- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Royal exchange

When President Obama met King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia during the Group of 20 summit in London last week, he made a deep bow from the waist, to which the reaction in conservative blogs was (paraphrased) “We fought a king in 1776, for this.”

Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom recalled how New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani “once practically spit in the face of a presumptuous Saudi Prince” before going on to draw an obscenely unfavorable comparison to the regime to whose leader Mr. Obama was bowing.

“Our President? He … bowed. He bowed to religious intolerance. He bowed to misogyny. He bowed to anti-semitism. He bowed to homophobia. In short, he surrendered our country’s ideals, offering up our principles for sacrifice on the altar of Otherness … … And by bowing before a Saudi Prince, our President — in addition to [ignoring] 200+ years of precedent — has shown himself to be as principled as many of us knew him to be. Which is not principled at all.”

Also getting conservative dander up was the lack of coverage given to the bow by the American press. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air noted that even former President Bill Clinton once got excoriated for appearing to bow to a foreign monarch.

“The New York Times sharply criticized Bill Clinton for a mere inclination of his shoulders towards Japanese Emperor Akihito in 1994: ‘It wasn’t a bow, exactly. But Mr. Clinton came close. He inclined his head and shoulders forward, he pressed his hands together. It lasted no longer than a snapshot, but the image on the South Lawn was indelible: an obsequent President, and the Emperor of Japan. Canadians still bow to England’s Queen; so do Australians. Americans shake hands. If not to stand eye-to-eye with royalty, what else were 1776 and all that about?’

“The media took Clinton to task for even suggesting the unthinkable. Now they remain silent on Obama’s leap to the unthinkable. When will the New York Times cover this, even to the extent [it] covered Clinton’s inclined shoulders? Or is the unthinkable in 1994 turned into the unmentionable in 2009, thanks to a national media that has completely sold out to Barack Obama?”

Political gunfire I

Michelle Malkin did a roundup of coverage of Friday’s shooting rampage in Binghamton, N.Y., in which a Vietnamese immigrant killed 13 people and then himself in an immigration office. She listed all the people who had been at fault for the rampage. Blame was not placed on the shooter, Jiverly Voong — don’t be silly. There are real culprits out there.

“Because despite having no concrete information yet on what motivated this killer to go on his shooting spree, leftists have already decided: It’s all our fault. Who’s responsible?” Mrs. Malkin wrote at her self-titled site before providing a series of links blaming “IBM and corporate greed. The Second Amendment. The NRA. Fox News. Me, FreeRepublic.com [and] RedState.com. Lou Dobbs. ‘Your 2nd Amendment rights at work. The NRA is answerable for this.’ Michele Bachmann. Conservative talk radio. All right-wingers.”

“Look, I’m all for finding root causes,” she concluded. “But someone please explain to me how conservatives who espouse immigration enforcement and assimilation led a nutball of Vietnamese descent who reportedly could barely speak English to slaughter innocent people taking a citizenship test and trying to naturalize the right way?”

Political gunfire II

Apparently, some people at Daily Kos have standards.

On their Twitter feeds, site founder Markos Moulitsas and front-page diarist Dana Houle saw the political angle in the ambush attack Saturday that killed four Pittsburgh policemen. Joked Mr. Houle, “With no Veep to shoot people, folks are taking things into their own hands.” Mr. Moulitsas approvingly reposted the joke about former Vice President Dick Cheney (called a “Retweet” in Twitter-ese).

When Tommy Christopher, a fellow Daily Kos diarist, called the two men on it and asked “what does this mean,” Mr. Moulitsas responded: “When we were out of power, we organized to win the next election. Conservatives, apparently, prefer to talk ‘revolution’ and kill cops.”

That was too much for Mr. Christopher, who explained in detail at his personal site that “Houle and Kos himself have earned my ‘Unbest Individuals Upon the Earth’ award (patent pending). So badly have they made me sick to my stomach that I am resigning as a DailyKos diarist and reader.

“Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I think this is shameful. This is the kind of thing I would probably delete at Political Machine. I don’t even see the humor in it, even setting aside the heartless ghoulishness involved. More broadly, I’m starting to feel like a lot of the liberal blogosphere is forgetting what it means to be a liberal.”

Some of the reaction at Daily Kos in between “Scum like you should not be allowed to breath [sic]” and “DKos Collective IQ Just Went Up” (by Mr. Houle himself):

• “Let the door hit on on [sic] the way out. Hard.” (As of late Sunday night, there were 18 positive responses from Kos readers and no negatives.)

• “I care deeply about your anguish in arriving at this momentous decision. So deeply in fact, that I’ll leave you to your bereavement, alone, in your blog. BTW, who the … are you?” (As of Sunday night, there were 29 positives and no negatives.)

• “Since you don’t care enough to post it here I sure as … don’t care enough to go to your … blog.” (As of late Sunday night, there were 30 positives and no negatives.)

Victor Morton can be reached at [email protected]

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