Is America -- or its media -- making too big a deal over this?
In an age where TV cameras follow a president everywhere, just this one photo seems to exist to fuel the discussion in some corners today about whether it's unseemly to argue with a president. Odd, though, how the video cuts away before the good stuff.
"I grew up hearing that you treat the office with respect, and people aren't buying that anymore," says Cassandra Dahnke, co-founder of the Institute for Civility in Politics in Houston.
But are we asking more of politicians than we do ourselves? Who hasn't let someone else know when they're unhappy with something they said or wrote, as apparently is the case here?
And who started the conversation above, which apparently was about something the Arizona governor wrote about a meeting with the president?
"We started to have a conversation about the economy and jobs and he kind of diverted the conversation to my book," Gov. Jan Brewer, R-AZ, told Fox.
But even by Minnesota standards, the protocol of politics is pretty passive aggressive. On the Senate floor, for example, referring to another senator as "my friend," is a sign of respect and genuine warmth. "My good friend" means "I don't like him/her that much" and "my very good friend" means "I can't stand him/her."
The presidency deserves respect, of course. But it was never intended to be an office of royalty.
"The presidency deserves respect, of course."
The majority of those who have held the office have been Machiavellian scoundrels.
HUMAN BEINGS (and nature) deserve respect, and human behaviour deserves to be commended or criticized, depending on whether or not it displays respect for the aformentioned.
There's clearly a lot more going on here, Bob. Brewer passed Obama a handwritten letter and refuses to release its content. The letter -- handwritten or inscribed on goat skin -- is absolutely a public record.
I think the easiest way to analyze this flap is to flip it. Imagine if Dayton had been governor when Bush was President, and then imagine Dayton waving a finger at Bush while still on the tarmac.
It would take years if not decades for the right to recover from the infamy of that moment.
After decades of the right's thin-skinned cult of victimhood, I think EVERYONE's nerves have been rubbed raw and we're all looking for some tiny sliver of civility (without retreating back into the politics of saying nothing while smiling constantly).
Maybe she did say something disrespectful, we don't know. But the finger wag is not disrespectful. People need to realize that our politicians have to be able to discuss things like adults, sometimes adults gesture when things get heated. It's ok.
The public wants DC to work but the public seems hell bent on ignoring that our politicians are real people and not actors on a TV screen.
I thought it was rather classless showboating on that governor's part.