the American people -- because that is what the President of the United States IS.
When President Obama bowed to King Abdullah, that wasn't Barry Obama bowing, that was the entirety of the American People giving a singular, one-sided, unreturned display of submission to another nation.
If the White House has a protocol secretary, that individual should either be listened to, or fired, because -- so far -- their advice sucks great big rocks up off the ground.
If the White House doesn't have a protocol secretary, might I suggest they find themselves one -- right bloody now?