Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's OK, Angela, he rubs everybody the wrong way...

This is all over the place today, but Shakey's Sis has the best one:

Eclipsing even his father's unfortunate chunk-hurling on the Emperor of Japan, Bush has made yet another shameful blunder on what is now undoubtedly the most embarrassing official trip abroad for any American president. After stumbling from Putin's smackdown at his suggestion that Russia ought to emulate the democracy in Iraq to babbling about wanting to eat a pig to getting caught on tape cursing while chomping on a roll, Bush channeled the Creepy Guy at Work who gives a female coworker an unwanted massage, much to his repulsed target's chagrin.

Of course, it wasn't just any gal The Groper went after. It was German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Video at Crooks and Liars, or in the original German.

Taylor Marsh: This is why Iraq and the Middle East are in flames, and we have no credibility around the world. We have a prepubescent president in charge. It is an outrage.

Lindsay: Every woman will recognize the guy who sidles up and starts "casually" giving you a backrub without even looking at you, because he wants to preserve deniability in case you freak out. Like any practiced groper, Bush stares right past Merkel as she recoils from his touch.

Unannounced back rubs of the knead-'em-'til-they-relax type have helped me on occasion, and I've given them as well, but they're rarely appropriate and then only amongst friends.

Bush's lack of social graces amongst the highest-placed people in the world, and on camera to boot, shows him to be a churlish boor, and personally obnoxious in addition to his arrogance. Chancellor Merkel would have been entirely justified to deck his ass.

The sonofabitch's behavior is downright embarrassing.


The Carpetbagger Report

But this nevertheless strikes me as troubling. As Dibgy put it, "This woman is the Chancellor of Germany." Indeed, she's entitled to a high degree of respect and decorum, not a rub-down from a frat-boy in chief.

I hesitate to make too big a deal out of this, and most of the U.S. media ignored it completely, but I've long believed there are certain standards for how one behaves in professional settings. If this were a meeting of corporate executives, and a male CEO from one major company began giving an uninvited massage to a female CEO from another company, it'd be considered inappropriate, as I believe it should.

Makes you proud, doesn't it?

Bush has never done anything to make me proud. This puerile antic made me cringe.

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