Power Line says:
Obama's breach of protocol is of a piece with the substance of his foreign policy.Breach of protocol? Obama is establishing the protocol here. It is what he intentionally does, I would think. But it is fair to tie the gesture to Obama's general message:
He means to teach Americans to bow before monarchs. He embodies the ideological multiculturalism that sets the United States on the same plane as other regimes based on tribal privilege and royal bloodlines. He gives expressive form to the idea that the United States now willingly prostrates itself before the rest of the world. He declares that the United States is a country like any other, only worse, because we have so much for which to apologize.That's rather exaggerated. To bow is not to prostrate yourself. Prostration looks like this:
The image of prostration is a religious one — and it is closely, though not entirely, associated with Islam. Did Power Line intend that association?
Bowing is a more modest gesture of greeting and respect, more like the American handshake. If a foreign emissary shakes hands in our country, I don't see the problem with our President bowing in a country where bowing is conventional. The question is whether he bows to a potentate who does not bow to him. Emperor Akihito did not bow to Obama, did he? And Obama did that extra-low bow, not that Japanese businessman thing or... oh, hell, what do I know of the details of Japanese bowing?! Here, it's a little complicated, but you'll be able to figure out exactly what sort of bow Obama did and what, perhaps, he ought to be doing....