November 17, 2009

"Richard Nixon Bowing to Mao. Well, another one for Ann Althouse’s Obama-is-like-Nixon tag."

Jokes Instapundit, linking to this:



The bow is at 1:24. And at 1:32, you'll see that I need to create a Nixon is like George H.W. Bush tag.

66 comments:

vbspurs said...

In the Neapolitan waiter scale of bows, that's a 5.8 out of 10. Obama's bow to Emperor Akihito was a prostate exam 10 out of 10.

David said...

No, I'll give Nixon's a 3--more of a nod, really, and not an uncharacteristic gesture. Obama's I give 8 of 10 because his knees did not touch the ground. "How low can Obama go?" Lower.

The Drill SGT said...

I agree with Victoria and David, the thing was a deep head bob, a bit more than your average Japanese business person does as a greeting. certainly less practiced and calibrated. I think he went a bit farther than planned.

vbspurs said...

"How low can Obama go?" Lower.

Ottoman pashas governing their imperial outposts like Romania were incensed that foreign visitors, ambassadors and other worthies did not bow low enough for their liking.

One man had a very very low ceiling built so that an Englishman had to bend over double on entering to greet him.

Another chap had the damned infidels' hats nailed to their heads when they failed to remove them in what they considered a timely, respectful manner.

Jolly people these.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

The Drill Sgt wrote:

I think he went a bit farther than planned.

He looked like an 11th grader representing Japan in a Model UN.

Cheers,
Victoria

edutcher said...

The difference is, for all the lefties out there, Milhous didn't make a career of it.

Besides, Hu (no, I don't want to play Abbott & Costello) isn't royalty. In this case, it's not a bow.

It's kowtowing.

WV "barebre" When the saddle doesn't cover your horse's bre.

Synova said...

I'll go with a western style nod, here. He wasn't even completely facing Mao when he did it and the greeting with Mao was complete... it may even have been a "nod" to someone off camera he couldn't reach with his hand.

I'd say... 3 out of 10 at most.

Obama bowing to the emperor was a full out "I'm really going to show my global sophistication" bow-bow, hunching his back at 90 degrees from the waist and looking at his feet, bow-bow.

Gahrie said...

The worst thing about Pres. Obama's bow wasn't his submission, it was his incompetence.

You never touch someone while bowing in Japan....

Seneca the Younger said...

I've done that move. That's a "I'm going to nod REAL BIG because I don't speak this language" nod. In Germany they call is "talking with hands and feet".

Shanna said...

No, I'll give Nixon's a 3--more of a nod, really

Yeah. Nod's are ok, that was just a little deeper nod. It's when you bend at the waist so you're pretty much facing the floor that it becomes a problem.

Nomilk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Lynch said...

my lack of care about bowing is reaching critical mass

newscaper said...

Agree this was like the token 'courtesy' bow between Japanese of similar rank (FWIW I've been to Japan on business), basically a polite tit for tat given Mao shaking hands Western style.

Obama's was much more the bow from an inferior -- to say Nixon's was 'deep', the same, is a bald-faced lie.

BTW there's some idiots making hay out of a CNN screencap purporting to show Bush deeply bowing to the king of SA. That particular claim is utter nonsense too -- Bush is clearly bending for the king to place the ribbon of some medallion over his head.

ricpic said...

I wonder whether the Chinese have read our boy king the riot act regarding the worthless dollars they'll get back when their loans are paid back...if they're paid back? And if they have has it registered?

Reliapundit said...

IT’S NOT A BOW AT ALL:

NIXON HAD BEEN WITH MAO FOR A WHILE (AT LEAST 1:32) AND ALREADY AND SHAKEN HIS HAND.

NIXON IS ACKNOWLEDGING A COMPLIMENT THAT MAO MADE THRU THE INTERPRETER.

Donna B. said...

Nice try, no score.

Gerda said...

Nixon was responsible for a breach in Asian intransigence and isolation, and Obama for a breach of Asian etiquette and American sensibility. Still, such fuss. Why aren't we just thrilled the Prez didn't curtsy?

[Haven't been reading the threads on this- apologies to the three thou who've already asked this.]

vbspurs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

Bush is clearly bending for the king to place the ribbon of some medallion over his head.

Clearly. But I seem to remember President Bush DANCING with his Saudi hosts, as well walking arm-in-arm with the King, like they were going steady.

Cringe-worthy, my friend, cringe-worthy.

wv: bowppl!!! Bow People. My God, Palladian is right. They're messing with us.

Ralph L said...

Nixon is like George H.W. Bush tag
I didn't remember Nixon vomiting on Mao, but I wish that he had.

1jpb said...

"My God, Palladian is right. They're messing with us."

I got wv=nochange a few days ago. If I get a wv=nohope I'll feel certain that somebody is messing w/ me.

Skeptical said...

Wow. Did Nixon check his watch there?

Skeptical said...

Yes, definitely a watch check at 1:34. Face it, Mao, he's just not that into you.

Fred4Pres said...

Sorry, Nixon's bow is fine. It is the subservient Obama let me see if I can reach my own nooksack bow I have a problem with.

Gerda said...

Come on. Fergit Nixon. THIS is the comparison.

Obama was nominally better.

JAL said...

Clinton got dinged by the NYT for doing what sounds like a Nixon.

Neither did was BHO has done now on several occasions.

His Indonesian childhood is coming out.

American presidents do not bow.

Rialby said...

I can't believe Nixon got that close to him. If you look closely at Mao's mouth, you'll see that his teeth are almost black. They were literally rotting out of his mouth and must have smelled like death. One of my two favorite philosophers didn't believe in modern dentristy or even rudimentary tooth care.

Michael Hasenstab said...

In the Neapolitan waiter scale of bows, that's a 5.8 out of 10. Obama's bow to Emperor Akihito was a prostate exam 10 out of 10.

That bow was an elbow-deep prostate exam. Completely submissive.

_____
Althouse, may we please have some new comparisons?

For example: Eisenhower Is Like DeGaulle, or Madeline Albright Is Like Inspector Clouseau, or Hugh Hefner is Like Woody Woodypecker, maybe even Bozz Scaggs is Like Steve Miller.

Thank you

Maggie said...

Politico are such tools if they think that what Nixon did was a deep bow. No dice. In the video clip it clearly shows Nixon shaking hands with Mao and then the "bow" which was really quite shallow came, but it was more like an acknowledgment of some sort. Contrast that to Obama and there is a huge difference (Obama's bow looks like something from a South Park episode).

Others pointed out Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan for doing the same with the Japanese emperor. The Clinton one was a little bit confused, and I will give him a pass on it because I think he was trying to be polite but he did not bow deep and he did not shake hands at the same time. Now the Reagan one, upon examination also gets a pass because it was a mutual exchange. The emperor was also inclining his head at Reagan.

However, the Obama bow was not only a clear breech of Protocol for world leaders or Heads of State, it conveyed a message of subservience and apology. I just hope that our world war 2 veterans are not too upset when they learn that this man just apologized for the dropping of the bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in such a craven, subservient way.

On a slightly different note, the video on Nixon was very interesting. This side of Nixon was not seen in Australia. However, the mere fact that Nixon opened the way to a relationship with China is really huge.... and he deserved a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. :)

LoafingOaf said...

I'm a results-oriented person. When the president goes overseas, all I care about is that whatever he says and does brings good results for the USA and the world.

I'll wait and see.

Palladian said...

Hardly the same kind of bow. But whatever, Obama's bow just seemed like a mistake from an over-eager novice, as Victoria so eloquently put it, like "an 11th grader representing Japan in a Model UN."

Nixon's trip to China was brilliant. The aftermath of Watergate obscures one of the most masterful foreign policy moves by a modern President. Reflecting upon Nixon's strengths is rendered all the more painful by the abject mediocrity we've witnessed in the last decade (or so) of American Presidencies, and getting exponentially worse by the minute with the current occupant of the office.

Palladian said...

"I'm a results-oriented person. When the president goes overseas, all I care about is that whatever he says and does brings good results for the USA and the world.

I'll wait and see."

It seems that the era of momentous trips by US Presidents is over. We won't see the equivalent of Nixon in China or JFK and Reagan at the Wall ever again.

ContraMan said...

Who cares about a bow.

What seems to be lost in the excessive press coverage of Obama stooping to power was that when asked by a Japanese reporter whether he thought the American bombing of Hiroshima was justified, he completely ignored the question. Voting present again. Now, that is truly a disgrace.

reader_iam said...

What, no adjustment or calibration for different times? (Color me unsurprised.) Well, screw perspective, historical or otherwise. Ever consider that Nixon's bow, in HIS time, was controversial, and not at all--at the time--the protocal in American thought?

As if there wasn't plenty of blowback regarding Nixon, at the time.

Look, folks, I get the problem with an overemphasis on nuance and context, in right!this!minute!terms. I get what's being pushed back against. I even agree with a good chunk of it, in more than one area.

But underemphasis of nuance carries problems all its own, especially when it leads to historical revisionism which entirely throws out the context of the relevant times--

--and leads to certain, absolutely laughable comments, especially in the early parts of this thread.

reader_iam said...

Palladian: Nixon's trip to China was indeed brilliant (though not without opposition and objection, in both substance and form). Don't want to let your observation go without a second.

reader_iam said...

I think it ought go without saying that I think Obama is no foreign-policy Nixon. But no doubt I think wrong, and so therefore I am saying it.

However, at the same time, I stand by my estimation as silly some of the earlier comments on this thread, focused, phrased and, as I see it, intended as they are.

Yos said...

... and you voted for this empty suit Obama-is-like-Nixon persona ... why? why? why?

reader_iam said...

Of course, Nixon's efforts ALSO laid the groundwork for other, various iterations thereafter, a subsection or two or so of which could be correctly attached to the concept of "unintended consequences."

I'd never deny that. It's an old thread, one that's been weaving its way through the tapestry of human nature (a.k.a. history) since, well, forever.

AllenS said...

Nixon did not bow, he made a head nod. Obama made what we call a BOHICA. He anticipated what the Chinese were going to do to him, and he assumed the position.

Labels: The Althouse Woman is like LSD

kentuckyliz said...

WV "barebre"

How Andrew Sullivan eats his runny cheese.

kentuckyliz said...

Obama needs to have his prostrate checked.

Pogo said...

"Obama needs to have his prostrate checked."

No, that would violate the New! Improved! Healthcare Guidelines (see the new pamphlet: "So Die Already: You and Your Health Care Ration").

I was less concerned with the bow than when Obama handed Wall Street and the Chinese the keys to the Treasury, and then went and played golf.

Fred4Pres said...

I peeked over at the Daily Dish and it is a frenzy of Palinbile there right now. Sully is obsessed.

Meanwhile given all this Nixon talk and bowing to Asian, perhaps we need a pallet cleanser.

Fred4Pres said...

I peeked over at the Daily Dish and it is a frenzy of Palinbile there right now. Sully is obsessed.

Meanwhile given all this Nixon talk and bowing to Asian, perhaps we need a pallet cleanser.

bearbee said...

Obama showed the approriate slave- mentality gesture.

Nixon did not.

J said...

That's a nod, not a bow. I was disappointed at 1:32, since I thought he was going to hurl and all he did was look at his watch, but I see your point.

WV: SIATI - the Society of Indian Aerospace Technologists and Industries

John said...

ABC had a couple of Japanese culture experts who said to Japanese Obama looked like an idiot. The problem isn't just that Obama is silly and ignorant. That could be fixed with the right group of advisors. The problem is that Obama thinks he is baby Jesus and doesn't feel the need to listen to anyone else. I honestly don't think the man can ever be humbled. That is a problem.

vbspurs said...

I peeked over at the Daily Dish and it is a frenzy of Palinbile there right now. Sully is obsessed.

Oh My Lord. I counted 10 back-to-back Palin posts before stopping. I'm not sure if Sullivan sees her as the Eternal Fearsome Mother (who in his mind smothers, disciplines and judges) or what. It's very very creepy because it's more about him, than about her.

Cheers,
Victoria

John said...

Victoria,

I honestly think he is in love with her and is secretly jerking off to pictures of her in his bathroom at night. I think that she has caused him to question his sexuality and thrown him into some kind of existential crisis. I can't think of any other way to explain it.

What is sad is that an allegedly serious magazine like the Atlantic won't put a stop to it and get Sullivan the help he clearly needs. It is becoming a blog version of Network.

vbspurs said...

Sorry, Nixon's bow is fine. It is the subservient Obama let me see if I can reach my own nooksack bow I have a problem with.

Par for the course for the almost stultifyingly formal Nixon, I would say. On another more urbane man, one could even call that kind of bow "Old World" (the equivalent would be a Handkuß like Chirac slobbering over an amused Laura Bush's hand).

What makes Obama's bow so different is that it's a message-bow, there to convey more than the usual imagery: servility, contrition, obsequiousness, awkwardness, exaggeration.

I note the President didn't bow that low to the Queen, and she's older than Akihito (should some lame-o liberal want to make the "respect" argument).

But then she represents a former "exploitative" empire, most especially in his mind, in Africa. He only bows to those he feels America has wronged.

Cheers,
Victoria

John said...

"I note the President didn't bow that low to the Queen, and she's older than Akihito (should some lame-o liberal want to make the "respect" argument)."

I hadn't thought of that. That is a good point. But, it is not surprising. Most of Obama's actions are about living up to and getting the approval of his deadbeat communist father. The country gets to suffer so Boy President can work out his daddy issues.

vbspurs said...

Heh, John. It's funny how our perception of the obsessive behaviour broke down between us amongst stereotypically gender lines.

I see it as a mother-child thing. You suggest it might be sexual. :)

You know, neither or both of us could be right. What is true though, is that people like Andrew Sullivan are allowed to have mental breakdowns in public. Should Rush Limbaugh ever display such cloyingly aggressive behaviour to a woman, he'd be censured by just about everyone.

There are different standards for those the liberal elites find represent their viewpoints, and those who don't.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

wv: colokiss! COLON KISS????

vbspurs said...

The country gets to suffer so Boy President can work out his daddy issues.

Matt Scully wrote that in Palin's RNC speech, do you remember?

"The Presidency is not a voyage of self-discovery"

OUCH. I mean, man, that's harsh (I loved it).

John said...

"Matt Scully wrote that in Palin's RNC speech, do you remember?

"The Presidency is not a voyage of self-discovery"

OUCH. I mean, man, that's harsh (I loved it)."

And when you think about it, that pretty much describes his foreign policy so far. Insults are only harsh when they are true.

Shanna said...

Clearly. But I seem to remember President Bush DANCING with his Saudi hosts, as well walking arm-in-arm with the King, like they were going steady.

I was trying to ffwd through Leno to see the biggest loser contestant (before I gave up and went to bed) and they showed a picture of Obama bowing so I stopped for a second...they said something like "Obama bowed, but look at this picture of Bush!" and they showed the one of him holding hands with that one guy at the ranch which was kind of weird.

vbspurs said...

Insults are only harsh when they are true.

The best comedy is when it's harsh and true.

Shanna said...

I note the President didn't bow that low to the Queen

Well, she is a girl. And Western. Two strikes against her.

vbspurs said...

First Date

Second Date

Last Date

Hunky New Boyfriend!

vbspurs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

You know, all kidding aside, considering that Bush belongs to the rugged, macho cowboy paradigm of American symbols, no one gave this guy credit for holding another guy's hand (for a long time going around that ranch).

If you paid my father in gold, he wouldn't hold another man's hand.

Let's give George Bush credit for going brokeback.

Cheers,
Victoria

c3 said...

Obama bow = bad visual.
OK we've had our moment, now its time to move on.

(PS: Why do I fear that like the "George Bush, locked door episode", we'll be seeing this one over and over

Tom Armstrong said...

Ralph L said...

"Nixon is like George H.W. Bush tag
I didn't remember Nixon vomiting on Mao, but I wish that he had."

My thoughts exactly. I mean, that would have left a mark...

Henry said...

"President Nixon's Motorcade is now sweeping toward the city of Peking."

Peking is the black and white name of the city, apparently.

Actually, there's some interesting history there. Peking isn't so wrong, depending on your dialect.

Synova said...

I recall reading something from... geez... WW2? It was really old anyway and a guideline for US military in the middle east.

It was essentially...

Holding hands is what men do here. They are not gay.

LOL.

Anyhow, yes, men holding hands is simply *not* *done* in the West, but it is done in the middle East and other places, and at least it doesn't communicate subservience!

Egad.

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