Okay so what if President Obama bowed to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at the G-20 Summit? Showing respect for the Elder King's position does NOT in any way mean the apocalyptic messages Republican Clerics are screaming over the air waves -- the U.S. is going to turn Muslim and Christianity is going to get thrown out of an ancient Uzbek tower and smash on the ground because of the so-called Obama genuflect.
It is so wildly crazy to see all of this talky talk about President Obama on this silly issue. On Fox News you see the veins popping out of the foreheads and necks of their squawkers. On MSNBC, their conservative guests' faces turn real red (Not Pat Buchanan, he is always very cool and does not get caught up in the petty stuff), with their venomous punditry.
The Right's charge in the blogosphere that the President is a secret Muslim (since he also said his full name -- Barack Hussein Obama -- aloud twice overseas and also in the "Muslim" country of Turkey), is being sung like an Ozzy Osbourne record played backwards. They shriek we are "less safe" because he has opened the clinched fist the United States had to the Arab and Muslim world since 9/11, 2001.
Effective leadership is not driven by authority proving power, but in graciousness and humility allowing others to experience the true power of a leader. President Obama's recalibration of America's respect for our European Allies and their leadership with -- yes -- the leadership of King Abdullah shows a higher level gentleman style Diplomacy that has not been seen in this way by any President. You may argue that Presidents Clinton, Reagan and Kennedy showed style and grace and I will agree -- they looked the part, spoke eloquently and were well received by our allies -- but Obama's approach is completely different and out of the box, and again this type of change scares conservatives. Hegemony was the way Americans grew accustomed to. However, abuse of this Leviathan style domination hurt us on so many fronts that it must be deconstructed to meet a new form of influence and command that is mutually inclusive as we lead.
Do you remember when the U.S. was the Great Empire and President Bush went to the last G-20 Summit with our allies and how they dissed him by not even looking at him or shaking his hand? President Bush was also snubbed at the NATO Summit last April. It was embarrassing for President Bush and our Nation because we had made serious missteps towards being emotionally and culturally intelligent about our allies. Finally, to end 2008, a pair of shoes being chucked at our former President was equally disheartening. This is nothing even for the liberal left to laugh at (but they unfortunately did), and celebrate when a President of the United States is reduced to a kid playing dodge ball at recess.
The President is speaking a language of acceptance and outreach that is quite sincere. Of course President Obama has an agenda attached to his efforts, but there is more of a willingness to accept or consider what his agenda is for America and the rest of the world if he offers his right hand of fellowship first.
President Obama is walking down a very divided and rocky road to establish his legacy as the Balancer in Chief between nations and polities that are dangerous, unstable and at each other's throat.
Now because he hosted Passover Seder (which by the way he also hosted during the campaign last April), there will be some extremists again coming from the Right who will say he is a secret Jew or perhaps even a Secret Muslim Jew? Is that really possible? And of course after he and his family attend church on Easter Sunday, some from the Right again will analyze this and accuse him of going to church to worship himself because after all, he is -- as Glenn Beck all but indicates -- the Anti-Christ Benito Mussolini Fascist. He can't possibly have a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. He is Pro-choice and supports Gay Rights! Wow, this is so bizarre!
You know the truth is Republican Clerics who are borderline xenophobic are working very hard in front of and behind the scenes to paint President Obama as someone who is weak without grit and Un P (atriotic). Calling him a "Foreigner or AyyRab Lover," they are screeching out domino and post ad hoc conclusions hoping that he will put on a thobe, tagiyah, ghutra, and agal (Arab male garb) to prove their point. Their political rhetoric is psychotic. Americans must be awake and allow our President to focus on a higher path towards authentic and noble leadership in the free world without this shrill and stupid discourse.