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January 24, 2010

Something Puerile This Way Comes

Jeez, Greyhawk. Throw the man a bone. Can't you see that he tried really, really hard?

Somewhere there may exist a photo of the Obama rendering a proper salute. This ain't close. And that's a pretty lame start to a story that goes on to detail the many other things Obama has worked so very, very hard on to support the troops. Of course, if you're just trying to convince the 99% of the population who have no idea what a proper salute looks like that this is a "pretty good" example, then maybe it's the perfect start that tells us everything we need to know: the rest, assuredly - the part that actually matters - is just this good.

On the other hand, as far as ball-washing feature coverage of how the president salutes and what it means, the story is sure a hellalot better than this one from the New York Times in 2003:

A Senseless Salute

When given a salute by uniformed military personnel, Mr. Reagan would return it, shooting his right hand up to his bare head, his smile suggesting that this was something he liked to do. This unnecessary and unseemly habit was adopted by Mr. Reagan's successors, including Bill Clinton and especially George W. Bush, who steps off his plane and cocks a jaunty salute.

This gesture is of course quite wrong: such a salute has always required the wearing of a uniform. But there is more to this than a decline in military manners. There is something puerile in the Reagan (and now Bush) salute. It is the joyful gesture of someone who likes playing soldier. It also represents an exaggeration of the president's military role.

(Attention check: did you notice which name from paragraph one is missing from paragraph two?)

For the record, a salute is a mutual exchange - it's initiated by a junior and returned by the senior. (The higher ranking you are, the more salutes you will render.) However, salutes are not required to be rendered or returned when the senior or subordinate are in civilian clothes.

All I know is that he won my heart with the Chest Bump of Hope.


Posted by Cassandra at January 24, 2010 03:12 AM

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In the photo, are they singing YMCA?!! That has to be the Village People!!

Posted by: philip at January 24, 2010 04:19 AM

Read the links, folks... if you can handle the horror. Seriously, I couldn't get past the first page of the NYT article. Sick in its sycophancy!

Posted by: FbL at January 24, 2010 09:29 AM

Throw him a bone? Good Lord, he has had more bones than a Brontosaurus. Give him a new title like "Former President of the US!"

Was crusin' the net and found this one. The times have changed, and so has the opposition...but the idea is the same.

I want to know where THAT United States of America went? Have we devolved that far???


Posted by: kbob in katy at January 24, 2010 02:40 PM

The Warrior song....

"Come to the nightmare

Come to me..."


Go Team America!!!

Posted by: kbob in katy at January 24, 2010 10:09 PM

There's got to be some esoteric meaning in the gesture.

I wonder what it is...

Posted by: camojack at January 25, 2010 01:32 AM

"That attention to detail, that focus on the outward manifestation of what we expect, is compelling," said retired Gen. Paul Eaton, who advised Obama during the presidential campaign. "Whoever worked with him on that did a pretty good job."

Spare me. The only thing the Salute Mentor succeeded in teaching Obie was that you use the *right* hand.

Which, all things considered, probably did take considerable time and effort...

Posted by: BillT at January 25, 2010 08:31 AM

However, salutes are not required to be rendered or returned when the senior or subordinate are in civilian clothes.

Half-true. While the salute is not required to be rendered if either superior or subordinate is in civilian clothes, courtesy dictates that, if rendered, it must be returned.

Posted by: BillT at January 25, 2010 08:34 AM

The Cowboy has historically been underrated as a Village Person. They have performed many times in Key West (also one of their songs). He is further dissed by not being allowed to perform in the above performance for Pres. Obama. So sad.

I hear that Cowboy was not allowed to perform for Pres. Obama because he reminds Pres. Obama of Pres. Bush.

Posted by: Man Riding Unicycle Naked at January 25, 2010 02:53 PM


I hate you for making me snort my beverage :p

Posted by: Cassandra at January 25, 2010 02:54 PM