But that's OK, the NYT is on it!
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?
There was that curtsy, during the Reagan years, when Lenore Annenberg, herself the chief of protocol, forgot herself entirely and did a little dip to greet a visiting Prince Charles. That prompted a stern warning from Miss Manners against those who might mock the effort that "was once put into freeing Americans from the necessity of bending their knees." Soon afterward, when Nancy Reagan greeted Queen Elizabeth II behind closed doors, her press secretary acknowledged that Mrs. Reagan had bowed her head but insisted, "It was definitely not a curtsy."snip
(Emphasis here is mine.)
But the "thou need not bow" commandment from the State Department's protocol office maintained a constancy of more than 200 years.
You mean that wasn't Obama they were taking to task, but President Clinton? Huh.
Well, let's all just pretend it was, OK? I haven't a clue what became of Ms. Annenberg, but she is desperately needed in the Obama White House.
I shall not put too fine a point on it. This is unconscionable, and not just from a political standpoint. It is a grievous error in manners as well. We are Americans. We do not bow to foreign royalty. None of us. That means not you, not I, and certainly not the President of the United States.
A salute, as most of you know, is a show of respect. This is why it is returned by the officer to the enlisted man who has thus greeted him. (There is protocol, of course--the enlisted proffers the salute, as he is of lesser rank.)
A bow is not a show of respect. A bow is a show of subservience. This is why there are varying degrees of bows. A commoner would bow quite deeply to his monarch. A duke's bow would barely merit the term. The only circumstances under which a head of state would bow that deeply to another head of state would be if he was recently conquered and hoping to keep his own head. The depth of President Obama's bow goes beyond mere subservience into obsequiousness.
Either we have a President who is completely clueless as to proper protocol (here's a clue: a handshake is the ONLY proper greeting for an American to give another person in diplomatic interaction), or we have a President who is trying to knock America down a few pegs. I sincerely hope it's the former, but I doubt it.