The bow thing is exactly what’s wrong with American politics; we are constantly obsessed with the inconsequential. The economy is in collapse and we’re waging two wars with no end in sight for either. Still, all anyone is talking about is whether the president of the United States bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia.
Who cares, really? Let’s, for the sake of argument, say that he did bow. Are we somehow weaker because of it? Do the Saudis now think they can take us? We look subservient; is that the problem? Oh, yes. Perception is reality and now people understand that America is in decline. How do you say camel dung in Riyadh? Those genuinely disgruntled by the bow fall into two camps — those who worry that there is no place, not even for a moment, for American humility on the world stage, and then there are those desperate for reasons to attack Obama. Both groups should get comfortable with the fact that there will be lots more opportunites for both in the days and weeks and years ahead.
There is a manic kind of desperation creeping into the behavior of Obama’s critics that would explains the wild overreaction to the bow episode, but the White House did not help with its ridiculous explanation that the president didn’t bow. He may not have meant to, but it sure looks like he did. So what do you say?
This: “Sorry, did not mean it. It’s not what it looked like and no one was then or is now confused about where the United States stands in the world.”
And you keep it moving.
— TERENCE SAMUEL