Now They Are All About the Protocol

I find it endlessly amusing that the usual suspects keep getting the vapors about what gifts President Obama gives people, but if the autographed Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook and IPod aren’t good enough for the Queen, that is just tough for her.

I will point out that all our Emily Posts of the right seem to think this is a major gaffe, but it could have been worse:

I guess it could have been worse, wingnuts. He could have given her a backrub.

*** Update ***

Via the comments, this is how it is done, Obama:

When you’ve just made it sound like the Queen is more than 200 years old, there may be a few ways of recovering from the gaffe. But turning to her and giving her a sly wink is probably not included in any book of royal etiquette.

That’s what happened yesterday after George Bush mangled his greeting to the Queen on her state visit to the US, reports The Daily Mail.

Stumbling over his words, he came perilously close to suggesting that the monarch had toured the States in 1776.

And although the President’s following wink was initially rewarded with a regal glare, the Queen did at least seem to see the funny side of the blunder.






114 replies
  1. 1
    gwangung says:

    Um, what’s the problem here?

    Video ipod isn’t traditional, but the gift of a rare Richard Rogers songbook seems tailormade for the queen–a bit of the new and a bit of the traditional.

    Or are they arguing that it was TOO MUCH?

  2. 2
    Ash says:

    I don’t understand all the bullshit around heads of state gift giving. Who cares what they give each other? I know us Umurikuns complain about the press, but it would be worse – we could live in Britain and have to endure the Torygraph and Daily Mail and Times of London incessantly whining about the stupidest shit every day.

    But either way, that gift seems right up the Queen’s alley. Isn’t she pretty big on technology?

  3. 3
    That Anonymous Guy says:

    I was also mortified when Obama winked at the queen and made a joke about her being old enough to remember the American Revolution.

    Oh, wait? Bush did that? Guess it was OK, then.

    IOKIYAR is a pretty sweet deal for Republicans. I’m almost tempted to flip parties so I can act like an ass with impunity.

  4. 4
    Joshua Norton says:

    He should have just offered to give back the country. Except I don’t think they want it anymore. I mean really don’t want it.

  5. 5
    calipygian says:

    Is it possible that Obama is trying to adhere to federal rules with regards to representational gifts by staying on the cheap? This is not an April Fools Day question. I know when I was in the military, I’d be kind of embarrassed by the quality of our representational gifts, but there was nothing to be done about it because of cost restrictions.

    And as far as Bush and Merkel goes, what Bush did to her would be regarded as sexual harrassment in any work place I’ve ever been in, and quite possibly assault or sexual assault.

  6. 6

    […] reminds us that the President of the United States is no longer fondling the leader of […]

  7. 7

    He could have given her a backrub hicky.

    Polished.

  8. 8
    MikeJ says:

    And as far as Bush and Merkel goes, what Bush did to her would be regarded as sexual harrassment in any work place I’ve ever been in, and quite possibly assault or sexual assault.

    Imagine the scene when Bush moved back to Dallas, having to go door to door in his new neighborhood to warn the neighbors a sexual predator was moving in.

  9. 9
    Joshua Norton says:

    Richard Rogers songbook seems tailormade for the queen

    Agree. I happen to know she likes Rogers & Hammerstein music. I was watching a knighting ceremony on BBC a while back and the orchestra was playing a medley of their music in the background. It seemed a little out of place to me, but she gets to pick the music she likes. I guess after reigning for 50+ years, Handel can eventually get on your nerves.

  10. 10
    Jim says:

    "Yo Blair!"

    Bush also insulted Queen Bess by bringing his own chef for a sleep over at Buckingham, IIRC, and his security detail and helicopter trashed a rose garden.

  11. 11
    dmsilev says:

    I think Obama is good unless he takes after Bush Sr. and throws up in the Queen’s lap.

    -dms

  12. 12
    MikeJ says:

    I was watching a knighting ceremony on BBC a while back and the orchestra was playing a medley of their music in the background. It seemed a little out of place to me, but she gets to pick the music she likes.

    When I first moved to London I went to the changing of the guard. The band played the Imperial March from Star Wars, which was just about the funniest thing I’d seen.

  13. 13
    Bill Teefy says:

    I read somewhere it was the video ipod and it included video from her American trip.

    I find it funny that anyone thinks anyone could give the queen anything off the shelf that she couldn’t get for herself.

    So a personal memento and an autographed songbook seem like actually thoughtful gifts.

    Righties are really reaching here. Next we’ll get them to expose how Obama’s kids are too cheap to go Full-Hallmark on Father’s Day and drew him pictures of hearts and Xs and Os on binder paper. I mean what kind of commie kids would do that?

  14. 14
    mr. whipple says:

    Man, least he coulda given her a GM or Chrysler, w/warantee, of course.

  15. 15
    MikeJ says:

    BTW, any leaks about the dog? It’s supposed to be "in place" when they return. We need a DC area person to rub themselves with bacon and stand near the White House fence. We’ll get the scoop.

  16. 16
    The Populist says:

    Some guy in my Facebook feed (who I know and claims to be "moderate" uh huh) called Obama a clown for this gift.

    How is this clown-like? Some of his "friends" added that it was "tacky", "lame", etc.

    Isn’t an Ipod an engineering marvel designed by AMERICANS and an important AMERICAN COMPANY? Funny, he never mentioned the songbook but heck…why note the good when you can rip into the perceived bad.

    BTW – anybody read Erik Erikson’s lame brain whining about a revolution because he can’t use Borax or something stupid to that extent?

  17. 17
    The Populist says:

    Hey righties, when will you get over this nonsensical hatred of Obama?

    After all, your leader Rush did tell the Dems to STFU until they won an election. Why don’t you STFU until you win something, okay loosers?

  18. 18
    The Moar You Know says:

    When I first moved to London I went to the changing of the guard. The band played the Imperial March from Star Wars, which was just about the funniest thing I’d seen.

    @MikeJ: That is so awesome. I would have peed my pants with joy.

    My brother and I played the Imperial March for the family one Christmas on classical guitar and banjo. Oddly enough, they were not amused save for my brother’s kid, who loved it.

  19. 19
    Joshua Norton says:

    called Obama a clown for this gift.

    I’m pretty sure it was the contents of the iPod that was the real gift (her recent visit to the USA). Claiming that’s tacky is like saying someone who gave you a meaningful picture of themselves just gave you a "tacky" picture frame.

  20. 20
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Joshua Norton:

    My mother refers to July 4 as "the day we got rid of the whole disaster waiting to happen" and this was years ago :)

  21. 21
    Comrade Darkness says:

    Someone may have done their research. Her Highness rather likes her current ipod, which the princes helped her learn how to use.

    Or, frankly, it was probably considered easier than carrying a whole stack of movie discs back across the pond.

    Honestly, I don’t remember a single news piece about a presidential gift before now. The lengths the media will go to to avoid having to analyze something difficult and important, like, say, the economic meltdown.

  22. 22
    Ramalamadingdong says:

    It’s amazing how many protocol, fashion and etiquette experts were born on November 4. Who knew we were so cultured…

  23. 23
    Joshua Norton says:

    Who knew we were so cultured…

    Especially since 20 minutes later they’re practically throwing punches over cheap ham and marked down spark plugs at Walmart.

  24. 24
    freelancer says:

    OT, but Sully managed to say nothing in his 7 sentence response to being called out on his ‘Makers and Takers’ gaffe. However, he does manage this beauty of an idea for expressing modern Conservatism:

    Since I offered many details of the kinds of policies I’m against, it’s hard to see how this is "contentless."

    AKA, My ideas are in the spaces between the things I say I oppose.

    WTF? Did I read that right?

  25. 25
    harlana pepper says:

    Somebody post a clip of Chris Matthews just now. It will go viral. lmao

  26. 26

    I feel like the audience in The Producers. Where were these people hiding while George Bush pissed on the entire world? Wars and debt, those were his fucking gifts, and where was the criticism? I just makes me want to hurt somebody.

  27. 27
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Actually I would have thunk that the Queen thought they were very, very thoughtful gifts, particularly the song book, that must have taken some research. I mean come on what do you buy for the richest woman in the world, it’s not like she doesn’t have enough jewelry or something. Vases? Antiques? I think that the gifts (unlike the DVD debacle) were very well thought out and I bet she was delighted. Then again the Queen has the uncanny knack of looking absolutely delighted when a small dirty child hands her a bunch of muddy daisies recently plucked from a lawn somewhere. She’s cool like that.

    PS) If ya’ll want a giggle go here

    http://www.ipetitions.com/peti.....es-44.html

    Its the duly BJ, RR, YTD, Wonkette invaded Oily Titz petition. It is funny as all get out. (Don’t have a mouthful of liquid when reading). Latest entry:

    "I beliebe if President Obama has nothing to hide he should release all the documenthe is not releasing . His college transcripts, his thesis, his B.C. Obbvisly I kant spel and I need a telloprpmtpter to write korektly."

  28. 28
    The Moar You Know says:

    The problem here is that righties (and quite a few of the moderates) want the president to be a big giant strutting prick, showering largess, kicking ass and taking names. Obama is humanizing the office and they just can’t stand it.

    They want a king. He’s giving us our democracy back.

  29. 29
    guest omen says:

    @harlana pepper:

    what happened on matthews?

  30. 30
    gwangung says:

    Someone may have done their research.

    Well, no wonder the right wing jerks are all a flutter….

  31. 31

    @The Moar You Know: You had me at "big giant strutting prick."

  32. 32
    Martin says:

    Meh, they’re just disappointed that he didn’t give her a Public Enemy CD, a bottle of Courvoisier, some gold caps, and a giant clock to hang around her neck.

  33. 33
    guest omen says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I mean come on what do you buy for the richest woman in the world,

    the lady who used to work for jackie kennedy recommended historic articles. like a letter from winston churchhill or something.

    not that i disliked the gift. can you imagine getting a signed ipod?

  34. 34
    JL says:

    @harlana pepper: What happened?

  35. 35
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @guest omen:

    A whut?

  36. 36
  37. 37
    JenJen says:

    Honestly I could give a crap what the Queen thinks of our President and whatever trinket he gave her. She’s the freaking Queen of England and I thought we were supposed to be Americans, and, you know, not at all impressed with stupid monarchs.

    To watch the wingnuts get all bent out of shape over the gift is hysterical, though. I could’ve sworn big, tough, "Country First" Republicans hated all things Europe. Freedom fries and pouring out good champagne, and what-not. Or do they only hate Continental Europeans? I get so confused.

    I was also very proud of Michelle for not doing the curtsy. Yes!!

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    My brother and I played the Imperial March for the family one Christmas on classical guitar and banjo.

    "*A Banjo*"

    You heretic, you’re gonna burn, burn, burn!

  39. 39
    JenJen says:

    @The Populist: I just finished reading that over at Yglesias.

    Good gawd. They take away the man’s Cascade and he wants to pop a cap in someone’s ass? Poor, poor, sad wittle Erick.

  40. 40
    JL says:

    @JenJen: The BBC has a video where the Queen says that I hope you will stay in touch because you are so friendly. It appears that the MSM is making much ado about nothing.

  41. 41
    ChrisB says:

    Somewhat off topic, but speaking of Obama and Bush, there’s a good article in today’s New York Times about the Obama administration’s focus on the rising flood waters in North Dakota and Minnesota. To quote the article:

    Along with teams from the Coast Guard, the Department of Health and Human Services, Customs and Border Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers, hundreds of Federal Emergency Management Agency employees were dispatched to the two states, including Nancy L. Ward, the acting administrator of FEMA. And this was all before the worst of the flooding was predicted to hit.

    So completely different from Katrina.

    It’s nice to see the government working and it deserves some coverage.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04.....038;st=cse

  42. 42
    gwangung says:

    the lady who used to work for jackie kennedy recommended historic articles. like a letter from winston churchhill or something.

    …like a signed Richard Rogers songbook, hm?

  43. 43
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @JenJen:

    Tell that to all the American Princess Di cultists.

    PS) I can just imagine when they get back to the WH and tell the girls "and Daddy and I got to meet the Queen!" with Sasha and Malia going nuts "what was she like, was she wearing her crown?"

  44. 44
    Ash says:

    @gwangung: Nah, a letter from Churchill sounds way better. I bet she doesn’t have any of those!

  45. 45
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    @The Moar You Know: My brother and I played the Imperial March for the family one Christmas on classical guitar and banjo.

    You might like this version.

  46. 46
    guest omen says:

    @gwangung:

    was it signed? cool.

  47. 47
    jcricket says:

    John – are you ready to embrace the "it’s all projection" theory for the GOP? Where’s the blog post category for that (or would it be redundant?)?

  48. 48
    metricpenny says:

    She’s probably happy with the iPod video and the Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook.

    See this softpedia item from 2005.

  49. 49
    valdivia says:

    what they are supposed to take something out of the american historical archives and give it away? the ipod with the pictures adn video of her trip is very thoughtful as is the songbook.

    and for those not following up the whole tea & the Queen ins and outs a big deal is the fact that the Queen touched Michelle in the back (before asking her to keep in touch) apparently the Queen never does that. I guess the Queen liked them in spite of Obama’s, um, bad gift giving sense./snark

  50. 50
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Link to the BBC story mentioned above.

    IMO I think that Michelle could do worse than to correspond with the Queen, after all HM has seen it all, and she could probably give Michelle some really down home advice on how to cope with all the madness of being in the public eye.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7978054.stm

  51. 51
    Emma says:

    A letter from the man who helped train her for the job? You don’t think maybe she has plenty of those?

    And the Rodgers songbook is probably a really nice gift. I saw a documentary on her life and if I remember correctly, it said that when she and Philip were courting "their" song was People Will Say We’re in Love from Oklahoma.

    The whole thing is ridiculous. They’re symbolic gifts. I mean, what are you going to get her? A personal gift would be quite unsuitable. And art? She gave a $450 million dollar collection to the nation a few years ago.

  52. 52
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    @valdivia: the ipod with the pictures adn video of her trip is very thoughtful as is the songbook.

    Indeed. There’s the problem – Redoublechins don’t understand sentimental value, only monetary. And that not very well.

  53. 53

    Honestly I could give a crap what the Queen thinks of our President and whatever trinket he gave her. She’s the freaking Queen of England and I thought we were supposed to be Americans, and, you know, not at all impressed with stupid monarchs.

    What would the Australian Prime Minister do?

    Oh, right.

    Third Bruce: Blimey, it’s hot in here, Bruce.
    First Bruce: Hot enough to boil a monkey’s bum!
    Second Bruce: That’s a strange expression, Bruce.
    First Bruce: Well Bruce, I heard the Prime Minister use it. "It’s hot enough to boil a monkey’s bum in here, your Majesty," he said, and she smiled quietly to herself.
    Third Bruce: She’s a good Sheila, Bruce, and not at all stuck up.

  54. 54
    Indylib says:

    @JenJen:

    I was also very proud of Michelle for not doing the curtsy. Yes!!

    According to the article Litlebritdifrnt linked to at 50 our First Lady did indeed curtsy to the Queen.

  55. 55
    valdivia says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    thanks for that link cute article. what i saw reported (at abc and there is a picture) is the queen putting her hand on Michelle’s back and Michelle respond in kind. very nice.

    edit–I have seen video of her at the Palace with no curtsy and the reports at large were that they did not, but who knows ah?

  56. 56
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @valdivia:

    Actually I think it is not that big of a deal. It is akin (I think) to clasping one’s hands together and greeting a buddhist, or someone from Japan (is that the correct greeting?) When in Rome, etc. Now if the Queen was visiting America I am sure that the protocol would be different but when you go to the Palace and are granted an audience with the Queen I would think a curtsey or a bow would be the least of your problems. The only time I was at the palace I kept thinking to myself OH PLEASE FSM DO NOT LET ME FART!

  57. 57
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    The Queen gave Obama a picture of herself.

  58. 58
    valdivia says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:
    lol and yes I aagree not a big deal

  59. 59
    Tzal says:

    It must be really annoying to be British royalty. You have no real power and people have to walk on eggshells around you and generally stumble about and behave uncomfortably in anachronistic ways. How they hold themselves back from constantly yelling "Fucking relax!" is beyond me. And not to mention the tabloid’s obsession with destroying their lives. The money is probably nice, but it strikes me as a very restrictive life.

    I don’t hope this on the Queen, but if she started to get on a bit in her dotage it might have nice comedic effect. I would enjoy watching her majesty yell "Curstey like you mean it bitch!" or otherwise angrily try to enforce the social rules associated with dealing with royalty.

  60. 60
    JenJen says:

    @Indylib: Ahhh. So the video they showed on TV was a "second" meeting for cameras, I guess?

    I just hate the curtsy. I think it’s dumb for an American to curtsy for a foreign monarch, I really do.

  61. 61
    guest omen says:

    @calipygian:

    Is it possible that Obama is trying to adhere to federal rules with regards to representational gifts by staying on the cheap?

    i thought he was ushering a new age of not being stuffy.

  62. 62
    guest omen says:

    @Ramalamadingdong:

    It’s amazing how many protocol, fashion and etiquette experts were born on November 4. Who knew we were so cultured…

    so true. what’s the proper etiquette for stealing national elections?

  63. 63
    Anonymous visitor from Sadly,No! says:

    The band played the Imperial March from Star Wars

    Elgar was totally shameless, the way he plagiarised the Imperial March in his Violin Concerto.

  64. 64
  65. 65
  66. 66
    guest omen says:

    i just want to post a photo. why wont it stick?

  67. 67
    kay says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    The Queen gave Obama a picture of herself.

    She did. I don’t know that that’s a "gift". It’s the thought…

    Does she live in the palace? If she does, why does she wear her handbag on her arm in her home? What’s in there?

  68. 68
    Mike G says:

    I guess it could have been worse, wingnuts. He could have given her a backrub.

    The Brits get incredibly anal about royal protocol. About a decade ago the Australian Prime Minister dared to put his hand on the Queen’s back when guiding her along a receiving line and the press went nuts about this horrendously scoundrel-like caddish affront to their sovereign. The London tabloids quickly dubbed him ‘The Lizard of Oz’…

  69. 69
    guest omen says:

    @kay:
    What’s in there?

    the nuclear button?

  70. 70

    Third Bruce: She’s a good Sheila, Bruce, and not at all stuck up.

    Third Bruce: That’d make a good handle for commenting at Erick The Red’s little house of horrors.

    i just want to post a photo. why wont it stick?

    Tunch does all the moderating?

  71. 71
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Signed campaign swag woulda been enough. Who over there isn’t completely caught up in the ObamaPhenomena?

  72. 72
    Indylib says:

    @JenJen:

    I think it’s dumb for an American to curtsy for a foreign monarch, I really do.

    Americans don’t do symbolic deference very well. You ought to see American military members and families try to bow in Japan when they live over there. It was pure comedy.

  73. 73

    Americans don’t do symbolic deference very well.

    Yeah, we tend to specialize more in empty gestures and hollow rhetoric.

  74. 74

    @Mike G:

    There was also great debate years later when the monarchist John Howard was also accused of "going the grope" on HRM.

    And yet, the Queen and Michelle appear to have been getting quite cozy.

  75. 75
    Ash says:

    About a decade ago the Australian Prime Minister dared to put his hand on the Queen’s back when guiding her along a receiving line and the press went nuts about this horrendously scoundrel-like caddish affront to their sovereign.

    Doesn’t that all have to with the "divine authority" or whatever? "You can’t touch her, she’s basically Jesus!"

    Huh.

  76. 76

    […] The real question is why so much attention is being paid to this. Right wingers will take any opportunity to attack Obama, but his Republican predecessor wasn’t  so hot with respect to following protocol. At least Obama didn’t try to give her a massage as Bush did with Angela Merkel. […]

  77. 77
    libarbarian says:

    I don’t really give a crap but I do agree that a set of DVDs is kind of lame for a diplomatic gift.

  78. 78
    Shaina says:

    @Tattoosydney:

    There’s now an article on the Time website about whether Michelle violated protocol by touching the Queen after the Queen touched her on the back.

    I’m waiting for this to turn into the outrage de jour.

  79. 79
    Will says:

    Who honestly gives a rat’s ass about the British royal family anyway? Born into billions, monarchs who do nothing to be fabulously wealthy. Oh, god forbid we offend one of their "fans" by giving them an Ipod.

    Fuck the Queen.

  80. 80
    jcricket says:

    I’m waiting for this to turn into the outrage de jour.

    What’s the soup de jour?
    It’s the soup of the day
    Mmm, sounds good, I’ll have that.

  81. 81
    valdivia says:

    the point I think is that the queen sort of just put her hand around her and Michelle did the same back. Obviously the queen started it and as far as I understood you are not allowed to touch her unless she touches you first (or some such). But yes, this will be the outrage du jour for the wingnuts. The fact that the queen really warmed up to Michelle seems not to matter at all.

  82. 82
    r€nato says:

    I thought that only subjects are required to bow/curtsy to the Queen.

  83. 83
    canuckistani says:

    Burkeans are all about deference to the aristocracy, their natural-born betters. Burke would never have given an iPod to George III.

  84. 84
    valdivia says:

    a little ps I just saw the bbc coverage of this and they are describing it as a cuddle, not in a bad light at all so I guess the idiots here will be making a huge deal out of something the Brits seem sort of amused at.

  85. 85
    Mike says:

    I loved, loved, the photo diary of the Obamas’ trip on Huffpost
    today. The pictures of the couple boarding the Marine
    helicopter to salutes, the photos of Air Force One flying them
    in style to London, the meetings and greetings of all the foreign dignitaries, in short, their debut on the world stage as powerful
    elite figures and the warm reception they received was wonderful to behold.

    Why? Because those pictures are making the wingnuts’ heads
    explode.

  86. 86
    Mazacote Yorquest says:

    Sorry if someone answered this, but on Nightline they mentioned a "mildly racist remark" from Prince Philip. What was that about?

  87. 87
    guest omen says:

    @Mazacote Yorquest:

    i don’t know what the recent comment was but prince philip has a long history of making bigoted remarks:

    http://listverse.com/humor/top.....ce-philip/

  88. 88
    guest omen says:

    @Mazacote Yorquest:

    prince philip has a long history of making bigoted remarks:

    http://listverse.com/humor/top.....ce-philip/

  89. 89
    guest omen says:

    mazacote, i don’t know about the recent comment, but prince philip has a long history of making bigoted remarks:

    http://listverse.com/humor/top.....ce-philip/

  90. 90
    Brachiator says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Actually I would have thunk that the Queen thought they were very, very thoughtful gifts, particularly the song book, that must have taken some research. I mean come on what do you buy for the richest woman in the world, it’s not like she doesn’t have enough jewelry or something.

    I have this recurring fantasy that once a year, the most powerful women in the world –the Queen of England, Oprah, and JK Rowling have a sleepover. They light a fire to a barbecue using 100 Euro notes. They laugh and joke and have a good time, and decide to offer Michelle Obama an honorary membership in the club.

  91. 91
    Joshua Norton says:

    a "mildly racist remark" from Prince Philip. What was that about?

    Prince Philip’s mouth is a constant source of embarrassment to the Royal family. He’s practically their version of Chimpy – without the phony corn pone accent.

    He’s been in a perpetual snit since Parliament wouldn’t allow him the title of King. Given his lack of tact and intelligence, I think they made the right decision.

  92. 92
    jcricket says:

    They light a fire to a barbecue using 100 Euro notes

    You meant to write that their servants go get the 100 Euro notes from the safe and then light them on fire, one at a time, by hand, rubbing peasants together to start the fire. That’s what JK Rowling and the Queen would do.

    I don’t think the Queen wipes her own ass.

  93. 93

    @Joshua Norton:

    There is a map of Phil the Greek’s worst comments here.

    My favourite is his comment in China to a group of British students: "Stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty eyed."

    Mmmmm, racism.

  94. 94
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Who honestly gives a rat’s ass about the British royal family anyway? Born into billions, monarchs who do nothing to be fabulously wealthy.

    Oh, they stop British PMs from dressing up in Members Only jackets with "Commander-In-Chief" on them. Small mercies. But seriously, the concept of separating the powers of the head of state from those of head of government is basically a good one, and it’s only really the US and France that blend the two in the industrialised-democrasphere.

  95. 95

    Retyping my lost comment:

    There is a map of Phil the Greek’s worst comments here.

    I particularly like:

    "Do you know they have eating dogs for the
    anorexic now?" Prince Philip jokes with a
    wheelchair-bound girl with a guide dog.

    You’re too fat to be an astronaut.
    Gaffe-prone Phil ruins a 13-year-old
    boy’s dream when visiting a rocket
    project at Salford University.

    Do you still throw spears at each other?
    Prince Philip questions aborigines at the
    Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park near Cairns
    on hearing that it is run by two different tribes.

  96. 96

    Hmmm. My comment keeps being swallowed

    There is a map of Phil the Greek’s worst comments here.

    I particularly like:

    "Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?" Prince Philip jokes with a wheelchair-bound girl with a guide dog.

    You’re too fat to be an astronaut. Gaffe-prone Phil ruins a 13-year-old boy’s dream when visiting a rocket project at Salford University.

    Do you still throw spears at each other? Prince Philip questions aborigines at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park near Cairns on hearing that it is run by two different tribes.

  97. 97

    Hmmm. My comment keeps being swallowed

    There is a map of Phil the Greek’s worst comments which you can find if you google "Prince Phillip gaffe". (I’d link but I am trying to work out if that is why my comment keeps disappearing).

    I particularly like:

    "Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?" Prince Philip jokes with a wheelchair-bound girl with a guide dog.

    You’re too fat to be an astronaut. Gaffe-prone Phil ruins a 13-year-old boy’s dream when visiting a rocket project at Salford University.

    Do you still throw spears at each other? Prince Philip questions aborigines at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park near Cairns on hearing that it is run by two different tribes.

  98. 98
    Bill says:

    Gosh darn it, Barack Obama’s horrifying effrontery makes me pine for George Bush’s bubbling jocularity, punctuated by his rapist’s wit.

  99. 99
    Comrade Baron Elmo says:

    Roy Edroso brings teh funny:

    Jonah Goldberg thinks Britain is a PC hellhole. So does Gateway Pundit. So does Stop the ACLU.

    But they all think it’s simply frightful that Obama gave the Queen presents of which they cannot approve.

    Best of all is Stop the ACLU which, upon hearing that in addition to the iPod Obama gave the Queen a rare songbook signed by American musical comedy great Richard Rodgers, responds, "perhaps the songbook gift might have been nice (I’ve never heard of the guy)…" Yeah, this is someone you want dishing out protocol.

    But I guess that real Americans are proud to know nothing of them as writes musicals… why, I hear tell that homos listen to that crap!

    It does make you wonder, though, why our manly Repubs are so obsessed with fine points of etiquette. And with Michelle Obama’s clothing, for that matter…

  100. 100
    R-Jud says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    My mother refers to July 4 as "the day we got rid of the whole disaster waiting to happen" and this was years ago :)

    We were in the US for the 4th a few years ago and someone said to my husband, "must be weird, celebrating the American Revolution". He said "Nah, it’ll all end in tears."

  101. 101
    PaulW says:

    @Joshua Norton:

    Oh, Emp, how could you say that? :(

  102. 102
    PaulW says:

    Teh Right is complaining about Obama’s ‘lack of Emily Post skillz’? It’s coming awfully close to my Obama Shoelace Hypothesis

    I vaguely recall something about FDR serving the British Royals hot dogs fresh off the backyard grill back in the day. You’d think the Brits would have gotten used to our boorish ways by now. Sigh.

  103. 103
    dmsilev says:

    @PaulW:

    I vaguely recall something about FDR serving the British Royals hot dogs fresh off the backyard grill back in the day. You’d think the Brits would have gotten used to our boorish ways by now. Sigh.

    Well, supposedly when Churchill was visiting Washington and staying at the White House, he wandered around the living quarters stark naked. Maybe serving hot dogs was FDR’s way of getting revenge.

    -dms

  104. 104
    aimai says:

    I want to know what the "Obama shoelace hypothesis" is. But look, lets get something straight, the very category "boorish" in English society refers *only* to people of low social status. Just as it is impossible for your charlady to be "gracious" it is impossible for aristocrats to be "boorish" even as they are ignorant, farting, belching, morons. Those terms just don’t apply up and down the social scale. The house lords isn’t exactly full of "after you, my dear bertie!" or any supreme kind of courtesy and savoir faire. Protocol exists precisely to keep boundaries in place between the highest ranking people and potential exposure of their flaws from the hoi polloi.

    As I understand it the Queen gave the Obama’s a *picture of herself*. How *that* can be seen as other than crass I can’t imagine. But status and custom make it ok, I suppose.

    aimai

  105. 105
    Emma says:

    It was interesting watching the American press trot out the "royal watchers" (newpaper people in the UK who especialize in the royal family) to get them to say something bad about MIchelle, and getting laughed off the screen. Ingrid Seward, sort of a "Senior watcher", told CBS people that the Queen responded to Michelle by putting her arm around her and they were chatting about shoes, and then the Queen said to Michelle "now that we’ve met you must keep in touch," which is sort of like unheard of in Royal circles. The BBC called it "the friendly cuddle" and they are all impressed about how much the Queen is taken with the Obamas.

    So for those of you on the anti-royal rant on this thread: try again, ’cause you’re buying into the right-wing lie.

  106. 106
    Libby says:

    Thanks so much John for the shout out. Bright spot on a very bleak day.

    As for the gift, the more I think about it, the better it seems. I mean, what could be more appropriate than a photo/video album of her historic trip? It makes sense to put it on its own iPod even. It’s something they can put in the vault of monarch history for the next generations and it doesn’t take up much room. And the songbook was a primo addition. These were thoughtful gifts she could enjoy herself and keep for posterity too.

  107. 107

    Gosh darn it, Barack Obama’s horrifying effrontery makes me pine for George Bush’s bubbling jocularity, punctuated by his rapist’s wit.

  108. 108
    aimai says:

    I finally saw the picture of the queen putting her arm around Michelle just before Michelle responds. Too cute. Although the first pictures I saw I described to my husband as

    "the queen looked like a little pink marzipan mouse between two Tutsis and Philip looked like he wanted to ask them why they didn’t have a bone through their noses."

    If I’d been the queen I’d have asked Michelle to "bring the girls next time." Politicians come and go but really cute little girls like that? Grandmas love ’em.

    aimai

  109. 109
    Libby says:

    Heh. Good description of that photo. I saw that one too. I was thinking the royal couple looked like toy people at Disneyworld standing next to the Obamas. They’re both so tall.

  110. 110
    ksmiami says:

    All this buzzing over the Queen is pretty silly. I just hope that Obama gave Premier Jintao a light handshake. The Chinese are really wary of the firm American handshake… and since they own us, well

  111. 111
    Original Lee says:

    This is ridiculous, but I guess it’s something we’ve got to get used to.

    The White House asked the Palace ahead of time what the Queen would like as a gift. The Palace gave the White House a list of suggestions. Sheesh. The Queen is apparently into cutting-edge technology, even though she usually has to be shown how to use it, so the iPod album is perfect, and she loves R&H, so the autographed songbook is also perfect.

    The only thing not to love for the Repugs is that the Obamas are actually, you know, paying attention to the expressed preferences of their hostess, instead of striding machofully through the main gate with their throwdown "take it or leave it, bitch" tchotchke tastefully wrapped in Old Glory/Confederate Battle Flag reversible paper.

  112. 112
    OriGuy says:

    The US has rules about government employees accepting gifts above a certain value. So if the Obamas got expensive gifts, they wouldn’t be able to keep them; they’d become government property. Certainly the British government knows this. It’s bad manners to give someone a gift that costs a lot more than they can give you, isn’t it? So the Obamas are giving gifts in the price range of the ones they can accept.

    Besides, the Queen owns a country; her house is a museum. (Where people come to see ’em…) But it’s not like she can pop out to Comp USA Circuit City Fry’s to pick up an iPod.

    PS. WordPress lies about the S tag in preview.

  113. 113
    Tax Analyst says:

    Martin
    Meh, they’re just disappointed that he didn’t give her a Public Enemy CD, a bottle of Courvoisier, some gold caps, and a giant clock to hang around her neck.

    …and address her as, "Yo, your Queeniness", and then maybe hand her a picture of himself in a garish gold-inlaid frame, maybe pull out a cokespoon or hand her a doobie or something.

  114. 114
    gwangung says:

    But look, lets get something straight, the very category "boorish" in English society refers only to people of low social status. Just as it is impossible for your charlady to be "gracious" it is impossible for aristocrats to be "boorish" even as they are ignorant, farting, belching, morons.

    Well, I think that’s the point of right wing harumphing. To them, the Obamas are intrinsically low status, pretending to status they shouldn’t have. To them, there’s no way Barack and Michelle could ever earn that status (well, maybe if Michelle’s brother won a Final Four…..)

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  1. […] The real question is why so much attention is being paid to this. Right wingers will take any opportunity to attack Obama, but his Republican predecessor wasn’t  so hot with respect to following protocol. At least Obama didn’t try to give her a massage as Bush did with Angela Merkel. […]

  2. […] reminds us that the President of the United States is no longer fondling the leader of […]

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