Tuesday, September 23, 2014

TEMPEST IN A TEACUP.

You have probably seen the fauxtrage over Obama saluting Marines with a cup of tea in his hand. Power Line's Paul Mirengoff, for example, declares it "speaks volumes about President Obama, not only concerning his underlying disdain for our military, but also as regards basic decency." He also claims he knew "a lawyer who was badly wounded serving in Iraq" who was also offended. Why he didn't call up the veterans who were turned away from the WWII Memorial during the government shutdown and get their opinion I'll never know.

My favorite coverage so far is that of Debra Heine of Breitbart.com.  First, this:
Not seeing a problem, the president's aides published the video on his Instagram account.
Assuming no one has caved yet and issued an apology, good for the White House. Better still, Heine feels the need to explain why the outrage is such an outrage, which works as well as you'd expect:
ABC excused the sloppy salute, saying, "while it is protocol for U.S. service members in uniform to salute the commander in chief, it’s not required for a civilian president to salute back, military experts say." 
Ronald Reagan is said to have begun the practice back in 1981. 
Whether or not it's "protocol" to do something that has been the practice for over 30 years, it is official protocol to execute a salute properly.
Then she quotes noted military expert Neil Munro on how to execute a salute properly. I believe in the military, and elsewhere, this is known as picking corn out of shit.

UPDATE. There is nothing on earth, no matter how awful, that cannot be made worse by a column from Andrew Fucking Malcolm.
The military salute is a simple hand gesture but loaded with tradition, honor, symbolism and packed with respect, both given and returned. It began in the days of chivalry when knights would raise their right hand approaching other knights to show they had no weapon unsheathed.
Obama's disrespectful not only of Our Fighting Men, but also those of bygone eras. Zoom in on a single tear running down the face of Genghis Khan.
And both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have had trouble with the salute. Clinton because his first-term salutes were sloppy and awkward.
In his second term, Monica Lewinsky helped Bill snap to attention. Hey-yo!
By definition, all presidential gestures -- physical or verbal -- are loaded with extra significance. George Washington, for instance, refused to shake hands as beneath his dignity. Thomas Jefferson thought such gestures a welcome sign of democracy among countrymen. 
Today, American politicians shake so many hands, they must at times soak theirs in ice to stem the swelling. Chief executives use their gestures to advantage, waving or pointing into crowds where hundreds will recall the gesture was directed at them.
To the extent this means anything besides "have I hit my word count yet," this suggests that Presidential gestures are heavy weapons, and Obama is wantonly misusing them like Mapache with the gatling gun in The Wild Bunch. Probably doesn't ice his hands properly after handshaking, either. Make sure to get that in the Bill of Impeachment!

Oh, and extra hack points for "former Navy officer Ronald Reagan."

148 comments:

  1. stepped_pyramids10:36 PM

    Talk about making mountains out of bullshit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chairman Pao10:41 PM

    Photos of similarly sloppy Republican Presidential salutes that will no doubt be ignored/excused by the conservative press in 3…2…1...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Derelict11:01 PM

    I seem to recall this same outrage from early in Obama's presidency. They were equally upset about another sloppy salute.

    But, I guess failing to salute properly is far worse than sending those same insulted soldiers off to die in a war based on lies, graft, corruption, and failed ideology.

    ReplyDelete
  4. M. Krebs11:22 PM

    Holy fuck. From the comments at Brightfart:

    ReplyDelete
  5. They did that years ago. Now they're building cabins on the foothills.

    ReplyDelete
  6. M. Krebs11:40 PM

    All this disrespect of the Commander In Chief in a TIME OF WAR!
    America, fuck yeah! Love it or leave it, motherfuckers.

    ReplyDelete
  7. GeniusLemur11:46 PM

    Well, there was also "pleasing Uncle Dick" and "showing up Daddy"

    ReplyDelete
  8. Spaghetti Lee11:48 PM

    I actually haven't heard about this before, but somehow I don't feel edified.

    It's hard for me to be surprised by these guys anymore; I'm not surprised that some of them are outraged by this, and I'm also not surprised that they think he's trying to turn America into a communist country or whatever. But I am kinda surprised they're able to summon up the exact same level of outrage (which is to say a Spinal Tap-style 11/10) for both offenses.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Spaghetti Lee11:54 PM

    I'm afraid I just can't trust a guy who thinks 'motherfuckin'' is two words. That's like the profanity equivalent of eating pizza with a fork.

    ReplyDelete
  10. badJim12:02 AM

    There used to be a commercial in Los Angeles with a heroic male voice intoning "Bandini Mountain, where only cows have gone before." This was followed with a breathy, seductive female voice saying, "Bandini is the word for ... fertilizer."

    ReplyDelete
  11. Spaghetti Lee12:12 AM

    Also, the Heine quote is just awesome. "OK, technically, we've got the facts wrong, but...who cares! REAGAN! Also, we really wish the office of the president was more militaristic!" It's like the last 30 years of right-wing thought summed up perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
  12. hellslittlestangel12:20 AM

    I don't know what I did right, but I hadn't heard about this latest shocking controversy at all. But you know, I hear that Vlad Putin fellow has a pretty nice salute.

    ReplyDelete
  13. How do these folks maintain this level of poisonous rage, day in and day out?
    Pres Bush disgusted me, but I mostly tried to ignore him. I'd have had a stroke if I spent those eight years frothing over every awful thing that guy did. These people run screaming through the streets on a daily basis. Where do they get all that energy? I spent an hour yelling at the TV the other night when the Bucs got their asses handed to 'em, and I'm still tired.

    The 2016 elections are going to be a wonder to behold...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Spaghetti Lee12:39 AM

    Fun/depressing parlor game: guess which photo will send the brethren into the biggest tizzy of sexist bullshit. Right now the smart money's on 'visible cellulite in vacation photo.'

    ReplyDelete
  15. the decorative font is what makes it so trenchant.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is the Facebook macro equivalent of a signpost reading "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."

    ReplyDelete
  17. DocAmazing12:55 AM

    Do you remember the "Ski Bandini Mountain" ads where a guy skiied down a hill of shit? It's a wonderful metaphor for this kind of outrage-mongering.

    ReplyDelete
  18. montag212:56 AM

    There was once a major named, IIRC, Carpenter, whose only claim to fame was calling in artillery on his own position in a desperate and mostly unsuccessful attempt to prevent being overrun.

    And he was the guy who lectured me for five minutes for dropping a salute about five milliseconds too soon for his liking.

    Which is why I can say with some authority that only assholes are picky about salutes. And people who are harrumphing about the Commander-in-Chief's salutes--which he shouldn't be making, anyway--are the biggest assholes of all.

    ReplyDelete
  19. smut clyde1:13 AM

    If the bullshit won't come to Mohammed, NO WAIT WRONG CLICHE

    ReplyDelete
  20. someone should leave a comment over at breitbart saying there's a letter to the editor in stars & stripes from a lieutenant in north carolina who saw obama refusing to salute any white soldiers during a parade at updog.

    ReplyDelete
  21. calling all toasters1:15 AM

    In the most remarkable coincidence in human history, both of those Marines were white. Correct protocol is actually for Obama to offer to shine their shoes.
    OTOH, if they were black and Obama saluted them that way it would be a gang sign.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Those mangoes are awful ripe; soft, rotting and fermented. Let's sample some more!

    "He was probably slurping a low fat de-caf sugar free caramel macchiato too! Guy is such a wussy!! Puke!"

    Yeah! He should be drinking black coffee what's been boiled in a percolator on an open fire!

    "Malfunction: He is a Saul Alinsky Liberal like Hillary, His Step Father taught him to hate America, England, and the Christians. Obama is a Pure Narcissist who believes he is perfect and better that anyone else, but not adverse to bleeding America Dry for his own 'personal fun'."

    Random Capitalization makes Everything more meaningful, don't you Think?

    "[W]hat should a President do after making a thoughtless mistake like this? if we had a President Allen West, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, or a Sarah Palin I think such a mistake would not be possible. Their absolute respectful for those that serve would have prevented it."

    Uhhh... hmmm.

    "We have a party boy in charge. Sorry."

    If we could only go back to the days when a hard-working businessman like George W. Bush was in charge.

    "I agree. This fool insults me impersonating what was close to sacred to many of us. I am from a Navy family. Brothers, uncles, son, daughter. I take great offense seeing this TOKEN couple misrepresenting this great country."
    &
    "Both of them are TOKENS. Not legitimate Americans. Idiots in this country thought it would be "cute" to have a black guy and his black wife in the White House. How's that working out for us?"



    Liberals are the real racists.

    ReplyDelete
  23. i need some bus TOKENS

    ReplyDelete
  24. sigyn1:26 AM

    That's so you know it's poetry.

    ReplyDelete
  25. DocAmazing1:29 AM

    If they're TOKENS, the White House should be more harmonious:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwy5uqemp6c

    ReplyDelete
  26. montag21:34 AM

    That one really needs to be reposted in the thick of the winger complaint threads.


    Just to taunt them, because they deserve it.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Megalon1:35 AM

    "if they were black and Obama saluted them that way it would be a gang sign."

    That's not even really a joke. Who else remembers the "terrorist fist bump"?

    ReplyDelete
  28. montag21:41 AM

    And the truly ridiculous part of it was that Reagan was just adding embellishment to what he conceived of as a role to be played.

    And given his confusion at the SS cemetery, it's a wonder he got the American salute more or less right.

    ReplyDelete
  29. montag21:48 AM

    Ah, well, being naturally stupid and vicious requires no added energy. And these are people who believe they are supporting a noble cause, so they're invigorated by their own noise.


    Salt of the earth, the common clay of the....

    ReplyDelete
  30. Megalon1:52 AM

    So... why the random color changes with the font? And shouldn't the last bit be "before I leave for home, I mean Kenya..." Are they implying he's actually from somewhere else and only pretending to be a Kenyan pretending to be an American?

    ReplyDelete
  31. One of the local TV stations (in Los Angeles) briefly covered this "story" on the 11 news and the stink of its fauxrage source hung thick in the air. Being in an ornery mood tonight, I almost yelled at the screen, "He's not required to salute them! It's the other way around!"

    There's this breed of conservative wankers who hate Obama for no good reason -- it's just because he's not conservative enough (plus the blackity black thing, and the Democrat thing), but they can't own up to that, so they make up this "he disrespects the military" bullshit. (Lying the country into a war and get military personnel killed, though, is just jim-dandy with them.)

    The dynamics are similar to the Cliven Bundy crap, and I'm really sick of it all, especially because it's almost always coupled with the insistence that somehow we need to grant such viewpoints respect -- the pretense that delusional narcissism and sheer hatred springs from some higher principle than aggrieved, privileged butthurt.

    (But oh, the 101st Chairborne, on the case, as always. To paraphrase Jonah Goldberg, the chickenhawk is the Rambo of liberal fascism.)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Every so often, I remember "terrorist fist jab" and how crazy and revealing it was. Even Fox News dumped E.D. Hill for that one. (Apparently, she claimed she wasn't endorsing the view, merely characterizing someone else's, but more realistically, she broke Fox News' standard of extremely-thin-but-legally-plausible deniability.)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Next week the diabolic dictator will make Marines hold umbrellas while he gives them one of those beauty queen waves!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. And so castles made of shit,
    Melt into the sea,
    Eventually.

    (Profuse apologies to Mr. Hendrix.)

    ReplyDelete
  35. I don't know if the writers care one way or another. They're likely just enjoying the easiest gig of their lives. Obama, a verb, OUTRAGE!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Well, see, in this Never-ending War On Terraism, where the enemy could strike at any moment at any place, the world has become a battlefield, right? So, it is actually the Marines who fucked up by saluting their commander and thus identifying him in the field to enemy combatants!!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Agreed. It's their natural state.


    Kinda like wondering how a dog can spend 24/7 trying to get to the cat box.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Yeah, I thought that would make more sense, too, but with improvisational performance art, you go with the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Derelict7:30 AM

    Oh! To live on Bullshit Mountain
    With the barkers and the colored balloons!
    You can be outraged on Bullshit Mountain
    Though it seems that you're with a pack of loons.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Bizarro Mike7:52 AM

    I think it is at its core a Democrat versus Republican thing. I remember the "Mrs. Don't-Fire" political comic mocking Clinton as an indecisive tranny for not raining death on the enemy du jour at the drop of a hat. That was the press. In the swamp of the "grass roots" opinion, it played just like this Obama flap. The military hated that draft dodger, he didn't respect them, etc. This stuff is evergreen.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Bizarro Mike7:54 AM

    Isn't it already pants suit? (As if women haven't been wearing pants to work since before I was born, and I'm not that young.)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Wait--you guys are right. We *can't* vote for Hillary--what if she wears a ballgown to welcome foreign heads of state? Or worse, what if she wears some kind of lezzy tux? Forget it. The whole thing is off.

    ReplyDelete
  43. At least the president doesn't wear epaulettes on his shoulders like the Surgeon General sometimes does.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I hate when people believe whatever they want to believe.

    ReplyDelete
  45. satch8:39 AM

    While I'm glad you're doing that, I just got back from a trip through the Breitbart Swamp, and bleeding Jesus... 826 comments, 99.999% of which are moronic, frothing gibberish. These people are in dire need of the clown hammer of wisdom.

    ReplyDelete
  46. tigrismus8:43 AM

    Holy crap, it's just like one of those images people make that are so over-the-top you know it's a joke... I mean, come on, Kenya? Paint the White House black? Reading this and the comments reproduced below, I wonder: there aren't really any righty voters, are there? It's all just performance art?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Is it, smut? Is it really?

    ReplyDelete
  48. It's a fast-moving thread.

    There's 12 new comments posted in the few minutes since I put that picture up there.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Jaime Oria8:50 AM

    WW2 -

    ReplyDelete
  50. So, it is actually the Marines who fucked up by saluting Obama as if he were their commanderSee? Some simple editing, and it's a counternarrative that plenty of wingnuts could get behind, too.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Jaime Oria8:56 AM

    There's a moment in The Short-Timers (the novel Full Metal Jacket is based on) where Joker salutes an officer in the field and holds it extra long in the hope that there was a VC sniper in the vicinity.

    ReplyDelete
  52. geraldo nosebrawl9:15 AM

    Anything that reminds our military and , more importantly, their worshippers, that they work for, and are subordinate to us, the people, is good.

    ReplyDelete
  53. glennisw9:18 AM

    mocking Clinton as an indecisive tranny for not raining death on the enemy du jour



    Was that before or after they accusing him of wagging the dog by bombing Sudan to 'distract' from Monica?

    ReplyDelete
  54. glennisw9:19 AM

    How'd they react to it? My guess is cognitive dissonance.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Cato the Censor9:20 AM

    What you said.

    ReplyDelete
  56. glennisw9:20 AM

    Oh, that's right. i forgot about that shocking display of disrespect!

    ReplyDelete
  57. gocart mozart9:22 AM

    I did that a bit last night. It's what the Comrade Alinsky would have wanted.

    ReplyDelete
  58. mgmonklewis9:26 AM

    New, improved Wingnut Outrage, now with a fresh, powder room, elderly lady perfume scent.

    ReplyDelete
  59. gocart mozart9:27 AM

    One guy accused me of photoshop.

    ReplyDelete
  60. mgmonklewis9:30 AM

    We'll only know if one of them posts a video of a Teabagger eating a mushroom for 45 minutes. [/warhol]

    ReplyDelete
  61. mgmonklewis9:31 AM

    If you're wearing epaulets, they should play La Marseillaise as you enter a room. Either that or a good Sousa march.

    ReplyDelete
  62. mgmonklewis9:34 AM

    the pretense that delusional narcissism and sheer hatred springs from some higher principle than aggrieved, privileged butthurt

    I would like to spend two presidential terms sulking in my room with this comment.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Emily689:35 AM

    I had a friend in grad school in ~1973 who'd been a grunt in VietNam. He told about the time he FORGOT to salute a general. He'd been out where there was combat and apparently you aren't supposed to salute there, and then the got back in Saigon or wherever and forgot to salute. It turns out that privates can get chewed out pretty good for not saluting a general.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Bizarro Mike9:40 AM

    Before, I think, but all of the anti-Clinton bullshit seems about the same in hindsight. I suppose if anything I should be impressed that there was more crazy available for a black democrat president than there was for Clinton. But that well has no bottom.

    The irony of the Sudan adventure was that they were really striking against AQ. What am I saying? It isn't ironic. Obama's anti-terrorism program is the Clinton program, replete with assassinations and other darkness, but by some measure effective. This is considered effete compared the the Bush swagger-without-a-plan, or Operation Global Cock-up as I think it was called.

    ReplyDelete
  65. satch9:49 AM

    Actually, several people posted the photo, and the Bush apologists are using the "You're Allowed To Be Holding Something In Your Left Hand" dodge.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Darkness does not have the big booms which make the wingnuts see sparkles.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Halloween_Jack9:52 AM

    "former Navy officer Ronald Reagan."

    Hilarious!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Kinda like wondering how a dog can spend 24/7 trying to get to the cat box.

    And for much the same reason.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I hear Putin once saluted so hard he decapitated a bear.

    ReplyDelete
  70. HOW DARE YOU BRING FACTS INTO THEIR POUTRAGE

    ReplyDelete
  71. By definition, all presidential gestures -- physical or verbal -- are loaded with extra significance.
    Indeed. That's why American tradition enjoins us to address the president as "Your Supreme Exalted Imperial Majesty" and not "Mr President" or "Mr [insert name here]."

    ReplyDelete
  72. Has anyone contacted military expert Phil Robinson to see what he thinks about this?

    ReplyDelete
  73. dstatton10:09 AM

    The commander-in-chief is a civilian. It's in the fucking constitution! A bullshit tradition started by a bullshit president.

    ReplyDelete
  74. "Wouldn't a military dictatorship be AWESOME! ...If it was headed by the right guy, of course."

    ReplyDelete
  75. Idiots in this country thought it would be "cute" to have a black guy and his black wife in the White House.

    Uh, yeah, sure, THAT'S the reason we voted for him. "Cute".

    I somehow envision these people as needing to remind each other to breathe periodically, thusly.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Jaime Oria10:40 AM

    "Paint the White House black" you say?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxl4lQ8tmdM

    ReplyDelete
  77. Jaime Oria10:47 AM

    Pretending to command a submarine is a kind of naval service -

    ReplyDelete
  78. But the rumors/assertions that Obama personally hates and scorns the military--especially and specifically the various honor guards around him--are rife on the left side of the aisle. Even though the Obamas are continually shown greeting, shaking hands with, visiting, and inscribing photos with military personell the stories persist that "behind the scenes" and "when no one can see them" the Obamas won't even smile or interact with the military people who are all around them. Its identical to stories that surrounded the Clintons who were continually accused of "classless" behavior towards the "white house staff" and "not knowing how to behave" with "servants" unlike those born to the purple like the Bushes or the Reagans.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Clifford Beall10:53 AM

    "His Step Father taught him to hate America, England..."


    Wait, Obama hates England? And his stepfather taught him that?


    The only thing I see on wikipedia is that stepdad was muslim, but he worked for an oil company and supposedly a point of conflict with mom was that he was more interested in western values.

    ReplyDelete
  80. *sigh*

    In a more rational world, the whole tradition of members of the military in uniform saluting the president would be re-thought. In this article, http://www.texasgopvote.com/military-salute/it-proper-president-render-military-hand-salute-002816 there's actually a good description about why Reagan started returning salutes. A person saluting is expected to hold the salute until it is returned, but as a civilian, the president is not required to return it, so there is always a long moment of awkwardness, and Reagan admitted that he felt like he didn't know what to do when uniformed military personnel saluted him. He started doing it just so it allowed the other guy to finally lower his hand. In that rational world, actual regulations would specify that the Marine guards would be standing at attention, but not saluting. But then, we ARE talking about Wingerland here. And I must say that, when I was in the Army from '72 to '75, we were always on the lookout for higher ranking officers who were caught outside with their hands full. I'd cross the street to salute these unfortunates just to watch the ensuing mayhem.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Julia Grey11:17 AM

    It turns out that privates can get chewed out pretty good for not saluting a general.



    Gee, who'd a thunk? Heh.

    ReplyDelete
  82. stepped_pyramids11:20 AM

    Yeah, Obamar returned the Bust of Churchill (pbuh) so he's clearly anti-British. It's all a part of his anti-colonial rage, per D'Souza.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Julia Grey11:21 AM

    That's the graphical expression of a pause for emphasis, not a lexigraphic mistake.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Julia Grey11:23 AM

    She said pedantically. Without shame.

    ReplyDelete
  85. tigrismus11:44 AM

    Needs more George Clinton, less everybody else.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I seem to recall a Mad Magazine bit about what you're describing...but the other way around (e.g. higher officers looking for poor enlisted men holding 2 infants)...around that same time frame in fact.

    ReplyDelete
  87. mortimer200011:52 AM

    Hey, as a Lieutenant in the Army Air Force Reagan was assigned to the 1st Motion Picture Unit. This was a very dangerous post back then, Culver City being almost the front line of the Pacific war. Hell, he did hard time in the Provisional Task Force Show Unit of This Is The Army at Burbank. The only reason he was exempted from duty overseas due to his nearsightedness was because eyeglasses hadn't been invented yet.

    Of course, he wasn't anywhere near the Navy, either.

    ReplyDelete
  88. There's only one gesture I want to see the president flash to these morons, but he's more of a gentleman than I am.

    ReplyDelete
  89. StringOnAStick12:00 PM

    My granddad was a captain in the Navy, and I always found it profoundly weird when we drove onto base with their Buick (and without my granddad) and some poor guy had to salute every frickin' be-stickered car, including ours, filled as it was with squirming grandkids in bathing suits. The mismatch was bizarre to me, and sure didn't encourage anything other than suspicion that joining the military would lead to more of the same.

    ReplyDelete
  90. "His first assignment was at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation at Fort Mason, California, as a liaison officer of the Port and Transportation Office."


    Well, he WAS close enough to the Navy that he could wave goodbye to the troops leaving for the Pacific.

    ReplyDelete
  91. mortimer200012:18 PM

    I used to chalk up most of this stuff to the usual political neo-bullshit that right-wing radio started with Clinton, where his every word and gesture was scrutinized for whatever could be invented to support the right-wing narrative about his "character." But the similar targeting of Obama went way past faux-character attacks long ago. Now, it's more revealing about the underlying racism of the hack accusers than the president: He's the undeserving Black Guy in the White House, and he and his baby mama don't have the background or class to behave up to regular white-guy president standards. He orders the wrong mustard, he bows to furriners, his tan suit might as well have been called "zoot", ad nauseum. He's the incompetent, uppity, bumbling Negro who doesn't know his place, and doesn't know how to act. In its purest form, he hates America, the military, and white people, too.

    Of course, this is all so obvious it goes without saying, but it pisses me off.

    ReplyDelete
  92. You're right of course, it IS obvious.


    It's so obvious that the mainstream media won't acknowledge it.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Perhaps more appropriate if he had been Hispanic, but the point is valid.

    ReplyDelete
  94. "former Navy officer Ronald Reagan."Whatever else one could quibble about in that formulation, the relevant part of it is the word "former."
    George Washington, for instance, refused to shake hands as beneath his dignity.As former Continental Army general George Washington, he apparently also didn't return soldiers' salutes, because the President of the United States is a fucking civilian.
    Thomas Jefferson thought such gestures a welcome sign of democracy among countrymen.Yeah, that was nice. Oh, by the way, do you know what gesture Jefferson didn't apparently embrace? Returning soldiers' salutes, because the President of the United States is a fucking civilian.

    Look, we get it. Reagan, deranged morally-bankrupt drooling fantasist that he was, loved to play pretend soldier, to the point of encouraging his successor, an actual combat veteran, to salute as well . And Reagan is Jesus Christ and Superman rolled into one, so we're stuck with the habit until you reactionary fuckwits are all finally dead, at the very least. But there's no requirement to kowtow to your totally fabricated "protocol" horseshit about something that almost every president before 1981 apparently knew not to do. I mean, what's next, criticizing a president for not playing military-style dressup, like Dubya loved to do? Don't answer that.

    ReplyDelete
  95. criticizing a president for not playing military-style dressup

    Five words: Michael Dukakis in a tank.

    ReplyDelete
  96. (1) I said not to answer that.


    (2) This only underscores my point, whatever it is: Dukakis caught a lot of shit for playing dress-up, future Democrats will catch a lot of shit for not playing dress-up.

    ReplyDelete
  97. M. Krebs12:47 PM

    That true about the world in general.

    ReplyDelete
  98. tigrismus12:50 PM

    Future Democrats will catch a lot of shit either way.

    ReplyDelete
  99. bekabot12:55 PM

    "You have probably seen the fauxtrage over Obama saluting Marines with a cup of tea in his hand."

    It was a jihadi Muslim cup of tea. We'll know the President's a good Christian, the way he pretends, when we see him saluting while hoisting a beer.

    "Power Line's Paul Mirengoff, for example, declares it 'speaks volumes about President Obama, not only concerning his underlying disdain for our military, but also as regards basic decency.'"

    Because:

    a. The tea was in a styrofoam cup. They didn't drink tea out of styrofoam cups at Balmoral, where they knew how such things were done.

    b. No pinkie was extended. Those are the kind of manners you pick up in Indonesia, where the traditions of Empire have not completely taken hold.

    c. Wrong hand. Lefties never get a break.

    "Chief executives use their gestures to advantage, waving or pointing into crowds where hundreds will recall the gesture was directed at them."

    Maybe they're just waving their hands around to try and de-ice them, but then crowds have never been bright.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Future Dems will likely be required to play dress-up, in the same way they are now required to launch air wars on the flimsiest of excuses. Either way it won't score any points with the Wingnut Faithful; the mere fact of being to the left of Genghis Khan will be viewed as "hating the military". The only consolation will be that it's getting past the point where they can claim Vietnam protests as justification.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Jaime Oria12:59 PM

    The ever fashion-forward Cab Calloway -

    ReplyDelete
  102. That's why American tradition enjoins us to address the president as "Your Supreme Exalted Imperial Majesty"You are John Adams and I claim my five pounds.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Humph. Obama would have a Marine hold that hat over him.

    ReplyDelete
  104. montag21:14 PM

    About the font, I call it Geocities Syndrome.

    ReplyDelete
  105. montag21:39 PM

    I think they have him confused with Nixon, who was an officer in the Navy, at a supply base, where Nixon earned the nickname, "Iron Butt," for his ability to sit through marathon poker games, thus wearing down the other players.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Teresa1:40 PM

    Today's right wing nutters are one huge group of spoiled little brats that never stop crying. Ever.

    ReplyDelete
  107. LookWhosInTheFreezer1:47 PM

    Where do they get all that energy?

    There's energy in chocolate Cheetos, I need energy.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074174/quotes?item=qt0351696

    ReplyDelete
  108. Derelict1:48 PM

    Reagan--it's fabrication all the way down. Even Reagan himself lied/suffered dementia attack when recounting his war "experiences."

    It's a Republican thing, I guess. Wave the bloody veteran and proclaim how much you lurve the troops, then do everything you can to disgrace anyone in politics who actually served. Look at what Republicans have done to folks like Kerry, Cleland, Carter--hell, even fellow Republicans like Dole and H.W. Bush got rundown for being veterans.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Howlin Wolfe2:07 PM

    I had not heard about this latest tantrum nor its cause. Now my head hurts from trying to figure out if these RWNJs are completely infantile, stuck in junior high school as mean girls and boys, or if they are an alien life form that feeds upon outrage generated from the slightest deviance from RW ideology (which Obama provides merely by being POTUS).

    ReplyDelete
  110. Gromet2:08 PM

    George Washington, for instance, refused to shake hands as beneath his dignity.
    I would love to see our next Democratic president announce "I aim to make us the nation that George Washington established," and watch the GOP lose its collective shit over the ensuing aloofness. No doubt the attempt to elevate the office would bring down accusations of effete, megalomaniacal, condescending elitery. Then it would get real fun when it came time to dispatch overwhelming force to crush our modern Rebellions Whiskey, while letting a new major city be named after him (or her!), presiding over a cabinet given to irreconcilable public feuds, normalizing relations with our former existential enemies, and cozying up to France. France!

    ReplyDelete
  111. Spaghetti Lee2:09 PM

    Well, I think Rand Paul would look just darling in a powdered wig and breeches.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Gromet2:11 PM

    If he wins, he's going to have to do something to look presidential. Maybe just a sash that says PRESIDENT?

    ReplyDelete
  113. montag22:12 PM

    The irony of the Dukakis tank photo is that Dukakis had been a tank commander in the Korean War and he was just itching to get into an M1 to see how it felt. That impulsive move was borne out of a sort of professional curiosity.

    But what completely blew it for him was the helmet. Every cartoon I saw of that incident made the helmet look about four times normal size and his head like Alfred E. Neuman's.

    Margaret Thatcher escaped that ignominy when she rode around in a British tank by wearing a pale yellow scarf, something that worked for her, but probably wouldn't have for Dukakis.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Every time Putin salutes, lights flicker in Wasilla.

    ReplyDelete
  115. montag22:14 PM

    The "Blue Boy" comes to mind.

    ReplyDelete
  116. montag22:16 PM

    Umm, I think Occam's Razor applies here. They're just plain stoopid and naturally angry.

    ReplyDelete
  117. something that worked for her, but probably wouldn't have for Dukakis

    You never know, though.

    ReplyDelete
  118. IYKWIMAITYD.

    ReplyDelete
  119. It turns out that privates can get chewed out pretty goodIYKWIMAITYD.

    ReplyDelete
  120. How about just "PREZ"? Easier to spell.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person3:22 PM

    I take comfort in the fact that there are millions of feet of video of W out there, a few of which are guarandamnteed to show him *not* returning a Marine salute somewhere, somewhen, and some. industrious, perhaps even OCD type Lefty is gonna have it dug up and on youtube hopefully before the wingnuts forget about this.
    Also too, Obama is left-handed, which may have had something to do with this. Microsecond-long brainfart as to which hand to raise, or something.
    Then again, who actually gives a shit?

    ReplyDelete
  122. Jaime Oria3:28 PM

    I'd but THAT for a dollar -

    http://tytempletonart.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/prez4.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  123. satch3:31 PM

    "...the military salutes a civilian commander and holds the salute until
    the commander has passed, or the guide soldier in march formation passes
    the commander."


    Thanks... I didn't know that. Though I was technically in the Army, I was a dentist, and not a REAL soldier.

    ReplyDelete
  124. satch3:45 PM

    "But there's no requirement to kowtow to your totally fabricated
    "protocol" horseshit about something that almost every president before
    1981 apparently knew not to do."


    Including former Supreme Allied Commander and President Dwight Eisenhower, who knew that the requirement to salute no longer applied when he hung up his uniform and retired from the Army.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person3:53 PM

    Random Capitalization makes Everything more meaningful, don't you Think?

    Timothy Matlack evidently did...

    ReplyDelete
  126. montag23:55 PM

    Even without looking at lapel insignia, I could always tell the officers drawn from the professional ranks, because their reaction to a salute was the visual equivalent of, "umm, oh, hi, oh, yeah, I'm an officer, I'm supposed to salute back."

    It was always kind of refreshing.

    ReplyDelete
  127. smut clyde4:14 PM

    Reagan was simply imitating Brezhnev.

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/11/06/article-1225637-01307C6B00000578-327_468x311.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  128. glennisw6:38 PM

    Or operatic gold stripes on his robe, like Rehnquist.

    ReplyDelete
  129. glennisw6:40 PM

    Barney was more ethical.

    ReplyDelete
  130. AGoodQuestion11:03 PM

    UPDATE. There is nothing on earth, no matter how awful, that cannot be made worse by a column from Andrew Fucking Malcolm.
    I'm just repeating that here because we're not able to upvote the blog post itself.

    ReplyDelete
  131. realinterrobang11:06 PM

    Unfortunately, Pierre Trudeau's been dead for years.

    ReplyDelete
  132. AGoodQuestion11:12 PM

    Yeah, but as psychotropic drugs go, I'm pretty sure there are better ones out there.

    ReplyDelete
  133. AGoodQuestion11:16 PM

    if we had a President Allen West, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, or a Sarah Palin I think such a mistake would not be possible.
    If we had a president Allen West or Sarah Palin, the military would be too busy fending off atomic mutants to even be around when the CiC salutes them.

    ReplyDelete
  134. AGoodQuestion11:25 PM

    Didn't that used to be a Chuck Norris fact?

    ReplyDelete
  135. Indeed, that was my editorial comment.

    ReplyDelete
  136. drspittle12:50 PM

    A powdered wig would be a vast improvement over the dead ferret that now languishes on the top of his head.

    ReplyDelete
  137. I saw a poor sap forget what he was doing and salute an officer while holding a cigarette in his right hand. Not the best day of his enlistment, I will guess. GIs do take saluting seriously, and if the poofs who are criticizing Obama for screwing that one up knew anything about the custom, they would back the fuck off and start calling for presidents to simply stop doing it. Funny the custom started with Ronald "Captain Training Film" Reagan. Fucking wannabe.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Huh. I'm guessing the Clintons' "classless behavior" probably consists of not treating staff and servants as furniture. You know, actually talking to them and being polite and stuff. There's a certain class of people who never, ever do that. And they tend to be rotten tippers too.

    ReplyDelete
  139. That is definitely not what they meant. The funny thing is that Bill and Hillary were treated like they were the Palins--a brawling, white trash, no 'count, low class pair of rubes rather than a highly educated, middle class, pair of lawyers.

    ReplyDelete
  140. A dentist? How M*A*S*H of you. I believe dentists were a frequent topic in the books.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Well goodbye sailor!. Nudge nudge.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Well, it would be hard to play a good game of poker while Nixon was sitting on you. Be fair.

    ReplyDelete
  143. merl16:59 PM

    To render a proper hand salute, one should be IN uniform and wearing his cover.

    ReplyDelete
  144. geraldfnord12:48 AM

    Reagan's initiating the practice, and that of bringing walking anecdotes to the State if the Union Address (sadly, the Cadillac Welfare Queen never came to terms with his people as to total compensation, her lawyer being one of those clever you-know-whos) proves that these customs were intended by God to have been put into His Constitution back when He first inspired it---fallible men, perhaps under the influence of Satan [Jefferson, a.k.a. The First Progressive], left them out, but we in these latter days are Blessed to have these restorative Revelations made known to us.

    Next: the institution of Plural Vice Presidency, and stories of how Peggy Noonan wrote Reagan's speeches with the aid of a a rock and a hat.

    ReplyDelete