Obama’s Coffee Cup Salute Leads To Latest Outrage Of The Day

Obama Salute

The usual suspects flew into outrage mode on social media and in the blogosphere earlier today when video emerged of President Obama saluting a Marine while holding what appears to be a Starbucks cup in his hand:

Some are calling it the “latte salute.”

When President Obama stepped off Marine One at the Wall Street landing zone in New York City, en route the United Nations, he saluted two Marines at the bottom of the stairs as he held a coffee cup in the same hand.

The unusual gesture appeared in an Instagram video posted by the White House on social media.  Obama is also wearing sunglasses as he arrived, with the first lady not far behind.

The video drew ridicule from some Instagram users, who saw the unorthodox salute as “un-presidential.”

“Hopefully it was just a slip by this President,” one user posted.

Others saw unnecessary nitpicking in the criticism.

“People are dying from disease, abuse or even hunger,” another user commented on the video. “Priorities.”

Here’s the video:

The reaction from the usual suspects is about what you’d expect it to be, and not really worth going into in detail. Nonetheless, it all seems to ignore the fact that it’s arguably not appropriate, and certainly not required, for a President to return salutes, given the fact that he is a civilian. Indeed, prior to President Reagan it doesn’t appear that any previous President ever followed this practice, most specifically including President Eisenhower, the last General to serve in the White House. Since Reagan, it has taken on the role of a custom, which I suppose is okay but the fact that a President might get the salute wrong every now and then is hardly reason to be outraged. After all, I don’t recall anyone getting outraged when this happened:

Bush Salute

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Military Affairs, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. jd says:

    Clearly that’s not a salute. It’s just a ‘How-de-doo?’, and the cup is entirely appropriate, almost required.




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  2. Dave says:

    I was serving in the US Army when Reagan was president and as much as I loved the man, his saluting made me cringe. But if a president chooses to do it then he should do it with the honor and respect that the gesture is meant to convey. Just because Bush half-assed it with a dog doesn’t make it right that Obama half-assed it with a coffee cup. And no, I’m not outraged by it, just disappointed at one more example of the shallowness of our so-called elites.




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  3. Butch Bracknell says:

    @Dave: Dave wins the internet.




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  4. Butch Bracknell says:

    Do it, don’t do it. Whatever. But if you do it, don’t F*** it up. This sends HUGE signals to the military.




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  5. Jeremy says:

    @Thermo Factor X:

    ELL. OH. ELL.




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  6. Henrycat says:

    @Butch Bracknell:

    Further proof that this prick has no respect for the Military.




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  7. Trax says:

    and now the rest of the story behind President Bush’s salute:

    “As the First Lady entered the chopper, the Marine at the gangway saluted and held his salute. The Scottie the President was walking decided it wanted to sit right when he got to the steps. The President pulled on its leash, but the stubborn Scottie persisted in sitting. The President bent down and scooped up the pooch and entered Marine One. After he entered, the Marine cut his salute and returned to the position of attention.

    Moments later the President re-emerged from the helicopter and out onto the steps. The Marine was standing at attention, head and eyes straight ahead. The President leaned over and tapped him on the left arm. The startled Marine turned his body toward the President and received his returned salute!”




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  8. Franklin says:

    @Henrycat: Derp derp derp.




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  9. Trax says:

    Have you noticed a difference in the salute given by our military men and women as President Bush walks by? Most folks would not notice anything but military people see it right away.

    “When President Bush leaves his helicopter or Air Force One, the honor guards salute and face him as he disembarks, then turn their faces towards him as he passes by. They continue to salute his back as he walks away.”

    “The following incident from Major General Van Antwerp may give us an insight.

    Gen. Antwerp is President of the Officers’ Christian Fellowship. He lost nearly all his staff when the Pentagon was attacked Sept. 11. His executive officer, LTC Brian Birdwell, was badly burned and in the hospital when President Bush visited him.

    Our President spent time and prayed with Brian. As he was getting ready to leave, he went to the foot of Brian’s bed and saluted. He held his salute until Brian was able to raise his burned and bandaged arm, ever so slowly, in return. The Commander-in-Chief never initiates a salute, except in the case of a Congressional Medal of Honor winner. The injured soldier did not have to return the salute. But he did, out of respect to his President – – a Soldiers’ President”




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  10. Not Likely says:

    Thanks Trax, my grandmother has passed so I don’t have the benefit of receiving her chain emails anymore.




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  11. Davebo says:

    @Butch Bracknell:

    I’ve been out of the military since 1989 so perhaps things have changed drastically but when I server the military, for the most part, wasn’t made up of childish idiots inferring “huge signals” from trivial events.




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  12. Mikey says:

    I did 20 years in the military, and can tell you it takes a non-trivial amount of practice to get to where you can deliver a good salute. I don’t expect a President who has no military background to be able to deliver one with military quality.

    But FFS if you’re going to try to at least approximate one, don’t have anything in that hand…LOL…this is why to this day, eight years after military retirement, I never carry anything in my right hand while walking. “Keep the right hand free” is an unbreakable habit by now.




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  13. Mikey says:

    @Davebo: You must not have been in the Army.

    *runs for cover*




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  14. Rafer Janders says:

    The President is a civilian, and as such should not return salutes. Simple.

    I hate, hate, hate that that hack actor Reagan started the frankly un-American practice of the president saluting. It dishonors our civilian method of government.




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  15. Dermascoop says:

    I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This paragraph posted at this website is actually pleasant.




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  16. JKB says:

    What is idiotic about this is that Marines, by custom and tradition, don’t salute when uncovered or out of uniform. Army and Air Force do salute indoors, uncovered and out of uniform (such as going through a gate with an officer sticker on the car).

    But, if you are going to salute, do it right. The comparison between Bush and Obama isn’t equivalent. Bush should not have saluted since both hands were needed to carry the dog. Obama, on the other hand, was carrying a cup of coffee, tacky in its own right for a Presidential arrival with photos. But in such a situation, you move empty your right hand to give a proper salute.

    All in all, I would prefer the President simply acknowledge the salutes with a nod or simply saying “Marines”. A President could save returning salutes for special occasions where it would be more than perfunctory.




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  17. jd says:

    @Mikey: “Keep the right hand free” is an unbreakable habit by now.

    Unless you’re left-handed, you must be feeling incredibly frustrated by now.




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  18. wr says:

    @Dave: “And no, I’m not outraged by it, just disappointed at one more example of the shallowness of our so-called elites.”

    Because everyone knows the essence of depth is understanding proper saluting protocol.




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  19. anjin-san says:

    @Henrycat:

    this prick

    Sort of like you having no respect for the presidency.




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  20. wr says:

    @Trax: Yeah, big of him to pray with that injured soldier.

    Oh, right, that injured soldier who was only injured because of the incompetence or corruption of the president who sent him to war for no reason, or for lies, or to allow his buddies to loot billions of dollars.

    But he salutes purty, so that’s all good.




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  21. wr says:

    @JKB: In other words, there is absolutely nothing you won’t whine about.




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  22. anjin-san says:

    @Trax:

    a Soldiers’ President

    I would have been happier if Mr. Bush had not put thousands of soldiers in body bags in the quest to make the world safe for Halliburton profits.




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  23. bill says:

    maybe he coulda held the cup in the other hand, just sayin’. bush/reagan/carter/clinton have nothing to do with this, we’re in the age or twitter, and obama is supposed to be a tech savvy dude…..send him that memo again.




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  24. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    so what you are saying is that Obama is held to a different standard that any other President?

    What is it that is so different about Obama anyway? We will all have to put our thinking caps on and try and figure it out…




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  25. Just Me says:

    I think he deserves some ridicule-it was tacky-but it isn’t outrageous or indicative of much.

    I think if you’re going to salute you should do it right.




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  26. Mikey says:

    @jd: Given the rule applies while walking down the street, it’s probably a good thing to keep it free of…whatever it is you’re implying. 😉




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  27. Rick DeMent says:

    @Henrycat:

    Further proof that this prick has no respect for the Military.

    This is not anything like “proof” of anything really.




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  28. JWH says:

    Barney, the First Dog, desperately pleads for help escaping from the grips of the Great Monster that has just eaten his ear.




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  29. JWH says:

    @Dave: That’s a fair assessment, I think.




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  30. gVOR08 says:

    Simple to explain. IOKIYAR and ODS.




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  31. KM says:

    @Doug:

    Nonetheless, it all seems to ignore the fact that it’s arguably not appropriate, and certainly not required, for a President to return salutes, given the fact that he is a civilian. Indeed, prior to President Reagan it doesn’t appear that any previous President ever followed this practice, most specifically including President Eisenhower, the last General to serve in the White House

    It’s startling how many people don’t know that and that as their ultimate boss, he gets the salutes since he outranks everybody but isn’t obligated to salute back. He doesn’t wear a uniform, wear cover and isn’t an officer – traditional triggers for “when in doubt, whip it out”. It’s not protocol, it’s simply become the visually accepted norm for the civilian to do this because past Presidents have. The same people who are horrified that the President bows (seen as subservience instead of respect) are outraged that he doesn’t salute properly (seen as respect instead of subservience). Either gesture is a mark of deference and polite honor but it’s remarkable how one gets assigned a negative meaning the other doesn’t.

    The President saluting is a mimic gesture, tit for tat. It simply doesn’t mean the same thing for a civilian as it does for military. Like replying in a foreign language you don’t speak fluently, it’s not going to be perfect since you don’t have the nuances down but you’re trying to reply in kind. And that’s OK, people – it’s not the end of the world.




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  32. SenyorDave says:

    Certainly qualifies as outrage of the day/week/month. Has all the requirements:

    1. Something he shouldn’t have done and would change if he could go back in time (by any objective standards).

    2. Pretty trivial in the scheme of things

    3. Something that it would take about five minutes to find examples of other presidents doing similar things

    4. Something where the lunatic right can again point to Obama and say “see he hates “insert some American icon here”, because HE’S NOT ONE OF US.

    Because “HE’S NOT ONE OF US” has been alarge part of the narrative all along, whether it was McCain referring to Obama as “that one” or Newt Gingrich talking about his anti-colonialist background or FNC saying he’s meeting with his homeys when dealing with an African leader. There is certainly legitimate opposition to the policies of this (or any) POTUS, but a large part of the GOP has made this about Obama personally. Now what could be different about Obama from other presidents, I can’t quite put my finger on it?




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  33. JWH says:

    traditional triggers for “when in doubt, whip it out”.

    Didn’t President Clinton follow that rule?

    I know, cheap shot. But I couldn’t resist.




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  34. wr says:

    @KM: Thank you. That’s the best response to this whole thing I’ve seen — and you did it without mocking, which would be far beyond my l evel of patience. You are my favorite poster today.




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  35. KM says:

    @wr:

    Thanks! I can kind of see the saluting thing from both sides – I have military in my family so I understand its importance in a cultural way without being too invested in it. I also have the additional aspect in that I fence and you traditionally salute with your blade your opponent, the judge and the audience before the match begins. I tend to forget or do a sloppy one-gesture job (mind’s already on the match) and there are some who get very very testy if you don’t do a proper salute. I’ve always felt the handshake at the end was more important as it signified no hard feelings rather then more impersonal blade salute but I know that people get weird when they feel “disrespected”.

    Honestly, I think that Obama had a million things on his mind and was moving on auto-pilot. It probably never occurred to him and he just kept on moving. If the worst thing that happened to those Marines that day was a sloppy salute, it’s a good good day.




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  36. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    All in all, I would prefer the President simply acknowledge the salutes with a nod or simply saying “Marines”.

    Agreed.

    A President could save returning salutes for special occasions where it would be more than perfunctory.

    Not agreed. A president should never salute, period.He’s a civilian.




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  37. Rafer Janders says:

    @KM:

    It’s not protocol, it’s simply become the visually accepted norm for the civilian to do this because past Presidents have

    But up until Reagan, past presidents haven’t. For the 192 years from 1789, when George Washington took office, until 1981, when Reagan did, it was customary for presidents NOT to return salutes, since the presidents were civilian and not military officials. This was true even when the president himself had once been in the military (Washington, Grant, TR, Eisenhower,etc.). It was only Reagan who started the current practice, and only because he was a cheap showman.

    Try to find a photo of Teddy Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, or Carter saluting while in office. You won’t succeed.




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  38. al-Ameda says:

    Not only that, he probably wasn’t wearing an American Flag lapel pin!

    Really, all of this “outrage” comes down to is Obama “Being President While Black.”




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  39. KM says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    It was only Reagan who started the current practice, and only because he was a cheap showman.

    I would contend all politicians are cheap showman by definition but that’s a debate for a later day 🙂

    I think at this point the general thinking is “precedent = protocol = obligation”. Too many aren’t well versed in the finer intricacies of these things and just go by what they see or remember and hold that as standard (Miss Manners and the USMC Protocol Guide would like a word on that). Precedent is simply that, precedent – not set-in-stone law. Just because that last President jumped off a bridge doesn’t mean you have to. However, your average Joe doesn’t get that concept and might very well jump off that bridge without a doubt. There’s a reason parents have to repeat that advice ad nauseaum….

    Out of curiosity, is there a physical respect gesture that you would prefer? I think a head nod is a little too subtle (and definitely not camera friendly) but I can’t think of another long-distance non-touching movement other then a wave. Any suggestions?




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  40. Rafer Janders says:

    @KM:

    Out of curiosity, is there a physical respect gesture that you would prefer? I think a head nod is a little too subtle (and definitely not camera friendly) but I can’t think of another long-distance non-touching movement other then a wave. Any suggestions?

    Yes, as better expressed by Stephen Walt in his Foreign Policy article “Mr. President, Don’t Salute the Troops This Fourth of July”:

    I’d argue that a nod in the direction of the individual saluting, a quiet word of thanks, and perhaps a handshake would be sufficient. Presidents should, of course, honor the troops — they just should not salute them.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/07/02/mr_president_don_t_salute_the_troops_this_4th_of_july




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  41. Anonne says:

    @KM:
    Nod, smile and greet them with good morning.




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  42. C. Clavin says:

    I tend to go with the “do it right or don’t do it” crowd here.

    So….IMPEACH!!!!




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  43. al-Ameda says:

    @KM:

    Out of curiosity, is there a physical respect gesture that you would prefer? I think a head nod is a little too subtle (and definitely not camera friendly) but I can’t think of another long-distance non-touching movement other then a wave. Any suggestions?

    All of this starts to get into the territory of “didn’t show enough respect.”

    True story:
    A few years a ago I attended a public hearing on business matters, I was required to be there to present financial information and answer questions.

    The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance, and I stood for the Pledge, hands at my side, and recited the Pledge with everyone else in the hall. At a break, an elderly gentleman approached me and asked me if I had a problem with the Pledge of Allegiance and I responded by asking why. He said that he noticed that I did not place my hand of over my heart. I said that I stood respectfully and recited the Pledge — he dismissively brushed my comment aside and reiterated that according to protocol I should have placed my hand over my heart.

    Evidently I was not respectful enough. This country is overly obsessed with this stuff. The Pledge became a national obligation of sorts in the 1950s, and I’m guessing that many people believe that it came from the Founding Fathers and is a constitutional requirement (I’d love to see some polling on THAT one).




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  44. C. Clavin says:

    As for the Republican outrage machine…look…when your biggest thing was that Obamacare was going to destroy the entire nation…and then Obamacare succeeds beyond expectations…well…you have to fall back to something!!!




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  45. At a break, an elderly gentleman approached me and asked me if I had a problem with the Pledge of Allegiance and I responded by asking why. He said that he noticed that I did not place my hand of over my heart.

    Do you have a problem with the pledge? Because I notice that you were looking around the room instead of looking at the flag.




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  46. KM says:

    @al-Ameda:

    He said that he noticed that I did not place my hand of over my heart.

    I’d like to say I would have replied “Why are you staring at me instead of paying attention?” but that might be l’esprit de l’escalier talking. Too many Nosy Nellies worried about everyone else – can’t give something it’s proper due if your focus is on forcing others to give theirs. Such small minds if that’s all they can thinks about…..




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  47. Janis Gore says:

    @KM: This girl takes the cake nearly every time. By damn, a fencer to boot!




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  48. Janis Gore says:

    An outrage machine that ain’t got no rhythm just wears me down. Let’s have something else:

    http://youtu.be/rtUNg14P0bo




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  49. Janis Gore says:

    F**kin’ military porn.




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  50. Will S. says:

    Throwing aside the condescending tone of “the usual suspects” the truth is that Pres. Obama flubbed this and to those of us who are veterans it is disrespectful. Period.

    It’s not the end of the world and regardless of what some of the commenters here think it has nothing to do with the Presidents ethnicity. It’s about military decorum.

    Still you have to love how it always goes back to . . . . “BUSH’. Christ. Hope folks know that many of “the usual suspects” didn’t like Pres. Bush very much either.




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  51. Janis Gore says:

    If you are in close contact with the President on a daily basis, how could it be disrespectful?These guys have top security clearance. They know what’s going on.

    Obama probably knows their kids’ first names. It’s another day at the office.




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  52. Janis Gore says:

    Goddammit, if you want military porn, I’ll give you military porn.

    I happen to have the picture of my brother’s headstone at the Natchez National Cemetery where he was interred in August.

    He died of exposure to Agent Orange in ’65-’67 Vietnam.

    But that’s too good for you assholes. You’re alive.




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  53. Janis Gore says:

    Zero. Blast off, muthers.




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  54. wr says:

    @Will S.: “Throwing aside the condescending tone of “the usual suspects” the truth is that Pres. Obama flubbed this and to those of us who are veterans it is disrespectful. Period.”

    Being a veteran means that for some period of time your job was in the military, and now you’re out. It doesn’t mean you’re some holy saint on whom the world needs to ladle praise and “respect” at every turn.

    This troop worshipping was begun under the Bush administration to give the phony impression that he gave a damn about the people he was sending to be wounded or killed for no reason. And frankly is most frequently invoked by Republican polticians who then vote not to fund the VA.

    You will forgive me if I don’t give a rat’s ass whether or not you choose to feel disrespected, even if you did work for the government at one time in your life.




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  55. Janis Gore says:

    What’s your email address, wr? I’ll send that picture to you, front face and lined up in its row. We’ve been co-commenters for a long time. I don’t know this “Will”.




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  56. Dave says:

    @Will S.:

    1) I’m a veteran and it didn’t particularly offend me.
    2) The “usual suspects” wouldn’t get condescended to if they had spoken up when Bush was in office, you know, when it actually meant something.




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  57. Grewgills says:

    @JKB:

    Obama, on the other hand, was carrying a cup of coffee, tacky in its own right for a Presidential arrival with photos.

    Why do you think that?




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  58. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Being a veteran means that for some period of time your job was in the military, and now you’re out. It doesn’t mean you’re some holy saint on whom the world needs to ladle praise and “respect” at every turn.

    (I’d make it “his or her,” but this is one of those cases where the masculine embraces both genders.)

    I prefer the words of an actual veteran:

    A Veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount of “up to and including my life.”

    Not many “jobs” like that.




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  59. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    But on the topic at hand… I think we all agree that the president is not obligated to return the salute. But he is obligated to not do a half-assed job of it.

    Obama needs to listen to Yoda: “Do… or do not. There is no ‘try.'”




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  60. anjin-san says:

    Well, considering that the salute “issue” is a natural for mental midgets, I guess we were bound to hear from Jenos sooner or later.




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  61. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: And once again, anjin demonstrates that he has nothing to actually contribute to the topic, but that won’t stop him from inserting his snide, substance-less BS.

    You’re the celery of this site, annie. “Empty calories.” Nah, you’re more the saccharine. Or, maybe, the parsley.

    But OK, we’ll play your game. I’ll assume that since you’re being disagreeable, you disagree with me, and ask you how think Obama has every right to do a half-assed job at a salute. Then you can say that you said no such thing, and I was foolish in assuming that you actually had expressed an opinion on the subject at hand, and find more inane insults to hurl at me. Then I’ll dredge up your long history of carefully avoiding comments of any real substance, and the pride and glee you exhibit when you boast about not actually offering any substance. And I’ll once again regret that I, even briefly, considered you interested in actual discussion, and not just looking to insult me.

    There, I just played out your entire game for the next couple of rounds of comments. I don’t know about you, but I’m relieved to get that out of the way so easily. Of course, it helps when your schtick has become so predictable and tiresome.




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  62. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Not many “jobs” like that.”

    Police officer. Fire fighter. Secret Service agent. CIA Agent, especially when the Vice President chooses to reveal secret identities because he’s mad he was caught inventing intelligence.

    Some people want to be soldiers. Some because of their love of country. Some because it’s the best job they can get. Some because they’re adrenaline junkies. Some because they don’t realize what it entails. It’s not a sacred order. It’s a job. Sometimes it’s a career.




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  63. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “But on the topic at hand… I think we all agree that the president is not obligated to return the salute. But he is obligated to not do a half-assed job of it.”

    Obligated by whom? You?




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  64. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “You’re the celery of this site, annie. “Empty calories.””

    Oh. My. God. You can’t even get a cliche insult right.

    Coke is empty calories. Donuts are empty calories. Celery has very few calories, some nutrition and lots of fiber. It’s actually a good thing to eat.

    For the love of God, please take some classes on how the English language works.




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  65. CatsInNC says:

    @C. Clavin:

    …and then Obamacare succeeds beyond expectations

    You’re kidding, right????




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  66. fabojc says:

    @KM: I really like that response and yes he could have had lots of things on his mind. I agree also with the Marines receiving a sloppy salute over cold night in Afghanistan. We cry about small things, what about someone trying to shake your hand and they just used the toilet without wiping and you noticed. Would you shake their hand or walk away??




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  67. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    You’re the celery of this site, annie. “Empty calories.”

    Here is some information about the nutritional value of celery from “The World’s Healthiest Foods”

    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=14

    Thank you for providing proof of concept on the “mental midget” thing so quickly.

    annie

    BTW, you are a little boy that has nothing to contribute beyond making up annoying names for people, something that most of us were done with by age 14. At any rate, I do actually have some pretty rewarding discussions with people here on OTB. The reason they never happen with you is simply because you are not up to it.




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  68. SC_Birdflyte says:

    One thing that DID make me mad was seeing a picture of Dick Cheney (about 10 years ago) on a visit to an Army base, addressing the troops while wearing a specially tailored jacket with the unit patch. Perhaps the Prez can get away with it (although it’s a bad idea), but the Veep has no authority over any troops and is not the Assistant Commander-in-Chief.




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  69. Mikey says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: Units do that for VIPs. It doesn’t signify any authority whatsoever. If you’re less important you get the unit coin.




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  70. beth says:

    This whole thing is just plain stupid. He’s been President for 6 years, how many times do you think he’s gotten on or off of Air Force 1/Marine 1 and been saluted by the guards? Aside from one time when he forgot to salute (and came back out and saluted, shook the guy’s hand and apologized and the right wing nuts still made a big deal out of it), I think it’s safe to say he’s correctly saluted thousands of times. Do you do every single thing you do day after day perfectly every time? C’mon guys, you just make yourself look petty and childish with this nonsense. As for the people who say this shows he doesn’t respect the military, what does his properly saluting thousands and thousands of time say about his level of respect.




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  71. C. Clavin says:

    @CatsInNC:
    No…I’m not. You probably just don’t know it because the people who tell you what to think will never tell you about it.




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  72. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Gee, you’re not only ignorant of concepts like “respect” and “common courtesy,” you’re arrogant about it. NEVER saw that coming…

    And yeah, I said “not many jobs like that.” Congratulations, you found others. Although none of those you cited include such perqs as “your body becomes government property” and “you can’t resign or quit at any time.”




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  73. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Annie, I’d like to apologize when I predicted that, instead of discussing the topic at hand, you’d seize on any pretense to instead engage in off-topic, ad hominem attacks on me. I shouldn’t have said such a thing, profoundly regret doing so, and wonder where in hell I got the idea that you’d do such a thing.




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  74. de stijl says:

    Obama is just trolling ’em now.




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  75. C. Clavin says:

    @SC_Birdflyte:
    You are neglectinng the fact that Cheney was the de facto President.




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  76. Ben Wolf says:

    Can’t think of anything less American than this retarded warrior worship that has snowballed over the last thirty-five years.

    F**k the military and piss on the shoulder-boards of generals.

    [Edited to comply with comment policy — DM]




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  77. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I’ll repeat my point: Obama has no obligation to return the salute. But should he choose to do so, he has a moral obligation to do it right. Doing it half-assed is just insulting.

    As far as the one with Bush and the dog… his hand was free. Obama could have shifted his cup to his left hand.




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  78. anjin-san says:

    Can’t think of anything less American than this retarded warrior worship that has snowballed over the last thirty-five years.

    I grew up around a lot of men who served in WW2/Korea/Nam, some of them saw the worst shit imaginable.

    They all had similar attitudes that boiled down to pretty much the same thing – “I did my duty, nothing more. A lot of guys gave the same, or more than I did.” I can’t recall hearing any of them whine about how much respect they were owed.




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