I'm not exactly Michelle Obama's biggest fan, but this is an issue about which I could hardly care less. Apparently, the Queen touched Mrs. Obama first, and she reacted in what could have been an instinctive gesture of reciprocal liking. And after all, we are a democracy; although (let us hope) our leaders offer every courtesy to foreign heads of state (and although I admire the Queen enormously), we are not bound to offer them the obeisance that, say, their subjects are. We are no one's subjects.
That's why this disturbs me much more -- a picture of President Obama bowing to the Saudi king in the manner of a subject, courtesy of Clarice Feldman.
The image actually highlights what, for me, seems to be one of the biggest problems for this administration: The line between courtesy and symbolic subservience.
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