Democrats. So Uncouth.


The First Lady should be careful not to repeat a mistake made by Hillary Clinton during a 1999 visit to theMiddle East. When PalestinianSuha Arafat delivered a sharply-worded speech falsely accusingIsrael
of using poisonous gas on Palestinians and distributing chemical
materials to ruin the water, Mrs. Clinton silently gave Mrs. Arafat a
hug and a kiss at the end of the lecture. The First Lady’s politeness
was taken as substantive agreement with Arafat’s inflammatory charges.

The president’s wife also needs to respect local protocol. The British press had a field day during a 2009 visit toGreat Britain when Mrs. Obama touchedQueen Elizabeth‘s back, and thereby violated long-standing rules forbidding body contact. For days thereafter, theFirst Lady was subjected to critical media attention questioning her personal judgment and lack of social awareness.

Above all else, First Ladies should heed the awkward mistake made byPresident Jimmy Carter during his 1979 visit toMexico. As an offended Mexican President Jose Lopez Portillo looked on, Carter joked that he had been “afflicted withMontezuma’s revenge“.
This reference to the travel-related illness named after the Aztec
emperor who was murdered by Spanish invaders so upset his Mexican hosts
that it scuttled a plannedimmigration reform agreement. When using humor on foreign trips, it always is better to make fun of oneself than local hosts.

But if only she’d give Angela Merkel an uninvited back rub, or walk out the wrong door, or, you know, BLOW UP ANOTHER COUNTRY UNDER FALSE PRETENSES, then everything would be fine.


10 thoughts on “Democrats. So Uncouth.

  1. butbutbut queen betty touched michele FIRST! wasn’t it polite to reciprocate?
    yeah, michele better not get UPPITY i guess.

  2. I wonder how much of this comes from American Isolationism.
    Some things are jokes that, if given a second’s thought would remain unsaid (I’m sure Mexico may have a touchy point about being blamed as poor hygeine and perpetual runs).
    Some things are differences in culture. And someone who moves between multiple culture is both more attuned to the fact that there are differences and forgiving of lapses (picking up from Pansy’s point above – even if the Queen didn’t touch her first, I’m sure the Queen understands the value of a friendly handshake in other countries). But the americans don’t understand the differences and go ape when they think a simple difference is a diplomatic incident.
    Some things are just gross and going overboard. Like groping the back of a seated dignitary.

  3. Oh, and was the USA tacit approval given to Iraq for their invasion of Iraq – was that a nicety of diplomatic posturing or something else (pull in Iraq to rope’em and dope ’em; the truth that we didn’t care but had to do something after the invasion; etc.)

  4. Notice they don’t mention Dubya’s backrub or George Sr. yuking on the Japanese prime minister. Oh, my my, aren’t those wealthy patrician Repubs so polite?

  5. Women must always be careful. Women must always avoid giving offense. Women must not be cold, but they must also not be too touchy. Women must mind what they do. Women are, after all unclean, and can give offense simply by being, by not being in isolation, by failing to be men. Girls have cooties.
    I am going to take a fucking hostage.

  6. You women just don’t understand the sheer terror the mere thought of cooties brings to the minds of all men. I’m sitting here in a cold sweat just from reading those comments. Are those things from Venus?

  7. First Ladies are just supposed to bond with the wives of foreign dignitaries… in much the same way that Nancy Raygun and Imelda “Lotsa Pumps” Marcos found common ground…

  8. Oh! Oh! I’ve got one:
    The First Lady should avoid another famous faux-pas: projectile vomiting on the head of the host country’s government. Ever since George H.W. Bush famously splattered a shocked prime minister of Japan by vomiting during the meal (rather than afterwards, as is the custom), American officials have been well-advised to avoid such “involuntary partially-digested material eruptions,” as the practice is now called in an e-mail to the US State Department.”
    This game is fun. I could play all day!

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